Sunday, October 29, 2006

High Price of Medicine


I am sick and tired of American drug companies putting the squeeze on my limited wallet! Because of my COPD, I take many meds and inhalers. Even with insurance, the co-pays are high. But as of October first, I no longer have health care coverage. No more co-pays. So the 8 meds I take will now cost me more than $500 per month and if I couldn't afford the $400 health insurance premium under COBRA, I certainly cannot afford these outrageous prices.

Last year I was without insurance for a month and applied to the Partnership for Perscription Assistance. I had to pay them $5 per perscription to get applications to the pharmaceutical companies. Upon receipt of the applications, I noticed that many of them have their own charges. However, by that time, my insurance was re-instated and I didn't need to apply. I never received my $40 "guarranteed" fee, even after requesting it 3 times. A year ago I never would have whined about it but now I don't have a full time job, don't have health insurance and money is tight. I have to pick and choose where every penney goes.

I made the choice to buy my meds from India. I know many many people who do this and some of the meds are from the same pharmaceuticals that supply the US. The big difference is that I only paid a fraction of what I pay with a co-pay. I am estimating that I am saving at least $1,000 over 3 months! This is HUGE to me! And not only do I save money, I am able to get Symbicort, which isn't even available in the US until next summer. It has been approved overseas for quite a while now. I am very excited about starting this and yes, my doc is aware of it. Symbicort will take the place of Advair, which on some days is very hard for me to inhale.

I don't know what the answers are to the high cost of drugs in the US, but until the FDA and the big drug companies stop playing favorites and trying to see who can make the most money, I am going to keep getting my meds from India. They are good quality, they work and I can afford to still eat.

7 comments:

Mother Jones RN said...

We need to buy our medications from over seas and leave American pharmaceutical in the dust.

I hate drug companies!

MJ

Daniel Haszard said...

Thanks for posting about this issue.

What irks me is that the Eli Lilly company's blockbuster Zyprexa has been implicated in causing TEN times greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
They then turn around and sell other blockbuster drugs to treat the same diabetes.
--
Daniel Haszard

LJG aka Pennsylvania Independent said...

They are trying to make buying drugs overseas illegal. My insurance won't cover most of my bipolar meds so my doctor tries to get samples for me.

LJG aka Pennsylvania Independent said...

This reminds me when I was hospitalized for a "complication" of my bipolar disorder.
About five weeks prior I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. My daughter was a baby at the time, I had no insurance, and didn't have a great source of income.
My mom and grandmother both paid an Orthopedic doctor over $500 for a doctors visit, an EMG, and x-rays. (Because they love me so much LOL.)
I needed surgery. Any other type of treatment was out of the question. The doctor needed a deposit of several thousand dollars. I would lose function in both of my hands if I did not have the surgery.
Well severeal weeks went past and I fell into a depression. I was not feeling really well because I knew I probably would have to deal with the severe shooting pains, the tingling, and the numbness for the rest of my life.
I told my future wife(we wern't married at the time but co-habitated.) that I was not going to be alive for much longer and in return interpreted it as a suicide threat. My wife told her mother and both my grandmother and mother and was confronted about it.
My Grandmother,ironically also has bipolar disorder, and retired RN. She told me she needed to know immediatly if I were going to harm myself in anyway. When I was confronted it had made me angry and told everyone I had planned on doing something really bad to myself. I did overexaggerate quite a bit out of anger. (Us bipolar folks are known for that)
You can guess what happened then. When I was taken it the psychiatrist looked in my records and discovered that I had carpal tunnel syndrome. It was the same hospital where I seen the orthopedic surgeon.
Once a social worker secured medicaid funding for me, the nurses and doctors would not get off my case unless I had the surgery done, the psychiatrist even threatened to keep me longer if I did not consent to the surgery. My feelings were that if they didn't care about me then, why should they now?
I had the surgery done and now I feel 200% better. It really worked out in the long run, but I know myself that getting things that are needed at times can be a real challenge.

RX850 said...

MJ ~ I hate the drug companies too. They are all about the bottom line and make billions on the backs of people who have no choice but to take their drugs.

Daniel ~ thanks for commenting on my blog. I am looking forward to reading your story. I wish you the best with your law suit!

Penn Indep ~ I too got samples from my doc for a while. I found out about Alldaychemist.com from other COPDers who have been buying from them for years. It already IS illegal to import meds into the U.S. and customs does confiscate some of the packages, but I have never had any problems and am so grateful for the chance to get the same meds at a fair price.

LJG aka Pennsylvania Independent said...

I am going to check out alldaychemist.com to see if any of my meds are availible. My PCP's sample supply is running low. I know I will not be able to rely on that forever. My doctor also thought about a Patient assistance program, although I doubt I will qualify for it because I have insurance.
I used to go to a Psychiatrist and it was good while it lasted because it was through the local hospital. The problem arose when my insurance reduced the rate they would compensate my psychiatrist and therapist for. I had no co-pay because I still qualified for social services and they paid the co-pay. They tried getting medicaid for me and when I didn't qualify that is where my relationship with the hospital program went sour.
I didn't qualify for the county assistaed program because I have insurance.
The attitude was instead of my usual $15 co-pay, they wanted me to pay $50 co-pay. I guess it was the amount they would be shorted. That is when I walked on them.
I decided to call my PCP and see what she had to offer. So far she has been the best psychiatrist and seems to be very familiar in dealing with mental illness.

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