The Cost of Medication - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/26/02 - Tyler

The Cost of Medication

   "Hope is part of my life," says Sharon Dengler. "I'm not ready for this to take me. It's hard enough to get yourself up to fight the cancer, but knowing what it's costing."

   Diagnosed several months ago, Sharon Denglers rare form of cancer was found at a late stage. Her best bet in fighting the disease meant taking an expensive new medication called Gleevac. A drug that's still being clinically tested--a study she hoped to become part of, "These clinical trials", she tells. "They're purpose is to get data that will help sell drugs and so they want to shape the outcome as much as they can prior to even starting."

   Sharon didn't fit the profile, which meant the cost of Gleevac would run $3,500 a month. A drug that's not covered by an insurance plan. Insurance that lapsed just days before she was diagnosed, "I think my medical bills now are over $205 thousand dollars."

   A mounting battle Sharon and her husband Jerry couldn't put a price tag on--but still search for solutions. "The solution is the insurance companies," says Jerry. "If there's a treatment that's useable it has to boil down to the doctors. If he doctors can provide it and you pay for insurance then it should be covered."

   The Denglers say getting into a clinical study is the best way to absorb the cost of mounting medical bills.

   Jennifer Brice, reporting.

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