$17 vs. $170

Zyrtec OTC 2008Finally Zyrtec, which has been available over the counter in Canada for years, is becoming available OTC here in the US. Good thing? Bad thing? In short, good for the insurance companies, bad for me who is a subscriber.

For years, it’s rather a pain to get my Zyrtec covered, because all of my drug plans require a pre-certification for Zyrtec. It’s not that big of a deal considering that my doctor’s office is always responsive and helpful.

Granted, I won’t have to get a prescription filled or refilled anymore, but I will be undoubtedly paying more each month for my allergy medication. Under various drug plans, co-pay of a month’s worth of Zyrtec costs between $5 to $35. OTC Zyrtec will cost about $22. I am paying $5 for my prescription right now, which means I will have to pay $17 more each month.

For insurance companies, they currently pay around $170 for each of my 30-day supply, and they will be saving that forever for sure.

I have no doubt that the uninsured will be more accessible to this drug, but the truth is, who is it really benefiting here at the end of the day?

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