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Author Topic: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!  (Read 6825 times)

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Offline spiderfromspain

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URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« on: March 26, 2013, 11:37:57 PM »
HI!!!!

A big thank you to everyone who can help me out on this one.

I am a visitor from spain, here as a tourist, in new york. I commute from new jersey to manhattan. I am here with my boyfriend. My medications have run out. My medications also were stopped at customs and there is an inexplicable delay to get them. I am on a Atripla.

I obviously cannot afford the pills since they are paid for by the government run health care back in Europe.ç

How or what do I do to get the medications here??? Please direct me to the appropriate resources.

Has anyone had the same problem as me before?

Thanks
Spider

Offline emeraldize

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 12:20:27 AM »
My medications also were stopped at customs and there is an inexplicable delay to get them. I am on a Atripla.

Your medications were seized via US Customs? Where? Under what circumstances? Were they unlabeled? Did you attempt to hide them -- which is unnecessary but may have caused undue attention? Can you give us more detail? This doesn't make sense.

Read this and see if any of what you did ran counter...https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/67/related/1/session/L2F2LzEvc2lkL2dxU002Z21s/~/i-am-hiv%2B-and-on-medication-and-want-to-travel-to-the-u.s.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 12:26:03 AM by emeraldize »

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 01:28:55 AM »
Dear emeraldize,

The customs didn't seize the medications. It's just that the medications are taking too long to be released by them  - the carrier, dhl got in touch with the customs and explained that the customs had now proceeded to acquire the necessary clearance from a higher agency, the FDA which regulates the entry of goods of such nature in the country. At the moment I went with my boyfriend and my apartment mate to the emergency room of hospital bellevue in new york to get an interim supply of medications.

I really have nowhere to turn and my boyfriend and me broke down for the first time that I would need to return to spain if this isn't solved in time.

I did read on the forums how some people could donate their extra meds and I'd really like to get this help even if it was for a month which will really lighten my stressful situation.

Warm greetings and thank you for replying.

Ps: to give you slight history about me, I have been positive since probably about 2007 since I was last tested negative in 2004 and only found out I was positive last year in april while screening my blood for medical reasons other than hiv. My condition was diagnosed at that time as asymptomatic AIDS with viral load of 1, 5 million and cd4 of 182. My boyfriend and I had unprotected sex once in that window and even with such high viral load and him being bottom he still remained negative. I have been on atripla since my diagnosis and my viral load fell to undetectable and my cd4 has risen to 550. I was told about this website from someone whoworkas in the health field and didn't have solutions. So here I am.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 01:33:00 AM by spiderfromspain »

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 01:35:11 AM »
Oh no I provided all necessary documents including prescription, my passport, doctor's certification and diagnosis, entry date to usa, etc. There was no single document missing from what was requested of me.

Offline gadawg1979

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 02:13:44 AM »
I am not on atripla and wish I could help. I am on complera. Have u tried an ASO in New York they should be able to help
Diagnosed March 2012
Initial CD4- 156 VL 200K (started Complera) Genotype test no resistance
First labs on meds CD4- 246 VL 2K Taken after 30 days on Complera
90 Day labs VL 306 No CD4 Drawn
8/21/2012 CD4 474 VL Undetectable (40) %20.6
11/27/2012 CD 4 522 VL Undetectable (40)
2/14/2013 CD 4 464 VL Undetecable (30) 19.6%
6/8/3013 CD 4 528 VL Undetectable (30)
9/24/2013 CD 4 546 VL Undetectable (40)
1/30/2014 CD4 560 VL Undetectable (40) 22 %
6/19/2014 CD4 584 Vl Undetecable (30)

Offline emeraldize

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 10:07:20 PM »
How was DHL involved as carrier of your meds?  Are you moving here?  Why did you not have your meds in your carry on luggage?  Or am I misunderstanding something??

Okay--I did some looking and DHL has luggage services. I've never had my meds anywhere but in carry on and after this experience you may consider the same.

Hope you get your gear soon. Why have they delayed it?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 10:35:56 PM by emeraldize »

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 08:50:07 AM »
Actually when I first came to usa about a month ago, I was not in my home town in spain before coming here, where I see my doctor usually.  Time went very fast and I didnt have enough time to arrange medication for longer duration. Nor did I think I would stay on in usa. I was supposed to be just here for 7-8 days. I was then supposed to return to spain but my boyfriend and me immediately decided we would live here together for 3 months. I am here on the european tourist visitor visa. So I asked the pills to be shipped...

In the end this doesn't take care of my problems.

My shipment by dhl got stopped at jfk by customs.

I went to the local aso and they said it takes 7 or 10 days for papers of adap to go through. Although initially they said I need to even be resident here. And thats my situation so far.

Anyway as of now I have given up. I dont think I can do anything until the medications are released by customs or I get them through adap.
:'(

Thank you very much emeraldize and gadawg!
:)

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 08:55:29 AM »

My shipment by dhl got stopped at jfk by customs.


Have you been in touch with customs and explained the situation to them?

Provided you're in the country legally and haven't over-stayed your visa, then one would think they'd be more than happy to release your meds.

If they force you to go on ADAP, then you're suddenly a burden on the system when you didn't need to be.

Have you pointed that out to a customs official?


PS - if you have over-stayed your visa and are in the country illegally, then they might use your med situation as a way to make you go home.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 09:02:53 AM by Ann »
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 10:48:50 AM »
A pity noone has helped you out. 

what about

1) Ask someone in Spain to ship you some more.
or
2) Put an announcement on Craigs List and ask for good samaritans to LOAN some pills that will be paid back when you get yours.
or
3) Get your American boyfriend's doctor to figure something out
or
4) Just go home dear, get your meds and some spring clothes, and then fly back to NYC when you're ready to be there for awhile, with your HAART and your honey.  Life is long...   Don't make impetuous decisions that put your health at risk.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline emeraldize

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 12:29:00 AM »


My shipment by dhl got stopped at jfk by customs.


Thank you very much emeraldize and gadawg!
:)

You're welcome. Thanks for the details. I would think one or two phone calls from the right agency would liberate your meds.

How about calling someone at the Health Department. And, have you called US Customs and Immigration Service ?

Best

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 02:48:55 AM »
It's been a week since you've gone without meds, unless I'm reading something wrong here. Just enjoy your trip and have a discussion with your doctor when you return to Spain, run some resistance tests, and depending on the results either start Atripla again or move on to some other regimen.

What's done is done.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline emeraldize

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 07:46:42 AM »
Hi Miss P- Maybe I'm reading something incorrectly, but I think he and his boyfriend are planning to live here for three months. I find it shocking that his meds were held up in customs any longer than necessary to establish what type of meds they are unless it was unclear, unlabeled, etc. It doesn't make sense to me. 

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 08:11:19 AM »
Hi Miss P- Maybe I'm reading something incorrectly, but I think he and his boyfriend are planning to live here for three months. I find it shocking that his meds were held up in customs any longer than necessary to establish what type of meds they are unless it was unclear, unlabeled, etc. It doesn't make sense to me. 

It makes sense when you consider patent laws surrounding meds and their import. (I'm not saying they're good laws...)

Meds as expensive as hiv meds are bound to make a customs official sit up and take notice, particularly if they're being shipped in months-size quantities.

It also makes sense from an immigration stand-point. While positive people are no longer barred from entering the US, a positive person over-staying their visa is a different matter entirely. The quantity of meds may flag a possible over-stayer in their system.

