Daily Archives: December 21, 2011

Cost of Prescriptions

During the peak of my mini manic episode the last couple days I re-routed all of my prescriptions through the Target pharmacy. Actually I did a lot of little things like that that seemed simple at the time, unfortunately I’ll be working out the aftermath for a while.

Anyway, the thing that inspired the transfer was the $4 for generics ad that I saw on the internet. I initially scoffed when I saw it, there had to be some fine print that I wasn’t aware of, right? Maybe I would need insurance, or my medication wouldn’t be on the list, I don’t know, but it sounded way too good to be true.

Yesterday I had to go to the closest Target pharmacy to sort out the mess, which is an hour away by bus.

I’ve been taking Lithium Carbonate for about 8 months now, and for 6 of those months I had insurance that covered the cost of prescriptions. This is the first month in a while that I haven’t had insurance, and I’ve been nervous about having enough money to pay the $30 for my monthly supply at my local Bartells downtown.

The two hour (total) trip paid off, I was able to get my $30 (at Bartells) prescription for $4 at Target.

That’s 1/6th the price!

There are a lot of big chain stores doing things like this now, Walmart, Costco, etc. and it has always seemed weird to me that they are able to offer a lower price for the same drugs I get elsewhere.

Aren’t prescription drugs regulated by the government?

Yes, but not like they are in other countries. Here in the US the problem I just witnessed is that most retailers apparently charge up to 3000% more to the customer than the price the retailers paid to get the medications.

As someone who has a diagnosis that usually requires the patient to be medicated for life, I have a huge problem with that.

I honestly try not to think too hard about our healthcare system because it genuinely upsets me. I fall into a place where I can rant for hours about how awful it is, about how it is about making money and not battling illnesses.

What I witnessed yesterday does little more than reiterate that in my mind.

I usually try to avoid shopping at major retailers like Target, but in this situation I simply can’t justify spending $360 a year on something as opposed to spending $48.

With that $26 extra dollars a month I can make a credit card payment. I could pay my therapist. I could put it toward my student loans.