December 12, 2010

14% of what it costs at home....

Fever blisters are a drag.

About the only redeeming factor is that now there are powerful prescription anti-viral creams that usually send them on their way in short order. While it causes considerable wincing to pay a $50 co-pay for a 1.5 gram tube of anti-viral cream, the stuff works like nothing else. To feel like I get my $50 worth, I use the very smallest amount possible so as to make that itty bitty little 1-½ inch tube last as long as possible.

My current miniscule tube of Denavir (penciclovir) is about to come to an end.

Rather than have my kids pay the $50 co-pay for it in Albuquerque and then ship it to me for another $50 in international shipping fees, I thought I’d see if it was available here.

What follows is a true story.

I went into a pharmacy today and showed the pharmacist (they are referred to as chemists here) what’s left of my nanotube of Denavir and asked if there was a similar anti-viral I could get a physician to prescribe for me here.

She went straight to a shelf behind the counter, chose a small box and handed it to me. She said, “This is exactly the same. You can pay for it at the register”. It all happened so quickly and took me by such surprise that I could simply buy what is a prescription medication at home, that I forgot to ask about the price.

Once the cashier rang it up, she said, “that will be $47.61”.

At today’s exchange rate, that’s $7USD!

On my way out of Namibia, I’m going to buy about 10 tubes of the stuff to take home.