Dave Richards for May 1st…………
--I have an announcement to make. Some of you have noticed and commented to me that for the first time in our 16 years of writing for The Call I’ve missed a few weeks in succession for no apparent reason. There is a reason, and simply put I’ve just missed my publication deadlines. Changes at the newspaper combined with changes in my work schedule have conspired to produce this. A change was agreed upon to remedy the situation and our column will now be published on Wednesdays starting today. I thank the folks at The Call for this accommodation.
--What I want to talk to you about next requires a little care in how I word it. I have had a personal experience with the cost of a prescription medicine locally which left me with the impression I was being cheated by the pharmacy I’d been doing business with for some time. There may be a better explanation for it than I was given, so in order to keep the lawyers out of this and any subsequent discussions, I’ll leave the names of the pharmacies out of it. The entire reason for me bringing it up can be served by focusing on this one point: Shop around for your prescription medications every few months. Based upon what I experienced, I think some people may do much better if they just put the effort into periodically shopping for the best price. I know I will.
What happened to me is I received a telephone message to call the pharmacy I was purchasing a certain prescription medication from. When I returned the call to the number on my pill bottle, a nice pharmacist politely told me something went wrong with my insurance, and my prescription should not have cost $12, as it had for years, but rather $53. I explained that we do not use insurance for that prescription because it was more costly with insurance than to pay cash. (crazy, eh?, but true) She had no explanation for this, but regardless, the cost was now $53 and she didn’t want me to be surprised at the counter when I came in for a refill. I thanked her and hung up the phone, with the distinct feeling that something very wrong was being hidden from me. I decided to take action.
A quick few phone calls to other pharmacies in the area found that all charged less for the same prescription. In fact, one would sell me the same prescription for $8 per refill. Needless to say, I switched and all has gone well since. Happy endings for me, but I became concerned that some of you out there may just accept such a price increase needlessly.
Again, what I took away from this is that maybe there was exploitation going on and maybe there wasn’t, but I protected myself by shopping around for the best price and I’ve resolved to do this twice a year, in the spring and fall from now on. I think you should, too. Then we should tell our representatives and senators to get on the stick and come up with consumer protection legislation to prevent any possibility of abuses.
--I was initially happy to hear that Woonsocket City Councilor Julia Brown was resigning her council seat, effective today. I wasn’t happy to see her go, nor was I happy that the city would need to endure the expense of electing her replacement. No, the first thought that went through my mind is that long-time former councilor Roger Jalette might get the chance to win the seat. This is not for political reasons, Roger and I have our differences regarding policy and such, no, this is on a strictly human level. Roger stood next to me last November on Election Night as the returns came in from the voters at the end of the day. He went to bed that night thinking he had won, and Julia had gone to bed thinking she’d come in 8th out of seven. However, when the sun rose on Wednesday morning, they both learned that the opposite was true. Good news for Julia. Tough news for Roger. I felt badly for his disappointing twist of fate. Now, it appears he has a second chance, and Julia improves her life as well. I just love it when there’s a chance for both sides to win.
--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: email@example.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.