How’s That Rx Workin’ for Ya?

Promotion Turned Rant

Anyone that’s read my puny little bio knows that I spent my prime working in the medical field as a licensed nurse. One necessary evil in said profession is staying current on medications. I still tend to do that. Old habits die hard. Maybe they don’t die–they just get flaccid and crusty along with our aging bodies but anywho.

Has anyone had to fill a prescription for Doxycycline lately? Were you totally blown away by the price increase? I mean, my lord that drug was approved by the FDA before I started first grade. Seriously it was over 45 years ago. The last time I checked (February 2012) it was $10 for 30 capsules/tabs without insurance. That was 33¢ per dose. Today it is sixty eight bucks for twenty tablets at Wal Mart! Yes, $68. That’s what… $3.40 a dose?Doxycycline (1024x688)

It is a fabulous drug with a wide range of benefits but it is old. Remember once upon a time when the cost of a drug went down after the pharmaceutical company recouped their research costs. So why the heck has this one (and there are others) skyrocketed?

This was the very argument I had with the pharmacist at one of the drug stores I called searching for a better price. Just FYI I was trying to help an uninsured individual get the medication they needed.

The professional behind the counter explained there was apparently a shortage of said drug, maybe a matter of supply and demand. I don’t believe that. The next explanation was that they were possibly losing money, to that I feigned a BS cough.

“You are a writer, right?” he asked. Damn small towns everybody knows your business.

“Right. What does that have to do with price gouging or hoarding if that is the case?” I replied.

“After you have recouped what you think your time and effort is worth on a particular book do you systematically lower the price?”

“A person’s health is not affected one way or another by my practices”. I argued.

“I’m sure their budget is. Why don’t you apply that same philosophy to your business?”

“I have!”

“How’s that prescription workin’ for ya?” By the looks of his crooked little grin I don’t think he believed me.

“It is too early to tell but I will let you know.”

We exchanged the usual pleasantries and I hurried home and got busy just in case he checked my story. It wasn’t a lie really; I (like many Indies) have cut prices before and offered a free title from time to time but has fiction or poetry ever healed bronchitis? Has an antibiotic ever offered a leisurely break from the stresses of reality?

I believe his comparison is ludicrous but a stiff necked redneck with Irish ire tends to take everything as a challenge. Of course we also celebrate the smallest victories. Just this morning I found 75¢ in the dryer. Woo-hoo. I love me some shiny quarters- it’s gonna be a good day.

So anyway I cut prices, made a couple of titles free at Smashwords and I am off to track down the real reason behind the astronomical increase in this drug and then I shall rant elsewhere.

Aside: I have a (paranoid?) suspicion the government is stock piling Doxycycline in the event of germ warfare or an anthrax attack. Maybe the pharmacy should start loading up on e-readers and books. If you can’t afford the medication or cure what ails you by reading you may be up a thick smelly creek without a means of propelling yourself.

4 thoughts on “How’s That Rx Workin’ for Ya?

  1. Having spent over 20 years in healthcare (I wasn’t a nurse, but I played one on TV), I came to the maddening conclusion that big pharm and medicine share the same ethical code as big oil. They’ve got us by the short hairs and they know it, so they raise their prices simply because they can get away with it.

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