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!

An author? Like Dr. Seuss?

What the heck? You want me to actually write for a living? For money?
I’ve written my whole life, since I could hold a pen anyway. Before that I’m sure I colored my way through my preschool years with my Aunt Kelly gently telling me my pictures where beautifully artistic. She always had a hand at crayons, carefully staying smooth and within the lines. Me? Not so much!

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I’ve kept diaries, letters, post cards and scrap books as long as I can remember. My life has been documented in my own words since I was five. To think anyone would be interested in reading this blog much less my “great American novel” is dumbfounding to me.
I appreciate those of you that are following me and the comments that I receive. This is a forum meant for answers and more often than not I just relate to you the things that I’ve experienced and seen. My love to your divine light! Namaste!
So… I’ve been writing a novel for years now, actually several novels. I’m completely addicted to reading and love books and learning. I feast on a mind in action which is a curse to my family at times. I can read and drift away in the midst of a noisy, family gathering much like my father does.
One eye in the print and one ear towards the crowd has made me a very good pharmacist with all of the distractions of a busy store. I love my life and only want for everyone to love their life too. We chose it, we live it, so love it!
“The only way out is through”
Robert Frost
I’m finishing my first full length novel as I write this and as I carry on a life filled with children, pick up lines, grocery stores, work and reading. Does that make me a super mom? Oh yeah, right! Not even close. I’m not a cookie baker, except on the first day of school. I’m not a chef, my kids fend for themselves now. I’m certainly not patient but I am kind. My children are my life. Actually all children are my life. I had a wonderful childhood and I ROCK in the fun department! Haha!
My book is a young adult novel based on my own imagination. I’m excited to say that writing is cathartic and I grow each day I write.
So, What are you scared of?
Write what you know. When you’re sad, write. When you’re happy, write. When you have no words but a pen in your hand, write.
My “great American novel” is on post it notes, legal pads and journals.
Just write.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

Vacation emergency plan

July is definitely vacation month in America! We go at different times of the year but we save late June or July for our week long beach stay.
We’ve rented everything in the area from condos to walk out town homes, but this time we rented a house. It’s beautiful no doubt, with 3 balconies with beach front views. Two of my children came and brought friends and we have the company of my brother-in-law and wife, Keith and Karen, whom we love. Taking care of other people’s children is something to be taken seriously.
This blog idea was actually Keith’s inspiration.

What will you do in case of an emergency or illness while on vacation?
You have a home plan and your vacation plan should be much more thought out.
You’ll be in unfamiliar territory in an unfamiliar home.

#1 Bring your regular medications with you as well as a few regulars such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen for fever, an anti-diarrheal and plenty of antacids!

#2 Yes we overindulge on vacation and paying the cost for any over-the- counter medications in a resort type area is ridiculous. If you’re flying, pack all extra medications in your checked luggage and carry on any required, prescription medication.

#3 As soon as you hit town, check for a local emergency clinic or hospital, a dentist and a pharmacy. As well as a grocery store. You never know when you’ll need them.

#4 Make sure you have insurance cards and release forms on any minor traveling with you if they aren’t your child. Valuable time could be wasted trying to get the information you need.

#5 Ask about any known allergies for all that are traveling with you. Food and insect allergies are usually known by the child or parent, however, I’m anaphylactic to Codeine, but I don’t know if anyone other than my husband thats traveling with us knows it. What if he isn’t there?

#6 If you’ve forgotten any medication at home, your local pharmacy can transfer most prescriptions out of state. Don’t go without!
I always say that a vacation is no time to start a diet or new workout, quit smoking or drinking. And certainly don’t stop any medications suddenly.

#7 Most places we stay have emergency numbers of clinics and police as well as takeout food and a variety of activities on the fridge. This one doesn’t.
List all emergency numbers on the fridge, especially if you have kids old enough to cook. I would also include a list of cell phone numbers in case a phone gets wet. How many numbers do you still have memorized? Haha!

Just remember, if one of your family members or friend is hurt or sick, you’ll want the fastest treatment you can get. You won’t be thinking clearly and a few minutes could save someone. Make sure that you’re familiar with basic first aid, CPR, and the Heimlich maneuver.
That should be common knowledge to any parent. Our kids are learning it in school and so should you!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

7 symptoms you should never ignore

I started this article out and changed tactics after I saw my doctor the other day so I need to finish up the symptoms!
#1 chest pain
#2 the worst headache ever
#3 pain in the right flank
I covered all these in previous posts.

#4 bloating that isn’t relieved by Beeno or a bowel movement. This can be a sign of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is less common than cervical or breast cancer in women and is often undetected.

#5 When your ice cream sends a massive ache through your jaw and head that isn’t a brain freeze, it’s time to see the dentist. Cavities can be an indication of other problems in your body so see your dentist regularly and anytime you experience severe pain.

#6 Leg pain with swelling. Often times, we will develop sore calves from running or walking. This is more intense pain, that involves swelling in the calf and sometimes reddened and painful to the touch. A potential blood clot could exist and could travel to your lungs, heart, or brain causing irreversible damage.

#7 Back pain with tingling in the fingers or toes. This could be a bulging or ruptured disc in the spine that may require therapy or even surgery.

So there you have the 7 symptoms to never, ever ignore. If your regular physician can’t see you as soon as these occur, consider the emergency room or a direct care clinic.
Take your health in your own hands!
Think, Live, Love!
Namaste!

#2 The Worst Headache Ever

We have all suffered from headaches due to stress, jaw and neck tension, sinus pressure and allergies. Even PMS, insomnia, hunger and dehydration are common causes of headaches.

