Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Drugs and Advertising!

I am happily reading the Sunday paper on Saturday, when my eye is caught by the words, "I'm ready to take on chemotherapy." There is a picture of a bland looking woman in a blue-green sweater holding her hands together in front of a yellow mug, presumably containing coffee or tea. It is an ad for Neulasta, the shot I am given the day after chemo to bring my white blood cell count back up. On the back of the almost-full page ad with the bland looking woman is another almost full page list explaining the drug and its formidable list of side-effects. I'm sure this is a fine drug, but it feels odd to me that it is advertised in the Parade section of the Chronicle. Are there that many people on chemo? Can this drug be of universal appeal? Obviously my oncologist knew about it. It is part of my treatment program. I'm not quite sure why I find this so troubling, but I do.

I don't think I should be paying with my insurance money to advertise drugs that are clearly for a very select market. I find that troubling, but what do the drug companies care. They just add it to our bill.

So, now, I decide to look at my bill, and see what Neulasta costs. Just take a guess. My injection of 6 mg. of Neulasta, my shot the day after chemo, is the one that costs $5000.00. And on the day I get the shot, and am there for three to five minutes, I am charged the $300.00 hourly facility fee, and a $75.00 injection fee. I see now that when I added all that up for the over $10,000, I had not caught that it was two different dates, the dates of the chemo drugs, and the next day for the shot. I had not thought the shot day was a big deal money-wise. I thought it was a shot to boost my white blood cell count, but I see now that the chemo day is around $5000.00, and, the day after that is equal in cost. I walk in, sit in a simple chair, not my fancy one with a table and an IV, and I lift my shirt and someone gives me a shot.

Anyway, I see I mis-reported before on December 23rd. Also, on the bill, there is an adjustment, and I am assuming that adjustment is what my insurance company will pay, and so is a lower cost than is reported as the charge. I am sorry to be so grumpy about this, but it is all of our money, and I do not see why Neulasta needs to advertise to the average person. They are already courting the doctors royally. Isn't that enough?

Anyway, if the adjusted balance is what it is, the cost for the two days will be $5300.00. Hopefully, that is it, and maybe that is not so much. I am just struggling to understand the big business of pharmaceutical companies. I am finding it a bit unpalatable, in more ways than one. : )

Thank you for listening to my rant! It is good to get everything out before the new year, so I can start fresh. I'm sure this will be my last rant. It is certainly the last one for this year. Only a little over eight hours until the new Year!! I'm sure I will find nothing else to complain about in that time.

Happy New Year to All!!!

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