Category Archives: Dentistry

Who are the Beneficiaries of Prescription Medications?

Certainly not the person who pays for prescriptions and ingests them. Yes; it’s the drug companies and it’s only getting worse. As I age I seem to have more prescription drugs recommended, mostly for minor and /or temporary, diagnoses. And when I ask for generics, I find that their cost is no less, or maybe not much less, than the prescribed medications. I was told today by a reputable pharmacist that generics, when they are first developed, do in fact cost the same as the usual medications. So what’s the benefit in buying generics. Oh sure, I could drive for miles to the big box stores in nearby cities to get a bit of a discount. But what’s the discount in wasting money and stress on fuel to drive around for comparison shopping?

The consumer is certainly not the beneficiary in all of this asking for generics and driving around.

I have been spending on the average of about $500/month on medications, some generic, and some with pharmacy discounts. And I do not have several diagnoses. These are for hypertension, and bladder muscle insufficiency. And a temporary edema of my cornea. And due to lay offs from work in my profession, I have no insurance coverage of any sort, and have finally resorted to living on nothing but Social Security benefits, having exhausted my retirement savings, after only 5 years into a forced “retirement”.

I don’t think I am the only one in this dilemma. Any ideas to share with me and others? Yes, AARP offers plans to somewhat solve these problems, but they can be costly as well, deducted from my Social Security benefits!

I recognize two societal problems that need to be dealt with, though both are long term problems ingrained in the core of our economic system.

First, physicians are “trained” by the pharmaceutical industry to treat every ailment with drugs when a sometimes simple lifestyle adjustment can solve a problem. An example: prescribing laxatives and stool softeners when an ounce or two of prune juice is just as effective. Another example is recommending an over the counter drug like prilosec when avoiding acidic or fatty food might be just as effective.

Secondly, some action, perhaps governmental, must be taken to control the costs charged by the pharmaceutical companies. Why do they choose to WAIT before lowering the cost of a new generic? Obviously to make more money awhile longer, certainly for no reason that benefits the consumer.

lost your work and insurance?

i have some ideas to share. things that i have had to figure out.

  • reconstiting contact lenes. oh sure, the manufactures say throw them out every few days. guess why? i have found that when i accidently lose a lens, and find it, i put it in solution for a day and it is reconstuted. can’t afford to keep buying these…
  • can’t afford your rx meds? first check around with drug and grocery stores and ask them their prices for a specific medication. also call or email or write to the manufacturer. some are willing to give you a free or reduced suppy for a few months.
  • need to see a health care provider? ask your state for what options are available for reduced cost care, or supplementing your contribution.
  • last but not least, if you need an expensive procedure like i just had, don’t be above asking the provider if “charity care” is available. do not be humiliated. you have paid your dues to our society.
  • lastly, for now anyway, network with people, friends in the same situation for ideas.

Yay! For dental schools…

Having been unemployed for over a year, I have no medical or dental insurance. Pretty scary, as Barack knows. So I decided to go to my local dental college. It was pretty amazing. All the recommendations made by my local money mongering dentist were nixed by the student and her professors who are in the business of good service and care, not retiring next year with a fat income.

Having been a health professional student myself, years ago, I admire the interest in learning, interest in providing optimal care, integrity, not to mention learning how to navigate the halls of academia, without getting lost, before you graduate.

And all at reasonable cost. Takes more time, but it is worth every minute and every penny.