First let me to tell you I have health insurance. It sorta pays for my medications.
I got a call today from my pharmacist. He regularly calls me to verify what drugs he should deliver for the current month.
But, for the second month in a row he started the conversation with - "You don't want Humulin U-500 this month, do you?"
What? That's an odd way to start a conversation. That's the second time he's asked me that question. He asked me the same thing last month Isn't it his job to sell me medications?
I take Humulin every month. I've been on it, or something like it, for four years. My health depends on Humulin. Why wouldn't I want it?
But, he knows why I might not want Humulin this month. It's because last month my Humulin alone cost me $650 with insurance.
Humulin is type of medication that was invented nearly 100 years ago. The formula was sold by its inventor for $1. He believed insulin should be freely available to everyone who needs it. It is insulin.
Since its invention the price of insulin has spun out of control. My prescription without insurance costs $1700 per month. This is quite reasonable, considering the previous insulin I was taking cost $4400 per month without insurance.
It turns out my pharmacist had guessed correctly. I did not want my insulin this month. One time was enough. It would not be paying $650 this month.
Apparently he has a lot of experience with people not being able to afford their medication, even essential medication. I suspect a lot of people have to say "no" to their medicine or give up non-essentials like food, electricity, rent, gas, etc. This is especially true in Rockingham County
I know Humulin is important to my health. In the long run, my life probably depends on regularly taking my insulin.
I said "no" insulin to his question because I have made special arrangements to get my insulin somewhere else. I'm not going to tell you what that arrangement is, but you should know my insulin will not come from another cheaper pharmacy. I suspect my pharmacy costs about the same as any other pharmacy
My insulin will come from a source that most people will never consider because they know nothing about that source. Many will have to do without insulin or whatever the important medicine they might be taking, I will have my insulin, but it won't come from a pharmacy.
After thinking about my pharmacist's call for a few minutes, I began tearing up for those people who I know cannot afford their medicine and who do not know my secret source. I had to hold the tears in because my wife was sitting nearby and I didn't want her to see my weakness.
Healthcare in this country is in a terrible mess. Donald Trump does not have the answer.