Again, I'm not saying any of this is good or right, I'm just looking at the situation from the PoV of a customs and/or immigration official.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 01:21:27 PM »
It's been a week since you've gone without meds, unless I'm reading something wrong here. Just enjoy your trip and have a discussion with your doctor when you return to Spain, run some resistance tests, and depending on the results either start Atripla again or move on to some other regimen.

What's done is done.

Dear miss p,

I quickly ran to the emergency room bellevue where I was givena 9 day course of medication to carry me over after my medications finished. I had a gap of 3 days where I didn't take medications until my boyfriend and me were forced to confess to our roommate that we needed his social security number on the customs form to get the medications released. Thats how he got to know my hiv status. My boyfriend is hiv negative and he willstay here longer on F1 visa. I am legal and as a 3 month visitor or tourist with no visa required. I am currently cutting my medications in to half and consuming them on a strict cycle of 17 hours to make them last longer and keep constant dosing in my body. I have filed for adap which will take 10 days. My medications still need to be released. I have no idea what to do. I'm more stressed about the resistance building it up. This is killing me... :'(

Ann mecch and emeraldize thank you again for your support.

Spider from spain

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2013, 01:30:13 PM »
Resistance issues generally build up when you take meds for two days, then take 3 off, then take them for two, then another 3 off. They don't usually happen when you just full stop.

And cutting the meds in half is definitely a way to create resistance issues. So not a very good idea.

You really should go to GMHC,  446 West 33rd Street and/or Callen Lourde, 356 W 18th St and get a professional opinion about what you should do instead of just making stuff up -- as in just completely stopping medications or what. Unless you have <200 cd4 you're not going to pass out and die. It's NYC, it's not like the first time they would have run into such a situation.

If you're not getting the resolution you want then, by all means, get back on a plane and go back home to Spain. There's only so much people on an internet message board can do for you after eight days if nobody has found the proper medications to mail to you.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 01:38:27 PM by Miss Philicia »
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 01:44:12 PM »
Dear miss p,

I quickly ran to the emergency room bellevue where I was givena 9 day course of medication to carry me over after my medications finished. I had a gap of 3 days where I didn't take medications until my boyfriend and me were forced to confess to our roommate that we needed his social security number on the customs form to get the medications released.     Thats how he got to know my hiv status. My boyfriend is hiv negative and he willstay here longer on F1 visa. I am legal and as a 3 month visitor or tourist with no visa required. I am currently cutting my medications in to half and consuming them on a strict cycle of 17 hours to make them last longer and keep constant dosing in my body. I have filed for adap which will take 10 days. My medications still need to be released. I have no idea what to do. I'm more stressed about the resistance building it up. This is killing me... :'(

Ann mecch and emeraldize thank you again for your support.

Spider from spain

Listen to Miss P.  Your strategy is a fail....  Go see a doctor. 

You came into this forum looking for meds and I hope you get yours, soon!!

But its a lucky coincidence because maybe you should stick around this forum and learn some more..  You need to wise up...  You went without meds because you wouldn't tell someone you were HIV+????  I am confused. What reaction or action were you afraid of, with the roommate???

I meant what I said about life being long....  Sounds like you are in love (newly?) and wrapped up in being together and quick decisions but.... first things first...  If you have HIV and are on HAART - its a daily responsibility to yourself - and your BF for that matter.... And everyone, really...   

How much medicine is being shipped to you??  3 months worth??  Is the same shipping scenario going to happen, again?  Why is the 3 months in USA more important than your basic health?

Does ADAP in NY provide drugs to tourists?  I mean, iI hope you get your drugs, by any means possible, but you got your supplier already....  Spain.

Something seems ill considered in the "supply line"...  And this stuff is basic...


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline emeraldize

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2013, 05:52:11 PM »
So you're not over-staying a visa. Have you enlisted anyone to get a couple of calls made to USCIS?  I remain of the same mindset this is bulls***. 

Offline mpositive

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2013, 11:31:56 AM »
I hope you are taking those at full dose, MissP is dead on accurate.  I wish I had Atripla to lend you, I would do so in a heart beat.  I am not on it however.  This really sucks and I pray you will get it arranged as quickly as possible.
Please try not to stress to much however, no doubt you will resolve this.

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2013, 12:39:30 PM »
Is it really accurate that you have to take atripla on full dose? Cutting the pills in half to extend their dosing wont help?

I am now on the last of my emergency room medications. A trip back and forth to spain is expensive (800-1000€ each time) and wont help so it means I have to buy the medications here or go back to spain and stay there.

I called gmhc. They arent a clinic but refer people to clinics and care or do hiv testing and counseling.
They told me to go to Bellevue and to callen lorde.

The plan is to go to another emergency room like st.lukes or roosevelt after my medications finish.

Callen lorde is refering out patients and won't take in new patients. They are only helping those who have been patients there...

Dhl called me again just an hour ago to say the fda is still determining hiv medications release from all documents provided. I wish there was some medications exchange like one lady used to run (I read in another post) where people gave their extra dose and the needy ones got such help. The aso told me today they are looking at legal action on customs for this unreasonable delay because these are life saving medications and I have a legal case. All I can say is I need the medications.  Thats all. :'( and yes ann is right. I am now applied for adap and I am an unnecessary burden for the health care programs here when I already get my pills from spain.

Thats my update.

Everyone has been really very nice with your support. Thank you.

Ps: mecch I don't like to tell I am hiv positive because we live in a 4 bedroom apartment. I wanted this to remain private between my boyfriend and I.

Offline texaninnyc87

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2013, 05:56:05 PM »
if i were you i would go to the emergency rooms now and try to get meds instead of waiting until you run out again. I think you've already probably confused your body a bit by skipping doses and halving doses so at this point i would try to avoid any more days without pills and its not like the emergency rooms will know you have a few more days stashed away, right?
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline emeraldize

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2013, 06:56:15 PM »
FHL is saying there may be a legal case?  Who cares? You made a mistake by packing your meds and you are being penalized by a system meant for other drugs. If privacy and /or language combined with trusting people will act swiftly on your behalf here are tripping you up then read the PM I'll send  you.

Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2013, 08:14:38 PM »
I don't know much about Spanish culture. But one thing about American and very much NY culture - "the squeaky wheel gets the grease..."  You got to make calls, go meet people, and get what you need.  Don't take no for an answer, ask people for solutions and referrals and their help (and.... be polite - this always helps, too).
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2013, 02:40:31 AM »
It's really strange customs has held your meds up.  My guess is that they were labeled HIV meds.  Oddly enough, my meds from India have been opened by customs a couple times and just resealed and sent on.  However, they are NEVER labeled as HIV meds, just as "supplements." 

I can track when customs is looking at them (held in customs) and have noticed they didn't quite close up the box properly... so it was obvious they opened them.

I think this probably has something to do with the fact that you labeled them HIV meds and the customs agent had no choice but to follow protocol.  If you have to have them shipped here again, ship them to a friend, if possible, in Spain, who can them repackage them and ship them to you.  Technically it's against US regulations to import meds into the US, although that regulation is not strictly enforced.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:42:53 AM by MitchMiller »

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2013, 10:36:15 AM »
Hello everybody

My medications were released yesterday evening. On the dhl wrbsite it says the medications are on the delivery vehicle.

Special thanks goes to emeraldize who tried to really help me out. She has a heart of gold. I cant think how to thank her enough.

Also many thanks to meech ann gadawg mpositive texaninnyc miss p.

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2013, 11:03:24 AM »
Good to hear it's sorted out. Thanks for letting us know. :)
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2013, 11:17:44 AM »
But remember that I am not yet all ok. I do not want to go through this horror story again for my next pills for 60 days til end of may. I am therefore staying on adap on advice of the social worker which is an unnecessary burden on the system.

