The High Cost of Asthma Prescription Drugs

  • HealthCentral launched a new site this week on health care issues and how our political candidates stand on these issues:

    • drug prices
    • the uninsured
    • health care reform
    • stem cell research
    • health care prevention
    • health care technology

    If nothing else, it should prove interesting to see how these issues develop in the coming months leading up to our next presidential election here in the US.


    I wanted to chime in about drug prices for asthma medications, as the subject was just driven home to me once again earlier this week. I think I've mentioned before that I don't have health insurance. I know I should... I'm middle-aged and have a chronic, potentially life-threatening disease.

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    But I've been self-employed for the last 6 years and I can't afford even the poor coverage of a major medical policy for a single subscriber. I might be able to qualify for coverage under my life partners' health plan at his teaching job, but it would still cost me more than $400/month, money I just can't justify.


    So, that means I pay out of pocket for all of my doctors' visits and my medicines. Needless, to say, I skimp on them at times when I just don't have the extra cash. I know I shouldn't and my flares of asthma symptoms emphasize that fact.


    I finally refilled my inhaler prescriptions a few days ago (after milking them to last an extra month, something I know as a nurse I shouldn't do). Even at WalMart, which discounts prescriptions, I paid nearly $100 for my Qvar and another $30 for my rescue inhaler. Not money I really wanted to spend.


    But it's a sad commentary on our nation that we have some of the best health care available in the world, but millions of us can't afford to avail ourselves of it, 50 million of us, in fact.


    I, for one, am hoping that our next President will be able to effect changes in that fact. Universal health care should be our right. How much healthier would our nation be if everyone who has a chronic illness could access all of the care and the treatment they need to stay healthy and to keep their disease under control?


    What do you think? Please feel free to comment on this post and/or visit the new Healthcare '08 site to communicate your views on drug prices and other health care issues facing all of us today.

Published On: January 16, 2008