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Old 02-15-2009, 05:29 PM
1,650 posts, read 2,210,311 times
Reputation: 1085
Unhappy The costs of asthma medication. I think I want to cry.

I just got my prescription for my Advair 500/50 filled today. My total was 81.00! This is with health insurance prescription benefits. Now, I am wondering if it is going to come down to whether or not I buy food or medicine this month. I just don't know what to do because I can't keep spending near 200 dollars a month on medication. To make matters worse, my doctor wants me to go in for a CT scan of my sinuses tomorrow. I can't afford it because they said I will have to pay a copay before the CT Scan. Hopefully, I will be able to cancel the appointment. Not only that, he thinks I need Xolair injections which are going to cost me another 300 dollars! I have already been late with a couple bills because of my medical stuff is adding up WAY TOO MUCH!

I know for a fact I didn't start getting sick until I moved to Yuma, AZ. My asthma is MUCH WORSE when I am around farming and pesticides. Yuma is a farming community near the border with Mexico. One of my coworkers said that some of the farmers buy illegal pesticides like DDT and agent orange and use them on their fields. I don't know where they got their information but would explain why my asthma is so bad.

Right now I am praying that these states rethink cutting education because I DESPERATELY need to find another teaching job soon.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:23 PM
Location: In the real world!
2,164 posts, read 5,094,460 times
Reputation: 2516
I have a friend that lived in a farming community where chemicals were used all around her that had asthma and she almost died. Her asthma got so bad she was doing a week in the hospital, 2 to 3 weeks in a nursing home, a week home and back to the hospital to start that cycle all over again. That went on for about a year. There use to be a asthma medicine years ago that stopped her asthma in it's tracks but they don't make it anymore because it had bad side effects on some people. She kept telling her doctors to GET her some of that medicine or she was going to die. Just before she actually died, her doctor researched the ingredients of that drug and had the hospital pharmacy mix her up some in a liquid form. That knocked it right out of her and she hasn't had a problem with it since.

Also she kept telling them that one of the inhalers they had her using was making her worse.... They wouldn't listen and kept insisting she use it and she refused, they labeled her crazy. Now 10 years later, lo and behold, they are finding it does to others exactly what it did to her!

To get to you... WHY does your doctor want a CT scan for your sinuses? Is he just trying to make money off of you or is there a problem? I would ask if a plain X-ray would work just as good and a lot cheaper.

This shot, have you researched it on the internet? You will need more than one and may have to take them over several months and the side effects are scary! Do you really feel you need those, is you asthma uncontrollable?

Usually, if it is a medicine you really need and can't afford, call the makers and explain your situation to them and they may give it to you free if you meet their guidelines.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:45 PM
1,650 posts, read 2,210,311 times
Reputation: 1085
The doctor is in Phoenix. He is trying to figure out why my asthma is so bad. I keep telling him that I think the chemicals from all the farming are causing my flare-ups. I don't think he realizes how bad the chemicals here actually are since he is all the way in Phoenix. Therefore, he is examining other things that might make my asthma bad.

The chemicals here are so bad that one day while I was actually washing dishes, I could smell chlorine in the water. I know the chemicals are in the water too. I have always been told to never drink the water in this town because the pesticides are so bad.
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:17 PM
Location: Everybody is going to hurt you, you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for-B Marley
9,511 posts, read 11,173,772 times
Reputation: 9077
Why people don't stop these education cuts with public outcry is beyond me. Maybe a little more education is what this country needs; if we had more, maybe we wouldn't be in this situation right now. But I digress.

When I moved from Alaska I didn't need my asthma medicine anymore. Anchorage is a dust bowl. When I return for visits I always get real sick from the air. That was over four years ago that I moved. About two or three weeks ago I started having asthma again where I'm at and coincidentally, I thought I tasted dust in the air, which I've never done before since I moved. I can't afford my inhalers so I started using primatene mist today. It's no good. The left side of my face keeps getting all tingly like I'm not getting enough air but I'm breathing fine--aside from coughing like a smoker and weezing when I lay down.