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2013, 11:19:28 AM »
Will my adap be denied or is it illegal for me to be on it when finally now my pills (but very small amount) have arrived(30days)?

Offline Joe K

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2013, 11:48:49 AM »
Will my adap be denied or is it illegal for me to be on it when finally now my pills (but very small amount) have arrived(30days)?

I would hope that you could secure more drugs from Spain for the duration of your stay.  As sympathetic as I am to your situation, it's hardly fair for you to be using the underfunded ADAP program for your drugs.  That program is meant for NY residents and not visitors who do not plan accordingly to have the necessary drugs for their visit to the US.

Joe

Offline mike88

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2013, 11:59:17 AM »
Not to sound like a dick here joe but the guy is dealing with the same issues as we all are, what does it matter were he gets help from. He needs meds and if there is a safe place for him to get them them he should go get them. Were are you coming from with the ADAP meds in NY are only meant for people in NY. Not his fault they took his meds

On a side note I have a months supply of Stribild he can have but I doubt that they are made of the same medications. Does anybody know if this is a possibility for our spanish friend ?

Offline Jeff G

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2013, 12:07:00 PM »
Mike ... he is on Atripla .

Offline Joe K

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2013, 12:17:27 PM »
Not to sound like a dick here joe but the guy is dealing with the same issues as we all are, what does it matter were he gets help from. He needs meds and if there is a safe place for him to get them them he should go get them. Were are you coming from with the ADAP meds in NY are only meant for people in NY. Not his fault they took his meds

On a side note I have a months supply of Stribild he can have but I doubt that they are made of the same medications. Does anybody know if this is a possibility for our spanish friend ?

Mike,

As I said I am very sympathetic to his plight, however, he just decided to stay for three months instead of a few days and he didn't plan for enough drugs.  He has government sponsored health care in Spain and I think it's reasonable for him to get his drugs from his own government, rather than relying on ADAP, which is underfunded and has waiting lists for American citizens.  He's had his drugs delivered to him, but he doesn't have enough for the three months he wants to stay and it's his responsibility to secure the drugs he needs, without taking them from Americans.

It's not like he got stranded here without any drugs.  He and his boyfriend just decided he's stay for three months without an adequate drug supply and I believe it's their responsibility to secure the drugs he needs, without adding any more to our strained-to-breaking ADAP program.

Joe

Offline mike88

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2013, 12:56:34 PM »
Joe

You keeping speaking as if this is an American thing or a Spanish thing. I hope to think we are all in this together. I was reading an article about how in Russia AIDs is the third leading cause of death over there because the government waited to long to try to get it under control. Think about all those people with no help and no were to turn dealing with this. It's probably equivalent to what we were dealing with twenty years ago.

Cutting people off from access to HIV medications is not the answer it's part of the problem and unfortunately that is what our own government is guilty of of the doing right now and the only thing it accomplishes is an increase in HIV infections.

Offline Common_ground

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2013, 01:09:43 PM »
Joe

You keeping speaking as if this is an American thing or a Spanish thing. I hope to think we are all in this together. I was reading an article about how in Russia AIDs is the third leading cause of death over there because the government waited to long to try to get it under control. Think about all those people with no help and no were to turn dealing with this. It's probably equivalent to what we were dealing with twenty years ago.

Cutting people off from access to HIV medications is not the answer it's part of the problem and unfortunately that is what our own government is guilty of of the doing right now and the only thing it accomplishes is an increase in HIV infections.
+1
2011 May - Neg.
2012 June CD4:205, 16% VL:2676 Start Truvada/Stocrin
2012 July  CD4:234, 18% VL:88
2012 Sep  CD4:238, 17% VL:UD
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Offline Joe K

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2013, 01:17:06 PM »
Joe

You keeping speaking as if this is an American thing or a Spanish thing. I hope to think we are all in this together. I was reading an article about how in Russia AIDs is the third leading cause of death over there because the government waited to long to try to get it under control. Think about all those people with no help and no were to turn dealing with this. It's probably equivalent to what we were dealing with twenty years ago.

Cutting people off from access to HIV medications is not the answer it's part of the problem and unfortunately that is what our own government is guilty of of the doing right now and the only thing it accomplishes is an increase in HIV infections.

Mike,

I never said it was a national thing at all.  What I know is that there are waiting lists for Americans in the ADAP program and it's irresponsible for the OP to use our ADAP program when he has his own source of the same drugs in his home country.  It's called personal responsibility.  By the OPs own words, he and his boyfriend just decided he's stay for three months, instead of a week and he didn't plan for his drug needs.  All I am saying is that morally and ethically he has a duty NOT to drain finite ADAP resources here, when he can secure the drugs he needs from his own health care services.

By your own words, our government is not meeting our ADAP needs, so why do you think the OP is entitled to US tax paid drugs, rather than getting his own?  It's not like he can't get the drugs he needs and his decision to just stay another two months does not justify his taking drugs from Americans.  Bad planning and decision making on his part does not justify using ADAP for his drug needs.

Maybe you would like to be the one to tell some poor soul on an ADAP waiting list, that they need to wait another two months, because we gave their drugs to a visitor to the US.  Do you think it's fair to take those drugs from an American, who's taxes paid for those drugs?  Well I do not.  The OP has the ability to secure his drugs, without impacting our ADAP program and it's his responsibility to do whatever is necessary to avoid doing so.

Joe

Offline bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2013, 02:15:05 PM »
Joe

You keeping speaking as if this is an American thing or a Spanish thing. I hope to think we are all in this together. I was reading an article about how in Russia AIDs is the third leading cause of death over there because the government waited to long to try to get it under control. Think about all those people with no help and no were to turn dealing with this. It's probably equivalent to what we were dealing with twenty years ago.

Cutting people off from access to HIV medications is not the answer it's part of the problem and unfortunately that is what our own government is guilty of of the doing right now and the only thing it accomplishes is an increase in HIV infections.

Mike,

I think you are missing Joe's point -- the OP has access to meds, so your Russia analogy doesn't really work here.  I believe what Joe is saying, this isn't an emergency on the OP's part anymore (the delayed shipment, maybe was) -- if he runs out of drugs it is because of his choice.  Again -- he has access to drugs -- in fact he seems to have far better access to these drugs than Americans do.  So no one is "cutting off his access to drugs", except him.

Mike
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Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2013, 02:25:50 PM »
Joe,

I am not staying here only three months. I am going back in 3 months when my air ticket is booked for, but I am returning this time with an adequate supply of medications. My bf has F1 visa and is staying here longer for his length of studies.

And I am not happy at staying on adap.

But perhaps you've never faced a situation where you've faced a life altering horrific 2-3 week interruption in your treatment in a foreign country so you would probably never know. In europe people are treated irrespective where they come from. The health care system is more stable or solid about reaching to those who need life sustaining medications.

I do not want to be on adap. So in may I will stop myself from it. That's why I came on the forum to see if there are additional resources or even excess pills with someone to help me out.

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2013, 02:28:42 PM »
Bocker,

My medications were stopped at customs. I didnt voluntarily stop myself from getting the medications. I DO NOT have access to my medications right now. I finished my emergency medications today.

Rebooking my tickets costs 800 € with waste of trip. I might as well buy the medications here. I think the stop by customs wasnt of reasonable time frame.


Offline bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2013, 02:35:11 PM »
Bocker,

My medications were stopped at customs. I didnt voluntarily stop myself from getting the medications.

Rebooking my tickets costs 800 € with waste of trip. I might as well buy the medications here. I think the stop by customs wasnt of reasonable time frame.

