Well, yesterday and today I have learned I did not ask enough questions of my doctors about treating gout. Partly my fault–the specialist is a very busy guy, and I dd not think to go back to my family physician and find out about ongoing inexpensive meds to keep the gout at bay once I have whipped it with the expensive drugs. I am off to get some Allopurinol and canned cherries in a few minutes.
But first, I want to share with you a comment that came to my blog from a fellow in Canada today who works for Canada Drugs. I am so pleased he took the time to write. He explains the conspiracies underway to keep Canadian drugs out of the U.S. For example, why we have to send a check instead of using a credit card, and why it takes two weeks to get things shipped to us. I am glad to know this, but it really torks me off to know it. Here’s his comment.
Jim, first of all, OUCH TO THE GOUT! As a sufferer of gout, my stomach (and joints more specifically) knotted up right away reading your post, I literally feel for you and all us other gout-ers! Second, I must come clean and say that I work for Canada Drugs. I just stumbled across your post when a google news alert pointed me to your article. Third, I’m not here to sell anyone on us. To answer a couple quick questions you had in your post:
1. Cheques – my oh my would we love to accept credit cards like all normal business have been doing for decades. Unfortunately U.S. based special interest groups have spent many years and millions of dollars campaigning companies like Visa, MasterCard, banks, payment processors and anyone else they can throw propaganda at to deny credit card processing services to LICENSED pharmacies that choose to engage in assisting patients in countries all around the world access CHOICE and AFFORDABLE medications when faced with prices that are simply too high locally. As a result, we have had to go back in time somewhat. But no matter what, we believe in a fundamental human right that all people should have access to the medications and medical care necessary to live a healthy and productive life. I’ve been working with Canadian mail-order pharmacies since the industry started back in 2001, and I can tell you that slowly but surely Big Pharma, with the help of their not so secretly funded special interest groups are doing a great job of making it increasingly difficult for people to be able to follow their doctor prescribed therapy.
2. Speed of Delivery – much like above, special interest groups working on behalf of Big Pharma work wonders to scare off the likes of DHL, UPS, FedEx or others from helping patients access their needed medications. As such, we’re left with a few, slow, but reliable, methods of shipping products to patients. It takes time, but it gets there, and we go the extra mile to ensure that if for whatever reason the medication doesn’t make it there (like when a volcano in Iceland years ago disrupted mail systems for months because of the ash clouds blocking flight paths of the most active air cargo routes), the pharmacy will re-ship the medication at no charge.
Every day is an uphill battle. Every day, we see articles always talking about the scary rogue pharmacies out there that are unsafe … AND THEY ARE UNSAFE AND SCARY … BUT … but, those same articles almost never actually offer solutions, or point people to SAFE options like licensed, inspected, regulated, mail-order pharmacies, until such time as the U.S. Government addresses the problem permanently by in some way putting the health of people, the health of its citizens, ahead of gross corporate profiteering. The pharmaceutical companies MUST profit, they MUST have financial incentives to innovate and push at the boundaries of science and technology, BUT, there MUST be a balance that recognizes the rights of all people to health and wellness equally.
Fight the good fight Jim. I hope you are able to keep your gout as managed as possible while still enjoying all the culinary delights that make you happy. As a father to three beautiful girls, with whom I love baking and cooking, and then consuming our creations, just as above, I seek balance between what I love (food) and what I need (to not be debilitated by gout).
All the best, from myself and the other 200 people in Winnipeg who take your calls, work in the pharmacy, pick, pack, and dispense the medications you need.
Wasn’t that nice of him to write? God, I love Canadians.
Old joke: How did Canada get its name?? Well, they put all the letters of the alphabet into a hat, and started drawing. C, eh? N, eh? D, eh? Done. (It loses something when you write it, better out loud.
One thought on “More About Gout and Canada Drugs”
Story about what happened to ten cent Colchicine in the US. I should also note if you wonder about the five dollar a pill talked about in the article. It is possible your co-pay is higher than the price if you just paid cash. There are instances that is true, but the contract the PBM’s force on pharmacists require them to charge insurance prices if they have your insurance info and forbids them from telling you. The low price program mentioned in the article may or may not still be available, I don’t know, but it is typical of companies gaming the system where they know most people won’t care how high the price is if insurance covers most of it. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2011/03/a_giant_pain_in_the_wallet.html