Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The war on (or for) drugs

Maggie is back on the regular antibiotic. This is a regimen now - four weeks on, four weeks off. The "on" was supposed to start at the end of the week, but the doctor said to start it early because Maggie has been below par for about a week. Hopefully the early start will help her fight off any bacterial infection that may come a calllin'.

The drug is inhaled tobrimyacin (Tobi) delivered via nebulizer. (one of four nebulized medications she's on) It takes about 30 minutes to finish the dose and she has to have it twice a day. This is a powerful drug. Since it is delivered via nebulizer the fine mist is all over the room. The nurses have to wear masks while they deliver it. I'm not positive if that's because of potential allergy or too much exposure or both, but that's the protocol and we follow it. 

Tobi is high end stuff and it's ridiculously expensive. The drug store doesn't keep it in stock and they don't even order it until the insurance has approved it. This prescription was approved six months ago, but it had to be applied to the the new insurance with the same company. I picked it up yesterday without delay. Generally the label shows only the co-pay, which is then covered by medi-cal.  For some reason that part wasn't done yesterday and the label had the full price on it.  The clerk looked at it and said to me, "Oh, what do you want to do with this?" I glanced down and saw the price:


 I smiled, patted my empty pockets and said, "well, I certainly don't want to pay it."  She looked confused and I suggested she find out if the coverage went through. I knew it had or it wouldn't have been ready for me. Paperwork fixed. No problem. 

As I walked back to the car I looked down at the bag in wonder. How can this POSSIBLY be that expensive? And what do families do who don't have insurance or medi-cal?

I don't even want to think about that because I think I know the answer.

Something is very wrong with this.

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