I realize conspiracy is a strong word.
But that’s the word I deemed appropriate last month when I filled several prescriptions as I fought a wicked bilateral kidney infection.
I am well aware that money drives the pharmaceutical industry in America and frankly that money drives most things in America. But when the reality of it was staring me in the face I was mad. Really, really mad.
My mom had sent me a Consumer Reports article last year about drug costs and the incredible mark ups. I brushed it off, we hardly ever get prescriptions for anything. I momentarily thought it unfair for the chronically ill and the aging population in our country and then forgot about it.
Fast forward to December when after an utterly incompetent doctor provided me with such inadequate care that I ended up in the ER in the wee hours of the morning and likely incurred notable damage to my kidneys (and a $2,000 ER bill despite having insurance!).
On the way to fill another round of antibiotics I remembered what I’d heard from my mom and other various places and had it called in to Costco instead. This was the result:
7 days of generic CIPRO antibiotic from Walgreens $46
7 days of generic CIPRO antibiotic from Costco $6.50
How is that possible? How could it vary that much? Don’t they care about the old people who need 10 different prescriptions daily to stay alive and live on small, fixed incomes?
Because prescriptions are the prime money maker for Walgreens, Bartells, Rite Aid and the like. Everything else is fairly superfluous. Costco has taken heat for their low prices and their unwillingness to stick it to the American drug consumers. And because when you don’t feel good, going to Costco to get drugs is less appealing than the pharmacy on the corner in your neighborhood.
As if I didn’t love Costco enough already with their giant carts and humongous packs of toilet paper.
I know that there is so much more to this issue but just thought it might be helpful to pass on!