Last October I posted a plea for help. The basic idea was to find medicine for my S.O. cancer, medicine that is not available in Venezuela anymore and that will not be available for the foreseeable future.
I have not updated the situation for two reasons. The first one is that it came to nothing. And the second one is that I eventually managed to work a tortuous way to get it full price from France. And that was such a task that, well, I did not think much anymore about US or elsewhere options.
But first I need to thank the wonderful readers of this blog that have come through, trying their best to help me, even offering money. I have thanked many but I have not properly thanked everyone so if you are in that last category, please, do accept my apologies and be understanding of my plight.
Before I tell you some of the horrid details that have made me lose faith in the medical expertise and solidarity, and big pharma, the US ones namely, let me tell you what I need this time around. I need a reliable on line pharmacy that can get me a generic from India. The generic is OK, and after what I had to pay in France we cannot afford anything else anyway (think thousands and thousands of euros). The problem is that the more I look at these pharmacies the more I am afraid that I will get sugar pills in a nice package. Even though the generic is not even a 10% of the original cost in some cases, sometimes it is 25%. Such price discrepancies are troubling, the more so when the pharmacy stops answering you when you asked "how come".
So in short I need either of two things:
1- a solid on line pharmacy recommendation, either in the US, Canada, Spain or France (the UK may do too). With personal experience preferably. And perhaps your help in procuring the logistics to receive the said medication. I will pay all, of course.
2- if you have tips to receive India drugs in other countries, let me know and I see what I can arrange.
Write me at danielinyaracuy @ gmail . com
Now the sad story.
Basically, since it is a critical medication, the US doctors have been utter cowards. The best answers I got, if I got any, were bring the patient in when this was not possible. All sorts of contact, medical story, etc. where offered, in addition of a dire description of the country sanitary condition, to no avail. Simply put, the victory of the "sue you" culture of the US makes that no one will touch with a ten foot pole any humanitarian aid that involves the faintest of risks.
So that was that for the US, where the drug manufacturer has its domain. Eventually, putting together things from more than one source, I understood that Celgen had stopped sending the drug to Venezuela because they got robbed at customs or something. So they decided not to sell it anymore to Venezuela. One source curtly replied that the patient should simply move out of the country.
If certainly one can understand that stealing delicate medication for reselling who knows where is a difficult matter for the manufacturer, one fails to understand the lack of humanitarian concern. Heck, at least they should recommend doctors in the US or a neighboring country that would be allowed to deliver the drug in exchange of proper medical history, and a deposit in some US account. Was that too much to ask? Are all LatAm cancers doctors that untrustworthy? Apparently another source said that the knowledge of the dramatic heath care situation of Venezuela is known but, well, too bad.
In France it was also very difficult and I will not list the hurdles. The fact that the medicine is delivered only directly by the state to patients on socialized medicine while treated at their given hospital did not help. But at least when they heard the story the people who replied paid attention. Eventually through a complex process I was able to do the purchase for a significant amount. Note that this amount is lower than the one I would have to shell in the US. France negotiates its medicines in bulk and thus the somewhat lower prices. Something in favor of Trump who is floating this for Medicare, but I digress.
Thus for the first few months we decided to go brand name and as the treatment evolves we will go generic and see what happens.Interestingly the savings on the generics would pay easily my trip and stay in India for a holiday vacation....... I am working on that too, just in case.
I have thus had to battle three heath care systems.
The one here so utterly corrupt that nurses, doctors and staff steal so much critical medication to resell that no one wants to deal with Venezuela anymore. A system so damaged that even the private sector has trouble to provide treatment and is refused help from outside just because of the faults from the chavista socialized medicine miracle imported from Cuba.
The US system where I was confronted to arrogance, greed, and, surprisingly, fear. And $$$$$$ if I ever succeeded in getting help. Now with the exit of Obama care, well, even as a political refugee my S.O. would get nothing anyway.
The French system, which although strict and for the French, has retained some humanity. And fairer pricing if you are not enrolled (though unjustly I was denied access to my S.O, in my French policy on technicalities that I am still fighting, but that is another story). No wonder recently France has been promoting itself as a medical destination for people with money (middle East mostly). They will not bankrupt themselves in French heath centers while getting all of the current treatments. Well, maybe not all as socialized medicine has certains limits based on age, for example, but still at least 90% of what you could get in the US. And better food while you recover.
So there is the update. Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for any help you could provide.