Food, Rent, Bills and Prescriptions…Something’s Gotta Give.

It’s a hard decision to make. Pay the rent or fill prescriptions. It was a decision that I had to make this week. By Thursday night, the withdrawl symptoms were awful. Anxiety, nausea, chills and a terrible migraine sent me to bed feeling like I had the flu. I had put off filling my prescription with the hope that I would be transferring my prescription to a cheaper pharmacy. Turned out I had read the website wrong. It was actually a little more expensive than the pharmacy that I use regularly. While I lay in bed, Shanna ran to the store to fill the prescription.

What was my prescription? Lexapro. I share this information in the era of pre-existing conditions because I already have a list of documented medical ailments. “THE LIST” makes any attempt to obtain private health insurance cost more than double my monthly rent. Needless to say, I don’t have insurance. I have a payment plan with an amazing doctor and do the best I can. But sometimes, my medicine takes a back burner to paying the rent, keeping the water on or having electricity.

I take issue with the fact that a medication that prevents things like a premature, self-inflicted death; costs so much money that a decision like mine had to be made. A decision between preventing a potentially dangerous physical withdrawl and keeping a roof over my head. A necessary medication like this costs more than a $100 to fill for a 30 day supply. Why? The pharmaceutical companies know you’re going to need it, why charge so much? Because they know you’re going to need it. So, you’ll buy it, no matter the cost.

Meanwhile, they produce pens, commercials and pads of sticky notes. Bring expensive lunches to doctor’s offices and send doctors on fancy golf trips and conventions. More so, why do we as the American people tolerate it? In all seriousness, we don’t have to. Is it that much work to find out what public officials take lobbyist money from pharmaceutical companies or what Big Pharma does with its money? There are a lot of ways to find out and there is a lot we can do with that information.

At the end of the day, if calling your Representative, Senator, Governor or Attorney General gets you nowhere… there’s always Canada. That’s were I’ll be buying my prescriptions from now on.

Under U.S. law, it is illegal to import drugs from Canada. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, does not prosecute anyone who imports prescription drugs for personal use. Americans may import up to a three-month supply of medications without fear of prosecution. Though drug companies and lawmakers continue to argue over the practice, Americans are either purchasing medications through valid online Canadian pharmacies or driving over the border, prescriptions in hand.

Read more: Is It Legal to Buy Prescription Drugs From Canada? |

Check the Canadian International Pharmacy Association to see if an online pharmacy is registered.

It’s a little long and slightly outdated, but there are some excellent examples of Big Pharma’s reach in Washington.

The Other Drug War: Big Pharma’s 625 Washington Lobbyists

PhillyInc: Big Pharma reveals how much it paid doctors.


Copyright 2011 Michelle Cahill


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