Expat Magazine

If Only We Had the NHS

By Expatmum @tonihargis
I'm not going off on a political rant here, but for those in the USA who sniff at Obamacare, call him a "socialist/communist" and refer to the healthcare system in the UK as the perfect example of where the US could end up (and not in a good way), here's a story:
Took the two teens to the dermatologist yesterday. Like many their age, their skins are playing up and despite fairly scrupulous cleansing routines (well, by the Queenager at least) the improvements are not what they should be.  They were both prescribed new creams and gels, but we were given teeny samples first, just to make sure they were OK for them. Along with the samples came a couple of coupons with the dreaded words "If you use these coupons you should be able to manage the cost quite well". Alarm bells going off all over the place.
About two hours later, the lovely lady at my local pharmacy called to say the dermatology office had sent the prescriptions through. I explained that we would be trying out the samples first before I ordered the full tubes of cream, at which point she said "Well, let me tell you what it's going to cost because you might want to think about that."
Listen to this -
The cream that they have both been prescribed costs $260 each. (Acanya)
The gel for the Man-Child is $450. (Tazorac)
The Queenager's gel is $240. (Differin)
And no, there are no typos up there. Those numbers are correct. And no, it very clearly states on each coupon that there are no generics (substitutes), natch.
Now, with the coupons, I can in theory get massive deductions on these prices - the cost is just passed on to the health insurance company. Except that, like many people here and with many insurance policies, we have a deductible (or excess) to pay first; since we haven't hit that deductible yet, the above costs will have to be paid my yours truly.
What am I supposed to do?
Can you Adam and Eve it that one cream can cost $450?????????
Never, ever complain about the NHS again people. And for Americans who criticize Obama for trying to  bring some kind of regulation into the health care system - this is what happens when no one's watching the big pharmaceuticals.
OK, so that was a bit of a rant, but can you blame me?

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