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.



4 responses to “Cost of Prescriptions

  1. Isn’t it screwed up how people make ridiculous profits off of other people’s pain and suffering? I’ve always found it unjust and extraordinarily vile.

    Doctors, dentists, etc. My surgery cost over $10K. A fifteen minute surgery with IV sedation. WTF? It’s sick. What was even sicker is that when I was uninsured, Planned Parenthood risked my health, because they didn’t want to pay for the surgery. I had real cancer before any doctor wanted to take care of it. The only reason they did it was because I finally had private insurance. And I originally got the crappy surgery with a high fail rate, because it was still sucky insurance.


    That’s some sick stuff right there.

  2. Some big pharma companies will help. I have had my doctors vouch for my need and lack of funds to Pfizer, Glaxo, and others, and received medicine for free. It’s a well concealed benefit to consumers, and perhaps not even your doctor knows. Once I discovered the availability of such services, I always ask my doctor about them. If they are not aware, ask them to please check with their drug rep.

    • I’ve done this in the past as well, and this is probably the all-time best kept secret when it comes for paying for perscription medications. Unfortunately, not all of the companies are particularly reliable, so I have had issues with filling out the extensive amount of paperwork with my doctor, sending the thing, and then not recieving a response.

      You know, this inspires me to add a list of these companies & subsequent documents on the links page. Thanks for the rockin’ reminder!

  3. Pingback: Best Kept Secrets for Getting Affordable Treatment for Mental Illness | bi[polar] curious

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