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“When in doubt, tell the truth” – Mark Twain

There is definitely something wrong with this country and with the world in general when between car, home and health insurance, almost one half of what is earned is used to pay for the privilege of having insurance.

Tonight I am ripping mad.  I stopped by the pharmacy to drop off a prescription and the guy behind the counter said the insurance company will not fill the prescription without pre-authorization.  He explained to me that the insurance companies want to know that I have tried other medications prior to utilizing this medication.   Who do they think they are!  They don’t know me from Adam, nor do they know my medical history.   And besides, it’s not like it is a controlled substance or anything.  I could probably get pain meds easier.

I was diagnosed about 20 years ago with fibromyalgia.  I have been going to the university for about 5  years now, participating in studies for fibromyalgia. I’ve never taken anything more than aspirin for this condition, but it seems as I get older, it hurts more.  Maybe because I  have sleep apnea and now I also have arthritis. Anyway,  in this last study patients were given either a medication called Savella or a placebo. If I remember correctly, after the study was over, I was told the study was to see if patients did as well taking a placebo as they did on the medication.  Well, I can tell you patients don’t do better on a placebo.

Savella has already been approved by the FDA and is used for treating fibromyalgia – it also works well for arthritis. After the study, I was given the real deal and I did quite well on the medication. I was thrilled to get a 2 months supply of Savella; but to get the two month supply I had to provide the doctor at the university with a copy of a prescription for Savella . My doctor gave me the prescription, no questions asked.

It has been six months and I decided to go ahead and fill the prescription.  Before you say anything, the Rx was not expired. Was I surprised when the pharmacist told me my doctor had to get pre-approval from the insurance company before they could fill my prescription.  The other popular medication for fibromyalgia is Lyrica.  Lyrica has side effects that would not benefit me, such as weight gain.  I have a hard enough time maintaining and losing a few pounds – why do I want to take a drug that would cause me to gain weight.  And how good will that be on my joints? Savella doesn’t have that side effect. As a matter of fact, I lost a few pounds while on the trial.

Now I have to play the waiting game to see if my doctor can convince the insurance company that Savella is better for me than Lyrica.  And for this the insurance company takes almost 1/3 of my husband’s salary!

I don’t even want to know what it will be like if we go to socialized medicine!


About Mme Jocelyne

Hi, I'm a transplanted northerner–(born and raised in New York to French immigrants–Oui je parle Francais)-living in Florida for 20 years. In the 70's I worked as a realtor in the Bronx – City Island to be exact. Then I started a family and didn't keep up my license. I aspired to a career in architecture, so I went to New York Institute of Technology for three years, moved to Florida and finished my degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville. After 10 years of working in my dream career I sustained an injury to my shoulder. This injury never healed because I was constantly on the computer doing cad design. I finally decided to make a career change – something where I could use my training as an architect. Needless to say, I was worried – where will the money come from? How will I be able to afford my career change? But, I put my faith in God and went for it. It’s the best move I ever made, other than my husband, children and dogs.

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