A bitter pill to swallow


prescriptionIt’s day 2 of “Family Week”, so let’s get to it!

My Stepmom is back home attempting her recovery, with Dad doing the caretaking that comes naturally after nearly 50 years of marriage.

That means that I am dutifully running around doing the things that dutiful sons do, case in point, picking up prescriptions from the pharmacies and other sundry shopping trips so Dad can stay home or vice versa and visiting for a while so Dad can do the shopping.

On my most recent visit, Dad was researching where he was going to pick up the newly prescribed medicine by calling various locations (Walgreens, Target, etc.) and pricing them.  Some of the medicines were staggering in cost, with the generic costing $230 for 30 pills of one and the “original” casting $1,000!  For 30 pills!  We’re not talking cancer or some other life threatening illness here.

As a former member of Corporate America, I get the whole increase the bottom line each year thing.  I get the whole millions poured into R&D needs to be spread over the life of the drug idea.  I even get the we’re interested in profits for our stockholders, not to punish consumers idea. But…

…where is that wonderful world I always read about in my science fiction stories?  Do you know the one I’m talking about?  The one where money is less important (or gone) and the concept of keeping people healthy doesn’t have (or need) a price tag.  When does the human race get to the point that the welfare of the world (people, animals and plants) becomes more important than profit.

I know this is far afield from a simple complaint over the slightly sickening incestuous relationship between high medical costs and the almost compulsory need for insurance to cover them.  Sorry, but I’m a hopeless idealist.  I always found the idea that the human race would find caring for others more compelling than charging people for the right to be cared for as a wonderful dream to aspire to.

And the thought that we might never shake our need for profit?  The idea that well-being will never supersede well-off?  That’s a bitter pill to swallow, indeed.

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