What I’d like to talk about here is the worst headache ever!

I’ve suffered from typical migraine since I was 12. I was having a portrait taken with my sister and half way though the flash photography, the flash stayed in my eyes. As we left, I couldn’t get the blind spot in my eyes to go away and so I closed my eyes and laid down in the car. My left hand began to tingle and numbness set into the left side of my body including my tongue and throat. After that, I began to vomit with the worst pounding headache of my life, on the right side of my head.
My mother, a migraine sufferer herself, did the best she could at the time, putting me in a dark room and feeding me salty foods and caffeine until I finally fell to sleep. I then became what you might call a chronic migraine sufferer, having between 3 or 4 a year, or 3 or 4 a week, depending on my health and stress.
Unfortunately at the time, migraines were mysteries that no one could predict or solve. Medication for prevention and treatment have come a long, long way since then. I’ve tried basically everything that prevents migraines since my early 20’s and the invention of the triptan class of drugs allowed me out of that dark, silent room.

What I’m talking about here is the true mother of all headaches! If you feel a sudden crushing brain bashing headache that doesn’t include your normal visual aura or any of your other “normal” migraine triggers. Seek help immediately!
You could have a ruptured aneurysm, a bulge in the arteries of the brain. These bulges can rupture, and leave an area of the brain bleeding or oxygen deprived.
These arterial bulges occur in up to 5 percent of people and most of them are not migraine sufferers. Migraine sufferers may suffer an aneurysm but we actually fall within the percentage of the rest of the population. Many times aneurysms are congenital and cause no problems at all.
If ever you experience the worst mind crushing headache you’ve ever had which may include blurred vision, speech issues, memory loss, seizures, or vomiting, take this seriously.
If you suffer migraines, maintain a close and comfortable relationship with your physician and if they increase or change notify him or her immediately.
If in doubt, seek medical help immediately. This could be a life or death situation. Smoking and a family history of aneurysm increases your chances more than a history of migraines. Head trauma and previous surgery also increases you chances. Get those regular MRI’s and CT scans your doctor requests and take your health in your hands!
Think, live, love!
Namaste!

Are you being eaten alive by mosquitoes?

Do you feel as if you’re a buffet for the Mosquitos this summer? Have you fled inside, unable to enjoy the season?
Me, too! I seem to attract every mosquito in the area. So why? And what do we do?
Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide and sweat. The harder you breathe and the more you sweat, the tastier you become. Don’t believe that things such as dryer sheets and lemon Pledge are your answer. They do seem to work for about 20-40 minutes depending on conditions.
The fact of the matter is, we are all equally bitten by mosquitoes, but your bodies own immune response decides if you become irritated by the insects or not.
Alcohol ingestion, smoking, exercise involving sweating and heavy breathing all attract mosquitoes.
Studies on garlic intake show no positive effects. You would basically have to rub the garlic on your skin every 30 minutes or so which would basically assure that you will be alone all night. Vitamin B1 has shown some beneficial effects but its unknown if it is truly a repellant or if it blocks the histamine response to the bite, which causes the itching and inflammation.
Mosquitos attack at dawn and dusk and will bite through any tight clothing. Loose, light colored clothing helps to prevent this.
When it comes down to it, your only option is DEET. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, I would use lemon eucalyptus oil. The use of DEET has changed over the years and you can buy lower percentages and apply more often, or opt for a powder spray that doesn’t leave that oily feeling.
Depending on where you are, always check the web for mosquito transmitted diseases. It may change your opinion on what’s necessary and what is not!
Never leave standing water near your house. It takes only 5 days for a mosquito egg to become a biting, itching jerk, that ruins your barbecue and leaves scars from scratching. Because of the quick incubation period outdoor sprays rarely work longer than those 5 days. Protect yourself and your family. Ask me any questions!
Think, Live, Love!
Namaste!
I forgot to add my favorite remedy, a nice strong fan!! Notice how at the beach you aren’t as prone to bites? A mosquito is a slow flying pest and a good fan can protect you!
Once again,
Namaste!

Pharmaceutical companies

I must say here and now that I will never, ever endorse any drug, pharmaceutical company, physician, network, insurance company or any form of therapy in this blog. As well as anyone else not named above.
I am speaking only from experience and study. This is simply a place for me to share and answer questions based on your needs. I am, literally, your neighborhood pharmacist.
Any information I provide will retain patient confidentially as required by me by HIPPA standards.
No names will ever be used other than my own.

Prescription drug abuse

Many people at some point in their lives find themselves in debilitating pain. They go to their doctor, who in 10 minutes, prescribes an opioid analgesic such as Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, codeine, morphine, OxyContin and methadone) to name a few. Yes, it relieves the pain and actually causes euphoria. However, tolerance to the medication develops and it requires more pills to receive the same pain relief. Only weeks after the first sign of pain, a patient can become highly addicted. The same opioid receptors in the brain that such drugs work on also stimulate endorphins which give us that feeling of happiness, love, energy and accomplishment.
Thus becoming a vicious cycle of medicate, feel better, non-medicate feel hopeless. If you have any questions or if you or your loved ones are experiencing this please, ask April and ask for help.
A pain medication specialist is just that, just as a surgeon is a surgeon, they only make a living if they prescribe pain meds or operate.
Of course, I certainly don’t include cancer patients or people with truly debilitating pain such as arthritis, spinal fusion or several other painful prognoses in this group.
Many pain sufferers find their pain medication used by others in their household or even their nurses or caregivers.
It’s a dangerous path to follow.
Think! Live! Love!
April