Thursday, April 23, 2009

Motherfucking Pharma

I went to a doctor's appointment this morning. I was given an Rx for Ziana, which is clindamycin phosphate 1.2% & tretinoin 0.025%. (Long story short, I went in to make sure I didn't have skin cancer, turns out I have a mild problem with cystic acne - yay for being 26.)

Anyway - I go to the pharmacy to get the script filled. When I come back to pick it up, the pharmacy tech looks at the paperwork and goes "Yikes! Don't you have insurance?"

I was like "Hell the fuck yeah I have insurance, chica. Pretty damn good insurance too."

She goes, "Well let me double check on this for you."

Turns out that this MOTHERFUCKING gel costs $400!!!!!!!!!! For 60 grams of it!!!!!!!!!

MOTHERFUCKING BOTOX IS CHEAPER!!! (At least at this dermatologist's office anyway)

So she calls my insurance company, and they try to say that I am "over the age limit for this medication."


Awesome Pharmacy Tech manages to get a prior authorization or whatever and gets them to agree to cover it with a $50 co-pay. 

$50??? For a fucking topical antibiotic and what is essentially retinol???

The wonderful little receipt says "Your insurance saved you $346.95." How thoughtful of them. 

What the FUCK could possibly make this shit so expensive?? Someone, please tell me! 

Mind you, I have no problem with my insurance company on this issue. After all, one could argue that this type of medication is for elective cosmetic purposes. 

I mean, $400????? Who could blame them for not wanting to cover that shit??

I bet I could get it in Cuba for $1.75.......


Professor in Training said...

Holy shit! Does it contain flecks of gold for that price?

Psych Post Doc said...

I'm glad it's not skin cancer, but holy shit. That stuff is expensive!!

Candid Engineer said...

You are paying for all of the drug research that doesn't result in prescription medication. Motherfucking awesome.

But seriously, there must be something particularly expensive about the manufacturing process for them to be charging so much.

PhizzleDizzle said...

I almost wrote a post in the last few days about how Retin-A Micro is treating me well (and yes, I'm 28...and I've had problem skin since I was....11. FML!!). Anyway, I had to pay $30 for a tube and I was like WTF? My receipt said I save $130 bucks.

I thought that was bad. Your story totally wins.

Hope said...

I bet I could get it in Cuba for $1.75.......I understand that you’re upset, and that last remark about Cuba was probably just an off-the-cuff thing. But as someone with close family still living there, trust me, you can get very little in the way of decent medicines in Cuba. It’s not a question of money; they are just not available, period.

Remember that part in Michael Moore’s Sicko with the great-looking hospital in Cuba? There is one such hospital on the entire island, accessible to high-ranking party officials and their families only. The rest of the healthcare system is a nightmare – even the nicer hospitals set aside for tourists would scare the hell out of you, I’m sure.

DamnGoodTechnician said...

Clearly it's not the manufacturing process that's expensive; like Candid said it's the 99/100 things that didn't clear up cystic acne that make shit super-expensive. If science worked every single time, drug research (& then drugs) would be less expensive.

caostaff said...

As someone who has awful cystic acne, here's what works for me: Johnson and Johnson's Baby Wash 2x daily, frequent cleansing of my face (3-5x/day) with Huggies Baby Wipes, occaisional use of generic-triple-antibiotic ointment, occaisional directed use of alcohol, and always, always having my hair back off my face, even in my sleep, along with a clean pillowcase every night.

I've tried nearly every prescription known to man, except for Accutane - that shit's dangerous.

JLK said...

@Hope - I was not intending to offend with the Cuba comment. How about this instead - "I could get it in France for FREE!!!"

@CE & DamnGoodTechnician - Is that really it, though? I mean, I really know nothing about how Pharma works, but don't they get a pretty decent-sized chunk of change from the Feds for R&D? And also, those same companies make the drugs that are available elsewhere in the world at a much lower cost. So while I understand that some of the cost has to come from other research, it can't be that much. I mean, if that was the case, why shouldn't every medication cost roughly the same regardless of what it is so that the R&D offset is included in every price?

I mean, the goddamn face gel was more expensive than Viagra. That's fucked up no matter which way you slice it.

@caostaff - thanks for the tips, but it all sounds like waaaay too much for me. I have literally 4 acne cysts - a colorless one on my shoulder, and 3 on my cheeks. The only reason I went to the doctor is because I've had a couple of them for a year now and nothing has seemed to work. I'm going to try the Rx stuff and if that doesn't work, I'll try some of the things you suggested.

DuWayne Brayton said...

I am right there with ya. Motherfucking generic fucking Wellbutrin was $86. While that may not seem a lot, consider that filling my other three scripts is less than seventeen fucking dollars...

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