At The Pharmacy: But I Don’t Like This Answer, Said She

Never ask a question until you are prepared to hear an answer.  

That’s basic communication theory and common sense, I do believe.

Lawyers know this.  Teachers know this.  Police detectives know this.

Bloggers come to know this, usually the hard way.

Ask a question you assume you know the answer to: “Don’t you agree that Muskrat Love is the worst song ever?”  You may think that everyone will say: “Yes!”  But I’ll guarantee you that someone in the comments will say “No” and then explain why it’s their favorite song of all time.

• • •

Anyhoo, getting to the point of this post, I found myself laughing at myself because I asked a question to which I was not prepared to hear the answer.

OH. NO. I. WASN’T.

You see, I was at the pharmacy picking up my prescription.  It was the first time this year that I had it refilled.

The worried look on the pharmacy tech’s face probably should have warned me, but when she said: “oh, your prescription has gone up in price” I instantly said: “how much?”

Trust me when I say I was not prepared to hear the answer to my question.  An answer that was: “oh, 200%– or a little more.”  

HUH?

I didn’t throw a hissy fit, nor did I get upset with this pharmacy tech, she’s just the messenger of bad news.  I went ahead and bought this medicine that technically I could live without;  I need the script to see straight in a comfortable way, not in a life or death way.

But I will say that I was shocked by the answer to my question, and kind of startled into remembering that no matter where you go, or what you do, the answer to your question may not make you happy.

COMMON SENSE, RE-LEARNED.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

84 thoughts on “At The Pharmacy: But I Don’t Like This Answer, Said She”

  1. Especially at the Pharmacy counter in this day and age, I suspect.

    Muskrat Love? That goes back a bit. You can put down a “yes” I don’t like it for me.

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    1. Z-D, you know it’s always something when I go to get a script, but this time it did stop me in my tracks for a moment.

      YES! Your opinion about Muskrat Love confirms that you’re a sensible man.

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  2. Oh but you had to ask the question. It came out of your mouth without your brain ever even engaging. The same way you say “I’m fine, how are you?” But 200%? That’s where I return to my doctor and hope there is another choice. But whatever, sometimes the cost is worth it and has nothing at all to do with your question. It had to be asked.

    And Muskrat Love is certainly not the worst song ever. There are so many other bad songs that I just file it into my How did this song ever get so popular box and I don’t worry about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zazzy, you’re so right. I just asked the question instantly, no thought involved. I knew that the price of the script had gone up, the doc clued me in. And he told me how to extend the prescription to last twice as long, so that’s good. But I still was taken aback when I heard the $$$.

      I agree that there are so many lousy songs out there, but Muskrat Love is the one that I fall back on as the worst one. Stupid title, dumb lyrics.

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    1. bobcabkings, I imagine that the pharmacy tech spends most of her days telling people bad news about the increased price of their scripts. I like this woman. She took the time to re-input my information just in case there’d been a mistake in the system sometime in the past. But alas, it was all correct… so there you go. Ain’t life a pip?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, at least it’s only money.

    Imagine if the pharmacist made you listen to Muskrat Suzy and Muskrat Sam doing the jitter-bug in muskrat land 300x before handing over the RX. {Emoji ~> Stuck out tongue closed eyes}

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    1. nancy, don’t you go giving those pharmacy folks any ideas! You have an evil mind to even think about forcing customers to listen to that song in order to get their scripts. Honestly…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, Muskrat Love is absolutely one of the All-Time Worst Songs Of All Time. Blech. It’s a huge, dark stain on the Canon Of American Music.

    If that prescription were Restasis, and the patient were me, the inflation would be the final push I needed to get me off that hellacious stuff. It’s Satanic.

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    1. nance, you’ve described my hatred of Muskrat Love to a T.

      Yes, the script was for Restasis. I like the product, but do not like how the company that makes it takes advantage of [primarily] women who use the stuff.

      And, of course, let’s not forget our health insurance company that isn’t doing a thing to help me with the cost— although I’m sure that they’re making a healthy profit for their management and shareholders. Oh joy!

