We have a patient (Magic Mike) that gets a bunch of prescriptions at our Goofmart Pharmacy. He's from Austria. For awhile he was on taxpayer-funded Medicaid and all of his medication (22 different prescriptions) were no charge to him.
I admit I don't know how it all works, but it seems like if this guy can afford to fly back and forth to Austria three times a year he should also be able to afford his medication. It also seems like taxpayer-funded Medicaid should be for UNITED STATES CITIZENS, but what the hell do I know.
Anyway, he let his Medicaid renewal lapse and there was a gap in in coverage. Suddenly his medication wasn't paid for by you and me. Apparently the fact that he was dependent on these medications wasn't important enough to him to pay out of pocket, so all 22 meds just sat on the shelf.
Yesterday he called me and said that he really needed his aspirin. Out of all the diabetic, cholesterol, and blood pressure medications we have for him, the one he thought he needed the most was his aspirin. Or maybe he just wanted it because he was under the impression it is free.
Magic Mike told me that when he was in Austria, aspirin was free. And when he had his prescriptions at Wagmart, it was also free. I told him that's not the way it is at Goofmart but that he can get a 100 count bottle over the counter for $4.
Magic Mike scoffed.
And I'm sick to death of people like this. To all the people out there that aren't paying a dime for their medication... here's a little heads up for you. NOTHING is FREE. It may be NO COST to you, but it is NOT FREE. Someone else is paying for it FOR YOU.
If this was just one isolated incident, I could live with it. But I can tell you after years of being a pharmacist, and from talking to other pharmacists, that there are PLENTY of people scamming the system. And they're not just scamming the system, they're hurting YOU and ME. When someone gets his damn aspirin for free, it comes out of my pocket, and it comes out of your pocket. Are you ok with people stealing from you? I'm not. I'll be happy to donate to charity, and I do, but forcibly taking money out of my pocket for people who are taking advantage of the system, uh... NO.
Aspirin is cheap. Yep, sure enough. If you can get a bottle of 100 for $4 at my pharmacy, it's probably even less at Cost-So-Low, I'm sure. But it still COSTS money to make it. People are paid to work in the factories that make it. People are paid to ship it. People are paid to unpack it and put it on the shelf. The acetylsalicylic acid used to make it costs money, as did the fillers and dyes. The cotton in the top of the bottle cost money, as did the cap itself. Everyone along the entire production line must be paid. NO ONE works for free. I'm sure there's some very benevolent people in that workflow, but it still costs money to make it and distribute it.
To suggest that it should be free, is well, pretty damn stupid. When Magic Mike said that, he may very well not be aware that it actually costs money to make it. But the reality is that he EXPECTS someone else to pay for it for him.
Someone tell me why Magic Mike is ENTITLED to get free aspirin? Why did he get his medication for free (and I have no doubt he'll figure out a way to get it reinstated) when other people have to PAY for it?
He's NOT poor. He has plenty of money to travel to Austria three times a year. I'm not traveling to Austria three times a year... and I'll bet you're not either. But we're being led down an evil path by idiots who want people to feel entitled to aspirin at no cost to them.
This is the continuation of a very disturbing reality that's growing every day. If you're a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in a retail setting, YOU KNOW what I'm saying here is spot on.
For the rest of you, it's time to WAKE UP.