Letters and Events 6 – 13 – 2012

Sending patients back to the “stone age” for treatment 

I am someone who has seen the miracle produced by drugs for Parkinsons patients and diabetics. My father in law had diabetes and parkinsons and lived a happy and productive life for many years. This was due to the various medications that he was given over the 15 plus years he battled these diseases. He finally died of the Parkinsons at the age of 85. During the 15 years he was on medication for diabetes and parkinsons, we would be able to see the tremors return as the efficacy of one medication/cocktail would wane. His treatment would be adjusted and the tremors would be quieted. During much of this time he was able to tend to his yard, keep my mother-in law company and do the many little things we each do that keeps us busy in our older age.

It was only in the last year of his life that he required professional care in a convalescent home, because he could no longer help my mother in law with his day-to-day needs. Without the medicines, this time would have come much sooner in the progression of his disease. He would have been in a convalescent home for a longer period of time and the quality of his life during that time would have been greatly diminished.

If Vermont restricts these drugs, they will be sending these patients back to the “stone age” for treatment. Shame on Vermont leaders and the Department of Vermont Health Access for even thinking about this as an option for cutting the cost of drugs for Vermonters. The “New” Vermont health system that the legislators are trying to create was suppose to make things better for Vermonters. Obviously it will only be “better” for healthy Vermonters. By reducing the options that Vermonters with chronic dseases are allowed to access, the quality and length of their lives will be greatly reduced. Many of these people currently have insurance that covers these treatments. Forcing them into “the Vermont Plan” that restricts access to these drugs is a travesty. To this I say again, shame-shame on you!

Elaine Pettegrow



Tuesday June 19: David Coats will speak as part of the Sheraton Economic Series at 7pm Sheraton University Amphitheatre on the subject of Vermont’s unfunded liabilities.

Thursday June 28: Navigating Vermont’s Path to Health Care Reform 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM Hilton 60 Battery St. Burlington.  To register visit: http://mvpburlington.eventbrite.com.


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