Elderly Struggle With Drug Costs

Most senior citizens take at least one type of prescription medicine everyday. They say they've watched the cost of the drugs go up every year, and paying for them gets harder and harder.

"One bottle cost me $116, next bottle is 80 something dollars, and I think the next bottle is $31 or $32.  It's too high, and I'm just trying to make it, seeing I got to have it," Gulfport resident Saretha Wilson said.

Living on tight budgets leave little extra for drugs. The seniors say they pay the best way they can.

"You do it or leave it," Ida Crawford said. "I have a place at French's I get it on credit or whatever you call it and I pay them along 'til I pay for it."

Some of the seniors say they are lucky their insurance picks up the tab.

"Yes, if it wasn't for that, they tell me some of it costs almost $100, 80," Willie Brown said.

Those are prices pharmacists say they see people struggle to pay everyday.

"Especially now since the Medicaid is backed up on the amount of prescriptions they will allow per patient," pharmacist David Lawrence said. "There are people who cannot afford the drugs they get. They have to without it or do without something else."

That often leaves older Americans making tough choices between buying medicine or paying their bills.

A spokesperson for a pharmaceutical trade group says it's important to remember that not all elderly patients pay the same price for the same drug. The spokesperson says retail prices vary widely among pharmacies.