Teacher Heather Holland Dies From Flu After $116 Copay Stops Her From Picking Up Tamiflu Prescription

Natacha PisarenkoAP Images

The death of a second-grade teacher from Texas named Heather Holland is reverberating around the internet. It was the high cost of Heather’s Tamiflu medication that caused her to reject the expensive $116 copay, reports Newsweek. Heather, 38, hailed from Willow Park, Texas, and was described by her husband, Frank, as a frugal person who eschewed picking up the pricey medication because of the “principle” of it.

Tamiflu is a popular antiviral medication that has been used to treat the flu. However, once Heather discovered that buying the medication meant taking $116 out of her family’s budget, she hesitated to buy the medication. According to the Weatherford Democrat, Holland’s health changed on Friday evening, and she landed in the ICU. By early Saturday, Heather was placed on dialysis. Holland went into septic shock and died on Sunday, February 4. It took only one week after the mom of two children started to show flu symptoms to lose her life to influenza.

Heather is being celebrated as a beloved teacher at Ikard Elementary. Sadly, Frank ended up purchasing Heather’s prescription medication for her, but her flu condition continued to worsen prior to her death.

As reported by USA Today, the flu season could be one of the worst in 10 years.

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Nearly 3,000 people have died from the flu or pneumonia in Texas since October 1, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, with most of them being people 50 years of age or older.

Heather’s story has gained attention, as the beloved teacher’s death has become a symbol of what folks are calling an unnecessary death on Twitter, due to Holland worrying about the high cost of the medication that could have saved her life if she had gotten it earlier.

As seen on Twitter in the results of a search for Heather’s name, much of the feedback is focused on the notion that prescription medications shouldn’t come with copays so high that people are willing to risk their lives to go without them. Others are writing about the difficult choice to be made when people skip buying medication in order to pay bills or buy food.

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