What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Medicine in America

Here is something that I just happened to stumble upon. I wrote it last time I visited my parents in America.

Buying medicine is so weird in America. My mother had to wait 20 minutes because she had changed insurance companies. Not only that, but the girl who gathered her medicine couldn't hand it over to my mother. The pharmacist had to do it, and all she did was tell my mother what was in the bag. Weird.

Then there was the lady next to us. She had a bill of over 500 dollars! And that was after the insurance company had paid for over 160 dollars of the price. Apparently insurance companies in the US can be picky about what they cover and for how much they'll cover it for. Strange.


A lot of medicine in America and Canada is driven strictly by profit and in some cases regulatory bodies protect pharmaceutial companies against the negative backlash from unsafe products which really shouldn't be on the market.

Pharmaceutial companies also fly doctors in to private weekend 'information sessions' which are really company-paid all-inclusive holidays designed to increase usage and garner recommendations for new drugs.

Ultimately the flaw in how Western style medicine gets administered is that it seeks to treat symptoms and not understand more wholistically what contributes to illness. It really creates opportunities for medicine to become just another cheap product for the market which is sold based on the same principles as other goods like cars, clothing, etc.

All the paperwork and headaches of those products and services follow, as you witnessed. Call me nuts but I think health is one of those things that should be taken a little more seriously.
At Walgreens Pharmacy, if you are getting a new prescription, as in one you've never taken before, they have a policy where the pharmacist has to give you the meds and discuss any questions you might have. They started that policy because they want people to be aware of any side affects and drug interactions, because God knows people will sue if not told - even though they give you a print out too.

I had pneumonia in December into January. The doctor charged me $150.00 not bad. The pharmacy charged me $480.00, and best yet I had to get refills. I just love the American system.
I am always afraid of visiting America. Not because of crime. Not because of racism or anything like that.

I am afraid of getting sick or in an accident.

It's funny, because when I lived there, I never thought about it at all, but now it scares the heck out of me. It's just so mind-bogglingly expensive!

Now when I vist America I make sure to take out travel insurance, and not the cheap one, either!

I had a cousin who was in the military stationed in Europe. He got some time off, so he decided to visit his family in America. I think he was in America for all of a day before he got hit by a car and died.

Accidents can happen at any time, anywhere. I want to be ready for the worst, especially in America.
The fact that we have no affordable health care in the USA is really disappointing. Well you can get cheap insurance, but really it's paying for nothing. For instance my husband and I can pay $600 a month for insurance, but we have to pay the first $20,000 in medical bills and then we will be covered 80% and we make up the other 20% BUT..there's always a but, that is for usual and customary costs as deemed by the insurance agency...so basically they get to dictate just what they will pay. Now to top that off there was no prescription coverage, or dental or vision. So does that sound like a fair deal?

Please take out travelers health insurance if you come to
America. I took it out when I went to Guam. Luckily I did because it was $1,657.81 for a few hours in the ER for a kidney stone. It was all reimbursed. Thank-you Travelocity! :)

So Mikawa Ossan you are most certainly correct!

Journal entry information

Mikawa Ossan
Last update

More entries in Blogroll

More entries from Mikawa Ossan

Top Bottom