I think I've only mentioned this in passing previously, but last month I went to the dermatologist to get started on a good skin regimen. I have mild acne which M scoffs at (he says it's hardly visible), but it's been very embarrassing to me my whole life, and I figured it was time to stop staring at myself in the mirror woefully (or covering my face in makeup) and do something about it. I went to a derm when I was a teenager, but I used the medicine very inconsistently and then eventually gave up when I saw no results.

I was very pleased with my visit, and I love this dermatologist. Unfortunately, I've discovered that a lot of the medicine she's started me on has no generic equivalent, and because my insurance doesn't cover brand, the price has been horrifyingly expensive.

I only discovered this now because at the visit she gave me some samples to try... I've since run out of the samples and went today to pick up the prescription.

The cost was... are you ready for this?... $289!!! This is for a cream that will last me maybe 2 months.

I really want to give this skin regimen a shot. I've only been doing it for 15 days, so I haven't yet seen any results. I do know that I'm taking much better care of my skin. So I figure my only option is to change my insurance plan so it covers brand.

As of 4/1, I'll be paying $77/mo for my current insurance. The cream will cost me $1734 (assuming I use it for a year). I have another cream (generic) that will cost me $228. The third cream I estimate will cost around the same as the first one ($1734). That's $3696 for prescriptions and $924 for premiums.

If I switch to the Blue Cross's PPO Saver Plan, I'll be paying $1704 in premiums. Drug costs would be $10 for generic and $30 for brand (after a $500 deductible). Over a year, I would need 6 prescriptions for generic ($60), and 12 prescriptions for brand ($500, then 10 prescriptions @ $30 each = $300). So I would pay $860 for prescriptions. In total, that's $2564 vs. $4620, a savings of $2056.

I'm feeling drained just thinking about this. I called M and told him, and he immediately said it wasn't worth it.

What do you guys think? Am I crazy to spend this much money on skin cream? Should I postpone doing this until I get a full-time job again? I really wanted to get myself at 100% during this year (before I become a lawyer)... my braces will be off in a couple months, I've started working out consistently, and I wanted to get my skin completely cleared up. If this regimen works, I know it will boost my self-confidence tremendously. I feel like that's worth almost anything.


FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com said...

holy crap girl, what does she have you on?

I was on tazorac before, then some 5% fine benzoyl peroxide.. and then I switched to paula's choice and her regime of : cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize did the trick.

I think you should spend the money if you can afford it because i know how it feels to have acne and feel like your cheeks are inflamed, bumpy, and just.. DIRTY and not smooth or cute

but if that gets too pricey, think about cheaper alternatives first like proactiv or paula's choice before paying for those pricey creams

Jessica said...

A friend of mine with mild acne uses the MD Skincare line and has had amazing results. She also swears by On A Clear Day by Philosophy. Both are available at Sephora.

I'm one of those lucky brats without acne but I also use MD Skincare and Philosophy products for my cleansers and they are great products. A little pricey but definitely less than the prescription stuff.

You might want to give them a try.

Sunflowers said...

It's called Ziana... I was also trying Tazorac, but it dried me out too much. The other stuff is Epiduo, which JUST came on the market (the week before I went in for the appointment). And Klaron (I have the generic).

I've tried soooo many different OTC acne creams before this... including benzoyl peroxide, proactiv, murad, mario badescu... nothing's really worked! My skin is super sensitive, combination, and just a huge pain in the ass. She told me to stay away from toners, so at least that's one less expense! :p

I think I'm going to try these creams for 2 months, and if I don't see any improvement, talk to her about switching me to something that has a generic alternative.

One thing I like about having a doctor prescribed regimen is that it puts me in this mindset of "must do it"... like normally I'll collapse into bed at the end of the day and just wipe my face with a makeup remover cloth. The fact that I'm going to see her again in March (and the fact that this is costing so much money) is forcing me to be consistent with my routine. Does that make sense?

DogAteMyFinances said...

If it's that new, bet the drug reps stocked your doc with a pile of samples to get him to sell product.

It's worth calling to ask if they have any samples because you can't afford it. You're not the first with this problem.

Sunflowers said...

@DAMF: She gave me a large sample of the Epiduo to begin with. I'll ask her for more when I run out! I don't think Ziana is that new... the sample she gave me was tiny. I suppose I could ask for tons of them, but I don't know if she would go for that. <.<

Kiloko Designs said...

it might be worth it to ask your derm if they have discount/rebate cards/offers available. i did a google search (not in-depth) and some people have been able to get them for Zania. if your derm doesn't have them, try contacting the drug company directly.

i was put on Retin-A micro by my derm and i get a new card every year. it's good for up to 3 prescriptions. i only use a few tubes a year, so with it appied to my co-pay, i get to use it absolutely free.

i hope you're able to get something like this. it's a huge help!

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