- What I’ve learned about the American Drugstore Cartel, the Sellers not the Manufacturers
- What we as consumers can do about it.
I use natural remedies on a regular basis and go to pharmaceuticals when nothing else works. I call pharmaceuticals “the Marines of medicine.” You don’t call in the “Marines” unless you are really stumped, and I was.
I acquired a respiratory infection that would not go away. I struggled with it for 11-months. All my caretakers were fabulous.
I did not want allopathic (non-natural medicines) so we worked with the most benign remedies. Everything helped and, is still helping, but none got rid of the infection. Just before Christmas, I went to the Lockhart Walk-In Clinic and said: “Give me hard drugs. My immune system is failing and I am failing unless I do something NOW.”
Before going to the clinic I asked a good friend of mine, who is a doctor, about which drugs he would recommend. He made a couple of suggestions; and, as an after thought, he indicated that fulfilling the prescription at Wal-Mart was very high but People’s and Rite-Away were not. I thought how interesting because People’s is always more expensive for everything I thought.
It turned out that my PA at the Clinic recommended the generic Levaquin at 500mgs per day for 10- days. BINGO. This is what my friend recommended. I went to Walgreens instead of Wal-Mart, thinking, “How expensive can a popular generic drug be?” They asked me for $160. I asked, “Is this the generic?” “Yes,” he replied. He inquired if I had insurance. I showed him that United States Prescription Tag we received in the mail and he said that it was useless. He never asked me to join the Walgreen’s discount club.
I looked at him straight in the eye and said, “No. thank you. This drug is way overpriced.” I got into my car and called People’s, the expensive compounding pharmacy. I spoke with the pharmacist and she
said that they had it in stock at $14.92 for ten pills.
I went to Austin the following day for my drug run. On my way, I thought Sam’s might be cheaper but they weren’t. They were in the $80s. Strange I thought. I called People’s again because I just couldn’t believe they were so cheap while others were so expensive but they were.
A couple of days later, I broke into a rash, which I thought was Poison Sumac but needed to make sure. My PA confirmed it was nothing to be worried about and prescribed an anti-itch cream and indicated over the counter creams were sufficient.
I go to Wal-Mart and, the clerk who makes minimum wage, told me that this prescribed tube costs $163 as if she were asking me for $1.29. I believe last year it would have been $15 or less. I’m shocked by the cost of pharmaceuticals. What’s happened in the last year? This tube would have cost $15.
I go home and call my Medicare Supplemental Insurance Man, David Fiveash, and say, “What the hell is going on here (and much more)?” He fielded everything. He’s a good guy.
The outcome with David was how we all put money into the insurance bucket and we all draw on it as needed and the costs go down for all of us. I understand and support this. I haven’t gone that route because I rarely need allopathic drugs. It’s more cost effective for me to pay as needed. This scenario may be over. He also mentioned Levofloxacin’s copays averages $18.
AT 11 pm I’m still upset. I don’t like what I’ve experienced. Intuitively I know something is off but I don’t know what it is. I called my friend Robyn Jamison. She’s a great coach.
She said: “Gayle do you want to be happy or right?” That question stopped me in my tracks because I was so deeply hurt and infuriated that drugstore outlets would do this to us. I said, “I’ll change this RANT into a committed action and do a posting and that is what I am doing right now.
I believe the injustice and the financial rape corporate drugstores do to their uninsured and insured customers is unethical and wrong. I rarely say wrong because it is a judgment. Let me say it again. I hold it as wrong.
They’re buying these drugs at wholesale prices, and jacking them up for the insured and non-insured. For example, Costco sells 10, 500 mg pills of Levofloxacin, at $6.99, not $160. Costco does a 14% mark-up on all their drugs. Do you get how cheap Levofloxacin is for corporate drug stores like Wal-Mart, Walgreens, HEB, and SAMS to buy? Shocking isn’t it?
I spoke with my HEB Pharmacy in Lockhart. He was a very nice person. He was the only one who suggested getting a loyalty discount card to lessen pharmaceutical costs. With an HEB Discount Card the drug sells for $69. Without insurance or a discount card, $159, and with insurance the cost varies from $15-$30.
There you have it. Shop around and do your drug runs to independently owned pharmacies and/or Costco if it is more cost-effective for you.
I believe you’ll enjoy the below article. Thank you for reading my post and you are welcome to make comments.