The weekly (or even daily) events that can affect a person’s well being and general emotional state are many and varied; everything from your friends and loved ones to car maintenance and job status can shape and alter your overall health. While the wife and I have some issues going on related to several of these issues, I’ve got one big one that’s going to be impacting my productivity this week.
See.. I’ve got asthma, quite the severe case of it as a matter of point. I’ve been on one of the pharmaceutical market’s strongest and longest running pair of medications for the better part of 17 years now, and I’m on the highest possible prescribed dosage of this medication. Despite this heavy medicating, some things can still set off an asthma attack; a physically exhausting and mentally draining struggle to keep breathing while your lungs burn in pain as your throat feels like you are being choked out by a wrestler. To make matters even worse, you have to remain calm while this all going on in an effort prevent further fuel being added to this fire in the form of sheer panic.
(WARNING: This is where the rant about America’s medical culture kicks off)
The two medications I’m on currently are ProAir HFA & Advair 500/50, and neither are available in generic form here in America thanks to the wonderful stupidity that is Medication Patent Law. When new medicine passes the required levels of testing / approval trials with the FDA (Food & Drug Administration, Federal division of the United States government) it is granted a 7 year window of ‘exclusivity’ during which time it cannot be copied and produced as a generic by rival drug companies. Once this 7 year window expires, the medication goes off exclusive and becomes available in a cheaper generic form thanks to healthy competition. There’s a big loophole in this law however, proposed by our wonderful United States Senators, that allows for the rather illicit ‘prevention’ of generic medication.
A Pharmaceutical Company cannot redo the release of a medication and simply change the formula slightly, as this would count as a new medication and the old medication would still go into generic form. If, however, the DELIVERY SYSTEM of this medication gets changed in any way… it resets the 7 year window for ‘generics eligibility’. Asthma via inhaler goes for $25 per inhaler for several years, no big deal. As the end of this “7 Year Window” approaches, the Pharma Company behind it can pull their drug from market because of a supposedly faulty propellant system.. and do a ‘new release’ with the same medication under a slightly altered delivery mechanism. Boom… the 7 year timer gets reset.
They can keep redoing this over and over, as many times as they want, to reset that 7 year window and prevent generics. Every time the timer gets reset, the price on the medication gets boosted a little bit more, becoming more and more expensive in the process. Meanwhile in neighboring countries like Canada, these medications have been available in cheaper generic form for more than a decade. Advair was $250 per monthly dose 17 years ago. It’s $650 per month now simply because it had to be ‘reformulated’ several times in order to ‘refine a potentially defective dosage delivery system’. In Canada, generic versions are available for $75 for a month’s doses.
“Wow Vaygrim that’s a long wall of text, what does it mean?”. It means that American Medical Culture is rife with exploitation, and because of this, people in low income brackets (like myself) are suffering. I quite often have to reduce my normal ‘twice a day’ dosage to once every other day just to stretch out my medication and make it last as long as possible while still maintaining doses that let it (mostly) do what it needs to do.
TL;DR – I’m between dosages, waiting for a new batch of medication to arrive via mail from the wonderful country of Canada. Until that arrives (later this week) I’m going to be lethargic, distracted, and generally not interesting or entertaining in any way or form.
As of right now, all livestreams for the week are on hold. If my medication arrives soon, I’ll update my schedule from that day from that day thru the rest of the week. Until then I’ve gotta ‘go quiet’ for a bit and focus. Once something happens, I’ll post an update here. Stay tuned.