"Right next to the dog face boy!"

I had my doctor’s appointment. The leg verdict: tendinitis. Hurrah!

In other news:
Medco plays carnival tricks with my prescription prices, and I realize I must be wealthier than I thought.

Yesterday I went to pick up a refill of Colazal, the most immense and (unfortunately) necessary of my medications. I popped in at a busy time and joined the line behind the woman at the counter who possessed a giant red curly bouffant hairstyle. She was staring, dumbfounded, at the checkout clerk.

“But I saw the doctor last week.”

The clerk murmured something, her eyes anxious and darting from the woman’s face to the red bouffant, as though it might loll off the head and suffocate her.

“Well, I don’t know his office hours.”

The clerk murmured some more, and this time I caught the word “tomorrow:” that dreaded demoralizer of all scripp hopefuls.

“I can’t wait till tomorrow. I CAN’T!” The bouffant wobbled. “What bullshit.” She turned to those of us in line and glared Well? Don’t stand for this! Join me! Take your business elsewhere, where they will call your doctor at home! She hoisted her purse and stalked off past the analgesics.

The clerk eyed me. “Can I help you?”

“Sure. I need to pick up a prescription for Axxx Xxxxxx, please.” I spelled my name.

For some reason, this pharmacy can never find my prescription. It turns up behind the pharmacist’s computer, or under the counter, or in a secret dusty bin hidden under the rubber car seat doughnuts. And yet, during the searches, they always ask me the same thing: “Can you spell your name again, please?” Because the spelling, like a talisman, will lure the pills out, or cause them to glow gold, or something.

The clerk put back the dozen bins, wiped the cobwebs off her sleeve and scanned my scripp.

“That’s 82.93, please.”

“Um. Okay.” I did not want to cause an uncomfortable scene like the Bouffant Lady. Also, the line had grown from three to back by the milk and beer coolers. “Is that for a three month supply?”

The clerk checked the labels. “Nope. One month.”

Of course it was, I should’ve known – the bag was smaller than a watermelon. “Ah. Did my insurance cover it?”

The clerk checked the labels again. “Yup. Medco? That’s what we have.”

“That’s it.” I paid, confused. If I purchased my pills at the pharmacy instead of their mail-order system, Medco was supposed to pay for about 80%, and my cost per month should’ve been under ten bucks. I stopped by the front of the store and bought a giant bag of spearmint slices – with real spearmint oil, only ninety-nine cents – to help me mull things over. Then I drove home and hopped on the company’s website.

It did not take long to figure out where I had gone wrong.

Medco offers a “price a medication” feature, where you can find your drugs and compare pharmacy prices to mail-order. When you enter in a drug name, the system automatically defaults to the dosage of one pill, once a day. Sure, Colazal would cost me under ten bucks a month, if I just quit taking so damn much of it. I checked all my drugs, and found that, hey, to save cash, all of them will have to come through the mail from now on.

What can I say? I love the cotton candy, the funnel cakes, the house of mirrors. (Or, if you’re from where I’m from, a glass of milk – white or chocolate.)

This is clearly a case of the willing sucker. Also, I seem to have an overwhelming fear of being the Entitled Bitch in the store, though the unappetizing display of the Bouffant Lady was clearly only one way to handle a situation. It’s hard, though, when you’re out of pills and just want to get the fuck out of there, to spend the time asking for a week’s or more worth of medication, calling the doctor to get a prescription transfer to Medco, and then waiting, pill-rationing, for the mail-order to come. But it is doable. I wasted money.

At least I had crappy candy to help me deal.

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4 thoughts on “"Right next to the dog face boy!"

  1. $80 for a 20% copay of a one-month’s supply of Colazal is about right. The market price for it is around $400 a month. Asacol is fractionally cheaper ($375/month), and was equally ineffective for me. My insurance paid a greater percentage for Asacol because it was a “preferred brand.” They didn’t like Colazal because it wasn’t.Colazal should be going generic sometime soon. They managed to delay the generic availibility of the drug by getting it approved for children with UC. When that happens, the price will decrease, but even the generic version will probably cost several hundred dollars per month.

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  2. Salix is really pissing me off right now – I was counting down to that Jan 2007 expiration date! Argh. My insurance works pretty similar to yours, what with the preferred brands and generics only, please policies. But their mail-order system kicks some ass. They charge 40 bucks for a three month supply of Colazal, no matter what the dosage. So I really was stupid!

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  3. I actually have a maximum $25 copay at all pharmacies, though Colazal was $50 because they didn’t like it. So I took asacol, and the casings started coming out the other end. It did nothing, and it was always odd to look at red pills floating amongst the blood. But since ostomy supplies are considered medical equipment under my plan, I haven’t paid a cent for them since my surgery. I have a yearly out of pocket maximum, which was met by the surgery. I’ll have to pay for them in July. They’re $100 a month. My copay will be $20 a month. That is really cheap compared to the Asacol ($375), Prednisone ($20), 6-mp ($75), Remicade* not covered as a drug I had to pay 20% of it ($4,100/8 weeks).You can always call the pharmacy and see if they overcharged you. If they did, they’ll give you credit at your next purchase. I love crappy candy too. When I was sick, I bought lots of mint and fruit Mentos.

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