I agree that the stopped meds were unreasonable and should not have happened.  I also wish that the US was set up like Europe, where everyone gets the medical care they need.  Unfortunately, that is not how it works here.  There is a limited (and shrinking) pool of money to help folks in ADAP -- one must look at the reality and not the wished for world.
Yes -- it would be expensive for you to fly back, but it is expensive for US taxpayers for you to NOT do so.  Again -- it is unfortunate, but it is our reality.
Is there an option for you to order meds from Spain now to ship -- perhaps that would give them time to arrive to you.
I truly do understand your plight -- but, unfortunately, you are in a country where health care is not a right to its own citizens.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
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Offline Matts

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2013, 02:48:47 PM »
Have U called the Spanish Embassy? They shall take care of Your case and provide some drugs from Europe. If You dramatize a bit that You will die of AIDS, I'm sure they will do something pretty soon. It's their duty.

And don't expect anything from the US, they do'nt have enough drugs for their own population.
tivicay/kivexa

Offline mike88

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2013, 03:26:44 PM »
This is a great discussion to emphasize how these drug companies got us all by the balls. 

Offline buginme2

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2013, 03:31:24 PM »

And don't expect anything from the US, they do'nt have enough drugs for their own population.

Well that's not exactly correct now since as our Spanish friend has mentioned he not only received an emergency supply of medication while in the US but also got approved for ADAP after being in the country as a tourist.

With that said, there is a culture in the United States that is based upon a certain self sufficiency.  Good or bad, agree with it or not, it is what it is.  When someone has a source of medication from their own country travels here as a tourist and hits a snag there is an expectation that the person takes care of it, ie they go home and get heir meds.   The expectation isn't that they stay here and obtain public assistance that wasn't meant or designed for tourists.

The OP should have prepared a little better to not run out of medication when he was here.  The US customs enforcement is very strict , especially when it comes to shipping drugs into the country.  That's not a secret.  If you have ever travelled to the US you would see just how thorough they are when entering the country.  As a citizen I have been stopped and made to wait hours by border control and customs.  That should have been taken into consideration when the op was shipping his meds into the country.

Offline Matts

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2013, 04:04:22 PM »
A wise and well-balanced answer, as always:) I withdraw my last sentence, it was very generous to put im on ADAP.

What can we learn? Always take enough meds when You travel to a foreign country.
Especially for the Greece visitors this year. After the crisis it can be difficult to get any meds at the moment.

I think all these problems will be over when the patents will run out, so in 2020?
tivicay/kivexa

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2013, 04:38:30 PM »
You will all be happy to learn that foreigner or not, your life saving medications will not be denied to you in europe and whatever (if at all) problems arise with less stringent customs hold ups. Its NOT a burden on the system (if thats how you view it) and no price is too much for a life that is within control of being saved.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 04:43:55 PM by spiderfromspain »

Offline Jeff G

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2013, 04:52:12 PM »
You will all be happy to learn that foreigner or not, your life saving medications will not be denied to you in europe and whatever (if at all) problems arise with less stringent customs hold ups. Its NOT a burden on the system (if thats how you view it) and no price is too much for a life that is within control of being saved.

I hope you enjoy your time here in the states ... if I had extra meds I would have gladly sent them to you but I didn't  .... I'm sure happy you got what you needed in the end .


Offline Joe K

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2013, 04:58:19 PM »
You will all be happy to learn that foreigner or not, your life saving medications will not be denied to you in europe and whatever (if at all) problems arise with less stringent customs hold ups. Its NOT a burden on the system (if thats how you view it) and no price is too much for a life that is within control of being saved.

Nobody denied you any medications here so stop the drama.  When I went to Europe once, we decided to extend our vacation by a week, but I only had enough meds for the planned two weeks.  I could have gotten the meds from the Dutch system, but it was my responsibility to get the drugs I needed.  I worked with Dutch customs, had them sent Fedex and had them in two days.  It was expensive, but the Dutch were not responsible for my getting my drugs, because I changed my plans.

This has nothing to do with intentionally hurting anyone.  It has to do with being responsible for your actions and not expecting someone else to suffer due to your poor planning.

Joe

Offline bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2013, 05:06:10 PM »
You will all be happy to learn that foreigner or not, your life saving medications will not be denied to you in europe and whatever (if at all) problems arise with less stringent customs hold ups. Its NOT a burden on the system (if thats how you view it) and no price is too much for a life that is within control of being saved.

It's not really how any of us "view" it -- it is, unfortunately, how the system is in this country.  I daresay that anyone who has responded would much prefer that the U.S. deliver healthcare differently.  I know that I would prefer that all citizens and any visitors were able to get what they needed. 
Although, whenever I do travel outside the US, I bring double the amount of meds that I would need.  I hand carry them.  Even when I travel to Europe where I could get meds with more ease than I can in my own country, it seems.  Why?  well -- it's the right thing to do and one never knows where one might find themselves stranded.  Perhaps there is no way to get meds -- I like to hedge my bets.  In fact, when I travel to Tanzania in February for 2 weeks -- I'll probably take 6 weeks of meds with me.

I suppose that I should let it alone, but.....  your comment about saving a life is a little over the top for your situation.  You don't want to spend any additional money to go home and get your FREE meds, so if there is anyone unwilling to do something to "save a life" -- look in the mirror.  If you were in a life or death situation, like a heart attack, etc -- you would receive the care you need.  Yes, you'd be presented with a hefty bill, but you would not be left to die.

So again -- it would be great if the U.S. did things differently -- and hopefully we will some day..... unfortunately that day isn't today.

While I am sure that I coming off as cold and uncaring.  That isn't my intent, nor my nature -- in fact, I have sent 2 months of Atripla to a member of this forum in the past when he was in a dire situation.  We all should try and help one another whenever we can. 

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
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Offline Dr.Strangelove

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2013, 05:18:30 PM »
This has nothing to do with intentionally hurting anyone.  It has to do with being responsible for your actions and not expecting someone else to suffer due to your poor planning.
If we all had been 'responsibly planning our actions' in every single moment of your lives I think many of us would not be on these forums right now (yes I mean always using a condom)
But that's just life, isn't it? ... plans change, unexpected things happen, customs withhold life-saving medication...

I don't get how everyone is pointing the finger at the OP here. He is not being a drama queen.

And I am sure that every other American traveller in Europe would follow your example and do the same responsible thing when he gets into a tricky situation and rather pay a 800$ ticket home than taking free meds from of the local health care system ... because you know it's the European taxpayers who are paying for all this!

Offline Joe K

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #47 on: April 05, 2013, 05:25:34 PM »
To everyone posting in this thread, you might understand my view if you had to tell someone, who had been on an ADAP waiting list, that there was no money for their needs.  I've been poz for almost 3 decades and getting life-sustaining medications to Americans has always been an uphill struggle.  Some of you have no idea how far this forum and the HIV community will go, to make sure everyone has access to drugs.  Hope and desire, unfortunately, is not enough to insure that every poz American gets the drugs they need.

My history dictates that I speak up, whenever I see resources being diverted from a much needed program.  I'm not inferring anything about the OP, only his seeming resentment that he be expected to cover the cost of securing more meds.  When you have the ability to alleviate this situation and you don't want to, because it will cost you more money, just think about the person you are delaying from getting their life-saving medications as well.

And if you cannot understand by viewpoint, then you have not been paying attention to the reality in America.

Joe


Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2013, 06:56:18 PM »
Spider, I think everyone is glad you're going to get your spanish drugs... Or ANY drugs. NYC drugs. Whatever. 

So the moral of the story is living well with HIV is getting your supply line IN ORDER. 

