I’m putting this on my site because if I made it a thread on Twitter, I’d likely be banned by this new administration.
I was at the pharmacy a few weeks ago getting allergy meds. While I was complaining about meth heads and having to sign a million things and show my license, there was a little, old lady with a cane next to me being rung up by the other clerk.
My Claritin D came to $20+. I grumbled as I opened my Captain America wallet to hand over a $20 and a few other bills. Then I nearly dropped everything when I heard that the little old lady next to me was charged over $300 for her meds.
She asked the pharmacist if that was a 30-day supply, and he said that it was.
This is an approximation of the conversation between the pharmacist and the old woman.
Woman: Feels like it went up this month.
Pharmacist: It did. The drug companies changed their pricing. We have to pay more for it, so–
Woman: I know, so you have to charge the customers more, I understand.
Pharmacist: I’m sorry.
Woman: Hmm…Is there anything I can live without for a month? Just so I can save up?
Pharmacist (looking at all the labels): Well, these two basically do the same thing, so–
Woman: Which one is cheaper?
Pharmacist (holding up one of the bottles): This one.
Woman: I’ll take it. If I’m still alive next month, I’ll get the other one.
I know what you’re going to say…The pharmacist overstepped by making a call he had no legal right to make. That’s true, but this isn’t a story about him. This is a story that happens all across the country with people of all races, all ages, all genders, all religions. The story, if you haven’t figured it out, is the compromises that people have to make between life saving medicine and basic needs.
Here’s another example: If someone is retired and lives on a fixed income like Social Security, with no other source of income (pension, IRA, money market, whatever), they’re likely solely on Medicare. This person has bills like rent or a mortgage. They have bills for gas, electric, water, sewage, car insurance, etc. These are perennial bills. These are things that will never go away. I didn’t even factor in food yet. Already, that fixed income is being eaten away. Throw in $300+ a month for medical costs and what do you have? A life threatening dilemma. And this is only people on Social Security, not to mention those on Disability with dependents. How do you pay to feed your kids?
All over the country right now, people have to make a choice: Do I eat this week or do I pay for my medicine? Do I pay for my medicine or am I behind on my rent/mortgage/utilities?
This is NOT a choice that people should EVER have to make. This is NOT a choice that ANY person should ever have to make EVER ANYWHERE, but ESPECIALLY in one of the wealthiest countries in the world!
Pre-Existing conditions aside, this is what is happening every day in every corner of the United States, and it’s deplorable.
I beg you to call your state representatives and tell them that this insanity needs to end.
I’m descending my soapbox now. Thank you.
2 thoughts on “A Dilemma”
YESSSSSS. 100% agreed. Thank you for writing this!
“the compromises that people have to make between life saving medicine and basic needs”
I’m much older than you. I remember a time when medical care was not a major part of the family budget. It need not be now. Modern medicine has gotten absurdly invasive and expensive in the past fifty years, but few of us need to follow it blindly. Chances are the little old lady was fine without some of her expensive meds. The tricky thing is for her to understand which ones, if any, are life savers, and which are simply life enhancers. Ideally, she’d have researched it, but, failing that, the pharmacist may have been the next best thing. Sometimes, just saying no is fine :o)