Budgeting, Depression/Mental Health, Shopping and Saving

Drugs…they’re not all bad, but they sure cost an arm and a leg…

This is a pretty good representation of how I was feeling when my family doctor recommended that I start taking Effexor for my newly diagnosed depression. I’m one of those people who delighted in NEVER being sick; I’d buy a bottle of cough medicine or a pack of throat lozenges, and they’d frequently expire before I finished using them. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the last prescription I had filled for myself at a pharmacy before this one.

Luckily, at the time, I had a very good health insurance plan that covered 75% of the cost of my prescriptions. I balked at the cost of the medications, but once I saw the “insurance pays” versus the “patient pays” price, I calmed down a bit! Fast forward to this winter, when a) I started a new job without health benefits, and b)my doctor tripled my medication dosage…well, I was NOT feeling so happy.

Now, before I go on, I will say that I know I am very, VERY lucky compared to some. My doctor advised that I go to a large chain store’s pharmacy to get my medications versus getting them from smaller establishments, which is saving me a fair amount of money each month. However, I recently moved into my apartment on my own, and I also have rent, power, insurance, and groceries to pay for. Medication definitely puts a strain on my budget; however, without it, things are not good in the mood department (to say the least!).

I’m not one to complain without offering a solution, so here is mine; there should be a universal drug plan based on level of income, regardless of place of employment, if the employer does not offer one. I’m certainly not opposed to paying for my drugs, but since they’re necessary for me to lead a normal life, I don’t think that I should have to pay full price for them when I’m just starting out in the working world.

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