If your Spanish drugs are arriving in a day or two, why don't you take the first month of ADAP drugs, and be proactive about getting your SPANISH drugs shipped for the next months... Get them shipped to you now if you can.  Use the ADAP drugs as a cushion.  That is, if Spain does this sort of thing - releasing to a family member to ship, or shipping directly.  Otherwise, yeah, ADAP.  But really, if Spain has you covered, go out of your way to get your Spanish drugs.

Sounds like maybe you want to live in the USA for some time....  Great that you are living for love and adventure. 

Now get your shit together about what country is going to be a steady supply of your HAART, and as RuPaul says on her drag-race, "Don't Fuck it Up."  8)

Also I'm jealous that you get to be in NY this spring because I want to go see Kinky Boots on Broadway!!  Have fun in the metropolis of all metropolises.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 07:00:52 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline atlanta05

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2013, 08:17:10 PM »
Here's a nice idea. Having recieved emergency interim treatment while your drug were held up by customs, and having recieved your drugs at last, will you then have extra in your Spanish supply? You could donate that 10 days' worth (or whatever) to the agency who helped you.

That could be a way to smooth over all these arguments about American citizens paying for/getting treatment and whether this is good/bad/proper/priority.

Plus you'd feel good knowing that you were able to help someone.

If there's one thing my HIV story has taught me, it's that karma is a wonderful thing. Always good to stay on the plus-side, especially when you're...well...plus, as we all are here.

Hope it all goes better for you!


Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2013, 08:21:14 PM »
yes^.  :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline spiderfromspain

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2013, 08:57:55 PM »
If I have extra pills left over from my spanish supply then I am donating my pills. Yes.

Mike, I dont have the kind of money to buy pills like you're saying. I just lost my house and my car and everything in spain to the bank last month because I couldn't make mortgage payments and payments on my loans anymore.

Strangelove I really am grateful for your message. You're right.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 09:03:21 PM by spiderfromspain »

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2013, 09:19:35 PM »
I hope you enjoy your time here in the states ... if I had extra meds I would have gladly sent them to you but I didn't  .... I'm sure happy you got what you needed in the end .



I have several month's worth of prezista, isentress, and a little bit of Norvir. Sent my last surplus of Truvada to someone who needed it last week.  Whatever someone thinks of the people on this forum, we do every last bit that we can for anyone we can help, without hesitation and without a thought. I only made sure I had enough to do me until my insurance allowed a refill.

I completely agree with Joe on this issue.  That having been said, where our healthcare system fails, I hope it flies under no one's radar that we - the people suffering from this disease - risk huge legal ramifications including prosecution and homelessness to take care of people we can, when we can.



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Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #53 on: April 06, 2013, 08:27:34 AM »

I suppose that I should let it alone, but.....  your comment about saving a life is a little over the top for your situation.  You don't want to spend any additional money to go home and get your FREE meds, so if there is anyone unwilling to do something to "save a life" -- look in the mirror.


I have to admit that I've been wondering if the cost of the trip back home to get additional meds is greater than, equal to, or less than the cost of the meds he's trying to obtain?

I don't mean the cost to Spider, I mean the cost to ADAP.

If Spider had to buy them outright in the US, I'm betting that would be a far greater expense than flying home to Spain.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2013, 09:37:23 AM »
I have to admit that I've been wondering if the cost of the trip back home to get additional meds is greater than, equal to, or less than the cost of the meds he's trying to obtain?

I don't mean the cost to Spider, I mean the cost to ADAP.

If Spider had to buy them outright in the US, I'm betting that would be a far greater expense than flying home to Spain.

Not sure what the retail price is today, but back in 2010 (I no longer can see the actual $$ amounts on my pharmacy claims) the cost to my insurance company (including my co-pay) for Atripla was around $4,600 for a 90 day supply.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
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Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2013, 09:53:41 AM »
Not sure what the retail price is today, but back in 2010 (I no longer can see the actual $$ amounts on my pharmacy claims) the cost to my insurance company (including my co-pay) for Atripla was around $4,600 for a 90 day supply.

Mike

Yikes. That would pay for around six flights.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2013, 10:06:16 AM »
Of COURSE the drugs are costing someone more than the price of a plane ticket...

The ironies of this story... 

Spain as you know, adopted an austerity budget, has massive unemployment for everyone and at least 50% of young people.  The young are moving abroad to find possibilities.

But Spain has national health service since 1986. 

With a EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card), a European can access health care in other European countries -- mostly its for tourist emergencies, but you can often use your EHIC or your home country often covers you in your new country, until you are resident / employed in your new European country. 

Also - USA culture versus most other rich countries.  Even before the European Union, some countries have long dealt with health care in fundamentally different ways to the US.  Therefore Europeans do have different strategies and make decisions, based on their cultural experiences, that seem striking to people from another culture.

Any one of us Americans could easily "feel" that Spider's experience might show nonchalance, or naiveté, or self-entitlement - or combinations... (Besides just a tight spot for a fellow HIV+ person.)  Nobody here knows the full story, we are just getting glimpses.

Anyway Spider you have lucked out landing in NYC if New York state is flush enough to support ADAP to meet all need.  Wish you well remaking your life --- wherever...


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2013, 11:29:28 AM »
Of COURSE the drugs are costing someone more than the price of a plane ticket...


That's what has me so freaked out - that pharmaceutical companies are getting away with charging that much for meds. You can cross the ocean six times for what it costs to buy three months of meds.

I don't understand how they get away with their prices when they're making record profits and getting huge bonuses. I don't understand why people aren't revolting in the streets over this kind of thing. It boggles my mind.

I don't object to pharmaceutical companies making money - I object to them making obscene amounts of profit, perks and bonuses on the backs of people with life-sustaining medical/pharmaceutical needs.

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2013, 11:35:38 AM »

I don't understand why people aren't revolting in the streets over this kind of thing. It boggles my mind.

3 reasons, I think.

1.  Americans hate change -- and this requires massive change in not only providing healthcare, but in thinking about healthcare in general.
2.  MOST Americans do have insurance and have no real idea of the cost of meds (even when they know the $$, it's not coming from "their" wallet, so.......)
3.  MOST of the uninsured don't really have the political power and are easily ignored.

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Offline wolfter

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2013, 11:36:42 AM »
Who will decide what the obscene profit margin should be?  I don't know the answers, but I'm sure huge profits is what drives these companies to research new drugs and provide people with life saving meds.

I doubt many of them do it strictly for altruistic reasons.

Wolfie
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Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2013, 12:01:07 PM »

I doubt many of them do it strictly for altruistic reasons.


I didn't say they should. I said, I don't object to pharmaceutical companies making money.

Do you  think Big Pharma executives need to have more money than they could sensibly spend in a lifetime?

Surely there's a middle-ground where meds are affordable and the execs still had a comfortable lifestyle.
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Offline Joe K

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2013, 02:09:43 PM »
I didn't say they should. I said, I don't object to pharmaceutical companies making money.

Do you  think Big Pharma executives need to have more money than they could sensibly spend in a lifetime?

Surely there's a middle-ground where meds are affordable and the execs still had a comfortable lifestyle.

It seems that the pharma industry is alive and well in Canada.  We restrict drug prices and so my Truvada is $780 per month and my generic Viramune is $86.60 per month.  I pay $85.60 co-pay, each month, no matter how many drugs I require.  My HIV cocktail for a year costs the Provence of Quebec $10,399 - $1,027 (co-pay) = $9,372. 

How do we fund all of this, you might ask?  On top of our co-pays, we also pay a PST (Provincial Sales Tax) and a GST (General Sales Tax) that combined equals 12.5% on almost everything we purchase, excluding food, rent and some other essentials.  We even pay it on our utilities.  Yet, even with the heavy "tax" hit, I still spend thousands less each year on my medications, than I did when I lived in the States.

