broadsideblog

$22.50 Per Pill? Now I’m In Pain

In behavior, business, Health, Medicine, Money, news on September 3, 2010 at 7:11 pm
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Image by seiuhealthcare775nw via Flickr

Just as today’s New York Times reports that businesses are shoving their health care costs onto workers (and Robert Reich bemoans the nation’s appalling growing income inequality), it’s time to re-up a prescription I’m on for three months, one pill a week.

Luckily, my pharmacist knows I’m no millionaire and called to warn me the pills would cost $90 for four. Wow. I could just go knock back two decent martinis and kill my pain that way. But no, this is a drug that builds bone and I need some more of it, so generic might be my only choice.

I grew up in Canada, whose regulatory environment, and healthcare system, is not run entirely for profit but to minimize costs and maximize patient care. I was younger and healthier so almost never needed a prescription for anything.

Drug prices in the U.S. leave me open-mouthed. I know my pills are dirt cheap compared to many others.

But what a charming whack on the kneecaps! I need those pills to help my hip, to avoid a $50,000 surgery that will demand a 4 to six-week recovery and rehab, another challenge for someone self-employed who doesn’t get paid sick days.

I work, I get paid. I don’t work, I don’t.

Millions of Americans fear and loathe any medical system that doesn’t offer the choice of a supermarket and the speed of a Concorde. But when you’re faced with a stagnant, falling or no income — and rising medical costs — it’s no time to have your wallet’s contents surgically removed by corporate greed.

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  1. I think it’s rather sad when people (in the US) whine about having choice taken away by being offered national health care. I now live in a place where profit is not the main goal, and my health care has never been better.

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