Why are my drugs so high?

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My medicine went up how much??

If you’ve noticed a large increase in your medication this month, don’t blame your pharmacist, blame your government.
We work under a system of PBM’s or Pharmacy Benefits Managers. You will know them from the name on your prescription coverage card.
I won’t consider even naming them here for liability purposes, however, as an American citizen I do have a right to discuss a federal institution that is funded by our tax dollars, mine and yours.
The FDA has initiated a requirement of documentation of why a drug company needs to increase the price of the medication. Ok?
Huh?
Normally, manufacturers increase drug prices due to clinical trials or to make additional medication due to demand. I’ve seen it happen every few years but nothing like what is occurring now. Greater demand requires more personnel, more electricity, more benefits, yada, yada, yada. This is normal and not out of the ordinary. Like any business, as costs increase, so do prices. It’s the law of supply and demand.
However, drug manufacturers have decided to take advantage of the end of the year and our costs are rising like dandelions in my yard!
Since they won’t be able to raise the price of drugs after January without an “act of congress”, your drug costs are skyrocketing. As are mine!
Unfortunately, those same PBM’s I mentioned earlier are much slower to update price increases than the drug companies are to update their own prices. The funny thing is that almost every pharmaceutical manufacturer that you can name, owns its own PBM, and often a pharmacy or mail order chain as well. Just so you know, that same type
of monopoly is what caused Microsoft to have to split.
For example, I order a drug on September 30 for $24.00 per 100 tablets. The next day, I order the same medication for $54.00. In one day, the manufacturer has increased the price over 100% but your insurance company hasn’t done that yet. So what happens next?
Either you or I pick up the difference.
Is this what Obama care is like? Oh yes, and then more.
Already, clinics are turning away a huge number of Medicare and VA patients to give them time to settle in with a new doctor that can afford the low reimbursement and the time that it takes to receive that reimbursement. (Often 60-120 days)
What would happen if you only got paid every 4 months?
Basically, the result is, you pay your doctor or you pay your insurance premiums.
For decades, America has been one of the top countries in medical care. Having worked in Houston, I saw so many people from every nation in the world coming to MD Anderson for cancer treatment.
Not to mention research hospitals such as the Mayo clinic or Boston general, that have patients worldwide.
One question stands foremost in my mind, as a self employed pharmacist and a provider of benefits to my loyal employees, do I want to see them subjected to socialized medicine? No, I do not.
I would rather medicine return to natural remedies and healers than see the pharmaceutical industry providing our (including my own and my children’s) healthcare.
That is exactly what they are doing each time they require a physician to explain to them why they chose to prescribe a certain medication.

I’m so sick of this! To think that these politicians, in the pockets of every lobbyist group, the largest being pharmaceutical companies, can’t come to a conclusion without shutting down the federal government for the day? This tells me they’ve never worked for themselves a day in their life!
I’m amazed that these are the people we’ve elected to run this country.
I’m amazed that almost every elected official in the federal government is a career politician.
What happened to this country that SHOULD be in the hands of its citizens as outlined in the constitution, which we should all carry in our wallet? I don’t know a single hardworking American with ethics that could afford to run for election.
We have to face the fact that we have elected royalty.
Welcome to socialized Monarchy!
It works in the UK, but I think they have a better understanding if what is at stake.
Anyway.. That’s my opinion.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste!

Super Typhoon Haiyan

After a terrifying 7.2 earthquake last month, the Philippines has once again been rocked by devastation as super typhoon Haiyan surged the islands. My publishing liaison and his family live in the Philippines and I was horrified to see how little news coverage this has received on the networks. I emailed Julius to check on him and this is what he had to say,
“Thank you for writing and for your concerns. I hope I can express all the fears and sadness we have in this letter. There were so many lives that were lost compared as to what was counted over the news as well as thousands of houses and livelihood were devastated. Here in Cebu City were I work, took only less damages compared to Northern Visayas and Eastern Region were most of my family, relatives and friends resides – where lives and properties were lost. They need food, clothes, shelter and medicine and I don’t know if help coming from different countries can accommodate the majority.”

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The US has deployed an aircraft carrier and navy ships, while the UK is sending a naval destroyer.
The Philippines have been a major non-NATO alliance to the United States for 50 years, and we sit and discuss healthcare reform when thousands of our allies are going without medicine and drinking water.

