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[IPk] The cost of drugs

Well - that was an eye-opener.

Nipped in to my diabetes clinic this morning to get a prescription 
for some "stuff". That's how it works here in Germany: your diabetes 
clinic gives you your prescriptions for everything diabeteswise. Then 
I took the prescription to my chemist. Humalog. BG test strips. And 
MiniMed insulin reservoirs. (For some reason I seem to be well up on 
infusion sets: most unlike me - must change more often!) Dropped the 
prescription in at my chemist late morning. They would have my 
insulin and BG strips in by late afternoon. Cartridges would take 
longer - they have to be ordered, and they will ring me when they are 
in. My wife gets home mid-afternoon. She's been away for a few days 
with work. We wander as a family up to the chemist to collect my 
stuff - walking as a family is great: gives you a chance to chat. 
Collect my stuff at the chemist, and - being the new year - my wife 
asks for a statement of everything we've had in the last year. Tax 
reasons. We have an account at this chemist, so they know all about 
us. 90% of the total was for me. In the last year we have had 3400 
euros worth of goods from them!!! (What's that? 2394 pounds?) Crikey. 
Not quite sure how these finances work: who pays whom for what? The 
list price is being charged. My insurers pay the chemist, who in turn 
pays the supplier, having kept his cut. Does the government step in 
an pay the insurer, as diabetes is a "special" illness? Does the 
supplier rebate the insurer at a special lower price? Who knows?

Amazing how much junk you can pick up over the year. Contraceptive 
pills must be bought privately in Germany: the state doesn't "fund" 
contraception. That's your private choice. 6-months at 54 euros. 
Sounds resonable. Various bits of health compounds that my wife 
likes. My Iscador (=mistletoe extract) comes in at 6.19 euros per 
dose - I'm on 2 a week at the moment. Syringes and needles for that 
are pennies. Humalog: 40 euros per 10ml bottle. BG testing: 0.65 
euros per test. About what I reckon I suppose. Tenders: 8.13 euros 
per infusion set. That's the big price of pump therapy is it not? One 
every 2 days - that's 1500 euros per year. No chemotherapy tablets in 
this 12-month period. They are pricey I'm told, but I had enough left 
over from previous courses that my October course I was able to do 
from stock I already had at home.

So that's what the drugs cost to keep healthyish. No idea what the 
doctors get paid: some are paid a lot I believe, others are paid less 
than you might think.

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