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Friday, January 19, 2018

The Price is Wrong

Let's play a game. It's called "What Costs More?" The rules are simple. Pretend you don't have health insurance. Then think about how much Rasagaline, the generic equivalent of Azilect, costs to keep your brain fighting MAO-B enxymes that think your dopamine is a Walking Dead style zombie. Remember, life is a value choice. Yes, insurance is costly, but what does it cost not to have it? All of these things can be bought, or you can get your medicine for the duration of time listed. What would you rather have?

I won't tell you the price until the end, so this is honors system stuff. It's 10% out of 100 for each answer right.

Rasagaline for 3 months or the basics of a 9-day trip for 2 to 3 cities in Italy, including airfare (on Groupon)?

Rasagaline or a 55" Samsung television to replace our 42 inch one that we paid roughly the same price for in 2009 (from Wal-Mart), should this TV go bad?

Rasagline or what you could spend for a Roger Maris PSA8 rookie card (from eBay)?

Lunch with my wife today for food from a local Italian restaurant (sandwiches) or 1 pill of Rasagaline?

A new set of tires for my Yaris (after they were slashed - before insurance), the item in the best condition on my nearly 250,000 miles 2007 Toyota Yaris or a month of Rasagaline?

Rasagaline for a month or 2 tickets to see Taylor Swift perform from the area in front of the stage at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field (from Ticketmaster resale - lowest price ones with a great view)?

Rasagaline for a month or a Canon EOS Rebel (from Best Buy).

Rasagaline for a day or a trip to the movies in New Orleans to see a nighttime show of The Last Jedi?

Rasagaline for a month or the opportunity to take a 3-credit class in composition with me starting next week?

If you don't go generic, and you choose Azilect, you can expect to pay over $700. Since I had to go to CVS with my plan, and I'm between month 1 of COBRA and switching to my wife's insurance, we're paying out of pocket and getting reimbursed, so our price was $524.

Yep. You read that correctly... $524 for 30 1 mg pills or about $17.50 a pill.

In comparison, CVS charges just over $29 a pill for 25mg Viagra pills. You can see other comparison prices here. Sildenafil started out as a blood pressure medicine, but it has one huge benefit. Hence, the price went through the roof.

Now, for those of you who want to play the no insurance game or think that insurance isn't worth it, you should know this: The same prescription (generic) is about $10-15, depending on which health plan I'm on for a month. This doesn't even get into the piece of mind of knowing doctor visits, lab testing, and hospital visits (like my 2.5 days in the hospital for pneumonia) are covered in part or whole.

Think about it when you trade health for fun or wants.

Think about it when people can't afford healthcare or treatment (yes, I get research costs money, but this is long since past the recoup investments time since it's now generic).

Then when politicians are thinking about whittling away coverage on people's healthcare, tell them to "realize that you can't put sick people out on the ice wish a bushel of sticks to stay warm until the wolves get them like this was a Jack London story" (yet - give the administration time to think of obscure or rarely used "absurd" or "unpopular" or "immoral" clauses to scrap the whole thing and leave those of us with pre-existing conditions up the creek in the name of saving $ while paying back their backers).

Now that you've gone to school for the first day, the answers are:

1) Italy, but not by much, especially since the average price of the med is over $600 as based on pharmacy.
2) Rasgaline
3) The card, but to be honest, I don't see people paying that much for it. I'd say it's more like half of that in the real world - if you can find a buyer not named Dan.
4) The meal
5) Rasgaline - Unfortunately, with what insurance didn't cover, I'll never see that money, even if they catch the teenagers who went "joy-slashing." At least with Rasgaline, I get brain protection.
6) Taylor Swift - another good reason for health insurance since the new album just isn't her, and that's going to be a large, painful part of the show that would cause serious physical anguish and headaches that need medical treatment. Resurrect the old Taylor from the dead.
7) Rasgaline
8) Rasgaline
9) Rasgaline - It was $16 a piece to see that movie (not including food and drinks), and I don't even get the DVD (not to mention it wasn't as good as Rogue 1).

10 ) The class, but not by much. This is one of the best things about community college (and it transfers)!

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