That’s pretty much the story of the now for Thom. Trying to get a Prior Authorization pushed through before my next injection is due. I’m just hoping that my Rheumatologist has a way with words. Essentially the insurance company is sending him paperwork asking him to explain  why it has to be humira and not something else. I’m already on Leflunomide  (Arava) and my Doctor doesn’t seem to be much of a fan of the old school DMARD drugs. My big worry is that the Insurance is going to dictate that I have to try and fail with methotrexate first.  Humira and biologics in general are a bit scary with the potential side effects but I’m not really hot on the idea of using chemo drugs, regardless of dose level. 

That said,  things are going reasonably well. It’s kind of crunch time getting the next Humira Pens by my dose date but I have some help with navigating this process.  AbbVie  (company that makes Humira ) sent a Nurse Ambassador to my house today to walk me through getting insurance stuff pushed through and getting the Patient Assistance program rolling. I’m already confident that I have the subcutaneous injection thing down but she will be coming by again next week when this is hopefully sorted to make sure. I’ve never used a specialty pharmacy or anything before so having this lady around is pretty helpful. If the insurance people drag ass I may have to see about getting a sample pen for my dose next week.  

I just hope this doesn’t end up being fruitless. I’m not crazy about the idea of trying  a bunch of ancient meds before they let my Doctor freaking use what he wants. 

Insurance is a special kind of fuckery, eh?


Who’s afraid of Big Pharma? 

Not this guy. I tell you h’what. This is a minor rant I’ve had brewing for some time now but haven’t been able to properly articulate. I’m still not certain if can, but I will try. Here goes:

I’m tired of people lately acting like all health care is a scam or a conspiracy to deliberately murder people. Is there price gouging?  Profiteering?  Absofuckinlutely. There are bad doctors out there, incompetent technicians and lots of suffocating bureaucracy. There are kickbacks and paid ‘experts’ and opportunistic hacks lining the pockets of corrupt CEOs. 

I’m tired of folks blaming capitalism,  since we haven’t really had it in ages. It’s crony capitalism if anything . If newer companies were able to compete on a level field,  Mylan wouldn’t be pulling this epi-pen bullshit. Alas, the major players are firmly entrenched at this time.  The problem with big pharma is the utter lack of a free market in which competition can truly be the engine of innovation and give patients better anf cheaper options. Essentially, all the existing regulations regarding patenting heavily favor the well established behemoths.

What people don’t mention are how lots of drug companies have patient assistance programs which help people get certain meds for dramatically cheaper prices. I’m getting started on Humira for RA and am going through the process of finding out how much it will cost me with my insurance.  If I get approved for Humira Complete I’ll get this 3000$ a month biologic for five dollars a month.  Not bad,  I must say.  They also have a nurse ambassador come to your house who brings you a sharps box, trains you to do your shot if needed and walks you through the process of getting the med through specialty pharmacies. 

I must admit,  I’m a bit biased.  I take meds for hypertension,  bipolar disorder and rheumatoid arthritis. These meds allow me to live a relatively normal and pain free life. I’m grateful for the fact that I have this stuff available to me. 

Very often, the conspiracy theorists are outright deniers of medical science.  People who believe all drugs are poison  (without realizing many are derived from naturally occurring compounds) or believe that doctors are just money-hungry sadists. I’m tired of people attacking medicine as a whole. It’s a terrible disservice to all the hardworking and committed people who toil to care for others.

As I mentioned in my last post, proper diet is important as well as exercise.  But I find it extremely intellectually irresponsible when people try to convince people with chronic illnesses to stop taking their meds or just ‘Live as I do and all will be well’. I’m a freaking Thelemic Libertarian and as such I absolutely despise folks telling other people how to live. It’s obnoxious and insulting.  

I do have one major gripe with the drug companies.  WHY IS POT STILL ILLEGAL?  Because it would hurt the profits from all those nice opiates. No other reason.But I’m not going to just stop using health care soley to protest or prove a point.  I’m just going to continue to vote in favor of medicinal cannabis.  It’s the right thing to do.  

I really don’t know why big pharma is so fanatically anti-weed. They could make a hell of a lot of money off it if they played their cards right. It would significantly improve the quality of life for so many people. I really find the prohibition to be morally repulsive and absurd. 

I’m not saying that a lot of shit isn’t wrong. What I am saying is that I still have some faith in medical science. I reckon it’s done alright by me.