Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out With The Old...In With The New



Continue to stay POSITIVE in 2010

Monday, December 28, 2009

Copaxone Price Shock














Presently, I cannot complain with how much I pay for prescription medication, but it is just a matter of time I will have huge out of pocket deductibles for my medications. I am fortunate to have the benefit of getting most of my prescriptions filled at a Military base pharmacy at no charge. However, I noticed prescriptions I take are slowly being phased out and I have no choice but to go to an outside pharmacy. In the past my co-pays use to be $3.00 generic and $9.00 brand. My co-pays are now $3.00 for a generic, $9.00 for a brand formula drug and $22.00 for a brand non-formula drug. If you are thinking most of my drugs are now brand non-formula...ding ding you are correct!

I made a conscious decision to not become dependent on the many drugs MS'ers are prescribed for every nuisance the disease bring our way. Yes, my neurologist did not like me taking most of my drugs as needed. My rationale to her dislike is...I am the one living with MS and I know my body better than anyone. I am not trying to play doctor, but I do know that I feel a lot better taking medication as I need it than taking it every day when the MS symptom or symptoms are no longer present.

However, Health Care Reform is definitely needed in America. Although, IMO what is being called Health Care Reform is a bunch of BS...KO eloquently tells you WHY! Washington needs to stop the RAPE of American citizens from the fraud and abuse of the Health Care and Big Pharma Industry...AND Washington needs to stop the BS political games at our expense! We are being raped with higher deductibles and co-pays because of the bullshit I just discovered. It is a damn shame how one pharmacy chain can charge almost twice as much for Copaxone and not be held accountable to WHY they are charging more than another reputable pharmacy chain.

Case and point, for years I have been filling my Copaxone prescription at the grocery chain Kroger Pharmacy, until December of 2008, I decided to have my Copaxone filled at Walgreens. Now I know how Walgreens can afford to have a pharmacy on every corner in about every state. I always assumed my insurance was paying Walgreens the same as they did Kroger after my co-pay until today. Express Scripts never sent me an Explanation of Benefits before today. They were not doing me any favors, what they were doing was soliciting me to mail order my Cymbalta through them; Which I plan to do because I can receive three months supply for $22.00 a month. Duh, who would not want to save $44.00? The SHOCK on the EOB was the amount TRICARE was paying Walgreens after my co-pay; I thought it had to be some sort of mistake. Therefore I went and pulled my 2008 prescription profile to see if Copaxone had a 100% price increase.


I discovered in November 2008, after paying my $9.00 co-pay at Kroger's for my Copaxone, my insurance paid them $1,783.00, which was an increased from 1,666.97 three months prior. However, in December 2008, I discovered after paying my $9.00 co-pay at Walgreens for my Copaxone, my insurance paid Walgreens $2,806.00 that is a freaking $1,023.00 difference. ..WTF!

Here is the industry BS according the EOB from Express Script I received today. Walgreens submitted a bill of $3,005.51 for my Copaxone, my insurance allowed amount is $2,562.19, I paid my $9.00 co-pay and TRICARE paid Walgreens $2,554.53. That amount is still MORE than what Kroger charges. Walgreens is pricing their drugs pass the allowable amount, knowing they will get paid the maximum amount allowed by my insurance...I have a bridge to sell you if you do not think the system is broken! It does not take a rocket scientist to see what the eff is going on with the industry.

Hell, its just a matter of time I will be paying for this fraud and abuse. It does not make any freaking sense how one monthly disease modifying drug cost $30,746.28 a year...at that rate a cure will never be found. TRICARE should have never paid Walgreens that much money. TRICARE would have been more cost efficient and proactive in their efforts of informing ME the drug I depend on daily to slow the progression of my MS cost them $21,396 a year at Kroger Pharmacy.

TRICARE listen up, I am going to save you $9,350.28 a year...I am switching my Copaxone prescription BACK to Kroger Pharmacy. How about a THANK YOU!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PEACE ON EARTH





To all:

My Christmas wish for you, my friend
Is not a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace,
Days filled with warmth and sun.

I wish you love and friendship too,
Throughout the coming year.
Lots of laughter and happiness,
To fill your world with cheer.

May you count your blessings, one by one and when totaled by the lot, May you find all you've been given, To be more than what you sought.

May your journeys be short, your burdens light May your spirit never grow old, May all your clouds have silver linings, And your rainbows pots of gold.

I wish this all and so much more,
May all your dreams come true,
May you have a Merry Christmas friend
And a happy New Year, too.


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2010 National MS Society Scholarship



Sorry I am late posting the National MS Society scholarship information this year. Fortunately, you still have 3 weeks to get it done for yourself, graduating son or daughter...deadline is January 15, 2010.

