Elk Grove Man Wins Battle Against Insurance Company for Affordable Medication, Plans to Fight for Others

ELK GROVE -- An Elk Grove man who’s been fighting to get the medication he relies on to stay alive is now feeling joy and relief.

FOX40 first brought you Mark Dendy’s story on Monday after his insurer told him they’d no longer cover the drugs he needs to treat a rare disease.

Without insurance this medication would have cost Mark Dendy more than $20,000 a month.

When he reached out to FOX40, he had filed an appeal with his insurance company - trying to prove this medication was a matter of life or death and just three days after the story aired — he got the prescription for just $15.

Having eggs and coffee with his mother, Mark Dendy is getting back to his routine.

Following an experience that can only be described as “exhausting… in one word… exhausting.”

Dendy has Wilson’s Disease. For decades the drug Syprine has kept him alive.

But for 10 days, he was off his medication.

After his insurer, Sutter Health, suddenly stopped covering the pills.

He shared his story; it resonated and spread nationwide.

“My story all the sudden had legs,” Dendy said.

Dendy was feeling tremors in his hands, he was afraid his chronic disease would worsen but by Wednesday, he got the call that brought him to tears.

“Tears of exhaustion tears of elation,” Dendy expressed.

His medication was covered - once again.

“I just had to look out the window and thank God,” Dendy said.

Sutter Health tells us additional documentation were needed to prove the drugs are medically necessary:

“When a prescription requiring prior authorization is approved, this approval is sent to the member’s pharmacy of choice.”

Thursday, Dendy’s pharmacy had his pills waiting for him.

“So, I am so grateful for what I have here now. I got all 120 pills for only $15,” Dendy said.

He’s grateful. He won his fight but it’s not over.

“It’s not about me it might have started out about me but it’s about everybody,” Dendy said.

Dendy is now fighting for others, trying help people unsure how to navigate the process.

“I hope the people behind all this are really listening and hope they’ll open up their hearts and their minds to those that don’t have the means to put up the fight that I’m trying to put up,” Dendy said.

Dendy also got help from assembly member Jim Cooper’s office.

They reached out to the state to try and help push his appeal through.

The assemblyman told FOX in a statement:

“My office worked in coordination with the department of managed healthcare to assist Mr. Dendy. I am very happy that we could be of assistance in helping him access the medication he depends upon.”

Dendy said he has been on the phone nonstop.

He told FOX40 he has since spoken with senator Kamala Harris’ office and Dianne Feinstein’s office.


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