Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Drug Mule, Part 2: The Apparent Chicken

Evidently, I'm not the only one who is resorting to un-kosher means toward procuring drugs for one's epileptic child. In the comments I received yesterday after posting about my call to a Canadian pharmacy and in many private emails, I got offers from Canadians to pick up the drugs, offers from those who live in the Pacific Northwest to drive up there and pick up the drug, offers from Europeans to get the drug and send it, information from Americans using Mexican internet pharmacies where no prescription is needed, and efforts by my Rite-Aid pharmacy guy whose name is the name of a country to badger Medi-Cal about coverage. While fantasies of fleeing the country to Vancouver -- alone, on a plane!!! -- danced through my head, my inclination toward being an outlaw are mainly just that -- fantasy. I might be an outlaw at heart, but on the outside, I'm a chicken and a nerd. Before I go to Canada, I'm going to keep pecking and pecking at the powers that be in hopes that not only will the drug get picked up by insurance and Medi-Cal for Sophie but for the countless other kids who need it, too.

In the meantime, my father made the brilliant suggestion to order as much of the drug as I can and have it delivered from Canada before Friday when the law goes into effect.

So that's what I did. I called the pharmacy and filled out some forms and called The Neurologist and called the pharmacy back and right now, my fingers are crossed that I'll get an ample supply of The Drug that will cover Sophie until I can really lobby to get it added to the insurance company formulary.

When I went on my walk today, I mused about the frenzy of the past couple of mornings, all the calling and back and forth and anger and frustration. I thought about Big Pharma and its strangulating hold on healthcare and the proper role of medication for sick and diseased children and adults. I thought about how quickly conservatives throw around terms like "the marketplace," "vouchers for medical care," "free enterprise," and I thought above all, that if it's not bullshit it's certainly a bunch of chicken shit. I don't know what the answers are, and I certainly am going to keep on pecking around, but it all feels as ridiculous as that chicken suit one of my boys is wearing in the picture above.


  1. My current favorite is "horseshit." You may borrow it.

  2. Was literally going to text you, not 10 minutes ago because it is highly unusual to not see a post from you my noonish each day.And then here you are.

    Sorry you are dealing with all this. Remember the similar dance I did with Mexico and Canada with Vigabatrin. And then on to ACTH. Which when we began that drug there was an increase from I believe $1,800 a vial to $24,000 a vial, when we began. 8 vitals later and all I can say is thank God for NORD, who picked up the largest portion of that tab.

    So yes, to anyone reading this, that has not been personally schooled with some of these drugs, and the fight to obtain them at a close to doable cost, count yourself lucky. Chicken shit, bullshit,whatever term you want to attached to it, it all boils down to discouraging and disgusting.

    Just received a letter letting me know that IHSS, that we have even yet to begin, has already been cut by 3.4%. Sounds like not much to some people but in my eyes, any cut for some of these services, is just too much.

    Oy vey.

  3. This is the ugly dark side of capitalism and exactly why some people become anarchists.

    I hope there is a little pool of calmness around you now - not much I suppose, until the call comes from the pharmacy to let you know whether you have succeeded or not and even then not until the right conclusion has been met by the right people in regards to the needs of so many who can't speak for themselves.

    But I'm wishing it was there, a pool of calmness to float in and think about ... nothing.

  4. If you do end up taking a road trip north, please let me know - we're more or less on the way!

  5. I could use a day trip to Vancouver - let me know if I can help. I'm only a couple hours away. In the meantime, I share your frustration that our healthcare decisions have become playthings for politicos - from reproductive rights to pharmaceuticals to getting accurate information about the foods we ingest every day.

    Here's hoping for some good news soon.

  6. It seems to me that big pharma, capitalists, whatever you want to call them are in fact raping the American people. It's utter bullshit!

  7. Stocking up sounds like a good approach. You're fighting the good fight, Elizabeth!

  8. If and when you go over to the dark side, we've got your back....

  9. Thank you for writing about this. I believe there are so many people in a similiar situation. They're just too tired to fight.



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