A Bit of Real Life, Bed-Stuy, New York, quickie

Me: 1. Big Pharma: 0. Hair care industry: .5

So I wrote a while back about a new Rx–effective and nondrowsy–that cost $700 for a self-paying patient. It’s been sitting at my local, non-chain pharmacy collecting dust for months. A recent wrench in my back (first I couldn’t bend over, instead forcing myself to do awkward Playboy Bunny squats every time I dropped something) has spread into my neck, so that I now have to turn my entire upper body like an early-era Terminator to look around. This made me desperate & I went to the pharmacy to piece together how much of this script I could afford for this crisis. 6? 10 pills? At this point I’d donate an egg to sit upright comfortably.

As the pharmacist empathized with the absurdity of the price and went to investigate, his assistant (with lovely new single twists) chatted me up about my hair, my products, why she’s shedding, what kind of scarf to sleep in; I’ve had similar conversations with bus drivers, women on the train, on line at the grocery store.  It’s not offensive to me & at this point I have set answers for most questions.

Big_Pharma_(Jacky_Law_book)The pharmacist appeared again, incensed. I steeled myself for horrifying news. “This is already a generic,” he said in disbelief. “So why the brand name?” I asked. Apparently, if a dosage doesn’t exist in a generic, you can create a new dosage and market it as something brand new. For $700. After a quick check with my doc, the generic was approved…for $45. [correction: $35.] “These companies and their money,” the pharmacist said, shaking his head. “We’ll work it out for you,” the assistant said comfortingly.

Big Pharma, you are ridiculous. More importantly, I love my pharmacy (which picks up and delivers, btw). Another reason to get to know your local businesses.

And as for my hair convo: Cantu, yes; Shea Moisture, no; if you can splurge, Jane Carter or Miss Jessie’s; wear a silk scarf; don’t twist edges too tightly (or don’t twist at all and slick back); try bigger twists if too much shedding is happening with tiny twists; be generous with the conditioner; and go for trims!

OK, back to work. Have a good one.