Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Good or Good Marketing?

 Two of my uncles are retired Pharmaceutical Sales representatives. Besides getting a good salary they used to get very nice benefits that included travel expenses like lease payments on a good looking and good working car, gasoline and even the cost of a weekly car wash. However their work did not end at the end of the day. After dinner they would sit down and study about the medication which they had  to recommend to the doctors they would see the next day. Their families were used to this routine and this was fine. However when I saw other sales people in my own doctor's office I wondered what they were trying to sell.

 I was not skeptical of sales representatives all my life, but my opinion of them changed when my doctor would not give me my medicine for asthma in the form of a pill and insisted that I use a Disc that would provide the rescue medicine and the medicine to maintain good lungs.  The problem with the Disc is that I had to whiff the medicine instead of inhaling. At first I laughed because I thought that you whiff with your nose not with your mouth, but it turned out that the doctor was told that way. I tried the disc but it was not helping me at all as the medicine in the disc would stay in my mouth and not go in my lungs. I suffered for months and even had fever a couple of times. I told my doctor but he would insist that I keep trying as it will take time for me to get used to this medicine. I was alarmed when he used the words "good health insurance". He told me that not everyone is lucky enough to get this disc because it is expensive and since I had good health insurance I would be paying my regular twenty five dollar co- pay which would be the same for pills as well. My family members tell me that I think too much. The problem I had with the conversation was the fact that the doctor was differentiating between people with good health insurance and people with no health insurance. The company that made this medicine would not make any money if they gave this medicine to everyone who needs it but people with good health insurance will have a chance to try this out. I am too old to whiff any medicine, otherwise I was a very good candidate to try this medicine on. I kept on suffering because I had good health insurance. Does that make sense?

 It is a pity that these Discs were not tried on everyone, because they might have been helpful for some people. 

 My sister gave me a nabulizer as a gift to take medicine as it did not need too much energy to use. That helped me a lot.

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) is harmful for the environment. This chemical was found in air fresheners and hair sprays and inhalers that were used by people with asthma. Therefore all inhalers for asthma that used this chemicals were banned by by the year 2009. We were very lucky that someone came up with inhalers that use Hydrofluroalkanes  (HFA)  However the cost of the inhalers have increased a lot.  Compared to five dollars copay and twenty five dollars out of pocket we now pay twenty five dollars in copay and sixty dollars out of pocket. Guess what? No generic company has any rights as yet to make these inhalers because of the exclusivity of the rights of the original company that makes them.

 My daughter is suffering with asthma  So for some time or for a long time she  will be paying for inhalers  because of the exclusivity rights the makers of these new inhalers have.  Even though she does not use the Disc, she thinks that it is very cumbersome. Also what a waste of plastic.

This is America, we invent and we sell and we can get rich. I do not have any problem with most inventions or sales or exclusivity of rights unless they are medicine. 

When I lost my full time job and lost my health insurance, neither of my two part time jobs gave me health insurance. My doctor then gave me my medicine in the pill form. I was not a candidate anymore as I had no health insurance.