Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Well, That Was Fun . . .

I had cataract surgery on my right eye yesterday afternoon and am writing this with one eye so it will be brief. 

The whole thing went really well with an astonishing Space Odyssey sort of light show as the doctor did whatever it was he was doing inside my eye. 

Things are a tad blurry out of that eye just now (five hours later) but I was warned that it would be several days before the eye was acting right. Heading back to the doc tomorrow early for post op follow up.

Our Medicare and insurance cover the cost of the surgery but but not the prescription drops used before and after. I got the prescription last Friday and was warned to fill it right away as not all pharmacies carried the drops. And I needed to begin the drops on Monday.

So on my way home, I stopped to fill the prescriptions. The pharmacy did have the drops but as the lady came to hand them over and get my credit card, she was apologetic. "I'm sorry these are so expensive."

Uh, oh. Now that the Epi-pen money grab has made us aware of Big Pharma's greed, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at the $718.35 price tag for three tiny bottles of drops for what is a rather common medical procedure.
And I'm no longer surprised. Just angry, thinking about pharmacy company executives with 18 million dollar salaries, and wishing we had a healthcare system like Canada's


Ms. A said...

Dear Lord, I see Besivance and that's a fluoroquinolone! The support group I help with is for people with fluoroquinolone toxicty. I hope you are spared.

Stella Jones said...

Oh! how interesting Vicki and how awful, that you have to pay so much for some eye drops! I can hardly believe that they would cost so much. In fact, they don't, do they. It's all those middle men who get the money...!
When Larry and I went to the eye doctor (optometrist) recently, we were both told we had the startings of cataracts in both eyes (each). Larry has to go back in one year and I have to go back in two years (for check-ups). Our check ups cost £25 each over here, in England.
Eventually, we both will need the operation and I must admit, I am dreading it because I hate anybody touching my eyes. However, by the time it needs doing, I shall probably be more than glad to get it done and because we have our National Health Service, it won't cost me a thing! Nor will the eye drops so I have no need to dread the operation. Thank God for our NHS.
I hope you keep us up to date with your progress? Please do. People I have spoken to over here have all said how much better it was afterwards. Yes, they needed a new prescription in their glasses, but that is a minor inconvenience.
My eyes are myopic and I also have an astigmatism. I really wish I could have super clear vision. So congratulations to you. It's done now and I wish you a speedy recovery. You are very brave.

KarenB said...

Good luck with the recovery; I hope it all goes well.

The thing that depresses me the most about the high cost of healthcare is the thought of all those people who could be helped but can't afford it. How many people aren't getting the care they need, even fairly basic care, because they can't afford the co-play, or the prescription, or the operation?

daybreak said...

So glad everything (except the $$) went well. Everyone I know has dreaded the procedure but afterwards pleased. I have approved of the notion of universal healthcare for years, and your example illustrates the need for such a system here.
It will be good to hear of your ongoing progress!

Barbara Rogers said...

May you enjoy your new vision, and save up for the next drugs you may need. Can these eye drops at least be used when you get your second cataract surgery? Best wishes for new eyesight, and I'll be following your example soon!

Frances said...

Vicki, best wishes to you on having a good recovery from the cataract surgery. I expect that you will soon have the surgery on your other eye. I think that many of your readers will benefit from seeing this post.

I've been using nightly eye drops for my glaucoma, first diagnosed long ago when I was in my 30s, and didn't even need reading glasses. I have check ups three times a year with my ophthalmologist and he is able to monitor my own cataract "ripening."

The glaucoma eye drops are my own prescription drug, and the generic version I take are quite inexpensive. Even so, many of my friends are not so fortunate health wise, and have many very expensive prescriptions required. When I retired earlier this year, and enrolled in Medicare Part B and a Supplemental Insurance Plan, I also chose a Medicare Part D prescription plan, "just in case" my own prescription needs might suddenly change. I had a very helpful consultation conversation with a pharmacist at my neighborhood drugstore (a place that also offers a 10% discount to senior special card required.)

I won't go into the name of the Part D plan, but it was reasonably priced Do email me if you'd be interested in more info.

This insurance puzzle that's been created in our country seems to become more and more tangled. I wish that our fall elections could be a step towards allowing more folks to be well insured, rather than merely "eligible." xo

Misty Barnes said...

That's crazy. If the insurance covers the procedure looks like it would also cover the standard medicine the procedure requires.

NCmountainwoman said...

I recently had a prescription filled for my most important GI drug. It's generic and has been on the market several years. Suddenly this month the pharmacist told me my copay was $80 for a month's supply. I asked her to re-check and she replied that the price had suddenly sky-rocketed and my prescription plan had paid over $900! No reason for the increase.

Hope your recovery is uneventful and you can soon resume writing with your fingers and not one eye. :)

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Amen to the universal healthcare plan, Vicki. It's one of the greatest needs in this country. I doubt that the coming election will lead to its enactment, but it can protect what has been accomplished so far and avoid a roll back.

Anvilcloud said...

Sue wa just mentioning before I read this this an epi pen costs $11 here. I am sure those drops would be a whole lot less too.

jennyfreckles said...

Gosh, that's an incredible price! So glad I live over here in the UK, though our NHS is under pressure like never before. I wonder for just how much longer we will enjoy free care and cheap medication at the point of need... I am likely to need the same cataract operation one day as I have the beginnings of them. My mum had them too and needed sunglasses after her ops - she complained everything was too bright! I do hope your eyesight quickly recovers and the op is a complete success. And well done for typing with one eye!

Vagabonde said...

I am happy that your surgery went well. I have not had an eye exam in over 3 years and wonder what they will tell me. I have to take a special cholesterol medicine as all the others make me sick. That one is a well-known brand always advertised. The cheapest I could find here was $550 for a 3 month supply – even Wal-Mart was about that price. But then I used a Canadian pharmacy that I had seen mentioned on Clark Howard’s site and the same medicine is now costing me $45 for a 3-month supply there.

I checked your Durezol 0.05 %, 5 ml, there at this same Canadian pharmacy and the price is $155.89 (Durezol 0.05% (Difluprednate Ophthalmic Emulsion.) The US has the highest mark-up in all the western countries. They have to pay for those endless TV ads with see. I remember going to France and paying sometime $10 for the same pills as here were $90 or more. Then when I say that to my US friends they tell me I am speaking against the US and I want socialism …! I don’t understand why the people here don’t really get upset and write their elected officials and demand that this price gouging stops. I am pleased your showed the name of the drops as if I need an operation I’ll send for the drops from Canada.

Jime said...

Hope your eye recovery goes well. As to drug maker greed I say : x×%@&amop!!!!!

Vicki Lane said...

I'm doing well and will talk more about my progress in a later post. Interesting -- and infuriating -- the price variations.

Carol Crump Bryner said...

I had no idea those little bottles of liquid cost that much. My insurance paid, except for the co-pay, so I never saw the price. And they'll probably want you to get new ones when you do the second eye. Bah!!!
But cataract surgery is so amazing. It improved my life by leaps and bounds. Hope your recovery is swift and uncomplicated!