Cancer, government, and bull shit

I’ve been absent for a few weeks now and I’m sorry about that but I assure you it was for a really good reason.

An amazing woman passed away and I dropped everything to go home to be with my friends and family. She was the pillar of our community and touched so many lives. It still hasn’t sunk in that she is gone. But we can take solace in the fact that after a long long battle with cancer she is no longer suffering. She taught us well and she will be greatly missed.

And because bad news likes to dump all at the same time my mother is having a difficult time gaining access to the cancer treatment she needs because of a “shortage” of the drug.

This is a copy of the letter she wrote to Michael Michaud (congressman in Maine) also somehow related to our family though you’d have to ask my grandmother for the details on that.

Nancy Michaud
A copy of my e-mail to Mike Michaud:

Jan 30, 2012, I had a suspicious lump removed from my thyroid, by way of a total thyroidectomy. The biopsy came back conclusive for papillary thyroid cancer with a hurthle cell variant, mets to my lymph nodes, stage 3. Next step: Radioactive iodine about 6 weeks post op. It was set up for the week of March 19th or March 26th, pending scheduling. A little over a week ago, my lifesaving treatment was “put on hold” due to a “Thyrogen shortage”. (a necessary synthetic hormone used in the treatment of thyroid cancer). The specialty pharmacy blames the manufacturer, Genzyme blames the FDA and the pharmacy. The doctor and, more importantly, the patient are caught in the middle. I have researched this “shortage”, as have many of my friends. Seems more like a big bunch of BS! (to put it honestly and simply). However at work today I received a call that pretty much tells the story of what our healthcare has come to here in the US, and frankly it is a disgrace!!! My message to my family, friends, co-workers, everyone who knows my struggle reads like this: I had an interesting conversation today with my Dr in Portland and felt the need to share.

Let me first say, that I am going to Boston for my care and there is no “shortage” of Thyrogen at Dana Farber.

My Dr in Portland called Curascript, the specialty pharmacy that distributes the Thyrogen. They tried to get a delivery date from them. They told her that CVS Caremark has a supply but “bills it differently”. That if I pay my 30% up front they can have it here in a week. That totals about a grand up front, give or take! Money first, then life saving meds after!!!

So I did a little more digging. If they bill it as a prescription, which it is, my copay is $50 and my insurance pays it as a script. If they bill it as a “procedure”, it is covered under my insurance plan at 70%. And they hold the med hostage until my 30% is paid, like I said, about 900-1000, give or take!!!! So, if they are able to make more money, there is no shortage. If they bill it as a script and make less money, there is a shortage, and I go on a waiting list for CANCER MEDICATION!!!!!

The things we learn in a day!!! You just got the short version. My public display of this nonsense will be much more colorful and detailed!

Thanks for listening!
Sincerely, Nancy Michaud

 

———–

This is just one of the THOUSANDS of examples of how broken our system is. How many good people have to suffer because the people in charge are too greedy to care about anyone but themselves. It doesn’t even matter anymore if you have full health insurance, you still aren’t covered and still are expected to pay a large amount of money before you get the treatments or medication you need … I thought the whole reason for paying out the ass for great health insurance was so that when you did need it you’d be covered…. guess not.

My hope is that someday, hopefully within my lifetime, this country will pull it’s head out of its ass and listen to it’s citizens. This is bull shit and we know it, and the government needs to realize we have the power, not them. They are supposed to do what WE want not what THEY want. They are in office, and in power because WE put them there. We gave them that power and we can take it away.

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