Joe

Offline buginme2

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #62 on: April 06, 2013, 03:53:02 PM »
3 reasons, I think.

1.  Americans hate change -- and this requires massive change in not only providing healthcare, but in thinking about healthcare in general.
2.  MOST Americans do have insurance and have no real idea of the cost of meds (even when they know the $$, it's not coming from "their" wallet, so.......)
3.  MOST of the uninsured don't really have the political power and are easily ignored.

In addition there is also a concern or fear about change.

If you have insurance it can be rather frightening imagining a change to your health insurance.  I have insurance through my work. I pay $50 a month for my insurance.  My medication is then provided to me at no charge (my $25 Copay is covered by Copay assist through Gilead) so my medication costs me nothing.

Even thou this is great for me, it's also paralyzingly.   I fear losing my job, changing jobs, or some circumstance that may change the insurance system.  I'm sure there are many others like me (either with HIV or some other illness who rely on their insurance) that are scared of a change.  The status quo it's what you know.

You end up with a half of America who has insurance being scared of any changes to the system.  You end up with the haves and the have nots.  It's a scary system all around.

 


Offline darryaz

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2013, 05:08:04 PM »
I fear losing my job, changing jobs, or some circumstance that may change the insurance system.

Absolutely.  Long before diagnosis with HIV I worked for a company that put employee health insurance out to bid EACH YEAR.  We changed plans 5 times in the six years I worked there.  I had to change primary care doctors 3 times and I lost count of the number of allergists I saw - all because they didn't take that year's insurance plan. 

I actually considered driving across the border and seeing a doctor in Mexico because getting care was becoming so complicated in the US.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2013, 05:26:57 PM »
Absolutely.  Long before diagnosis with HIV I worked for a company that put employee health insurance out to bid EACH YEAR.  We changed plans 5 times in the six years I worked there.  I had to change primary care doctors 3 times and I lost count of the number of allergists I saw - all because they didn't take that year's insurance plan. 

I actually considered driving across the border and seeing a doctor in Mexico because getting care was becoming so complicated in the US.

This is yet another example of why we need major health care reform.
Those of us that pay 100% of our own health insurance see the ENTIRE cost come out of our pocket.
That would be $24,000.00 per year for my partner and I!!!

The cost and inequity of health care in this country is pathetic.
Again, haves and have nots.
And liberty and justice for all... :(

ps- and I guess that I should be feeling grateful that my Truvada/Isentress costs $27,000.00 per year let alone the thousands of $$ of my other medical annual expenses.
(did I hear another Yikes??)
sorry, but I am with Ann in not understanding why we allow this to continue.
the insurance/healthcare industry is designed to divide and conquer.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 05:42:25 PM by mitch777 »
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline darryaz

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2013, 05:42:20 PM »
This is yet another example of why we need major health care reform.
Those of us that pay 100% of our own health insurance see the ENTIRE cost come out of our pocket.
That would be $24,000.00 per year for my partner and I!!!

The cost and inequity of health care in this country is pathetic.
Again, haves and have nots.
And liberty and justice for all... :(

I wish we had a "LIKE" button.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #66 on: April 06, 2013, 05:44:02 PM »
you just pushed it.
thank you. :)
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Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #67 on: April 06, 2013, 08:15:31 PM »
5 of the 20 highest paid executives in Europe are heads of Swiss companies.  This place is extremely capitalistic but there are grumblings. Started with the bankruptcy of original Swiss Air which many considered a soaking of shareholders and then a massive soaking of the federal government.  Golden parachutes and excessive retirement packages start to seem embarrassingly luxurious, showy, not Protestant, not "Swiss" feeling. The bailout of UBS pissed off many...

in February, Daniel Vasella, head of Novartis, was denied a 78 million retirement package which included payments for 6 years to not work for competitor Big Pharma.   This was a couple of days before the annual meeting.
http://news.yahoo.com/novartis-scraps-78-million-pay-outgoing-chairman-vasella-140543905--finance.html

Everyone was talking about this. I saw a biography on a current event news program, that showed his career from strict boys' school, through med school, and his brief career as a doctor before he earned a Harvard MBA and decided to chase the big bucks in Big Pharma.

Even capitalists were uncomfortable with this payout, not least because the Swiss were pushing for a national Referendum on excessive executive compensation...  In fact, golden hellos and golden parachutes are outright banned, in the referendum March 3 (direct democracy - everyone votes on this stuff).

Its a fascinating referendum because it also calls for the government to do more for "work-life balance" (Swiss have the longest work week in Europe).

Its all about accommodating socialist goals within a capitalist, stupendously rich economy. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_executive_pay_referendum,_2013

The referendum has other things that now must be done to increase corporate transparency and accountability to shareholders - meaning AGAINST executive control over where the enormous profits are going!  Also - protecting pension funds.

Sounds like something many capitalist countries could use...

There are other limits on the ".01%" in Europe, already voted in or on the agenda...

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130304/curbing-executive-pay-europe

"This is a summary of some efforts in Europe to cut down on "golden parachutes" and very high remuneration, after Swiss voters backed moves to curb executive pay in a referendum on Sunday.

On Monday, the European Union's executive commission welcomed the Swiss vote as "very positive", and highlighted the 27-member EU's plans for legislation this year to give shareholders more control over corporate pay."

________

Moral of the story??  Dunno. Where there is a will, there is a way. ???

Also its not just governments who need to regulate.  How much can Elizabeth Warren deliver, really, in the current US climate?   Its also shareholders who need to have some power how to divide the spoils.  So maybe its governments that must make the laws that guarantee shareholder power AND protecting pension funds from being drained, and thus lost to the workers, all poured into the super rich's bank accounts through compensation, bonuses, parachutes, stock options sold out before everyone knows the ship is sinking, the list goes on....

If a government doesn't have the stomach to be, well, Denmark or Sweden, well it can at least give some rights to workers and shareholders to fight the robber barons.
____

I think there's some discourse in London and New York about limiting the rewards to "excessive risk takers" in international finance but will that fly???  Doubtful...
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 08:22:17 PM by mecch »
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Offline mecch

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #68 on: April 06, 2013, 08:34:49 PM »
Maybe another  moral is that direct democracy has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Its pretty awesome when the country has a voting majority feeling "progressive" and can make things happen. 

Doesn't always work out though - does it - for example California Prop 8.

I guess most Americans on this forum have pretty progressive politics and so we're all frustrated when these seem to be lost in the shuffle in Washington...

For example, I wonder if a national "referendum" on the the Iraq War would have passed a popular vote, in 2003, even considering the climate of fear and the successes of the Bush propaganda machine..  I bet the overall feeling of the population was - no, thanks, wrong war...   It was a bunch of senators and an executive branch playing politics....

A national referendum on gay equal rights would probably pass over 50% these days, don't you think?

Limits on excessive executive compensation, I bet that could get more than 50% of a popular vote too, these days, in the USA. 

All hypothetical of course.... Since this isn't the US system.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #69 on: April 07, 2013, 09:27:57 AM »

Absolutely.  Long before diagnosis with HIV I worked for a company that put employee health insurance out to bid EACH YEAR.  We changed plans 5 times in the six years I worked there.  I had to change primary care doctors 3 times and I lost count of the number of allergists I saw - all because they didn't take that year's insurance plan. 


That practice should be illegal. At the very least they should have to make five or ten-year well-negotiated contracts.

Continuity of care is very important when one is dealing with a chronic, possibly terminal illness.

