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$394 Acne cream!

July 27th, 2013 at 04:43 pm

One of the "benefits" of giving up my apartment is that I am finally able to afford health insurance. I don't believe that a person should have to make this kind of choice. Unfortunately, NY is the most expensive state to retain coverage and there are thousands of temporary workers who forgo coverage.

I had gone for years without coverage. Occasionally I went to doctors for check ups and paid hundreds of dollars for diagnostic tests and exam fees. My health care has gotten much better with coverage that it was without. For one thing, before, doctors would not order follow ups, since they knew most likely I would not be able to afford it. Now they order follow ups and the standard of care is much better. There may be skeptics out there who think that the doctors are just ordering more exams because of insurance coverage, however I can attest that I have a condition that necessitates follow up, and this follow up did not happen when I was not covered.

I had been plagued by acne for a while now, and tried every over the counter remedy to no avail. My internist recommended that I see a dermatologist for my acne. Years ago, my general physician wrote out my acne prescriptions, now it seems that doctors want you to see another doctor.

So I went to the dermatologist and she gave me a few samples of Ziana. Ziana is a combination clindamycin phosphate 1.2% and tretinoin 0.025% gel. She told me to try it out and if it worked to ask the office for a prescription. I used it for a month and saw improvement in acne reduction and skin tone and subsequently requested a prescription. After the request, I received a call from the pharmacy asking if I wanted to fill the prescription, because the total would be $394 and I did not have Rx coverage. I told them not to fill it and contacted the office for a generic prescription. They changed my prescription to two creams: one tretinoin and the other clindamycin. These two creams totaled about $90 at my pharmacy.

$90 is a lot, but it is a lot better than $394. However I would like to know what insurance company would even cover a $394 acne cream? This drug is not some new breakthrough; it's a combination of two products that have been on the market for years. It just irks me when I think about how expensive insurance coverage is, and how many of these topical creams are found overseas for $10 a tube...

I still have an unopened sample tube of Ziana, which should last a week and a half. If any of you know of a decent online pharmacy, let me know. I've never purchased drugs online except through my insurance company.

2 Responses to “$394 Acne cream! ”

  1. jewels3 Says:

    I am so very thankful for our prescription insurance coverage. One of my daughter's prescriptions is $30/month. Without insurance it would be over $800 a month

  2. ohsuzannah Says:

    The insurance companies for prescriptions usually have contracts in place that lower the price they pay for a drug considerably. Also, there are rebates available to them for certain brands or drugs that the manufacturer is trying to promote.

    The irony is that people without insurance will be charged the full cost, when they are the exact people who cannot afford full price.


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