Life and Death Decisions Based on Medical Cost

AeroHippus mask

AeroHippus mask

If you’ve been following my blog posts, you know I’ve been battling a chronic respiratory disease in my horse very similar to asthma. The veterinary costs and medical treatments are exorbitant. To make matters worse, however, I recently filled the vet’s prescription for the horse’s steroid inhalant (fluticasone propionate) at my local pharmacy. They had to pick me up off the floor when I was presented with a bill for $330 for one inhaler (Flovent) which delivers only 120 doses, so would last approximately a week. Having no recourse at the time, I put it on my charge and determined to find a more affordable solution. During Paddy’s first course of treatment this winter, I knew it did not cost that much. Turns out after pulling out the old vet bills and calling the vet who provided the medicine, a differently named product called Flixotide (the SAME medicine with same number of doses) is available overseas (Canada, NZ) but my pharmacist could not get it. It may be distributed for veterinary purposes. It is the same thing–Fluticasone propionate–even the inhalant packaging looks exactly alike, yet this cost less than $100.  Even at that price, I am staring squarely down the gun barrel of a horrible decision based on finances regarding my beloved horse’s life. If he cannot find some relief from this affliction, I cannot continue to pay for his treatment almost year round. I hate to make a life and death decision based on money, but the prohibitive costs are putting me in that position.

Only difference is price. Top one is over $300

Only difference is price. Top one is over $300

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