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Insurance/Pharma Rant

It was inevitable. I tried to get a refill on two of my migraine medications this week and for some weird reason, for the first time, my insurance company kicked up a fuss and insisted on "pre-authorization." The doctor has to call them and basically twist their arms to approve it.

Now this makes no sense, because they've been paying for these medications for months without pre-authorization. Nothing has changed. My insurance hasn't just renewed or anything. They just pulled this out of their ass. So of course this morning I woke up with a bitchin' migraine.

I'm not totally out of medication, but I'm concerned because next week is Shark Week and that's the week of the month where my migraines cluster, and I do NOT have enough to get through the week. So they better fucking approve my prescriptions, and fast.


Goddamn both insurance companies and drug companies! Part of the problem is that these are expensive medications, I'm sure. Pharmaceutical companies are so fucking predatory. Have any of you read about this new Hep C drug they plan to charge $1000 per pill for? That's fucking immoral. Nobody should profit that much on the lives of human beings. And I guarantee that our tax dollars helped that drug company develop that drug, but the company believes they have no responsibility to the public. Pharma companies charge more for drugs in the US than they do in other countries. It's disgusting.

Up until now, Congress has been generous about extending drug company patents because...well, the official line has been because of the upfront costs of drug development and to encourage further development. But if the companies are going to charge $1000 per pill for lifesaving medication, they don't deserve that consideration. They say they've decided (this is part of their official response to the public outcry) to recoup their development cost within one to three years instead of the usual longer period. If they are going to go that route, than they have no right for an extended patent life. That policy should stop and generics should be available at the earliest possible date.

But honestly, though this Congress will never do it, I think there should be restrictions on the amount drug companies can charge. They are already leaving the U.S. to avoid corporate taxes (see: Pfizer), do we really think they are going to stop developing drugs if we impose reasonable limits on their profit margin? I don't think so. My migraine pills aren't life-sustaining, just necessary for me to function normally. But lots of medications ARE life sustaining. I don't think it is moral or appropriate for the unfettered "free market" to apply to these products. Other countries regulate in this area and drug companies sell to them. Nobody is suggesting they should give their products away. Just that predatory pricing should not be permitted. You want to charge out the ass for jewelry? Designer clothes? Cars? Have at it. Medicine? No.

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