Continuity of care is also important for families with young children. Ageing populations as well.

This company has absolutely no regard for the health of its employees, which makes no sense. Unhealthy employees are bound to be less productive than they could be otherwise.

There is so much about America's healthcare system that is broken. It's heartbreaking.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #70 on: April 07, 2013, 10:41:09 AM »
That practice should be illegal. At the very least they should have to make five or ten-year well-negotiated contracts.

Continuity of care is very important when one is dealing with a chronic, possibly terminal illness.

Continuity of care is also important for families with young children. Ageing populations as well.

This company has absolutely no regard for the health of its employees, which makes no sense. Unhealthy employees are bound to be less productive than they could be otherwise.

There is so much about America's healthcare system that is broken. It's heartbreaking.

While I agree this is a horrible situation -- I think there is not enough focus on the COST of health care (outside of big pharma on this forum).  Folks tend to focus on the cost of insurance.  While there is plenty of waste there, hospital costs are absolutely out of control and have no basis on what the care actually costs to deliver.  When you read that a similar procedure can cost between $15,000 and $100,000 in the same state, it just screams to be looked at and fixed.
This company was probably trying to figure out a way to keep health insurance benefits as an option for their employees.  Why a doctor accepts or does not accept a particular insurance is not the companies fault -- you could have the same insurance for years and still have to switch docs because they stop accepting it (it's happened to me).
Hospitals are buying up doctor's practices all over in order to strengthen their position against insurers -- meaning -- not allowing them to negotiate down from the non-sensical charges they want to get.  Things like charging each patient for the cost of a sharpie that is used to mark their IV's -- even though they are reusable.  Charging $5.00 for a bandage, that I can go out and buy a box of 50 for that price.  These are the things that need to be addressed NOW.  They won't be, because the hospital lobby has bought our politicians at every level.   They have also done great PR on their "charitable care" -- which I've read amounts to 1% or so of their income.  Every hospital in the Richmond area has spent millions of dollars making these grand entrances to their facilities.  Who gives a flying fuck about the nice water feature in the lobby.  Oh yeah -- one of the big ones here is run by a religious organization....  charity, my ass.
One can't even find out what something actually will cost prior to going -- so if I'd like to "save" some money by having a colonoscopy at facility A or B -- I can't -- because neither will tell me the true cost.  AND.....  most states don't mandate that they do.
Again -- we must stop focusing on the cost of insurance -- that isn't the real problem at all.

Mike
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Offline james3000

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #71 on: April 07, 2013, 10:58:57 AM »
The problem here in Canada is there is no national prescription policy so each Province
has their own drug Plan. This leads to a confusing system and higher drug prices as each province negotiates with the drug companies.
In BC my drugs would be covered but here in Ontario if you are not on Ontario disability or covered with private insurance we have a catastrophic drug plan the co-pay is 3% of total household income. If I cant afford to pay for it I am shit out of luck. Not only is it another tax on the sick it also leads to stress and anxiety.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #72 on: April 07, 2013, 11:02:44 AM »
There are many culprits in our healthcare system and they all have political power.
My top 4 would be (not in any order):

Insurance Companies
Big Pharma
Hospitals
Medical Equipment Companies

The reason I get more aggravated with the health insurance industry is that they are middlemen that drive up costs to line their pockets and provide nothing
other than processing paperwork.
The government processes claims from Medicare and Medicaid FAR more efficiently
than insurance companies.
If we get insurance out of the way, we might be able to tackle the other 3 legs of the stool.

And as Mecch stated, Switzerland is even getting fed up with the crazy salaries of CEO's.
It is hard to imagine that happening here but the inequity is building at a rabid rapid pace.

Our elected "leaders" are laughable.

31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline darryaz

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #73 on: April 07, 2013, 11:09:03 AM »
This company has absolutely no regard for the health of its employees, which makes no sense. Unhealthy employees are bound to be less productive than they could be otherwise.

I guess I should clarify.  The company I worked for was actually very concerned about the health of its employees.  The yearly changes were due to insurance carriers raising rates by outrageous amounts (70% one year).  We had several employees with VERY sick family members (cancer, leukemia and at least two cases  - besides me - of HIV that I know of) so we were considered high-risk.  All in a company of roughly 1,000 employees.  The changes had to be made in order to keep the costs to employees low and not bankrupt the company (I was peripherally involved in the decision to change insurance carriers each time)

Offline bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #74 on: April 07, 2013, 11:10:28 AM »
Well, I am not sure I'd say insurance companies provide nothing. They are, IMO, the ONLY ones that are trying to lower the cost of health care charges.  They actually negotiate down drug prices -- something the gov't refuses to do.
Are they middle men -- absolutely.  So is the Gov't for Medicare/Medicaid.  In fact, anyone paying for the care besides the patient is, by definition, a middle man.
I'm not here saying the insurance companies are all good -- they are looking to make profits like any other company.  Profits are DEMANDED by their shareholders though -- Wall St. insists on short-term gains, over longer term visions.
Personally, I don't lose a ton of sleep over CEO pay -- it makes for great soundbites and headlines, but don't amount to a hill of beans in a multi-billion dollar company.  Yes it is obscene and over the top, but, again -- it's focusing on the wrong thing.  You won't squeeze out any meaningful savings there.

M
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Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #75 on: April 07, 2013, 11:34:59 AM »
Well, I am not sure I'd say insurance companies provide nothing. They are, IMO, the ONLY ones that are trying to lower the cost of health care charges.  They actually negotiate down drug prices -- something the gov't refuses to do.
Are they middle men -- absolutely.  So is the Gov't for Medicare/Medicaid.  In fact, anyone paying for the care besides the patient is, by definition, a middle man.
I'm not here saying the insurance companies are all good -- they are looking to make profits like any other company.  Profits are DEMANDED by their shareholders though -- Wall St. insists on short-term gains, over longer term visions.
Personally, I don't lose a ton of sleep over CEO pay -- it makes for great soundbites and headlines, but don't amount to a hill of beans in a multi-billion dollar company.  Yes it is obscene and over the top, but, again -- it's focusing on the wrong thing.  You won't squeeze out any meaningful savings there.

M

Gilead CEO pay: $90 million
USA Budget for ADAP/Ryan White: $900 million

One man's salary= 10 %

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

I also read recently (forget where) that it costs the insurance companies $25 to process a claim while the federal government can process a claim for $2.

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

Add up the billions and billions of PROFIT that all of these companies generate.

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

Our elected officials can lead by changing the laws in order to negotiate better drug prices if they had the guts.

Seems like a no brainer to me.

Healthcare should be a human right in this country and as much as I think capitalism has many benefits, the healthcare system fails too many too often the way it is designed.

I agree that the insurance companies try to keep costs down to some extent, but it really isn't solving the cost issue enough to put a dent in the outlandish GDP to Healthcare ratio.

We have got to attack ALL of the greed involved and I for one don't feel comfortable in defending ANY of the culprits.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 11:38:23 AM by mitch777 »
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #76 on: April 07, 2013, 11:37:36 AM »

Again -- we must stop focusing on the cost of insurance -- that isn't the real problem at all.


I hope we can agree that it is a large (not the largest) part of a very big, complicated problem. It's one broken cog in a damaged, fuel-inefficient machine. Insurance companies are an out-for-himself-only middle-man where health care is concerned.

Let me re-phrase that. Health insurance companies are a necessary evil within the current American healthcare system.  There are other healthcare models that make health insurance companies unnecessary, and people don't go without healthcare if they don't have a good health insurance policy.


The yearly changes were due to insurance carriers raising rates by outrageous amounts (70% one year). 


