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Thursday, July 26, 2012

My $5000.00 Prescription

Sorry, it is $5000.15  to be exact.

I have had all the signs of a uti. I called for an appointment at my urologist and had to wait for 10 days, so by today, I was pretty puny and feverish. My urologist only works one week each month, easing into retirement. So, he is not so available as before.

He gave me two prescriptions--an antibiotic and something for the horrendous bladder pain. When I went to the pharmacy, I was informed that the pain med was $5000 and would my insurance cover it? I laughed because I thought the pharmacist assistant was just joking. Later, when I got the antibiotic, I asked the pharmacist who said, "It is really $5000.15. She said she had never heard of the medicine and did not know what it was for and it was not available. ???

I was promised by my doctor that I would have pretty blue results and no pain. Bummer.

Maybe it was just the fever and the pain, but I was actually dizzy and reeling, even sitting in the electric cart, when I heard this news.

The doctor's office said that the only thing to cost that much might be chemo. I was thinking also maybe HIV treatment.

Your turn
Is this not astounding? Do you think the computer system might just have wrong information?


  1. You'd hope someone or something had the wrong information. How could that be even close to being right.
    Have you tried Cranberry Juice? That sometimes helps. I'd be Googling for alternative, cheaper, natural relief.

    Can't be much fun though.


  2. Barb,
    It has got to be wrong! I will call another pharmacy tomorrow. The doctor did call in another prescription as I waited. It was $4.30 cemts. an amount I did not have on my person or in the bank. I was counting on the $1.10 price that most meds cost on Medicare/Medicaid. Yes, fantastically broke here! So, I cannot afford the cranberry juice. I am taking the bedtime dose and a muscle relaxer that will help with spasms and put me to sleep so I don't feel the pain.

  3. How frustrating. I went through an annoying med pickup yesterday. Littlest has strep throat so I went to get her meds from the pharmacy straight from the doctors office. She has medicaid through me and really good regular insurance through her Dad as the primary. Medicaid is supposed to cover whatever the primary doesn't cover. I ended up paying full price for both of them because the pharmacy wouldn't bill her primary insurance (something about a contract)and said medicaid said to bill primary. Round and round we went until I finally just paid for it so I could get her home. I was mad but really needed to get my sick kid home. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have the money to pay for it. It was 11.99 for one and 15.99 for the other.

  4. Free,
    When it is your child, that is even worse. I keep the Medicaid office number in my phone! Now, I hope you get that reimbursed from her Dad or Medicaid. I would hope he is upset enough to help you out with the meds and getting it straightened out with his insurance that he pays for.

    Now, in pain I must make calls and argue. Fun day ahead. However, having a little one with strep is less fun.

  5. Wow - that's insane!

    BTW, I'm back to blogging. I'll check in from time to time to see what you've been up to :)

    1. Oh, good! I will check in on you.

  6. why wouldn't he just give you a prescription for Amoxil? It's inexpensive, and works well for urinary tract infections. (The more expensive options include Fortaz -- $300+, Furadantin -- $300-400+, Levanquin -- $300-400+, Monurol -- $1400+ there are many more options, that range from inexpensive to unbelievable). Our country has been taken hostage by the pharma companies, who can charge whatever they want. The joke is, the old-standbys that are inexpensive, can still do the job, but doctors always opt for the new trendy ones (because the drug companies give them perks for doing so, and they have NO IDEA what the costs are to the patient). Call the doc back and ask for a generic -- or something that you can afford. I'm so sorry that you are feeling ill.

    1. meetsy,
      I said it was for pain and turned my pee blue--NOT an antibiotic. I started the antibiotic which I did get. That was Walmart that gave me that price. My regular pharmacy said it would have been $30 but was not manufactured anymore. My antibiotic cost me $1.10. Dr. Urologist said, Macrodantin is old but very good." He is the greatest.We were friends before I ever used him as a doctor.

  7. I am horrified my your story and the comment about the sick child. I have been ill for a couple of weeks with a bad chest infection. I got to see my Doctor within 2 hours of me phoning and was given a prescription for anti-biotics and steroid tablets, this on top of my normal 3 asthma inhalers. All this cost me nothing at all because I am over 60. I dont know how I would manage without our National Health Service.
    I do hope you will feel better soon Linda. Take care.

  8. I am getting better. Our health service is not free, no matter how little a person has. Of course, I only paid $1 for a visit to a urologist. I paid $1.10 for an antibiotic. I went back today and got free samples for the $$$ one.

    The sonogram of my bladder will cost me $1. I have a return appointment in a month.

    I would have gotten an appointment that day, but he is semi-retired and only works one week each month.

    I have chronic bronchitis, so I have had to have the steroids, too. I am feeling a little better, not much temp, just exhausted.

    You get better, too.

  9. blue pee...Levsin (hydroscyamine)? That's often prescribed for urinary tract issues. But, I don't like the drawbacks, not only costly, but a ton of side effects (hallucinations and dizziness in some people). Personally, I wouldn't take it, and argue with the doc if he tried to prescribe it to me!
    Rest, drink water (add some cider vinegar to it, just as good as cranberry juice) and feel better.

    1. Thankfully, that is not what I am taking! I just hate reading the side effects. Thanks.

  10. It could be right - but it would have to be something new and quiet specialist I'd suspect and wouldn't have thought that likely - it'd be more likely to be something they'd move to after other treatments hadn't worked - or if you had a very specific need.

    But truthfully many new drugs when first on the market can cost thousands. It costs billions - seriously billions - to get a new drug to market and therefor the companies need to charge a lot to make that back before the patent ends (which normally is way through already as you patent the drug way before you get it to market - up to 10 years)

  11. Furtheron,
    All you say is true. However, this was an old med, recognized. Walmart was adamant about the price and the fact they were out and so was the supplier. When I went to my regular pharmacist, he said that price could not be true and looked it up. It is discontinued and was $30 for the prescription I had. this makes me wonder about pharmacy credulity and expertise of pharmacists and information they access.

    When the patent ends and it can go generic, then drug companies have a new formula, not always better.

    Well, I was shocked, looking for cameras, wondering if I were on a tv show!

  12. The drug companies spend so much $$$$ on advertising, and they make so much money because they have no controls on how much they can charge. We pay the highest costs in the world for medicines, and carry brunt of the profits for pharma companies. Most of these drugs do not cost "billions" to create, but billions are spent on advertising, and given to our dear FDA to give approval. Plus, the new model is...get it to market, and if it inadvertently starts killing people, pay them off and still make money. Personally, I'd rather research the drugs I take, and avoid the ones with unnecessary contraindications. I don't an appropriate contraindication is: "may cause death". True, it may cure my illness, but not the way I'm looking for. I could run in front of a truck if I wanted to try that cure.

  13. For future reference. Azo, an over the counter medication treats bladder/urethra pain associated with UTI's. It does not treat the infection but makes you much more comfortable while waiting to see the doctor.

  14. Candace,
    Thanks. I was sitting here trying to figure out what a friend told me to get. That was last year! I am going to have to get some of that because the pain still exists after 6 days of antibiotic. I think there is something going other than a simple uti. My urologist it tops and I have an appointment for other tests.

  15. I have a prescription that is $4000.00 a month. Yes there are antibiotics that are up to $6,000.00 a dose but I beleive you can only do those IV at the hospital. I think it was a mistake!

  16. Out my window,
    Yes, a huge mistake and it is not even manufactured now. It would have been $30 if it were even were being manufactured now. WOW! That is one expensive medicine you take. I hope you have help paying for that!


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