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While millions of American dollars are spent at war and supporting countries that despise us, our friends in the Pacific Ocean are suffering.
“We need help. Nothing is happening. We haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon,” pleaded a weeping Aristone Balute, an 81-year-old woman who failed to get a flight out of Tacloban for Manila, the capital. Her clothes were soaked from a pouring rain and tears streamed down her face.
Tacloban, a city of about 220,000 people on Leyte island, bore the full force of the winds and the tsunami-like storm surges Friday. Most of the city is in ruins, a tangled mess of destroyed houses, cars and trees. Malls, garages and shops have all been stripped of food and water by hungry residents.
Doctors in Tacloban said they were desperate for medicine.
I’ll be sending medicine. After the last Super Typhoon, I sent antibiotic creams, bandages, socks, shoes and anti fungal powders because when this kind of devastation hits, a small infection can be life threatening and these are inexpensive items here. Items such as toothbrushes and soap that may cost less than a dollar here are much needed there. I’m not sure how I’ll be handling my shipping yet so if you have any ideas let me know. I just feel that as a healthcare provider with children, knowing I could help someone I have a business relationship with, feels like a requirement. Same with Katrina, same with the India earthquakes. I’m calling on others to do the same.

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When I asked Julius what I could do to help, he humbly responded,
“Madam, whatever form of help will be appreciated. My colleagues plan to go North over the weekend and offered me a free ride. I can only bring some few stocks of food and water and some used clothes from my friends. I don’t know how soon your help can get to us. I am thankful for your assistance and i am praying to God to shower you with more blessings and your family.”
I will be shipping a package tomorrow.
So many veterans speak highly of The Philippines and the time they spent there. The great love of the people towards their family and friends alike is world known.
The Royal Australian Air Force also landed at Cebu, delivering a portable field hospital that was soon sent on its way to Tacloban. Taiwanese troops also arrived with medical aid, and Doctors Without Borders said three of nine cargo shipments it has planned also arrived in Cebu on Wednesday.
The slowness of delivery of food and basic medical aid is the biggest threat to lives.
“There are people there right now who can be saved. And it could be as simple as antibiotics that cost a penny.”

Contribute to Doctors Without Borders if nothing else!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste!

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I’m just a human mother

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I don’t consider myself a super mom by any stretch of the imagination. My kids get their vaccinations and make straight A’s, generally. I’ve never put as much pressure on grades as I have on learning. I need time to myself to unwind and I’m usually pretty grumpy in the mornings.
Luckily, my family is supportive in my quest for betterment and they live with my faults.
I had a delightful girls weekend in Awesome, Texas (Austin) over November 8-10. We went to visit my son and attend the Wanderlust Festival for yoga training. Yes, it was a double trip, to check up on him and get away to do yoga! We also felt the need to see some live music and rock the night away. Which we did!
I took some awesome classes and completely fell in love with a new form of yoga that I had never practiced even after 15 years. More about that later.

I made it home after a relatively eventful weekend to a mostly clean house and lots of laundry with a washer that won’t spin. (It will eventually but you have to jump start it and a real repairman actually tried to fix it). I had to wait for him today as well as a car part.
So I’m expecting a quiet day at home with the kids at school, but my daughter complained about a sore throat last night and she never complains. After over the counter pain relievers that didn’t help (being the pharmacist that I am), I tried this tea.
I added honey for its soothing effect but she didn’t like it sweetened. It made a huge difference. No, she didn’t make it to school today and my day of rest was interrupted by a beautiful, sick daughter.
I may not be the perfect mom but I do the best that I can.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

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America

I am liberal in my social views but conservative in my finances.
I call it “Nonyabidness” and “It’s almost payday” politics! I am an American!
I’m appalled by the way veterans are being treated by our government. VA checks to disabled veterans, survivors and their families won’t be arriving on time this month.
My own pharmacy and reimbursement checks for veterans and federal employees have already been delayed by 2 weeks. I have to pay my wholesaler for the medication to fill these prescriptions every 10 days.
It’s simple math and it doesn’t add up!
I’m fed up, angry, and disappointed in our elected officials! We have rights as citizens of this country!
Don’t be a Democrat!
Don’t be a Republican!
Be an American!
Freedom of speech is your right!
Tell Washington to STEP OFF and get over themselves!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste!

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Skin cancer

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I went to the dermatologist to have a tattoo checked out that had failed to heal due to a red ink allergy. While there, I pointed out and itchy, flaky spot that looked like an infected mosquito bite or a pimple. I can’t recall when it appeared but I do recall my clothing and seat belt irritating it this summer. The dermatologist looked at it quickly and believed, as I did, that it was simply an Actinic kerotosis (AK) ( or anAge spot hm mmm!) . She removed it and sent it in for a biopsy since I’m not a child of the sunscreen generation. Suspecting a possible pre-cancerous Basel cell, it surprisingly came back as squamous cell, a more severe form of skin cancer but not as serious as melanoma. Luckily, it was caught early and though I wear sunscreen on my face regularly, the spot on my collar bone may have been caused by sun reflected by my car window. We can never know. Childhood exposure, I was a spring board diver, and later exposure on areas missed by sunscreen. It happens. Please be checked out. Ask your regular physician and follow any referrals to a dermatologist if needed. I’d recommend a plastic surgeon for any larger biopsies, because that’s what they do. And do well! I follow up next week for a final freeze, I hope, and then will see the derm every 6 months for the next year. Not too bad, but I could live without it.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste
April

