Big Pharma Makes Big Losers Out of Us All

Big Pharma Makes Big Losers Out of Us All

My jaw dropped when my pharmacist told me the price and I stupidly asked how that was even possible. He shrugged and told me it was just business.

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It's a story many of us are familiar enough with. The second puberty struck me, I began my battle with acne. It was nothing serious - like most young girls, I would get the occasional offensive pimple every now and then and I would think it was the end of the world. I ran through a number of different over the counter face washes, which are all formulated to make your skin dependent on them (and irritate your acne further) so I never truly had clear skin.

Until I found the Clinique Acne Solutions kit. My skin was practically flawless for a couple of months until I had a horrible reaction and I suffered from cystic acne all over my face for the first (and thankfully last) time in my life. I was miserable and finally made an appointment with a dermatologist, which was what I should've done in the first place. I was placed on a cycle of different medications to control hormones and sent to the pharmacy to pick up Epiduo, a retinol that saved my skin. It took half a year but my skin was finally tamed and smoothing itself out to the point where I no longer had to worry about breakouts except for when my time of the month threw my hormones all out of whack.

Recently, my insurance refused to cover some of my medications, including Epiduo, with the refuting claim that an over-the-counter gel with one (yes, ONLY one) similar ingredient is now available. I've searched for this alternative medication for months and believe me, it's almost non-existent where I'm at. Furthermore, I've asked a dermatologist about this particular product and she didn't sugarcoat her words when she told me that it was basically useless and would do nothing for my skin compared to how Epiduo helped me.

Without insurance covering Epiduo, the retail cost skyrocketed from a measly $15 to almost upwards of $400. My jaw dropped when my pharmacist told me the price and I stupidly asked how that was even possible. He shrugged and told me it was just business. I went home, both anxious about how I would treat my skin and infuriated about how a system could just leave its clients empty-handed and scrambling.

I did a little research, and while what I learned wasn't really surprising, it definitely sickened me. Most of the insurance companies are in league with pharmaceutical companies, and not solely for the purpose of offering "discounts" on medication, but to promote largely ineffective "over-the-counter" alternatives. Let's take a product like Epiduo for example - while it might be sold for $400, it might've only taken $3 to actually produce. Insurance will cover this medication only with a prescription and only if they can't shove an "alternative" in your hands instead. You'll be given a discount and end up paying only $15 instead of the $400 - generous, but still an outrageous upcharge.

Now, let's say there's now an alternative. Chances are that buying this new product over the counter will cost you more than buying your original medication while it was covered by insurance, but it will be nowhere near the outrageous high retail amount they're asking you to pay. So you shell out $25 instead for a weaker, diluted version of the medication you actually need, feeding these companies with more profit and leaving you, the consumer, with the short end of the stick - all part of a large-scale robbery.

Instead of frantically searching for alternatives that would possibly worsen my skin, I've been using products that are all-natural or mostly natural to avoid bad reactions while I wait for a better option to roll around. Going all-natural has actually improved my skin significantly, and while I'm excited by the results I'm still hoping for my dermatologist to recommend another miracle cream to save my skin that my insurance could cover.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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You’re More Likely To Die From An Opioid Overdose Than A Car Accident

Your odds of dying from an accidental overdose is 1 in 96.

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For the first time ever, the odds of dying in a car accident are smaller than the chances of overdosing on opioids. The National Safety Council analyzed fatality statistics from 2017 and found that lifetime odds of dying from opioid overdose were greater than death from car accidents, pedestrian accidents, falls, drowning and fires. Sadly, the common misconception for many people is that the opioid crisis won't affect them. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that the overdose rates are increasing across the US and it may only be a matter of time before someone you know is another victim.

Looking at the Numbers

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, the number of children and teens admitted to hospitals for opioid overdose has nearly doubled since 2004. The study looked at children and teens between the ages of 1-17 who were admitted to intensive care units for opioid-related diagnosis from 2004-2015. Researchers identified 3,647 patients across the country who were admitted for opioid-related incidents. Sadly, almost half of these patients end up in the intensive care unit.

According to the CDC, there were 70,237 overdose deaths that occurred in the US in 2017 - this is 9.6% rise from 2016. Opioid overdoses accounted for almost 70% of these deaths. Statistically significant states with synthetic opioid overdoses include Arizona (increased by 122.2%, North Carolina (increased by 112.9% and Oregon (saw a 90.9% increase). Illegally manufactured fentanyl was a major contributing factor to the number of opioid overdoses in 2017 the largest rate of increase was among 25-44 year-old men.

How Are Lawmakers Fighting This Epidemic?

It can be argued that lawmakers are not doing enough to combat the opioid epidemic. A report by the Washington Post claims Congress has not caught up with the major opioid problem. The report claims in order for this epidemic to be stopped something similar to national effort seen during the AIDS epidemic needs to happen. There needs to be more money granted to opioid addiction prevention campaigns, more funding response, more treatment centers and development of non-addictive painkillers.

The most significant legislation that has come out of Congress seems to be the STOP act of 2018. This bill is aimed at stopping the flow of fentanyl abroad - primarily from China ( a large manufacturer of synthetic fentanyl). It authorizes U.S border control to process shipments and requires that postal shippers include details about the parcel and include names addresses of recipients. Many people across the country still think Congress isn't doing enough to combat this epidemic and new efforts are being implemented by everyday citizens to fight this problem in their own backyard.

The CDC started a program called OPIS (Overdose Prevention in States) that works with 45 states across the US to inform and raise awareness about the opioid epidemic. This program works with communities to enhance prescription drug monitoring programs, share statistics with each other, report non-fatal and fatal overdoses more quickly. The sharing of information between local states and surrounding communities allows people to rapidly respond with targeted resources and quickly identify opioid "hot spots." These prescription drug campaigns have had success in decreasing opioid prescriptions and fatalities.

Take Action Into Your Own Hands

Knowing the facts is the first step to addressing this epidemic. Too many young people are dying due to the use of these opioids and prescription painkillers. It's important to work together as a community or with your school to address the crisis and monitor people around you who might be struggling with this addiction. If you know someone struggling with opioid addiction, don't wait for it to be too late -- get them the help they need right away.

Resources For Those Struggling With Addiction:

National Helpline SAMHSA

Opiate Addiction Hotline

Opioid Prevention Resources

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