Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for December 21, 2020

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    BE THIS GUY  about 1 year ago

    It’s enough to make you go Christian Scientist.

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    John-117  about 1 year ago

    Now, where do you find this pharmacy?

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    Arbitrary  about 1 year ago

    And that’s why capitalism should stay out of healthcare.

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    Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus Premium Member about 1 year ago

    Bamlanivimab ?

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    Randallw  about 1 year ago

    I’m thankful all my regular prescriptions are covered by the government.

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    TEMPLO S.U.D.  about 1 year ago

    as a great-grandson and a grandnephew of pharmacists, the screaming-into-a-box idea sounds kind of ridiculous

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    Cminuscomics&stories Premium Member about 1 year ago

    I know someone who is on disability and Medicaid and who’s mother is on medicaid and says Biden is a communist.

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    Caldonia  about 1 year ago

    If I didn’t have good prescription insurance I’d be locked up by now.

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    BasilBruce  about 1 year ago

    And I’ll bet the generic version costs 2 dollars.

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    Johnny Q Premium Member about 1 year ago

    Another option is to overthrow capitalism!

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    Jonathan Mason  about 1 year ago

    Move to a civilised country with a better healthcare system.

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    Concretionist  about 1 year ago

    Have you LOOKED at what various medical costs are on the invoice and then what the insurance actually pays, and then what the doctor / pharmacy / therapist actually accepts as payment, it MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL ! Example: The doc billed $300 for a 10 minute session during which he froze some precancerous spots (three HUNDRED dollars!) The insurance paid him $137.50 and I co-payed $30. And we’re even now. Imagine how little it would cost if we just stepped away from all the shenanigans!

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    kaffekup   about 1 year ago

    How much was the box? Probably$300, and insurance paid $25.

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    WelshRat Premium Member about 1 year ago

    Thank the stars for the N.H.S.

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    Max the Destroyer  about 1 year ago

    You have two big options pig. You can move to one of those countries (most of the world, in fact) where the ministry of health pays in part or in full the price of life-saving medication (Breaking Bad could only be set in the US). Or you can suggest to your local politician that your state or your country adopts a similar concept. Too bad you will probably shouted down with accusations of being a dangerous subversive communist

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    dadoctah  about 1 year ago

    So that’s what cats are up to!

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    Larry Kroeger Premium Member about 1 year ago

    Last week my pharmacist informed me the drug I’ve been taking to reduce the excess iron in my blood, has risen 700%. My copay for a one month supply was $140, a 24 day supply to get me into the new year, when my insurance will change, U/C: $2,480.57 final copay 620.14. The very rare blood disease I have (PNH) causes me to need a blood transfusion every 11-12 weeks, when I’m getting the drug that fights the disease. Every transfusion adds more iron to my blood. For five months from July I was denied access to this drug because of a billing dispute between the HMO that merged with my HMO and HealthNet insurance. The medicine I was being given was costing $43,000 every two weeks. This is a generic version of a drug that a year previously was costing $6,000 every two weeks, until the Patent expired and I was switched over to the new improved version, that you only needed once ever eight weeks. It took four months for the billing for the new improved drug to get to me. The new cost was $172,000 for the first loading dose, followed in two weeks by the first maintenance dose billed at $211,000 ever 8 weeks. I have to go to my oncologyst ever week for associated injections, so I decided to go back to the first drug, but as a generic now costs $43,000 ever two weeks. The time when I was denied my usual infusion, my hemoglobin dropped so fast I needed a transfusion ever four weeks,causing the ferritin to shoot up to about ten times normal. On November 24th (after months of fighting the new HMO and HealthNet) I got a new loading Dose of Ultomiris, followed two weeks later by the first maintenance dose. I’m scheduled to get another maintenance dose this coming Tuesday. I don’t know what the current cost is, and I probably wont see that until I’m on my new health insurance plan. The service rep for the new insurance plan said I would max out my copay for the year, with the first infusion next month.

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    Breadboard  about 1 year ago

    Pig because Mr. Pastis has a big bottle of Debbie Downer pills for you just take those ;-) …. Croc Power !

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    Qiset  about 1 year ago

    One thing in our lives that is just about as far from capitalism as it can get is medicine. The government, the pill industries, and the insurance companies have cooperated over the years to build the labyrinth of price structure to move large amounts of money from the public coffers to a hand full of folks. This is not capitalism. Take a look at what happened to the price of lasik over the years if you want to see an example of capitalism at work. The insurance companies and the government didn’t want to have anything to do with lasik. As result, the price for lasik has plummeted.