Thanks for the clarification. If that's the case, then the insurance companies should only be permitted to make contracts for five or ten years - during which time they cannot raise their prices - instead of yearly contracts where they hope they have you by the short and curlies when it's time to renegotiate.


Our elected "leaders" are laughable.


A large part of the problem is that the elected leaders are bought and sold by corporations - who, remember, are "people" too. Campaign donations should be capped.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #77 on: April 07, 2013, 11:42:57 AM »
Agreed ^!

now that the problem is solved, I can rest easy. ;D

(I hope to live to see the day... :P.)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #78 on: April 07, 2013, 11:47:25 AM »
The classic example is prescription plan b which was passed in 2006. This bill was written and pushed through congress by the pharmaceutical industry virtually eliminating the ability to negotiate drug costs. We all know the system is rigged.

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #79 on: April 07, 2013, 12:03:24 PM »
The classic example is prescription plan b which was passed in 2006. This bill was written and pushed through congress by the pharmaceutical industry virtually eliminating the ability to negotiate drug costs. We all know the system is rigged.
yup, and the baby boomers are just entering the pipeline.
$ kaching $
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Ann

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #80 on: April 07, 2013, 12:37:31 PM »

Are they middle men -- absolutely.  So is the Gov't for Medicare/Medicaid.  In fact, anyone paying for the care besides the patient is, by definition, a middle man.


In both government and private sector (insurance companies) health care models, the patient is still the ultimate payer - just at fairer rates that aren't at the whim of corporate executives looking to buy another yacht or a fifth home.

The big difference is a government isn't looking to make billions in profit at the health expense of the poor.

Health outcomes in poverty stricken areas are poor regardless of what country we're talking about - and this effect is amplified when people don't have access to affordable healthcare.

A fundamental, life-sustaining need such as healthcare should not be thought of as a privlege or a commodity to be bought and sold. It should be a human right our governments uphold.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline bocker3

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #81 on: April 07, 2013, 01:04:37 PM »
Gilead CEO pay: $90 million
USA Budget for ADAP/Ryan White: $900 million

One man's salary= 10 %

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

Agreed -- but if Gilead cuts CEO pay, that money does not flow to ADAP, so while this would a wonderful thing, it is a meaningless comparison in the current model.  Not to mention that I would guess a large chunk (perhaps the majority??) of this money came from stock option sales, not from the company profits.  i could be wrong, but knowing how the CEO of my company is paid, I'm probably right.



Add up the billions and billions of PROFIT that all of these companies generate.

Seems like meaningful savings to me.

Perhaps -- but in this country, you aren't going to get the government to be able to limit the profit of one industry.  What about all the profit of food companies -- yet people go hungry?  Housing companies, yet people can't afford homes?  Energy companies, yet people go cold in the winter?
I'm not saying that we shouldn't advocate for change -- we absolutely do need to change.  Until the US decides to fundamentally change how healthcare is delivered, we are going to have these companies making profit.  Perhaps we could do something about the "profits" made by all these non-profit hospitals.  That seems to be something far more achievable in the short term, but it won't happen and I hear very few complaining about it. 

Our elected officials can lead by changing the laws in order to negotiate better drug prices if they had the guts. 
Seems like a no brainer to me.

No argument from me at all.  How many of us voted for our present elected officials though?  If they can do as they please but still get reelected, that is on us.  Money rules only if they feel secure in their position -- if not, then the voters rule.



Healthcare should be a human right in this country and as much as I think capitalism has many benefits, the healthcare system fails too many too often the way it is designed.
Yes -- so to do a good many of our industries -- food, housing, and energy just to name three more.

I agree that the insurance companies try to keep costs down to some extent, but it really isn't solving the cost issue enough to put a dent in the outlandish GDP to Healthcare ratio.

We have got to attack ALL of the greed involved and I for one don't feel comfortable in defending ANY of the culprits.
I am NOT defending them -- I am merely pointing out that we aren't focused on the right area.  The high cost of health care does not start with insurance companies -- only the portion that WE PAY does.  The high cost of health care starts with the hospitals, the pharma companies, the medical equipement (FREE SCOOTERS FOR ALL....  except they ain't free).  It is VERY American to not care terribly about what someone else pays on our behalf, that is why, IMO, there is not any groundswell of complaints against what the hospitals charge -- they are paid by insurance companies, not us.

So -- I would love to end up in the same place you would -- I just see a need to push in a different spot at this point in time.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline mitch777

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Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #82 on: April 07, 2013, 03:23:38 PM »
mike,

all I am saying is:

1) the current model doesn't work.

2) the insurance industry is part of the problem.
(IMO a large enough part of the problem to focus on)

3) the other culprits should not be ignored either.
(they are ALL part of the problem)

4) income inequality comes into play because it drives the cost of healthcare up for all of us due to SIMPLE GREED.
(I never said that the money saved by reducing the salary (stock options or not)would go to ADAP. But it DOES bring up the cost of healthcare.)

5) housing, food, energy?
it IS a problem.
again, income inequality related.

6) I vote. for those who don't, well, they are part of the problem. sad.

7) i'm sorry if you thought I implied that you were defending the insurance companies.
I quoted your post because I think the insurance companies deserve their fair share of the blame for healthcare costs.

8) I am in total agreement with you that hospitals, big pharm, and medical suppliers play a MAJOR part.
I am just putting the insurance companies into the same bag.

9) The ENTIRE system needs an overhaul.
Will we ever see it happen?
Should we stop caring?

My strong negative opinion about the ENTIRE system INCLUDING insurance companies stands.
Insurance companies are a huge burden on our system.
To minimize their role is IMO ignoring "part" of the problem.

I guess I just don't see the need or purpose for private insurance companies in our system. period.
Maybe we should simply agree that we disagree on this issue.

m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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  • Posts: 3,462
Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #83 on: April 07, 2013, 03:33:04 PM »
In both government and private sector (insurance companies) health care models, the patient is still the ultimate payer - just at fairer rates that aren't at the whim of corporate executives looking to buy another yacht or a fifth home.

The big difference is a government isn't looking to make billions in profit at the health expense of the poor.

Health outcomes in poverty stricken areas are poor regardless of what country we're talking about - and this effect is amplified when people don't have access to affordable healthcare.

A fundamental, life-sustaining need such as healthcare should not be thought of as a privlege or a commodity to be bought and sold. It should be a human right our governments uphold.

I think it would have been easier to just quoted you Ann. ::)

I am curious if anyone here knows what the grand total of ALL American private health insurance companies PROFIT amounted to last year.

My guess is that it would be staggering!
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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  • Posts: 3,462
Re: URGENT!!! European in NYC, meds have run out!
« Reply #84 on: April 07, 2013, 04:22:16 PM »
 

 It is VERY American to not care terribly about what someone else pays on our behalf, that is why, IMO, there is not any groundswell of complaints against what the hospitals charge -- they are paid by insurance companies, not us.


Sorry, just one more observation.

I agree with the above statement but also think it applies to the cost of insurance.
If everyone had to pay the entire cost (like me) for health insurance, Americans would go nuts.
Unfortunately, since a majority of Americans get their insurance paid in part or in full by their employers, most have no idea what the true cost is and don't care.

Large companies get discounted rates because of the size of their particular "pool".

We are a "pool" of 2 people and pay $24,000.00 per year out of our pocket.

I get upset that my focus on insurance companies is considered misplaced.

The insurance company rates are designed to maximize profit and they get away with charging the little guy a fortune because they can.
I hate the insurance thieves and with good reason.

Divide and conquer the market is their plan and it's working like a charm. >:(

m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

 


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