The insurance company vs the drug company -- a saga
I'm not too fond of insurance compainies, as a rule. But they do rate somewhere above drug companies, in my book. Heck, even Enron execs rate above drug companies, IMHO. Here's what happened.
My doctor prescribed Nexium for acid reflux with esophageal spasm. (It's the last part that scared me into seeing the doctor. The esophagus closes shut so that food and/or liquid doesn't go down. It just sits there in the middle of your esophagus.) Anyway, I dropped the prescription off at the pharmacy. Next day I go back to pick it up and they tell me Nexium on a "pre-authorization list" and they've contacted the doctor's office. This goes on for another 4 days with no action anywhere. Finally, the office calls me to say that the insurance company refuses to pay for the Nexium without my having tried the generic Prilosec first. OK by me, for pete's sake, let's just get this thing moving!
When I picked up the generic Prilosec, I asked the pharmacist what the difference was. She said that there is very little difference in the two drugs and they're made by the same company. It's just that the patent on Prilosec ran out so the drug company introduced an "improved" version called Nexium. Of course, the new one is under patent. It costs big bucks. And it is the one you see advertised heavily on TV. Hmmmm.
Did the generic Prilosec work? Absolutely.
Was the insurance company right in refusing to pay for the Nexium? Also absolutely, IMO.