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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Nothing to sneeze at

Generic drugs reduce the cost of prescription medicines. No one said anything about over-the-counter ones.

With ragweed sprouting and the hay fever season underway, I thought it was time to renew my long-standing prescription for the 12-hour version of Allegra. I admit I enjoyed walking past all the high-priced anti-histamines on sale in the aisles, particularly after the drug went generic a few years ago, knocking down my costs considerably.

So imagine my surprise when my friendly neighborhood pharmacist told me the drug was on back order, with no estimate of when i wold be available. Follow-up checks saw the message finally morph into the generic version I had taken for years was no longer being made.

Following their suggestion, I asked my doctor for a prescription for the 24-hour version. Lo and behold, the word comes back that I was out-of-luck there too. No more generic 24-hour Allegra either.

Out of options, I am now facing double the cost to buy an over=the-counter version of a prescription I have taken for years. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that it still exists, but I wonder if this is the way to reduce the cost of health care?

At least they haven't criminalized it. Yet.

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