Saturday, January 3, 2009

Take A Generic Pain Killer and Call Me In The Morning.

It’s a brand new year, and today I got a small taste of what’s in store when I went to my local pharmacy to refill a 30-day supply of one of the prescriptions I take daily.

From last year to this – meaning from last week to this week – the amount of my co-pay went up from $30 to $38. That’s a 26.6 percent bump.

At the same time, the annual cost of my AARP drug plan has increased from $336 to $415.20 … up 23.6 percent.

I suppose that’s because the cost for 30-days worth of this particular drug went up from $188.41 to $206.58 ... an increase of 'only' 9.7 percent.

The implications don’t stop there, either, because the higher the cost of the drug, the sooner I’ll get to the infamous “donut-hole” when the insurance quits and I start paying 100% of the cost.

And there's more: Next week I go back for a refill on a new anti-cholesterol medication my doc has put me on. The monthly co-pay for that in 2008 was $110. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be this year!

I may bitch and moan about this but, if I suck it up a little, I can still afford to pay for the medications I need.

But what about those who can’t? What do they do?

We – as a nation – have damn well got to come to grips with this.


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