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Annoying Azithromyicin Z Pacs – what to do?

November 24th, 2012 by Sharon O'Hara

Why does a 6-day supply of Azithromyicin tablets individually encased inside a tough to open Z Pac cost the pharmacy less money than getting the medication in bulk and dispensing it 30 or 60 tabs to a container?

Above – so called cheap packaging…

Instead, Costco pharmacy has to pay more for less packaging.  The Z pacs hold only six tablets in each bulky booklet form and I have to battle to get each one out.  I was only able to punch one tab out of the Z Pac – before getting the scissors out and cutting my way around each tab…Not an easy task …my fingers are not working right.

I wonder why a package so difficult to open, obviously costing more to manufacture than plain tablets, costs the pharmacy less than getting it in bulk form.

The patient pays the penalty.

Above – so called expensive packaging….

Has Obamacare arrived in Kitsap County?

Does anyone know what is going on and how I can get the Azithromyicin in bulk form?

Express Scripts did not.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara <familien1@comcast.net>

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to “Annoying Azithromyicin Z Pacs – what to do?”

  1. Rotebarone Says:

    Sharon:

    I’ve a similar complaint with the recent Lovastatin tablets I received from the Walmart Pharmacy. The first thing I do is take it into my shop and tear the person-proof shell apart.

    I’d shared my concern with the pharmacist and he told me I could thank the Food & Drug Administration’s new rules regarding packaging. The same empty suits that envisioned ‘child-proof’ pill bottles with which adults, particularly the elderly, had difficulties. Then industry came up with two-way caps – one side child-proof, the other side not. And the industry came up with those caps when the public complained.

    He said he’d pass my comments along – they have a way to send it back up the line – he doesn’t like them either, so we shouldn’t blame him.

    We should blame – as my grandmother from Co. Antrim would say – those “fecking eejits in government without the good sense God gave to a post.” Feisty lady, my gram…

    As to where you might get Azithromyicin in bulk form? Go to Canada and get them there, and I’m hoping you can secret them on your person in order to sneak them past the Amerikanische Grenze Sicherheitspolizei.

  2. David Says:

    I agree that the packaging can be a problem especially if you have some dexterity issues, but the packs have been that way ever since Azithromycin came on the market 20 years ago. It has nothing to do with Obamacare, it’s packaged that way because that is the standard dosing. I’m a health care provider and have prescribed the “Z-Pack” to many people. Since you only take it for 5 days, there’s no need for 30 or 60 tabs in a bottle for consumers.

    You’re right, they do need to make that packaging easier to access. But it comes that way so you don’t get a big bottle with only six tablets inside.

  3. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Rotebarone – Thanks for your response. I used to go to horse shows, including in Canada and was once stopped at the border with two little kids in the back seat and either a bale of alfalfa hay in the trunk or the residue from carrying it. First I knew alfalfa may be mistaken for other stuff.

    I know we can do better than the Z-Pack in our own country.
    Sharon

  4. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    David – I take Azithromyicin every day and have for about six months – excluding my ‘tumor op’ time frame.

    As a COPDer, I know of patients taking it across the nation in varying prescribed days.

    I had been getting it in the bottle form – then switched. The shock was discovering ANY prescribed pill/tablet would be secreted inside an almost bomb proof container for a patient to fight for daily access.

    A second shock (as an x small business owner) was the discovery the convoluted tight packing cost the pharmacy LESS than the bulk.

    Why should patients have to strain to get a pill out of a container? Eventually, the patient might well opt not to take it.

    Realistically I wouldn’t be surprised if the six tablets actual cost including container is less to dispense in a small container than the elaborate one.

    Your patients are lucky to have a health care provider willing to go the extra step to educate patients.

    Thanks for your response.
    Sharon

  5. David Says:

    And Sharon, thank YOU for educating me in a use of azithromycin that I was not aware of. I had not heard of indications for this antibiotic for long-term use but a quick web search mentions some use in COPD patients to avoid recurring respiratory infections.

    Your pharmacist probably already knows this but:

    NDC 0069-3060-30 is the identifier for bottles of 30 tabs, 250 mg
    NDC 0069-3070-30 is the identifier for bottles of 30 tabs, 500 mg

    I wonder if whoever your insurer is might have information on securing your meds via mail order, as they often will be able to do 3 month RXs in larger quantity – they might be able to provide your meds in the bottles, if your local pharmacy is unable to do so.

    Good luck on your quest!
    David

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This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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