Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Purchased an Affordable Epipen in Canada

I made a bunch of phone calls to see if the government regulatory agencies in the United States of America could help me get my Epipen covered at an affordable price.

I talked to Karen at the Washington State Office of Insurance.  She explained that since I get my health insurance through my work, it is a self-funded plan and her organization had no authority to look into my case.

Karen gave me the number to the Department of Labor, which oversees self-funded insurance benefits.  I called 1-866-444-3272 and I had a nice conversation with Andy at the Washington State Department of Labor.  Andy explained that it was up to the employer what benefits to offer to their employees.  He advised me to contact my employer and ask them for better coverage of life saving medicine.  He said that the government does not have any control on what employers offer in their benefit plans.

Andy also suggested that I ask for a generic Epinephrine injection prescription.  I told him that I wasn't really comfortable doing that.  The generic is not really user friendly, and the last thing that I want to have happen when I am dying of anaphylactic shock is confusion while trying to administer the medicine.  A lot of people, sadly mostly young children, have died because the person administering the epinephrine injection was confused and did it incorrectly.  There is the Auvi-Q epinephrine of course, but it's a brand name and $550, which is completely unaffordable.

I learned that our for-profit health care system here in the USA only cares about profits.

Our health care system does not care about people that it serves.  It exists solely for the purpose of generating more and more profits.  Profits for the businesses that are too cheap and stingy to give their employees reasonable benefits.  Profits for the drug companies, such as Mylan, who own patents that give them a right to completely overcharge people for Epipens.  Profits for the health insurance companies such as Aetna, who gouge me $133 every month, and then use the fine print of their plans to refuse to cover life saving medicine.

I learned that I don't want to support our corrupt unjust system in the USA.   You know what country has a fair and decent health care system? Canada!  It's a socialized medicine Shangri-La.  Canadian tax dollars go to free health care for all Canadian citizens.  Well, mostly.  It is more complicated than that, so check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Canada if you want to learn more about their health care system.

You know what else?  The Utopian country of Canada is not only nice to Canadian citizens by giving them free health care, they are also nice to other countries who are sick and need help.  Just a few weeks ago, the Canadian government donated over 1000 experimental Ebola vaccines to fight the epidemic in West Africa!

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/bioethicist-canada-gives-ebola-vaccine-africa-how-will-it-be-n179871

Canada, by being the nice helpful country it is, just may save the entire human species from being wiped out from the Zaire Ebola virus.

So I want to support Canada.

I decided to travel to Canada and buy an Epipen there.  I called Robin's Pharmacy in Vancover, B. C. and I asked how much an Epipen would be.  They said I did not need a prescription, and that one Epipen would be $99.99.  Sold!

So last Saturday, my friend Elcaset and I drove from Seattle to Canada and I bought my new Epipen.  It was a fun road trip and I ate Poutine for the first time in my life.Yum.

Here is a picture of the beautiful Canadian sunset over Wreck Beach:


Here's a picture of me in Stanley park:


It was a totally fun road trip, and now I have an Epipen that isn't expired.  My new Epipen is so awesome it won't expire until November of 2015.  I need another Epipen of course, but now my doctor can write me a prescription for one and I can use Mylan's $100 coupon.  

The issue of course is that life-saving epinephrine injections in the USA are completely unaffordable to working class people.  There ought to be a law protecting people with deadly food allergies like me from being ripped off and gouged by big pharma corporations who overcharge for life saving medicine.  It wasn't my choice to have a deadly food allergy!  It isn't fair that I can't afford life saving medicine!

I intend to write to my Senator Patty Murray, and my Representative, Jim McDermott explaining my heart breaking situation, and imploring them to draft laws protecting working poor people like me from being financially exploited by evil corporations.  Writing my congressman probably won't do anything because my representatives get a lot of their campaign money from health insurance and the health industry.  Using the new greenhouse app extension on Google Chrome check out how much money the corporations and industries that are taking advantage of people like me are pumping into my representatives.


I think the only way to change our system for the better is to take big money  out of politics and overturn Citizen's United Vs. F. E. C.   If you live in Washington State, check out this website to join me to change our system for the better:

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for this! I may be making a trip up there soon for the same reason.

