East Coast Rx Express — Ann Streaker — Lakeland, Florida

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Ann Streaker is a 32 year-old, single mom living in Florida. Her child has medical coverage through the state’s Kid Care program, but Ann has had no medical insurance for herself for years. A contract employee and student, she simply can’t afford it.

It never has been easy, since she and her son moved to Florida from Ohio five years ago. But now she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her physician thinks she might suffer from anxiety disorder as well. The prescription for bipolar disorder medication costs $1400 for a 3-month supply. Ann is nowhere near being able to pay that out-of-pocket.

There is, in Canada, a generic medication to treat bipolar disorder that would cost $135 for 90 days; a huge savings. Ann is on board the Rx Express to procure some of that medication.

But Ann has another reason for taking the train. She wants to spread the word that the health care system in the United States is hurting Americans, and that Canada is in many ways a good model to follow. Everything from bulk purchasing, which is generally banned in the U.S., to more affordable prescription drugs, should be implemented here, she believes.

"It’s unfair for the government to make a law to prevent us from buying medications from Canada," Ann says.

Health care coverage, Ann says, "should be a priority, like food, housing, and day care. But there are a lot of people in the United States who can’t afford it and opt not to take it. It’s not right."

Consumer Watchdog
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