Danny Boy! Come and take your medicine!

My buddy, Cliff, posted on his blog about Our Daily Meds.  You can read it here.  Coincidentally, I’ve had to think about prescriptions the last week and a half, as I was just let go from my job selling ads at the Caroline Progress, and the corporate powers that be in the backwoods of Tennessee didn’t hesitate an iota of a second to cancel my health coverage on that very same day.
I’m not worried about doctor visits or trips to the emergency room just yet–but the cost of prescriptions has had me worried in the short term.  Just in case you’re perfect healthy, or wealthy, prescription meds are fucking expensive if you don’t have adequate health coverage.  Here: read this insightful article in the Washington Post all about prescription costs in this great country of ours compared to prices across the world.  Unless you’re an idiot or a conservative who puts politics before people, the writer’s conclusion is accurate and inescapable: in America, greed drives the prices, and that’s why our meds cost so much.
For example: I take a daily pill for acid reflux–what my parents back in the day called “the heartburn.”  It’s not one of the affordable over-the-counter pills, as they don’t work on me.  No, no, my hoidy-toidy digestive system requires high-end mantenance: a daily pill with the brand name of Protonix, which also comes in generic under its proper name of Pantaprazole, which, I know, sounds like an Italian seafood dinner.
I have fretted over the cost of prescriptions without coverage, and had resigned myself to doing without.  That would, in a day or so, result in a constant stomach ache that feels as though a human fist is lodged just below my Wornom sternum.
So I called my pharmacy, the very good souls at Target on Staples Mill Rd. here in Richmond, told them of my situation, and inquired how much I would have to shell out for my pills–and that I might have to resort back to my old profession of male prostitute.
Under a health plan: generic Pantaprazole costs $10.
Without insurance, generic costs $88.99.
And I hate to think what the brand name pill costs.
Without hesitation, the clerk on the phone, the lovely Antigone, said, “Hold on, let me see what I can do for you.”
Hold on?  I didn’t know there was anything that could be done!
She comes back and says, “I’ve enrolled you in a state program that helps out the unemployed.  It usually brings prescription costs down.”  I heard her type on her computer keyboard.  “There.  How’s $13.96 sound?”
How does that sound?  Like birds singing in the springtime, that’s how it sounds!
So thank you, Antigone; thank you, Target; and thank you, Virginia, for putting people over the drug manufacturers.
Stay well, my friends.

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