Post # 1
Ok, I don’t want this to be a debate about health care reform or anything. This is really just a rant. I was suprised and happy that with Affordable Care Act reform, my actual health insurance costs have gone by $30 a month (woohoo!). In general, I don’t complain or mind the costs associated with doctors visits or lab fees. They seem to be fairly reasonable for my healthcare plan. Heck, my Mirena IUD insertion cost me nothing, which was nice.
However, the pharmaceutical/prescription drug industry is something I will never understand! The prices for medication are just so far out of whack. So, I recently visited my OBGYN because I thought I had a UTI. Sorry, here’s a little TMI part…I have always had to pee a lot (like 4 times a night and 15 times a day), but recently, it has increased to about 6-7 times a night and 20+ times a day. It is sooo annoying and it makes it hard to sleep (also, no I am not prgenant, checked for that). Well, after checking for a UTI, screening for Type 1 diabetes and running other cultures…everything came back clean. My doctor figured I might just have an overactive bladder. Ok, simple enough, there is medication for that.
Well, I went to the pharmacy and before insurance benefits, the medication would cost $380 per month, after benefits, it will be $80 per month. What!?!?!? Maybe I am just experiencing a little sticker shock, but $80 a month just to pee less (and get the side affect of cotton mouth)? I mean, I want to try to it, but that’s a decent amount of money. That’s about $960 a year.
I know that this is far from the most expensive medication and that I am very lucky to not have something more severe or have higher medical bills, but I just can’t believe why medication costs so much. I have taken z pacs for allergic reactions, bought inhalers and gone on meds for a variety of other ailments that didn’t cost more than $20 a month. So why is overactive bladder medication so much more?
Anybody else have any experiences of “sticker shock” with the cost of medication?
Post # 2
Just be glad you are paying only $80 for a month supply and not the $380. I currently don’t have health insurance. My one medication, for a 3 month supply, cost my $680 total. And that was for the generic, the brand name would have been $1500. Doctor visits cost me $150 per visit, so I go only when I absolutely need to. It was total sticker shock when I lost my health care coverage last year, and had to pay out of pocket for meds.
So yes, Prescription medication costs in the US are absolutely insane. My inhalors here cost me $70 A PIECE. And in Costa Rica I got them for $10. Guess who stocked up the last time she was down there….
Post # 3
I looked up the cost of something I will be taking in a while. I don’t know the dose I need yet, but it looks like it’s about $1000 for the smallest unit it comes in, and my best estimate is that I would need 3 of those at a time. Luckily, the federal government will cover it, which is a bit odd as our health system is usually done by the province. Before I knew this, I checked out my insurance plans – one outright refused any coverage, another wouldn’t cover it to take at home, they would only cover it if I needed in the hospital so like travelling to the US or something and having to go to the ER.
Post # 5
I take a medication which costs $800 a month. There is no generic, and it is the only medication in existence that is specifically geared towards my condition.
The drug business is a racket.
Post # 6
One of my monthly prescriptions is a generic and still costs $220. I don’t have insurance and have to pay out of pocket.
Post # 7
This is what happens when health care is a for-profit industry.
Post # 8
bmo88: I have health insurance (which I pay like $300+/mo) and I still have a $750 deductible before it even kicks in to pay PART of my medical stuff. And for those that might not know, that means I have to cough up $750 of my own $$. I hate my insurance. That’s why I don’t go to the doctor and I really kinda need to.
Post # 9
bmo88: Talk to your doctor and see if there is an alternative to what you are taking. Chances are, the reason that it is so expensive is that its a newer medication and there is no generic yet for it. Over active bladder medications have been around forever, and there are some that have a generic equivalent.
I’ve been working with prescription meds for almost 17 years. Drug companies keep reinventing the wheel and inventing more of the same medications over and over. This is so that when the patent on one expires and goes generic, they have a new brand they can fleece you with.
Post # 10
I’m a pharmacist so if you have questions on anything specific feel free to PM me. I have noticed that drug prices have gone up lately (even for generic medications) which has definitely not gone well with a lot of my patients. Like PP said, there are a lot of medications to treat OAB but and if you’re paying $80 for the ones that they say are going to give you dry mouth, there are cheaper ones that you can get that will also get you dry mouth lol. The more expensive ones should have less side effects. Another option that may be possible depending on the exact situation is the Oxytrol patch which is available over the counter now and is actually fairly inexpensive compared to the pills so that may be something to check out.
As far as why this medicine was so much more than your other prescriptions you’ve gotten in the past, sometimes medicine for less common disorders are going to be more expensive unfortunately due to less research funds for developing medications that benefit a smaller population.
Post # 11
Oh the other thing I meant to add: if you are on a medication that is a brand name and has no generic, make sure to look online for discount cards or coupons from the manufacturer (look for coupons specific to the drug, not just a general discount card that can save you “up to 80%” or something like that) to take to your pharmacy to help with your copays.
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
bmo88: Unfortunately peeing a lot won’t hurt you, but medicating it will cost a lot. That’s healthcare, with or without insurance because it’s not life threatening.
Post # 13
pandabee: I will probably have to go to a different pharmacy. I normally use Walgreens and I asked if they had a generic, but they didn’t. They mentioned Oxytrol, but when I looked it up online a lot of people mentioned getting scars from the patch and other weird side effects. The reviews overall seemed to be good though…so I am considering trying it.
Fortunately it’s not “life threatening,” it is just really annoying when travelling (road trips really suck when you have to pull over every hour) and it is borderline sleep depriving at times.
Post # 14
bmo88: Without any insurance or other help my meds are around $400 per month. I finally broke down and started going to the county mental center. It’s scary and I am upset for about a day before every appointment, but at least I can get my meds for free.
Post # 15
My Fibromyalgia medication used to cost $115 a month and I thought that was bad! Luckily it got publicly funded for fibro use late last year & brought it down to $35. DH & I danced a jig at that point. When it comes to healthcare I’m so glad we live in Australia and don’t have to deal with the US healthcare industry. Seems you’re getting fleeced left right & centre 🙁
Post # 4
I finally broke-down and ordered my 2 most expensive prescriptions from Canada. One is half the US price and the other about 2/3. I’ll save $200 a month.