Friday, December 28, 2012

Asthma is an expensive disease

So I go to the hospital pharmacy to pick up my monthly supply of asthma medicine.  The price: $131.  I pay this much with good health insurance.  I don't have a problem paying this bill because it's for medicine that keeps me functioning.  Although I can think of many other things I could buy for $131 a month if I didn't have this disease.  

Especially during the holiday season, I can't help but to think of all the hardluck asthmatics with no insurance.  The actual cost of the medicine I just picked up is way more than that.  Hold, I'll calculate the actual prices here:   

Medicine
Pharmacy Cost
Charge to me
Ventolin HFA inhaler (X3)
$105.42
$26.00
Singulair #90
29.97
20.00
Tramadol 50 mg Tab #100
1.89
10.00
Omeprazole 20 mg #120
15.24
20.00
Advair 250
220.19
55.00
Total
372.71
131.00

So you can see that my insurance provides me with a reduction in cost for all the above medicines except for Tramadol and Omeprazole, and neither of these are asthma medicines (more like medicines that treat side effects to allergies, asthma, and medicines to treat them).  Yet, even with those prices, I save a total of $241.71 on these medicines. 

Actually, I really don't save anything, because I'm spending $131.  Yet if it weren't for my health insurance, I wouldn't be able to afford $372.71 a month.  Actually, some of the above medicines last more than a month, although the most expensive one is Advair, and this medicine only lasts a month.  So, lacking health insurance, I wouldn't be able to afford it.  

Just think, before the Montreal Protocol that called for the phase out of substances that deplete the ozone, Ventolin inhalers costs as little as $20.  Now they are $73 a pop.  And it's not like you can just buy a Ventolin inhaler, you are also forced to pay the $50-300 for a yearly doctor visit.  It seems the world is not very empathetic to asthmatics.  

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