Victoria Stuessel is 34- year-old wife and mother living with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative and progressively disabling disease of the Central Nervous System. Like Americans with multiple sclerosis, she relies on high-priced prescription drugs to slow the progress of the disease and treat the symptoms. Victoria has paid up to $7,000 a month for her prescription medications even though she has insurance.
People with multiple sclerosis and others with lifelong illnesses experience extreme financial hardship due to the high cost of their medications. According to the National Institutes of Health, the cost of multiple sclerosis disease modifying therapies have accelerated at rates well beyond inflation and substantially above rates observed for drugs in a similar biologic class.
Victoria is a passionate advocate for lowering the price of prescription drugs, lending her voice to the California fight to pass one of the most comprehensive drug pricing transparency laws in the country. Her story was instrumental in overcoming the whopping $16.8 million dollar campaign from Big Pharma to prevent patients from knowing why their prescription drug prices were increasing.
Victoria is this month’s Price Fighting Hero for being a fierce patient advocate and an inspiration. Despite health challenges, she flew to Sacramento on short notice to share her story at a press conference in support of drug pricing legislation in California and has continued to share her story with other patients.
Patients For Affordable Drugs’ Price Fighting Heroes is a new series highlighting heroes in the fight to lower prescription drug prices.
We will honor patients, private sector leaders, policy makers, and elected officials who are advocating for patients and fighting for lower drug prices. In doing so, we hope to encourage others to join the fight and continue their good work.
We plan to feature our heroes on our social media accounts and blog, lift up their stories in the media and honor them at a special event in 2019.