Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Dec. 12 letters to the editor

BBB Act means lower prescription drug costs

I heard an ad on the radio that said that Sen. Manchin supports legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, a policy that is currently included in the Build Back Better Act.

“It makes no sense at all that we don’t go out and negotiate,” Sen. Manchin says in the ad. “The VA does a tremendous job. Medicaid does it. Why doesn’t Medicare?”

It comforts me to know Sen. Manchin is in Washington fighting on behalf of patients like me who urgently need lower drug prices. I live with the autoimmune disease lupus, and I depend on the medication Benlysta, which is priced at more than $35,000, to stay well enough to work and attend nursing school.

Without this drug, my immune system attacks my healthy tissue, resulting in painful inflammation that damages my skin, joints, blood vessels and brain.

But Benlysta’s price threatens to derail my dreams of becoming a nurse. I am always trying to figure out how to afford it. At times I’ve had to stop taking it altogether, patch together funding or switch to less effective medications.

Sen. Manchin has a chance to deliver historic drug pricing reforms to our state by voting for the Build Back Better Act, which includes allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and other reforms that will meaningfully lower prices not only for West Virginians, but every American. We’re counting on you, Sen. Machin.

Ashley Suder

Next phase of COVID’s war on humanity

Again, we are informed that COVID-19 has committed to a new phase of operations against the people of Planet Earth.

The COVID viruses have launched another attack, perhaps with more potency than its two earlier insurgencies. Two strains of the virus achieved significant success before being beaten back by broad-based counterattacks, including three expedited vaccines, but there’s only been limited success in vaccinating a vulnerable population. Authorities with jurisdiction have opened the battle against Phase III, omicron.

The COVID pandemic is a cascading event; that is, before we recovered from the first major episode, a second episode (delta) arrived and has been overlapped by omicron. Just as the Mississippi River Delta area suffered through closely recurring hurricanes — subsequent storms arriving before the people had recovered from the last one — we are engaged with another wave of about 12 COVID-19 variations assigned Greek letters, marking them as “variants of interest” by the World Health Organization. And the end is not in sight.

Authorities announced (DP-11-30-21) that “we’re learning more every day … And we know that full immunization plus boost should give us enough anti-body protection that we should be protected against the variant just like the delta variant and others … . It also tells us the COVID-19 virus is not done with us yet.”

We are now better prepared to defend against this scourge. Cascading events, however, can exhaust or divert resources. The scientific, technical, medical and production communities appear to be on-line, but we seem unable to deal with the population at risk. Vaccinations have not reached enough people. Herd immunity has not been achieved. Sanctuaries remain available. COVID remains in play.

Bill Wyant

New geriatric ER a blessing for seniors

I enjoyed reading The Dominion Post’s recent article about the new geriatric emergency room at Mon Health Medical Center (12-03-21).

The words “emergency room” can be frightening to young persons, the middle-agers and, particularly, senior citizens. But thanks to Mon Health Medical Center’s recent accreditation as a Geriatric Emergency Department, seniors at The Village at Heritage Point and  in general   can now feel comfortable and less worried when we need to visit.

A special thanks to Mon Health Medical Center Auxiliary and private donations for funding this adventure. Non-slip flooring, mobility aids, additional chairs and handrails and other amenities are so important to older adults. Most exciting is the fact that physicians, nurses and support staff will have special training in the care and services of older adults.

Thank you for taking time to hear from me.

Deanie Van Camp