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  5. Wow! 200%? My next question would be “is there another alternative (even beyond the extension-method that your doctor mentioned)?”
    BTW – I could go without ever hearing ‘Muskrat Love’ again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, no this script was for Restasis which has a stranglehold on the ingredients in this medicine. You buy Restasis or you do without– in the US. Eventually their patent will run out, but until then they price the stuff willy-nilly.

      Yep, with you about Muskrat Love.

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  6. Ummm….yikes! I hope it’s not a prescription I use! (Now I’m going to worry!) There needs to be regs on drug costs! There are far worse songs than Muskrat Love. I’m thinking of grandma and that damn reindeer.

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    1. Kate, the script was for Restasis. I agree that something needs to be done about drug costs, that’s for sure. The drugs cost too much, and the health insurance providers do too little to protect consumers from the costs. It’s a nightmare, not of our own making.

      I’d forgotten about that grandma/reindeer song. It’s awful, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I take the “other” one Xiidra which retails in the $200+ area (at least last time I looked). The weird thing about Restassis is that the paten is over but no one is making a generic. I hear that the “founding” company often will pay off a generic maker to not make it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This pharmacy experience is familiar to me, especially early in the year when I have not met my deductible.

    By submitting my memoir drafts to other readers I am implicitly asking questions with answers I may not like. But my WIP would be a shapeless blob without their responding with questions like “What is your story about?” Uga Buga!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marian, I realize that everyone in the U.S. has this problem with scripts, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

      Good example from your life about asking questions. Of course, you’re asking your question with intent, so you are prepared to accept the answers, whatever they may be. Still, I can understand how you could feel vulnerable in the process.

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  8. Forrest Gump’s famous saying comes to mind when picking up a prescription. My only prescription is 13k a pop…every ten weeks. Thankfully, my insurance covers all of it…at least for now. If that were to change, I’d go without. The pharmaceutical companies are full of crooks. Sorry about your price hike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill, I agree about the crooks in the pharmaceutical industry. It seems to call to them. But the insurance industry does nothing that I can see to stop the pharmaceutical crooks. They’re all in this together in some kind of dysfunctional relationship that is as worrying as it is weird.

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  9. I think what needs doing in this country is working to release the stranglehold both the pharmaceutical world and the insurance world have on all of us. Yeah, I know – since our government can’t even create a decent health plan, I’m whistling Dixie.
    Then there was Tiptoe Through the Tulips. . .

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    1. Carol, I like your idea, but understand why you’re singing what you’re singing. Those two industries never seem to have my best interest at heart, and they should. Asking too much?

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      1. Tiny Tim’s version of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” . . . maybe the worst song ever, making Muskrat Love sound like J.S. Bach in comparison.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I think they put numbers in a hat and then pull one out and that’s the new price. I also think I’m at the point where nothing will surprise me anymore. I could be wrong… … …

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    1. Tara, you’re probably onto how the pricing is determined. Or maybe there’s a roulette wheel somewhere that dictates the price of meds? I dunno. All I know is that I dislike the feeling of being a pawn, but if I want this script I have to accept my pawn-ness. 🙄

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          1. It is fun to watch the wheel spin and spin. Twas after a Psychedelic Furs show at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. I put $20 on 36 and lost. Then I put $10 more on 36 and won $360. I put $10 back on 36. and lost that $10. Then I quit and cashed in my chips. Haven’t gambled since. 🙂

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  11. A 200% increase in a drug’s price is ridiculous. Can you imagine any other product doing that? Of course, I don’t need to tell you that since you were the one who received the shock. Good thing your heart is still ticking after that!

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    1. Carrie, you make a good point. No one would tolerate that kind of random price increase in any other product. But with scripts, we are forced to go along. I’m lucky in that I could pay increased price without taking food off my table, but many people can’t. And that is worrying to me.

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        1. I agree. But what to do when the system is rigged against you, eh? I understand why some people use meds the way they do, but I don’t have to like it.

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          1. Exactly. My heart is with the patient. No one should have to be forced to halve their medicine because they can’t afford it. We need to do much better in this country regarding meds and health care.

