Thursday, March 02, 2017

The Big Bad Wolf

I have continued to get my allergy injections every week.  I was on prednisone for a while to help control the coughing, and it worked, but a few weeks after going off the prednisone I started coughing again.

So the allergist suggested Symbicort.

Waaaaaait a minute, I thought - Isn't that COPD medication?  That stuff that uses the big bad wolf in its commercials?  I don't have COPD!  I can breathe JUST FINE, thankyouverymuch!

The allergist says that the Symbicort is effective for allergy-related coughing, and has less side effects than the steroids.  She gave me a sample inhaler and sent me on my way.

I just started taking it, so I don't know yet how well it'll work, but I'll tell ya one thing - that stuff is expensive!  A one-month supply will cost over three hundred bucks!

Granted, my insurance will cover most of that cost, but our company's insurance plan is currently up for renewal and the copays may be increasing.  And thank GOD I'm not covered through the ACA; I'd be shaking in my shoes right now.

But still.  I'm finding that cost just a taaaad hard to justify, especially since prednisone is so (comparitively) cheap.  And especially since I'm still coughing.



Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

"Oh, don't worry, insurance will pay" is part of the reason we are in the trouble we are in with health care.

rockygrace said...

Tails, I agree!

My insurance will pay, but they just jack their premium rates to cover the cost, meaning the one who *actually* pays is the end user, i.e., me, one way or the other.

And right now I am really questioning why my allergist is pushing me away from a drug that costs ten bucks a month (and works great) and toward a drug that costs three hundred bucks a month (and, right now at least, isn't working as well as the ten-dollar drug). Especially since this is only supposed to be a short-term fix until the injections start kicking in, therefore, no worries about long-term use.

Single-payer health care might have its faults, but it's got to be better than what we have right now, which is consumers getting hosed by Big Pharma and the insurance companies.

/end rant

rockygrace said...

But now that I think of it, I do have *some* idea of why the allergist wants me on the more expensive drug.

I had been wondering why my allergist's office has such weird hours - what OTHER company closes for an hour-and-a-half for lunch every day, for Pete's sake - until I started getting my injections close to lunch time.

Turns out that's when the drug company reps show up with free, restaurant-catered lunch for the office employees. Mystery solved!

Becs said...

Several years ago, I went to an immunologist because I was getting sick a lot. We learned that I have a genetic immune system deficiency. The immunologist wanted me to start taking infusions to deal with that. Only one problem: my insurance company said I wasn't sick enough and the medicine was $6,000 per month. Per month. What they didn't know is that there are many times when I just don't bother going to the doctor because they'll only grumble "bronchitis" at me and toss me some antibiotics. This leaves me more open to cancer and COPD. BTW, my best friend has COPD and it's horrible. Horrible.

rockygrace said...

Becs, that's awful.