There's a medication I have to take for my diabetes which costs me
just under $200/month. I got a refill of it four days ago and last
night I managed to lose it. (I left it -on- the car before driving
Now, this is totally my mistake, and I'm perfectly willing to pay the
extra $200 to get a new dosage of it. I don't -like- the idea of
doing this, but hey, sometimes we make stupid mistakes and sometimes
we make stupid expensive mistakes.
But this morning, I was thinking about it-- my insurance company
might cover that $200, but they might not. I can't find out until
Monday (I see no indication anywhere that they have an emergency
line) and I need to get the prescription refilled a.s.a.p.
Furthermore, the way my insurance company works is that I pay in
advance for the prescription and they reimburse me.
That said, I am one of the fortunate people who can afford to make a
$200 mistake and have it just ruin a weekend for me, and not have it
be a choice between medicine and food (or rent, electricity, heat,
But it got me thinking-- what exactly would this mean in terms of my
well-being if I weren't in that situation? If I didn't have the
resources to take care of this relatively easily, this would not just
be a frustration and an inconvenience, this could be
life-threatening. What if this were heart medication? The risk I
have right now is that my blood sugar will spike, and I'll feel like
crap for a couple days, and I'll get it back under control again. If
I were in a worse circumstance here, this would be a major deal for
What does this mean for people who are poor and have chronic medical
conditions? What does this mean for people who are poor and have
short-term medical conditions that they don't treat because the
antibiotics are too expensive? Do we, as a society, simply accept
What if they use the antibiotics for a time, but stop them early
because they can't afford the refill? From a medical standpoint,
this is quite the problem for one simple reason: it helps create a
new, stronger, strain of the disease: one which more easily resists
antibiotics, creating potential superstrains?
Something is seriously wrong here.