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    1. You are welcome. Be careful out there.

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    2. Thank you for your informative piece. My Epi expires in Oct. I plan on ordering from Canada. Take care.

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    3. Thank you for your informative piece. My Epi expires in Oct. I plan on ordering from Canada. Take care.

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  2. I just came across this post while going through the same struggle for my three year old. It makes me so mad that I'm supposed to pay a ton for a life threatening allergy. I'm sitll looking for answers since I can't drive to canada from here.

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    1. You can order on-line via several Canadian Rx websites. Did it for years. Easy and relatively hassle free.

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    2. Brad, Can you recommend a reliable site? I've come across the article on Consumer Reports which makes me a little leery of doing so. http://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/dont-order-epipens-from-canada/

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  3. The president of Mylan, the company that sells the Epipen, is the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). Mylan has raised the price of an Epipen over 400%.
    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/5094441102001/epipen-price-skyrockets-400/?#sp=show-clips

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    Replies
    1. Raising the price of life saving medicine by 400% is horrible. This Capitalist terrorism that forces disabled people to live in fear -in my opinion, is worse than ISIS.

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  4. The president of Mylan, the company that sells the Epipen, is the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). Mylan has raised the price of an Epipen over 400%.
    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/5094441102001/epipen-price-skyrockets-400/?#sp=show-clips

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    Replies
    1. I think I just threw up in my mouth. There ought to be a law!

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  5. Thanks, forwarded this to a bunch of friends with kids who have allergies.

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    Replies
    1. http://www.canadadrugsuperstore.com/more.asp?ProductID=44413

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    2. Thank you. It is so important to get this life saving medication to the children. Thank you.

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  6. I came across your blog while researching for my 14 yr old Niece who needs an Epipen, which her parents can't afford. They went to fill the prescription and it was $600 for a 2 pack. It used to be $100 just 4-5 yrs ago! So Crazy!! Do you still go to Canada to get these over the counter? I live in upstate NY and I am considering going for them. Not sure how to go about finding out info on buying them?

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    1. This site will find you almost any drug sold in Canada that will ship to the USA: http://www.pharmacychecker.com/

      Just enter "epipen" in the "Enter Drug Name" box. Prices include shipping, and the lowest .3mg epipen price I found was $95.

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    2. Hi Life translated! Thanks for reading my blog! In the past, I have driven to Canada. Epipens are sold one at a time, not in a two pack there. Once you are in Canada, just drive to any pharmacy, go up to the counter and ask the pharmacist for an Epipen. No prescription needed there for life-saving medicine! This is what I have done and has worked for me.

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  7. try this, no prescription needed. Or take a trip to Cornwall or Welland or Niagra

    http://www.canadadrugsuperstore.com/more.asp?ProductID=44413

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    1. after exchange - and taxes if any - it should run you maybe $80 US

      I just wrote this on another site:

      I'm a Canadian. Yep, we're accused of being socialists but that's OK. What is also 'Ok' is that our gov't won't allow the drug companies to F*ck us over like they do to you Americans.
      Example: epi-pens


      Enjoy!

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    2. I am very grateful for your wonderful country. I am grateful for Socialism. Capitalism is usually expressed in the form of Gross and Net because Capitalism is disgusting and all of us are trapped in it.

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  8. capitalism would drive the cost down significantly if more open competition were allowed--as is the case in many other countries. Government regulation has allowed a virtual monopoly for the Epi-pen people...who donate liberally to those who write the regulations. It is a case of friends in power helping friends in greed.

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    Replies
    1. by the way, we're heading to Canada later this month. We may have to invest in an Epi-pen or two.

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    2. Hi Craig! Thanks for commenting. There is great truth in what you wrote. I appreciate your feedback.

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  9. Hi,


    This blog consists of accurate information that helps to understand the insights of the Healthcare Email lists, it provides information about the benefits and advantages of Healthcare Email Lists.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for online ordering system for takeaway giving the wonderful information. it is useful

    ReplyDelete