Friday, January 12, 2007

eye-catching title, isn't it?
especially in light of what i've been writing lately, i suppose.
but this one is slightly different:
i'm after the pharmaceutical industry today, along with insurance companies, and, every big industry's favorite bed fellow, the government, and in particular, the bush administration. everyone knows someone who is, or has been, a drug rep. the well-heeled, free-spending, much-travelled giver of generous gifts to doctors and h.m.o. representatives.
often, back when i had insurance that actually covered wellness check-ups, i would walk in to a crowded reception area at my doctor's office mid-afternoon. but these folks weren't patients. in fact, that's why i scheduled my appointments at these hours: little waiting was required. no, these well-dressed, briefcase toting hotties were young women giving treats to doctors, trying to persuade them to write perscriptions for their drug du jour.
and usually, when i DID need some medication, my doc, cool guy that he is, would give me freebies.
THAT, i like.
but not everyone was so lucky, and these giant pharmaceutical make billions annually from patients, and their insurance companies, or often the government [in the form of title xix and medicare payments] who pay huge sums for name-brand drugs.
me, for example.
i have narcolepsy. over the years, i have self-medicated with gallons of coffee daily. GALLONS.
several years ago, i was prescribed methyl phenedate, or ritalin. i don't recall the price, as i was working for the state, and they paid all or most of it. but when i realized how ineffective it was, i quit taking it, and resumed self-medication. years later, my current doc suggested i try provigil.
he gave me quite a healthy supply, gratis.
very cool, as it is still protected by american patents, and is available only in its generic form, modafinil, outside the united states, particularly canada. because i am self-employed, i had get my own insurance policy, and as my narcolepsy had been previously diagnosed, it is considered a pre-existing condition, even though i continue to get my insurance FROM THE SAME DAMNED INSURANCE COMPANY!!
[damned right, i've got the blues.]
what's that mean? no coverage for medication [even though my policy provides coverage only after my huge deductible is annually met]. and what does that mean?
i have these options:
1--pay full price [over $700 for 120 day supply];
2--try to get it from canada or elsewhere [$200 for 100 days] and hope that i don't get arrested for importing illegal drugs [that's right: the government can confiscate it and arrest me]; or
3--hope i can get it from a sympathetic inside source for free.
how messed up is THAT?
another example:
my daughter is pregnant again, due the end of july. like last time, she has really nasty "morning sickness," several times a day. ultimately, her doctor prescribed a drug that was developed for cancer patients to handle the nausea caused by chemotherapy.
the cost? $900 for 12 days!
finally, her doctor was able to write a prescription for a generic form, and her target [!] pharmacist filled multiple refills at one time, so she was able to get over "$2200 worth" of this drug for her $5 co-pay.
so what's up with THAT?
you KNOW the insurance company is billing SOMEONE the full $2200. they are NOT writing that one off, just so my little girl doesn't puke her guts out 6 or 7 times a day for seven more months.
suspected culprits?
all together now: drug companies, and insurance companies.
and where does bush and company enter the picture?
right here. [read it; it WILL piss you off]
and i JUST heard on morning edition on npr that the president [yours, pete, not mine! ;- )) ] has promised to VETO this bill WHEN it comes before him. because it WILL pass both the house and the senate, and with strong bi-partisan support. because the VOTERS want this protection, these savings.
well, not only has he promised to veto this bill which would save the government [read: you] BILLIONS of dollars every year, he has ALSO promised to veto the latest stem cell bill, ALSO demanded by over 60% of the american public. this research WILL save lives.
maybe yours, your parents, your children's, your friends...
it doesn't matter WHOSE lives.
this research will save lives.
but this "pro-life" president seems only concerned with the lives of the owners and ceos of pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and certainly not with the lives of those people--those VOTERS who have spoken just two months ago--who daily are faced with the choice of food, rent, or life-saving medication.


Mistress Julie said...

Don't worry Reverend, I'm still island shopping.

You are already invited on!

the mostly reverend said...

i've packed my water wings!