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  12. Shock and horror – that’s one HUGE increase. I too would have been mightily angry … are there generics or clones …? Our VAT went up on 1st April, and petrol up hugely at midnight tonight. I’m going to have to pawn something …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, yes it’s a huge increase. There are no generics available yet because the company that makes this product owns the patent on it. However according to my doc that situation will soon be ending and the price will come down when there is competition. I think that it might be worse to have your gas increase in price than your meds. I wish you well, as you deal with your newfound normal.

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  13. I don’t know that it’s the worst, but Muskrat Love is certainly up there in top (bottom?)10? 🙂 Sometimes I don’t ask the question because I know it’s going to upset me, and I want to put off the emotional reaction.

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    1. Margaret, ok, we’ll put Muskrat Love on the list of 10 most lousy songs of all times! Yes, sometimes it’s best to not ask a question, but when picking up meds? I didn’t see this one coming.

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    1. JT Twissel, I was surprised both by the answer and by how I’d forgotten that if you ask… you’ll get an answer. BUT OF COURSE, Muskrat Love is your favorite song of all time. It means everything to you, doesn’t it? Blah, blah, blah… 😉

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  14. “200% or MORE”?? Um, you may not have wanted the answer to your question, but at least you maintained your cool. By not killing the messenger (figuratively). If I had stood in your shoes, I’d have refused the med (unless it used to cost $4 or something and now is $8, and so wasn’t as awful as it sounded), gone home and placed a ranty phone call to the first live customer service agent at the insurance company. For myself, I’ve stopped taking all but the most essential meds because everything is priced so expensively.

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    1. Embeecee, this price increase startled me, but I knew that the woman telling me this info had no control over the price I paid. I went ahead and bought the stuff, but will rethink how I use it– and what to do when it’s time to refill the script again.

      I gave up on ranty phone calls and well-worded letters long ago. We are all just pawns in their games– and the opinion of one pawn means nothing to them. Now if enough pawns started to cause trouble, together– there might be a change for the better.

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  15. Ouch, that’s not fun! FYI, my wife and I discovered ordering some of our meds from Canada. It’s easier than I thought it’d be, and the savings are substantial in some cases.

    Way back during the early, awful period on my blog, I once remarked that the worst song ever written was “Never Been To Me.” I was surprised by the number of private emails I got protesting my comment. I thought that too might make a fun response post, but then I thought otherwise. Stop while you’re ahead, etc. 🙂 – Marty

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    1. Marty, I’d not thought of ordering from Canada, but it might be worth looking into. I’m no longer surprised by any response I get to a blog post. I used to think that I’d be able to predict how readers would respond, but learned right quick that people surprise you all the time. It’s nice that your readers sent you emails instead of complaining about your opinion in your comments. That shows some class!

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  16. “Muskrat Love” is one of those that, when it comes on, you give the radio dial a twist and listen to whatever they’re playing, even commerials or an Emergency Alert System test.

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    1. John, EXACTLY! I cannot abide that song– meaning any old thing is better than that song. I never liked the Captain and Toenail back then, do not like them now.

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  17. Oh, Ally! I had a premonition of what was coming. A year ago I went to pick up a prescription that helps keep me from looking like a clown. The person behind the counter told me I might not want to pay for it. What had once been $40 was now $250. It seems my insurer had taken it off their list when I wasn’t looking. My dermatologist sent in another script, and I declined that one, too, at $130. A few months ago I decided to bite the bullet and pay for the less expensive one. This time the change was in my favor at $48. I hope you will have a pleasant surprise at the pharmacy soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne, that’s quite a price increase! I feel sorry for the pharmacy techs who have to deliver this kind of bad news every day. Good of your dermatologist to try to help with a second script. I can understand why you waited until the price came down to a reasonable amount. But doesn’t it make you wonder how these dramatic price fluctuations are possible? It’s infuriating and ridiculous.

