With living through a pandemic and the economical effects of it, I’m exploring the cost of medication and the stress it may cause.
The average American spends about $1200 per year on prescription drugs. I have to do it about once a month. But, I do it without ever thinking about it. I just go, do what I need to do, and leave, and that`s that. I don`t ever pay attention to it. This time, I was practicing being present. Rather than allowing my mind to explore never-ending thoughts and anxieties, I paid attention to where I was, and focused on what I was doing.
`Pick up for Natasha.` I said to the lady.
The lady, the cashier turned and reached into a bin and pulled out a small white paper bag. She looked at the tag, scanned it, and said $19.76. I was very surprised. I asked her if that was with the insurance coverage. We had been having some troubles with my insurance company, so I thought maybe I had hit my maximum for the year or something, and they were no longer covering prescriptions for me.
Yes. That was with the insurance. Which meant that without the insurance it would have been about $100.00.
The week prior I had gone to pick up my other medication and it came to $15.00, which would have meant that without the insurance it would have been about $80.00. Which means, in total, if I didn`t have insurance those two medications alone would cost me $180.00. That is not including my Iron pills because I am anemic. It does not include Vitamin D which I taken on recommendation from my doctor.
So, all in all, it would be over $200.00 to have what I need to function at a level state of mind.
To lead a full, and healthy life for one month, to not feel so down that I want to not get out of bed, to not have suicidal thoughts, to not feel so discouraged or empty and to be able to get up and out of bed and have some motivation for living life. This would cost me over $200.00. Every single month.
This feels so unbearably unfair to me. I am lucky and have insurance which covers the majority of it. But, what if I didn`t? I am not sure my family could afford that extra $200.00, without taking away from something else. Raising a family, as I am sure many of you know, is EXPENSIVE. Kids always need something. Someone is outgrowing something, or there is some event going on at school and they need an incredibly SPECIFIC shirt. There is always something. So, spending $200.00 on medication just wouldn`t be very high on the list of things to spend money on each month.
I am sure for a lot of people it is like this. The cold, harsh, reality of how expensive medications are, and they can be, hits a lot of people like a storm. Making choices like, buying milk, or buying medication? See, medication should be viewed as equally important as food for someone living with mental illness. We need it in order to be okay. In order to be at our best. Sadly, it can be too much of a financial burden for many that it has to be overlooked.
The cost to be okay is far too high.
I know that pharmaceutical companies need to make money, and that is just how the world works. But, I just find it so sad that so many people go without what they need due to cost. It just doesn`t seem fair.
We all deserve a fair shot at life. Some of us live with an illness that knocks us down. Some get knocked down all the way, and some maybe just a bit. None the less, we get knocked down. We deserve a fair chance. If medication is what gives you the fair chance it should be easier to access.
I think this needs to be explored better. I think the world needs to change still. It has changed a lot, and mental health is slowing becoming a regular part of conversations, but we still have a long way to go. There needs to be better access to medications for those who need it but can not financially afford it. They should not ever have to go without. We need to breath in order to live, for those who need medication, they need it in order to live well.
This needs to change. We all need a fair shot. Life is hard enough.
Medications, and being able to afford them, shouldn’t be a stress.
The cost to function shouldn`t be a stress. These things that are often taken for granted, just should not be a stress. They should not be hard choices people have to choose between. We all have a right to be okay. We all have a right to do what we need to do to be okay. If medication is recommended, then it should be simple to access, and affordable. And if someone can`t afford anything, then it shouldn`t mean they don`t get it. It has to be about more than just money at some point.
What about quality of life?
There needs to be funding and help for those who require it, and not make the qualification process so difficult that people fall between the cracks.
The cost to be okay is far too high. What are your thoughts on the cost of being okay?
Another great read surrounding spending on prescription drugs is – Prescribed Drug Spending In Canada
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