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    SALUDADOG  about 1 year ago

    I prefere pigs in a blanket to pigs in a box

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    Zebrastripes  about 1 year ago

    I’ll vouch for that! Was in “observation” instead of being admitted to the hospital and I had 5 pills! I was charged $600.00 for the meds! Never will happen again! I’ll go home first!

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    Chris  about 1 year ago

    I’ll join you, but I’ll get my own box. :)

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    rugeirn  about 1 year ago

    That’s only 20% of what one of my meds costs.

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    dfrost1  about 1 year ago

    It makes me curious that he had that one ready.

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    Ellis97  about 1 year ago

    Poor little Pig.

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    Kaputnik  about 1 year ago

    I pay tolerable prices for my prescriptions. But I’ve asked the pharmacist what some of the prices would be without my insurance, and they’re scary.

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    Gameguy49 Premium Member about 1 year ago

    If automakers did what drugmakers do you would have to pay ten times as much for a new model of car so they could recoup their research and development costs right away instead of gradually over the years. It’s time big pharma was regulated.

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    cosman  about 1 year ago

    To supplement the insurance, i use prescription discount cards..

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    A random Pearls Before Swine & Big Nate commenter  about 1 year ago

    you probably will

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    Cerabooge  about 1 year ago

    Fly to a sane country and buy your drugs there. But you’ll probably have to smuggle them in if you want to come back.

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    NORTHIDAHO  about 1 year ago

    Good Rx

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    skipper1992  about 1 year ago

    (1/2, part 2 as a "reply)

    TL;DR: the premise of this strip is flawed. What is the basis for determining what something “should” be worth?

    Background: I work for a home healthcare company in their billing department, a position I have held for 18 years. I work specifically with government payers – Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare (what some of you might call CHAMPUS) and such.

    I get this question a lot: “why do you bill x amount to insurance if you only get paid y anyway?” I compare it to the advertised MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) of a car. If you watch a new car ad, it will tell you the MSRP, “but act now and get this bit of cash back and that bit of rebate and another special dealer incentive …” In other words, the MSRP is the full retail price, but no one actually pays that amount. It’s more like a starting point for negotiations and incentives.

    In a similar way, “$100 a pill” isn’t what anyone actually pays, it’s simply analogous to a starting point for negotiations across hundreds if not thousands of insurance companies, both commercial and government. Actual drug pricing is based on one of several pricing guidelines. Returning to the car example, used-car pricing estimates are derived from a couple of different sources (NADA Blue Book, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and the like) which are themselves averages based on large quantities of aggregated data. The drug-pricing counterparts have names such as “average wholesale price,” “average sale price,” “weighted average cost,” and others.

    I had a conversation similar to this recently when one insurer announced that they would be paying roughly $302 a dose for the COVID vaccine, which seemed usurious to someone based on “it’s a couple of milligrams of drug in a large vial of solution.”

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    dsom8  about 1 year ago

    And your insurance company will pay $99 of that. Since it’s not your problem, you won’t look for alternatives. It’s even worse when the government just covers everything. “Yeah, charge what you like. Somebody else will pay for it.”

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    PBS1!  about 1 year ago

    Oh, snap. Now 2020 is even getting to Pig.

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    Ermine Notyours  about 1 year ago

    Is that Viagra? Pig should ask, “Can I get it over the counter?” And the pharmacist will reply, “I guess. If you take the whole bottle.”

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    Cameron1988 Premium Member about 1 year ago

    We can thank the current administration for allowing them to do this type of shyt

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    mwksix  about 1 year ago

    Seems like a good description of 2020

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    DCBakerEsq  about 1 year ago

    “Scream in a Box.” From Ronco!

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    57BelAir  about 1 year ago

    I got some cream for my face (rosacia) the drug company normally charges $714 for 1 tube (that’s right seven hundred fourteen dollars). Some how this coupon that the dermatologist gave me got it down to $118. I don’t get it?!?

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    dialfred  about 1 year ago

    When I got c. diff 15 years ago the best antibiotic was vancomycin. A company bought it up a few months before and raised the price for a 10 day course from about $200 to $1200, just because they could. Still screaming in my box

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    zeexenon  about 1 year ago

    Formularies, don’t you just love them. “There’s no reason for it. It’s just our policy”

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    Kali  about 1 year ago

    I haven’t paid more than $30 total per month for my prescriptions. And they deliver.

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    Natarose  about 1 year ago

    Money grubbers

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    Sisyphos  about 1 year ago

    Even boxes can be expensive, Pig. Think about that before declaring your New Lifestyle….

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