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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Saturday, March 11, 2006


From the New York Times online:

A Cancer Drug's Big Price Rise Disturbs Doctors and Patients
Published: March 12, 2006

On Feb. 3, Joyce Elkins filled a prescription for a two-week supply of nitrogen mustard, a decades-old cancer drug used to treat a rare form of lymphoma. The cost was $77.50.

On Feb. 17, Ms. Elkins, a 64-year-old retiree who lives in Georgetown, Tex., returned to her pharmacy for a refill. This time, following a huge increase in the wholesale price of the drug, the cost was $548.01.

Ms. Elkins's insurance does not cover nitrogen mustard, which she must take for at least the next six months, at a cost that will now total nearly $7,000. She and her husband, who works for the Texas Department of Transportation, are paying for the medicine by spending less on utilities and food, she said.

Some drug companies and insurance companies are working to help patients obtain these expensive, life saving medicines.

...But people who analyze drug pricing say they see the Mustargen situation as emblematic of an industry trend of basing drug prices on something other than the underlying costs. After years of defending high prices as necessary to cover the cost of research or production, industry executives increasingly point to the intrinsic value of their medicines as justification for prices.

...But many patients who rely on expensive drugs are stuck in a bind. Don Schare of Saratoga, Calif., said he paid $1,260 last month for 200 grams of nitrogen mustard cream, about 10 times what he paid for his prior prescription. Mr. Schare, 69, said he was covered by the new Medicare Part D drug program [emphasis mine] as well as supplemental insurance from AARP, but that neither of his plans covered Mustargen.

Bush and his evil minions have effectively cut off the social security cushion at the knees. Between Medicare Part D and a failure to regulate big business, seniors can once again face extreme poverty, needless suffering and death, and the loss of everything that they worked for in their lives.

I just caught a snippet on one of the morning news shows yesterday. Someone said that the over 65 group were the wealthiest seniors in the history of the country and that fewer and fewer over 65 citizens were having to work to supplement their retirement income.

Don't believe it. You won't see the seniors falling from middle class lives into the underclass. And that's just fine with the super rich and with those who aspire to be super rich.

At what point did we decide that personal wealth was more important than human beings?

Kinja, the weblog guide


Blogger Pat Kirby said...

Bush and his evil minions have effectively cut off the social security cushion at the knees.

Evil? But, but, he's saving us from The Gays and wicked women who have abortions ever week, no? He's a great guy.

I'm sorry. It seems I was channeling Bush's loyal base.

Capitalism is a great thing and is what has driven our country's progress. But it should never be mistaken for a benevolent entity. It is aggressive and selfish and needs some degree of control lest it destroy itself and us.

2:27 PM PST  
Blogger NursePam said...

Good points Pat. I am not anti-capitalist. I would just like to see a little bit of a social conscience to go along with all of that money to be made.

9:22 PM PST  

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