**PLEASE NOTE** - I use no other social media and my comments are closed due to persistent harassment and impersonation by one individual - sorry :(

Saturday, May 28, 2022

PS - Update to the Insulin-Cost Post, Plus Memorial Day ... Stuff :)


I added an important PS to my post on why the price of insulin hasn't changed, despite new, more affordable insulin entrants.

(Short answer - because the PBMs - pharmacy-benefit management companies - that large national health-insurance plans contract with aren't under the same state and/or federal regulations as insurance companies themselves are, and thus aren't legally required to be as transparent with their profit margins - but we do know they depend on large rebates for their income, which vary according to contract, and therein lies the problem - high cost means bigger rebates and thus profit for PBMs, which they don't legally have to disclose  ;) 

Essentially, the update is, in addition to the Semglee dual option (discussed in that post), the more competitors in a market to bring the price down, the better -  -  so on May 24th, Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that they had partnered with Civica Pharmaceuticals to produce and distribute a more affordable insulin.

The idea is to bypass the middle-man rebate game played by their contracted PBMs and contract directly with the pharmaceutical company to produce and distribute a more affordable form of insulin themselves.

They will still keep their contract on other drugs because the sheer volume of pharmaceuticals is too much for an insurance company to handle alone, thus why they contract it out to a third party - but with insulin, they're taking the control back.

This is theoretical and a pilot-program experiment - we shall see if it works and the implications for the rest of the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to the cost of not only insulin, but other pharmaceuticals, the cost of which has reached maximum capacity for ability to pay, not only by their members, but for the insurance companies themselves.

Otherwise - it's been a weird week - and not just with the Uvalde shooting, an event which has hung on me all week.

In addition, I was hit with double-whammy fun of a UTI and tonsillitis at the exact same time (during which I continued to work, albeit a bit more slowly).

Just an FYI for anyone suffering from chronic UTIs, D-Mannose at 2,000 mg works as far as prevention, IF your recurrent infections are caused by E. coli - it worked for 9 months.

The problem came in mostly because I started tinkering around with the formulation and dosages.

So ... I can't take large capsules and pills, they will get stuck and sometimes induce vomiting - so I was opening up the capsule and pouring it in water, which I suspect began to give a bit of esophagitis, so I stopped it for three days to check.  

The esophagitis did, in fact, improve, so I ordered the powder form of D-Mannose, thinking an actual formulated powder would be softer - the problem with that was not only was three days too long to go without D-mannose, but the powder made me vomit - forcefully and profusely.  (In fact, I initially thought the sore throat was irritation from this, but nope.)

If you suffer from recurrent UTIs - *if caused from E. coli* - over-the-counter D-mannose, 2,000 mg a day, never missing a dose, should do the trick for prevention (although the humidity may also be playing a part in the return, after a nine-month "hiatus.")

I've since found a chewable, expected to arrive today, so we shall see ;)

Regardless, I was put on a heavy-duty antibiotic to hit both infections - and I'm on the mend.

I also received my first COVID test, which thankfully was negative - thank you, Pfizer!

(I'm fully vaccinated, including two boosters, from which I received no side effects at all besides energy level and initial heavier bleeding, though in menopause, but that didn't happen again with boosters).

Also, COVID tests aren't rough, like people say, at least for me - a flu test is worse, it stings!

Also, our horse was visited by several vets, who initially thought the jaw abscess might be cancer instead of a tooth abscess.  

In fact, bone cancer was the favored potential diagnosis by the team of vets, at first, still waiting test results -  until an ultrasound vet found an overlooked foreign object in the jaw yesterday, and disagreed that it was cancer, which was a huge relief to us.  

And still, tests must be done to ensure that is the case. 

Thus, needless to say, after all that, we're ready for a relaxing weekend to recuperate and picnic in the paddock with our horse, to make the most time with him, either way (and watch "Stranger Things 4, Volume 1" on Netflix and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" on DisneyPlus, and the first episode of much-anticipated return of the Canadian sketch-comedy troupe known as "The Kids in The Hall," of course, on Amazon :)

The latter, I was lucky enough to watch the first season of with my own hallmates, during my one semester living in the dorms at UK my sophomore year, in 1989. ;)

After which, we "crushed" everyone's head with our fingers until we annoyed the crap out of everyone and each other and couldn't take it anymore - most people not having watched the show not even getting the joke - if you don't get it, watch it lol.

If you're not familiar with KITH, it's like an  SNL-meets-Portlandia combo - this one produced by SNL's Lorne Michaels.

And of course, if I'm feeling fully better, we may even go see "Top Gun: Maverick" at the actual theater (still wearing masks, of course) - the first movie we will have seen at an actual theater since 2019 :)

One good thing this pandemic has done is bring back the Memorial-Day-Weekend Blockbuster Summer Movie Premiere, which historically marked the kickoff of summer, a tradition which had virtually disappeared, prior to COVID, due to streaming services.

Being a movie buff, I, for one, am glad to the return of this particular cultural tradition and appreciation of this former event :) 

Speaking of the return of cultural traditions, cultural "closet-cleaning" of what really should be abolished versus those we should keep - Memorial Day.

It's kind of weird that we celebrate a day meant to remember our fallen soldiers with partying and celebration now, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, I'm as guilty as anyone else, it's also the kick-off for summer - but perhaps we should at least take a moment to remember the fallen?

So I'd just like to add a big "Thank You!" to our military for your service - both living and fallen - you're not forgotten, at least  by us :)

I'd also like to say the same to loved ones in general who have passed on, today. 

Otherwise, I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

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