What’s up with the price increase?

Grendel takes asthma medication twice per day — once in the morning and again in the evening.  His medication, as you may remember, is Flovent (now Flovent HFA).

Until now a single inhaler was approximately $95 for 60 days.  The last two times I've had to get the prescription filled I have been somewhat curious about the more than $10 increase in price (now $108.00).  Outside of the change to an ozone-friendly inhaler, the medication is the same.  So why the increase?

Is it because it's now produced in an ozone-friendly form?  That's my guess.  If it is, I'm happy to pay the extra cost to make sure the medication isn't environmentally harmful.

But I'm suspicious because I started paying more for the prescription before the new HFA form was available.

So what's up with the price increase?

I suspect it's the typical American prescription drug company mentality — we can step all over the American public on cost for prescriptions because we make them pay for all of our overly indulgent executive compensation packages.  These companies, like GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Flovent, claim the exorbitantly high prices in America for these medications is how they recoup costs for research and development.

They claim they can't get the higher costs in foreign countries because the laws in those countries don't allow them to.

Huh…  Isn't that interesting…

Why do we not have those same price protections (I prefer that term over "caps" since they do protect people from the financial rape they suffer in the US for the very same drugs)?

It simply amazes me that Grendel has been on this medication for some time and I thought the original $95 was outrageous.  Here we are, though, with a greater than 10% increase in cost for the very same product.

When will our government give the American people the same protection they get in Canada and other countries where prescription drug companies are not allowed to extort the consumer when it comes to medically needed treatment?

I think it’s going to be a hot summer

It’s only 10:30 AM and it’s already 93° F (33.3° C).  I suspect we’re going to have a hot summer this year.

I know what you’re thinking.  I live in Texas and we assume every summer is hot, right?

You’re correct in that we have hot summers every year in the Lone Star State, but “hot” comes in varying degrees of severity.  It can mean a month or more of consecutive temperatures over 100° or it can mean a few days here and there over 100°.  It can mean our over 100° temperatures are no higher than 105° or it can mean we get as hot as 113°.  The heat can be so bad that we have widespread heat-related deaths or it can mean only a handful of mostly elderly and otherwise highly susceptible people are killed by it.

Will it be hot this year?  Of course — this is Texas.  It’s simply a question of severity.

Today is May 22 and we’ve already had four consecutive days in the mid- to upper-nineties which we normally don’t get until early- to mid-June.  I suspect that means we’re going to have a very unpleasant summer.


I wrote this during my sophomore year in high school.  It's short and simple yet so easily recalls with near inconceivable clarity those events which fashioned it in my mind and eventually to paper.

It's amazing how a simple writing such as this can be such a memoria technica, yet it's not surprising.  I've been writing for a long time and have always used it as catharsis concomitant with memorialization (hence the blog).  In this case, I remember the class I was sitting in and the other students who were seated around me and even what I was wearing (that being the terrifying part of this memory; what the hell were we thinking?).

I wrote this particular item during one of those unexceptional teen moments when the world was most certainly crushing in on me.  I was positive nothing could ameliorate the situation.  Everything in life was surely wrong; everything I did or tried ended in failure; woe is me…

Of course I would survive and the world had no intention of stopping what it was doing just to focus calamity on me, but you remember as well as I how dramatic teen life can be.  It's almost as if we would feed on our own drama.

Perhaps averring what I knew to be true even in such melodramatically desperate times, I wrote this.

yet sometimes unwillingly given
much needed
yet not enough to be given
one day you will need it
and realize
that no one is ready to give
until one person comes

[circa 1986]

Like hell you’re raising the bar

Cingular claims in its advertising that it's raising the bar for cellular services, especially following its acquisition of AT&T Wireless (my previous carrier).

Thus far I have yet to see my service improve.  On the contrary, my service has actually gone downhill in several places, not the least of which is where I live.  With AT&T I had coverage throughout my house.  Now, with Cingular, I have coverage in one corner of one room and out on the patio — and that's it.

If Cingular thinks it's improving service, they're sorely deceived.

Redkloud is 24 today

My nephew Redkloud (Michael) is 24 today.  Wow, I remember what it was like to be 24, but that was back when the dinosaurs roamed the planet — so I’m sure things are quite different these days.


Happy Birthday!