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The Shocking Insanity of Prescription Drugs

Updated on March 26, 2016
Would you pay $5, $20 or $200 for this?
Would you pay $5, $20 or $200 for this?

The stark realization regarding just how out of whack prescription drugs cost recently hit personal. The whole prescription situation is one that is close to fraud even to those with insurance. Obama care certainly has not resolved this issue at all and for those who still have no health insurance, OMG, will you ever be ripped off.

Having recently needed prescription eye drops to bring down eye pressure and my eye doctor telling me it would not cost more that $25 with insurance, I did not give it a second thought. But, this is where the shock riveted the legal fraud. Having a premium Kaiser health care, I was curious to see what the cost would be if I had no insurance or out-of-pocket.

I went to Walgreens thinking maybe it might be $50 for a 2.5mL Latanoprost (the bottle is tiny) that barely lasts one month. I handed the tech my prescription. She looked it up and asked if I had health coverage, to which I said no. She sort of looked at me and politely said it would cost me $200! Shocked beyond belief, I said, "are you sure?" She was apologetic and embarrassed. She then said, "We do have a cheaper generic drop at $175." I laughed and said forget it. I asked if that would be cost if I had a basic plan under Obama Care. She just said, "It wouldn't be that less". Leaving the store I thought what is the point to Obama's universal healthcare? It's only a little cheaper than no insurance, at least for prescriptions. I tried Walmart and the result was about the same-still a ripoff for such a tiny bottle!

So, I went online to reputable prescription drug warehouse. More shock! Incredible! The identical eye drops in all ways cost only $20 with NO coverage! Does this make no sense? Why does Walgreens and others charge such exorbitant prices while online sites do not? Is it just about profit? Overcharging by the drug company and then by retail outlets? Why does ObamaCare do nothing to alleviate this scam? It should regulate the drug companies like other countries do. I should mention the online company I used was in the USA not Canada or India.

The story does not end there. Having Kaiser, I went to them to fill the prescription. The cost with my plan was a mere $5! Granted, some lesser Kaiser plans might force a copay of 20-40% of the $200 per bottle cost, but my plan did not. Of course, while this is dirt cheap, keep in mind the monthly cost for medical insurance is $900 or so, so the cost is still VERY costly. It is not much cheaper with Obama Care.

Prescription drug costs are just robbing those who need it and those who cannot afford it. Pricing varies and the disparity in costs for the same identical drug is baffling. Why can you buy it online for so much less? Why are retail outlets charging such crazy prices when they know a savvy buyer can find it for far less? If the drug can be sold for $20, obviously, when comparing it to Walgreens at $200, why is the mark up almost criminal? Is it simply not enough profit? The online store retails it $20, and still makes a profit! Maybe less, but charging $200 is beyond explanation.


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