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Topic Title: Watch your pocketbook ...
Created On: 05/07/2009 11:46 AM
 05/09/2009 03:11 PM

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Phew - with your remark - scary stuff. Am glad I live here in Canada and other countries that have similar practises for protecting the consumer who is trying to live. Okay - maybe our waiting times to see doctors is longer - due to us having a government paid medical system that costs us extra in taxes - but heck - I do have the choice of seeking other alternatives out of my own pocket. When I've done that our workplace medical insurance covers what the government would charge and I fork out the rest from my own pocket. I'm lucky I can do that - as others without private/work medical insurance don't have that luxury - but they manage.

Anyone from Canada or other countries besides United States out there reading this - how do you feel about being financially pulled left/right to stay alive and kicking?
 05/08/2009 12:22 PM

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Oh silly you. You think patients should have price protection against greedy, capitalistic pharmaceutical companies and their distributors? You're talking about the country with legislators who want to ban repurchasing our own pharmaceutical products from your country. Idiots.

They come up with excuses which are usually preceded by the word "safety." What they really should say is they don't want to interfere with profits and shareholder returns!

There are a few liberal cities (such as Cambridge, Mass) that are building into their city medical plans purchasing prescription items from Canada. Derr - it saves money.

What I learned from a test strip manufacturer when I expressed disdain for 1) being forced to buy specific brands BUT 2) noting there is no cost saving on the explanation of benefits. In essence, he said their are kickbacks to the insurance company (on test strip mandated sales), in lieu of cost savings to the customers. So, not only do we not have price protection but we have forced brand use.

Often, we're not even allowed (by insurance companies such as United Health Care who use Medco - yes, a subsidary of Merck) to buy from retail pharmacies (crappy such as CVS or otherwise) beyond the first three months use of a product. Cute, ha! You're stuck with their mail order company who does NOT have the best prices.
 05/07/2009 01:15 PM

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In some of the forums I belong to - CVS hasn't been noted as the best place to go for prescription drugs in the United States. Walgreens, Costco, Walmart seem to be more recommended for your prescriptions - but again - like you state below - CHECK OVER YOUR BILL.

In Canada we are protected quite strongly against things like this happening with an agency called PMPRB (Patented Medicine Prices Review Board) - http://www.pmprb-cepmb.gc.ca/. Does the United States have something similar?
 05/07/2009 11:46 AM

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CVS, one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in the northeast has been noted as a leader - in PRICING VIOLATION!


The Boston Globe notes that CVS had a 67% increase in pricing violations in 2008. They paid a total of $349,600 in 2007 and 2008 for alleged violations of the Massachusetts' pricing-accuracy regulations. The good news - we have rules and we do fine for not following them.

While the violations are for across the board pricing inaccuracies, many folks (especially in the northeast) buy their prescriptions and non-prescription diabetes related items at CVS so, it is quite notable and people should be on their toes.

If you're buying items on sale in the flyer, watch your receipt. If you are buying a clearance item, note the tag on the shelf and what the register actually records. If you're buying a prescription for cash (as opposed to a copay), verify that is the price or if it seems different than last month, ask questions. Check the website prices as well which may or may not be the same.

Just some suggestions to ensure your pennies are YOUR pennies and not CVS's.

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