Letters Input needed on drug prices

To the editor:

I would first like to extend my thanks to the nearly 5,000 South Dakotans who have shared with me their prescription drug stories in response to my recent mailing entitled, "the Bitter Pill." I don't think I could have ever imagined the magnitude of the response that I would get from South Dakotans all across that state. Both working families and seniors alike have relayed stories to me of having to skip buying groceries, miss paying rent, and cut their medication in half in order to afford their prescription needs. I find this situation tragic and appalling.

Many of you also have signed on to become Citizen Cosponsors of my legislation, and I sincerely thank you for making that pledge. As a Citizen Cosponsor, you will receive updated information on the progress of my prescription drug legislation currently pending in Congress, reports about new proposals to fight the high cost of prescription drugs, and suggested actions each Citizen Cosponsor can take to help this grassroots effort.

I would like to invite anyone who has not had the chance to share their prescription drug stories with me, or would like to sign up as a Citizen Cosponsor, to do so by contacting any of my South Dakota offices, coming to one of my series of prescription drug meetings throughout the state, or by calling my toll free line at 1-800-537-0025. Your grassroots support helps me to make a strong case for change. Other members of Congress must understand that American citizens support my efforts to end price discrimination by the pharmaceutical industry. I appreciate the outpouring of support that I have received from around the state, and I will continue my efforts in the upcoming legislative session.

Tim Johnson

U.S. Senate

Donors committed to saving lives

To the editor:

I am writing on behalf of the Siouxland Community Blood Bank to thank all who attempted to donate blood at Vermillion High School on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

A special thanks goes out to the Vermillion High School National Honor Society, Karol

Brodersen, and Dr. Sharon Ross for coordinating this blood drive. Both blood banks appreciate their personal efforts and the support of Vermillion High School students, staff and the Vermillion community.

Sixty-one people registered to donate, and a total of 42 pints were collected by the Siouxland Blood Bank of Sioux City. The Sioux Falls Regional Blood Bank saw 58 people register, and they collected 48 units of blood. That's great donor participation. Everyone deserves to be commended for their commitment to saving lives in Siouxland.

Listed below are the names of donors who reached gallon makers at this last drive with the Siouxland Community Blood Bank of Sioux City.

Kevin Cleaver � seven gallons

Susan Jopling � one gallon

Dane Leja � one gallon

Your support and donations continue to help the supply of our area hospitals. The only way blood products are made available for area-patients is if individuals in our communities volunteer to donate on a regular basis. We are very thankful for the dedicated Vermillion-area blood donors.


Charlie Jespersen

Donor Consultant

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