(Bloomberg) — A Medicare patient who stopped taking a Pfizer Inc. drug because he couldn’t afford his co-payments has resumed treatment after getting a new grant.
Despite having insurance, William Piorun of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, faced out-of-pocket bills of more than $1,000 a month for various medicines to keep a potentially life-shortening, pituitary-gland tumor in check, Bloomberg News reported last week. The self-employed auto-parts supplier said he made about $45,000 a year.
The combined costs of his medicines — including his co-payment and Medicare’s share — were more than $20,000 a month. That included more than $13,000 for Pfizer’s Somavert, his single most expensive medicine.
In September, when $8,000 in charitable aid he received early in 2014 was running out, Piorun, 65, said he was forced to choose between paying his mortgage and taking Somavert. He skipped his mortgage in October and had only taken the medicine once since last summer — until last night.
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After the Bloomberg article ran, the Patient Access Network Foundation called the Piorun family and said it would provide a new grant immediately, said William Piorun’s wife Robin. The foundation was also the source of the earlier aid.
In another call, a program manager at Pfizer assured the family that William would continue to receive the drug, Robin Piorun said. The new Somavert arrived yesterday.
“I am ecstatic,” William Piorun said. “It is a difficult situation for most people.”