Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bringing Cheap To A Whole New Level

My son has been on heart medication since he was airlifted to Sick Kids hospital in Toronto when he was one-month-old.

The medication is an old man’s drug but instead of getting an old-man dosage of 200 milligrams, my son gets 20 mg once a day. As the medication is created for my son, only one hospital has the capsule maker to create it - the Shoppers Drug Mart at Sick Kids itself.

Each month, a week before I run out of my son’s medication, I call Shoppers to ask them to make my medication, giving them three days notice. (The medication has an expiry date so I can’t order too far in advance. Shoppers’ pharmacists require three days to get the medication ready for some reason.)

My brother-in-law’s girlfriend and now my husband have been going downtown since December to pick up my son’s medication, with our drug company covering all but $10 of the $53 bill.

So here is where I am annoyed.

My son obviously can’t swallow an adult-sized capsule. I have to break it open, mix it with sterilized water and draw it up into a syringe. My son sucks it out from there.

Shoppers charges us for the syringes.

I paid with credit card for the first few months so I didn’t notice the charge. My husband pays cash and he told me the drug store charges us 15 cents for each syringe, with each syringe lasting a few months.

Are you kidding me? Is Shoppers so cheap it can’t provide syringes for free? The drug store is the only one that can make the medication. We are forced to go to Shoppers. We are forced to work on their schedule and we are forced to drive more than a hour to get it. And they can’t provide a 15-cent syringe for free.

Pathetic really.


Betty said...


Would make a good news story.

Considering Shoppers Drug is owned by an old couple who are very, very wealthy, I'm sure they would love to hear about this or should I say read about it.

Have you asked the hospital for them?

Mama Mair said...

Can your purchase syringes from the medical supply isle?
I have several I've bought from the infant section at the drugstore.
The one I use the most is from Safety First - it come with an all infant needs care set. I think there's a smaller version for less than $10.
Oh, and nothing is for free at a pharmacy - I worked in one for years.
Phillip Morris (the company who owns Shoppers) are one of North America's largest cigarette producers.
It's a sad state.