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  18. I do not like Muskrat Love, but it’s not the worst song ever. I do not like 200% price increases. Good mercy. I’m glad you could still purchase it.
    I asked a question today and did not like the answer. Strangely, I felt better hearing it and not just feeling it. Not quite 200% better, just better. 🙂

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    1. joey, ok, I’ll concede that there might be a worse song, but Muskrat Love gets on my very last nerve so it’s the one I thought of as an example here. I bought the med, but I didn’t like the seemingly arbitrary price increase. I think that any answer to a question can be good IF you’re in the right head space when you ask it. I wasn’t quite in that spot when I was at the pharmacy, but the experience was a good reminder that I need to be mindful of what I’m saying.

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  19. I remember that my father had a terribly expensive prescription. It was a “generic” but no one else was making it. I was able to do some price comparisons (Costco, Walmart, etc.) and found it for less… still expensive, but less. After a year or two of buying this “must have” prescription for him, one of his doctors asked me why he was taking it. Ummm… a doctor prescribed it? Anyway, that doctor said that it was useless and took him off it. There were absolutely no changes in his health.

    Oh, and Muskrat love?… my absolute favorite! 🙂

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    1. Janis, your story of your father’s script is certainly a cautionary one. I wonder why in the world the doc gave him the even med to begin with. No changes in his health without it? Oh brother.

      So you claim to like Muskrat Love, eh? Well, you just enjoy it all you want… far away from me… in another state. Uh huh.

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  20. That increase is unbelievable. I am fortunate to only need one prescription and it is not too pricey. Hubs is on about 6 different ones but they are under $100. It’s not my favorite song but it does bring back fond memories of a certain summer.

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    1. Janet, I was surprised by the increase and could still pay for the script, but it didn’t make me happy. Didn’t see that one coming! As for Muskrat Love I don’t remember a thing about when it came out, all I know is that it annoys me to no end. But if you have fond memories, then good for you. Please listen to it with my compliments… just don’t listen to it when I’m around! 🙂

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  21. I know you are a cool person, so wouldn’t do this, but as a pharmacist, I thank you for not throwing a hissy fit. Pharmacy personnel have zero control over drug prices, but so many people forget this! 🤦🏼‍♀️

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  22. ribbonrx, oh I understand that pharmacy personnel are the messengers. Not your faults at all. I also can imagine how much anger is thrown at you each day from unhappy and/or unhealthy people. The prescription/insurance situation is broken in this country, but it’s not up to you to fix it. Of course knowing that doesn’t make getting yelled at any easier for you. 😳

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    1. Elen, I was surprised by the increase, but that’s not the pharmacy tech’s problem. I’m lucky in that I could absorb the price increase and still buy the script, but what about those people who can’t? That’s what bothers me the most about this situation.

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  23. Had the same experience, only with a bigger jump. A prescription that cost me $35 to refill last year will, with insurance, be more than $200. And I have to have it.

    It’s a different plan, and I have to meet a deductible to get any real prescription coverage, so yay.

    So I can definitely empathize!

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    1. Isa-Lee, that’s an amazing price increase. It is craziness how the pharmaceutical manufacturers and the insurance companies get away with doing what they do. Yet it goes on and we, the consumers, suffer. So depressing.

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  24. I had to look up the song because it didn’t register. The 200% increase at the pharmacy did register. I recently picked up a prescription, paid the outrageous charge for 90 days, checked the record I was given only to see the “90” day prescription I paid for was for “68” days. Hmmm. 😦

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    1. Oh Judy, that’s awful! Shorted on your meds? I’m outraged for you from afar. I’m sure that happens, sometimes innocently– but it makes you wary, doesn’t it?

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  25. May the Martin Shkrelis and all other exorbitant prescription price raisers rot in … wait, wait, wait. I’m missing the point of your post, aren’t I? Yes. The world is full of answers we don’t want to hear. Especially when it comes to prescriptions. May the price of yours magically slide back down to reasonable.

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    1. J. B. Whitmore, I think you got the point of my post. If not the exact point of my post, then the subtext at least. I don’t know why I was as surprised as I was when I heard the price of my script. I know what’s going on, but I tell ‘ya that answer gave me pause. I’m fortunate, I can pay the inflated price, but so many people can’t.

      Liked by 1 person

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