• Who is eligible?


o High school seniors who have a parent with MS who will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time.

o High school seniors who have MS and will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time.

o High school (or GED) graduates of any age who have MS and who will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time.

o High school (or GED) graduates of any age who have a parent with MS and who will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time.

o Applicants must be United States citizens or legal residents living in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam or any other U.S. territory and plan to enroll in an undergraduate course of study at an accredited two-or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school located in the U.S., PR, VI, Guam or any other U.S. territory. Applicants must be enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester in course work leading to a degree, license, or certificate.


Click HERE for application and process

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Marie Claire Should Have Thought Twice About Running This MS Story...



I was sent an email to read and give my opinion as a blog post on the following article, "I Had an Unthinkable Disease...And Made Myself Better" written by Kate Milliken, as told to Abigail Pesta, that appeared in Marie Claire January 2010 magazine.

Yes, my story is controversial. People worry that I'll spread false hope. Once, a woman who had suffered from MS for 30 years said to me from her wheelchair, "Don't tell me to put a Post-it note on my mirror—give me a break." Some say maybe I never had MS to begin with. All I know is that the doctors diagnosed it, and I have the before-and-after MRI scans to prove that a lesion had come and gone.

I continue to take the injections, along with a few vitamins.


First let me say, YES! Her story is controversial. It is also irresponsible of Marie Claire to publish the article of person who was diagnosis with MS and twelve months later they are claiming to no longer have signs of MS lesions. The storyteller did not say if she had her MRI's with and without contrast. There is a chance of having an MRI without contrast that will not show lesions clearly that is why when given an MRI it is best to have it with contrast so there will be no dispute of the reading.

I have an issue with the story teller stating in the article, "A day after my scan, I met with one of my doctors at Mt. Sinai, Dr. Stephen Krieger. His words floored me: No new lesions. As for the lesion that had caused all my problems? It had "faded significantly," he said.

"Is it smaller?" I asked him.

"It's actually so faint, the radiologist didn't recognize it," he said. "That's as good as it gets."


I have to believe she was given an MRI without contrast. It is irresponsible to claim she no longer have MS lesions. If she no longer has lesions or symptoms of MS, why continue to take daily Copaxone injections, one of the drugs that slow down the progression of MS. You either have MS or you do not, as far as I know, as of today there is no known cure for MS.

I am happy for her that she is no longer having an MS exacerbation. There is nothing wrong with positive thinking and adjusting your lifestyle to live with an unthinkable disease, but is wrong and irresponsible to claim to no longer have MS lesions because of holistic treatment, but your still taking a daily disease modifying drug injection.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Soldier of Love

It has been 10 long years and I resigned to the fact she was not going to release any new music, as far as I am concern her music is classic and I enjoy listening to it often. However, I am ecstatic SADE is BACK! Here is a single released from her upcoming new CD in stores February 2010.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

From Math-A-Thon to Marathon



I am so proud of my baby girl for running in the St. Jude Marathon. The temperature at the start of the race was in the low twenties. Her group finished a little bit over three hours. My poor baby legs are sore, but like she said, "I am sore behind a good cause." I remember like it was yesterday when she use to raise money for St. Jude volunteering in the St. Jude Math-A-thon when she was in elementary shool. It felt GOOD to see her continue the values I taught her while watching her come across the finish line at Auto Zone Park running in her first half marathon ( 13.1) miles on Saturday, December 5.


CONGRATULATIONS! TARA, BARBARA and CHASITY (mom and daughter, Tara's other mom and sister) for completing your first marathon as team "Curls R Us". Now that they have the marathon bug, I have the travelling bug to CHEER THEM ON. Next stop New Orleans the Mardi Gras Half Marathon in February.









L-R (my baby)Tara, Barabara, and Chasity


On a sad note...

A woman died after completing the half marathon. Her death was the first death in the thirty years St. Jude has been doing marathons. My condolence to her family.

Tara's experience in her own words that was published in the paper.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bloggers BEWARE




The Federal Trade Commission revised their rules for bloggers when it comes to giving endorsements or testimonial about a product or service.

Bloggers who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.

The revised Guidelines state:

Bloggers and online word-of-mouth marketers are require disclosing any material connection to a company when reviewing the company’s products or services (failure to disclose any payment or receipt of free product from an advertiser or someone acting on their behalf could expose you to liability).

Click here for entire revised FTC revised guidelines.

Nice to know I do not have to worry about being expose to any liabilities because when I blog about a drug or a product I am not getting paid by Big Pharma or a Corporation.

It was just a matter of time that the FTC changed the rules and regulations because of the massive amount of people who blog and or have a social network site. IMO, it is about the FTC revised their rules and regulations on endorsements or testimonials. If a person is getting paid to speak good or bad about a product or service, it is an unfair advantage or disadvantage.

Now it time for the FTC to get to work on regulations for individuals and organizations with blogs, that are being paid by Big Pharma, the Health Care Industry and Big Business when it comes to politics in American.

Claiming "Freedom of Speech" when you are being paid to influence legislation and be divisive is getting old.