Prometheus von Cornsilk (kingnixon) wrote,
Prometheus von Cornsilk

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chemicals for cheap

so wanna hear something interesting? now that i am among the ranks of the unwashed and uninsured, i get to actually find out what drugs cost. sertraline (generic zoloft) at brooks will run me about 150 bucks. at cvs it's around 120. at this place anthony's, it is TWENTY BUCKS. this is for a generic, remember, so there is no branding involved, the differences between the drug companies is entirely and solely a pricing difference, which means all the pharmacies can get them for approximately the same price (and large chains for even cheaper, probably, by volume discounts). it never even occurred to me until yesterday that different stores would price drugs differently. in hindsight, this is no stranger than different stores selling milk for different prices, but there is a vital difference: the (i am guessing) vast majority of drug purchasers are insured to some extent. if you have insurance and are only responsible for a copay, then it doesn't matter to you what the drugs actually cost. hence stores never advertising or posting prices. the people this matters to are a) uninsured, obviously, and b) insurance companies. when i used to fill my prescription at brooks, i was just paying my copay, but i was sticking blue cross with a 150 tab, whereas i could've just as easily gone to this anthony's place and charged blue cross just 20 bucks. do i care what my insurance company paid? not particularly. but would it effect the cost of insurance if everyone was buying their drugs at stores that charged 87% less? fuckin probably! would that go some way towards solving the universal coverage problem in this country? well i have no idea. i don't know what % of medical costs are from drugs, but it coudln't hurt. and this principle may apply to other things too. maybe we'd start going to cheaper doctors (or more expensive ones, if you think higher price = more skill. but who knows). as i said, it never even occurred to me that the same drugs would cost different amounts at different stores. it's the same copay everywhere, and nobody advertises or even posts their prices. but if you ask they'll give you the price; maybe we should all start asking. and maybe insurance companies should start giving a shit as well.

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