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Before and after: a hormone story

When I turned 40, my life flipped upside down. I had always been active and busy and could lose weight easily. I’d simply control my intake or increase my activity before a trip or the summer and, zoom, I’d be back in a bikini in no time.
After I turned 40, everything changed. I became lethargic, needing multiple cat naps each day. I blamed this on the fact that I wasn’t sleeping well and having frequent night sweats and hot flashes. When I brought it up to my regular OB/Gyn, she assured me that I wouldn’t possibly be heading toward menopause at my age, increased my estrogen only birth control pills, that I didn’t need for birth control, but as a hormone replacement. This was November of 2012 and by the following April, I was worse than ever! Gray, exhausted, exhibiting the thyroid chin of late life and absolutely desperate, I contacted a customer of mine that specializes in hormone replacement therapy.
I’m going to share with you a photo that chills me to look at, but that needs to be shared. Despite the smile on my face, I was miserable. Everything seemed to be falling apart at the same time and I certainly wasn’t happy with that!

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My first appointment was April 4th and I had 5 hot flashes during an hour and a half appointment that probably lasted 2 hours. At least it seemed to. I forgot to put on my mascara and was generally foggy and hurried. My life is stressed and fast but I’d always dealt well, making lists and checking calendars.
Enter my new best friend and who I call my “fat” doctor! She isn’t fat! As a matter of fact, she’s fit and thin, and it’s all because of her program. I’ve seen her before and after photos and I could see the results the first time I began her program. Of course, I had no idea just how bad off I was. We started with basic questionnaires and the above horrifying photo, and ended it with a very candid conversation. I left with a salva test kit, a prescription for thyroid medication and a small dose of appetite suppressants, as well as an okay to stop the oral contraceptives that were making me sick and causing me to have more migraines. I began tracking all my calories except my exercise. This was a completely opposite approach from what I had tried before as I depended heavily on my life as a yoga teacher and exercise fanatic!
Progesterone cream leveled off my hormone fluctuations and the thyroid increased my energy levels. After the second month I noticed a massive difference in the way I felt and the way I looked.

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Don’t allow anyone to tell you what is normal to feel at any stage in life. If you feel sad, lonely, depressed, or overweight or under nourished, seek help. If your physician tells you that it’s a natural progress of aging, seek a second opinion. Talk to your friends, your pharmacist and your physician until you can come to a plan that brings you back to life. I feel better than I have in years, and I couldn’t have done it without the information and guidance of a like minded physician and her staff
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste
April

Blog ideas

Blog ideas!!!!!

Tattoo removal

Soft ice bags

Closure

Dealing with another persons illness

Reaching your goals

Well being, finding your happiness

Positive energy

**Addicted to reading

Hormone testing

What would YOU like to learn about?

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Do you gag when you’re brushing?

Ok, this seems to be too much information for most people apparently, but if brushing your teeth, a vital part of your healthcare, makes you gag or vomit its a serious issue.

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So, this photo freaked everyone out because when I updated my bathroom, I added a toothbrush and toothpaste holder to my shower. My son brushed his teeth for years in the shower and I thought it strange, until I reached my stopping point at puking or gagging each morning when I brushed my teeth.
I could brush my teeth numerous other times during the day, but that first one in the morning was bad! Ugh!
Is it unhygienic? You leave your toothbrush by the sink where you wash your hands every time you use the restroom. In the shower, I’m the cleanest I am any time of day.
One of the most uncomfortable feelings you can experience is involuntary gagging. Unchecked, it can leave your throat raw and sore, and give you a painful case of laryngitis. Your voice may actually change from the acidity of the stomach acids.
The first thing you absolutely have to do is…
Relax. The gag reflex is triggered by a combination of psychology and physiology. For some people, the psychological aspect will play a larger role. Maybe you’ve had a traumatizing experience at a doctor or dentist’s office in the past, or in general, you have a fear of losing control.
Sometimes stimulating the area with your toothbrush can desensitize the gag reflex. 1/3rd of the population have no gag reflex and roughly 1/8th have an over active reflex
Tips at the dentist:
Music-ear buds drown out the drill sound and help you focus
Legs elevated- keeps the blood flow to your brain. Also keeps you from becoming shocky during long procedures.
Sun glasses-prevents the glare from the lights above.
Blanket-my must have!! As well as nitrous oxide. It’s comforting and also prevents shock or chill.
Last but not least, get the nitrous oxide. It costs more but if you have the issues I have, it’s worth every penny.
Use a private dentist, not a chain group, and tell them your issues. A good dentist and hygienist will appreciate your candidness.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste!

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I should refer here to a blog posted July 6, that said I wouldn’t promote anyone but my dentist rocks! Dr. Verni Waldron of Waldron Family Dentistry. Here’s to 18 years of friendship.

** footnote: I also have a toothbrush in a holder by my sink for the rest of day!