O/P, have you checked into the Wal-Mart prescription plan? Other stores do it now too, like Walgreens and even others. Just a thought, wouldn't a more humid climate help with your asthma? Why did you choose Arizona?
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:25 PM
40,871 posts, read 42,017,499 times
Reputation: 12247
I know that my al;lergies were never as bad as in the desseret climates of nevda and new mexico. i'm not sure if it was the amount of dust in teh dry climate or wehat but Zi have never had to clean the dirt out of my nose like in thsoe dry climates.But getting back on the cost of that drug that is a very high cost with insurnace for it. Looks like your insruance has a high co-pay for class three tier drugs.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:24 PM
1,650 posts, read 2,210,311 times
Reputation: 1085
Originally Posted by Public_Newsense View Post

O/P, have you checked into the Wal-Mart prescription plan? Other stores do it now too, like Walgreens and even others. Just a thought, wouldn't a more humid climate help with your asthma? Why did you choose Arizona?
I checked Walmart and they will only cover my albuterol nebs. Surprisingly my insurance covers those quite well. I only pay 10 dollars for those. My Advair is the ridiculously expensive one. Unfortunately, generic isn't available. I even looked at the Canadian Pharmacies, but one web site said that importing prescription drugs into the US from Canada is illegal. They need to make prescriptions in this country cheaper. I live near the Mexican border but I am too scared to go to Mexico for my prescriptions. I crossed into Mexico once and will never do it again. A bunch of weird guys wouldn't leave me alone.

I chose Arizona because I was having a hard time finding a teaching job and I found one there. I did go to Indiana over the holidays and my asthma improved significantly. I even got to the point where I was seldomly using my albuterol. A humid climate would probably help with my asthma, but if I can't find a job in a humid climate, I definitely need to get away from agriculture. The agriculture here in Yuma seems to cause my worst asthma symptoms. I can't even drive next to field without having to pull over to use my inhaler.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:25 AM
Location: Massachusetts
4,209 posts, read 5,865,662 times
Reputation: 3644
I would do this and I stress you really need to put your foot down on this matter because Asthma is nothing to fool around with. First I would make it about as plain as I could possibly do so that this Doctor understands the expense involved. Unless the doctor cannot find more inexpenisve treatments for your condition, or the script programs thru Walmart, Target etc cannot provide lower costs for you. This is what you would have to do. You cannot live there there is no other choice. You are not the first person I have heard of in that area and Phoenix also that have left over air quality Asthma problems. For a region that was once a haven for those with asthma and arthritis its a shame many cannnot breathe there due to pollution. Of course you need a job but unless you find this cheaper way to get your meds in Yuma or even across the border in Mexico, then the place is not worth this danger to your health. I would get some resumes out to other areas, I don't know where you are from but unless Arizona means that much to you, it seems you don't have alot of choices in Yuma. Im facing the much higher cost lately of diabetic drugs and supplies. I can more than understand your concern for just how much of your income Medications can drain from us. Best of Luck.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:33 AM
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,132 posts, read 7,137,973 times
Reputation: 1529
talk to your doctor and explain the whole medical costs thing. maybe there is an alternative drug that would be cheaper. Also, if your insurance allows for mail-in prescriptions. If we buy at the local pharmacy it is one price, if we mail in, it is a certain price, then, if we get the 90 day supply with mail-in, it is much more reasonable. You might even try calling the insurance and asking for a recommendation about how to get better pricing.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:39 AM
6,887 posts, read 7,942,846 times
Reputation: 11202
I haven't used any of these pharmacies, but I book marked this site a while ago, just in case I needed it.
You can comparison shop for prices.
Pharmacy Reviewer - Online Pharmacy Reviews - Search
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:04 PM
Location: New York City
17 posts, read 20,061 times
Reputation: 15
One thing that will help you (I have used this myself) is Rooibos tea. It's a 'tea' made from the Aspalathus linearis plant that grows in South Africa. It is naturally caffeine free and is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can be found online as well as just about any health food store. Celestial Seasonings and some other commercial tea brands found in everyday supermarkets also carry "red tea" (which is rooibos) mixed with pomegranate or other herbs, flavors, but I prefer to drink rooibos by itself, maybe with a little bit of raw wildflower honey.

What the rooibos will do is help reduce the inflammation in your chest, sinuses, etc. and make it easier for you to breath. Drink LOTS of water, and be sure to take a LOT of vitamin C everyday as vitamin c is also a natural inflammatory. What you will find is that you'll be able to deal with your asthma if not alleviate most of your symptoms entirely on a daily basis, and only use your albuterol inhaler for emergencies - which will be much less often.

There are ZERO side effects to this tea, unless you consider alleviating eczema a side effect ;-)

I was introduced to Rooibos tea by a friend of mine who is a chiropractor and she also drinks it regularly. Hopefully, you’ll feel better soon both physically and financially!
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