Let your fingers do the walking

So, 16 weeks over here and still feeling the horrible nausea and heartburn.  Have gone from taking the Zofran “as needed” to taking it on a schedule.  2 mg (half dose) every 6 hours during the day.  It keeps things mostly bearable, but I still seem to be getting at least 1 day each week where the nausea and exhaustion send me home from work to crash.  On those days, if I can keep from puking I feel like I’ve won.  But that’s not really what this post is about.

This post is about the cost of prescription medication and the racket that is prescription drug coverage and pharmacies.

After my trip to the ER for excessive vomiting and dehydration, my OB called in a prescription to CVS for a 30 day supply of Zofran, an anti-nausea drug that is safe for pregnancy.  Later that day, CVS left me a message saying that my insurance company had denied coverage of the medication.  Luckily, we had some friends locally that had a nearly full 30 day supply of the same drug left over from when they had been pregnant earlier in the year and had struggled with similar problems.  They generously gave me what they had and it’s gotten me through until this week. 

I’m now down to only a few days supply so on Tuesday I went to CVS to pick up the prescription.  To my dismay, I was told that the out of pocket cost for a 30 day supply of the GENERIC was going to be over $1,000.  In shock, I laughed at them and told them they could keep it.  In my internet research I had been cautioned that it was costly, but this was excessive!  I also had been advised that different pharmacies had been found to have widely differing prices, so I sat down with my phone and placed some calls.  Here’s what I discovered:

Cost for 30 pills of 4mg ondansetron odt (generic Zofran, orally dissolving tablet) at CVS over $1,000, at Target $109.99, at Walmart $109.72, at the local cooperative grocery store pharmacy $65.00, at Costco not available.

Can you guess where I’m going to fill my prescription?

12 responses to “Let your fingers do the walking

  1. Good GRIEF that’s ridiculous. I am so thankful every day at the mildness of my symptoms (while it simultaneously makes me wonder if things are actually going okay). Oy.

    Yeah, that’s a no-brainer.

  2. aaaaaaarrrrrrgggh! good for you for doing the research and finding it cheaper! i don’t think it would have occurred to me that different places would charge different amounts… i don’t think of pharmacies as being *that kind* of business… just goes to show you…

  3. That’s maddening! I’m so glad you were able to find it cheaper – but what a hassle! I hope that it continues to work for you and that the naseau goes away.

  4. Wow that is absolutely ridiculous! Good on you for shopping around.

  5. Well played! Impressed that you were able to do this while preggo, exhausted and nauseous.

  6. Jackie, well to be honest, I did all of the calls from work on one of the days that i was feeling better. Except Costco. I didn’t trust them saying they didn’t carry it so I had Strawberry call them the next evening to ask again. At the time, I was laying on the couch trying not to puke.

  7. wishinghopingpraying

    That is insane! Outrageous. Thank goodness for internet research. Feel better.

  8. Just sickening! Thank god for co ops. I’m glad you were able to fill it out of pocket and shame on your insurance company – what a bunch of crooks.

  9. Knowing what I do of the pharmaceutical industry (from DJ’s inside experience) angers me incredibly. It only makes it worse when I have to hear about a friend getting the short end of the stick. **hug**

  10. What the what????????? Now more than ever, we need change! -Monica

  11. omg! I can not believe that zofran cost that much!! That is INSANE!! I’m guessing that you will be placing your order with the food store! I wish you luck in your search for pills… I hope that you feel better soon…

  12. yup, another sara

    That is insane! I am so glad that you did the legwork of checking around. It is bad enough that any of us should have to pay ANYTHING at all, let alone so much. Good detective work!

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