It had better be miracle salve

So.

Our new allergist told me, “I can write you up a prescription for a newer cream for eczema that is non-steroidal, and is not an immunosuppressant.  It is safe for babies, and can be used on all parts of the body.”  Wow, I thought.  He further piqued my interest by saying that the active ingredient was derived from shea butter.  However, he mentioned that many insurances don’t cover it fully, and that it might be expensive, but that I could find coupons online.

Yes, on all accounts.  On the Atopiclair website, I found a downloadable rebate coupon for $36 — thirty-six dollars!! — that can be used for EVERY purchase.  We did have some prescription coverage, so instead of it being $117.99, it was $50, for a net cost of $14, which although isn’t cheap, is reasonable for a prescription.

I quizzed my doc on why, exactly, it’s available by rx only, since it’s naturally derived.  I did the same with the pharmacist.  Neither had any idea.  Weird.  I sent an e-mail to the website, asking why it’s only available by prescription.

Atopiclair is manufactured in Italy, and apparently, that’s where it shipped from, because it took four days to arrive at Walgreen’s.

I had a great conversation with the pharmacist about Atopiclair and staph infections and eczema.  It seems like every time I completely lose faith in the American medical system, and slip into cynicism, I have some sort of fabulous interaction with a medical professional, and I have to admit that they definitely can play a valuable role in actually promoting the health of their clients.

Anyways.  I picked up the Atopiclair tonight, and slathered it on Fiala.

I’m not 100% certain, but I’m thinking that Fiala’s recent illnesses are connected to our use of Protopic, which supresses the immune system.  First, she came down with RSV the day after we started Protopic.  A few days later, she developed a staph infection on her legs.  Hm.

I had tried raw honey on her staph lesions, and while that helped, it was INCREDIBLY messy, and the bandages started giving her MORE/WORSE eczema, so I put her on antibiotics, starting last Wednesday night.  Her infection isn’t worse, but it’s definitely not better, and I’m starting to get very concerned.  Dear Jesus, don’t let it be MRSA.  So, I thought I’d put her back on honey therapy, while we also treat with antibiotics, but use better bandages.

Oddly enough, I couldn’t find any plain cotton gauze pads.  It’s all rayon/polyester these days.  Hmph.  I like cotton.  However, I did find Hold Tite by Curad, which is exactly what I was looking for — a tubular mesh “bandage” with no adhesive, to hold a gauze pad in place.  Though I’ve only used it once — tonight — it was SO SO SO much easier than bandaging.  I slopped some raw honey on the 3″ x 3″ gauze, pressed it to her leg, then slipped the Hold Tite sleeve around her leg.  Woo hoo!

So, back to the Atopiclair.  There just seems to be something seriously WRONG with charging $117.99 for a 100g tube of, essentially, lotion.  It had better seriously be miracle salve for that price.

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 18, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Medical Stuff, Shopping. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Why is it so expensive? I’ve had a look, and on the UK atopiclair site it’s selling for £14.26 (just over $20?) for 100ml. to UK residents; http://www.atopiclair.co.uk/buy_atopiclair.php
    Is this not the same strength as you have for Fiala? And if it is, then the price disparity is just wrong. I don’t understand why it should be so much more expensive in the US.

    • Jennie, that is INSANE!! Maybe that’s one reason why the cost of healthcare is spiraling out of control in the U.S. — because drug companies charge the insurance companies an inflated price, essentially causing them to subsidize the cost of the medication for the WORLD. Hmph. What else would be the reason for it costing almost 6X what it does in other places around the world???

  2. you could cut up and old t shirt that is cotton and use that. men’s undershirts are nice. and if you had organic cotton that would be even better! you could put the gauze over top of the cotton so it doesn’t touch the skin. just a thought.

    I’ll pray for her, poor little baby!

    • Oh! Duh! That’s a great idea. We “repurpose” my husband’s old tees into cleaning cloths, but I’m sure I can find a cotton tee somewhere that we could use for Fiala.

  3. I’m hoping that this is an excellent solution and helps tremendously!

    And, yes, the medical world with prescriptions–just like the educational world with textbooks–is an absolute racket. That’s how they can price something at $120 and then “magically” with enough hoop jumping get it for a tenth of that price.

    I’m also glad you had a good interaction with a medical professional! Those are very needed and encouraging.

    ~Luke

  4. In Grenada, it only cost me $3 for an antibiotic prescription. And, we didn’t use insurance. The pharmacy still made it’s profit on that.
    Karen, there is a racket going on in the US and Americans are paying dearly for it. They have no idea how much they are being gouged, all in the name of huge profits. Americans are at the mercy of pharma, insurance companies and politicians when it comes to medical care.
    And, I’ve been wondering about your little Fiala; are you sure she doesn’t have celiac disease? Has she been tested? I really hope you can eventually find some solution for her. It’s so heartbreaking to see children suffer, especially when you are the mother of the child.

    • A lot of abx prescriptions are now $4-5 — as long as there’s a generic available, prices are actually very reasonable on most drugs. But, you’re right — Americans are being gouged by huge profits and out-of-control litigation. My jaw dropped when my OB told me, about 10 years ago, that he paid $200,000/year for insurance to cover him in case he was sued. I can’t imagine what it is right now. Anything bad happens, and lawyers and gold-diggers find a way to blame a doctor, and they pay multiple millions upon being sued, which then comes back to the American people, who have to pay more for health costs because their doc is paying HUGE fees to insure against litigation. I think litigation reform would go a long way to reducing costs of American medicine, which would then render the point of expensive healthcare almost moot, because it would be going to pay for HEALTHCARE, not some ridiculous “punitive” award.

      About celiac disease — Fiala is on a g.f. diet, because of my own CD. Two of my other four children have CD, and though we’ll likely do an eventual gluten challenge on Fiala, it would *really* surprise me if she had it. The two who did were always scrawny — skinny, small, poor eaters — even Audrey, who was g.f. from the womb!!! Fiala is chubby, sturdy, a very willing eater! She just has awful skin and loose stools.

  5. I paid $176 for Jacob’s acne meds. Just a cream. I paid $107 for my Estrace cream. And yes those were the prices AFTER insurance discounts…. oh also $185 for Bethany’s antibiotic ear drops…

    • WOW. I feel a lot better about $50 now!!! I know Estrace is a unique product, and no generic exists… but for most of our medications, I ask the doctor if a similar product exists for which there is a generic… Some docs just get stuck on their “favorites” (influenced, at times, sadly, by visits from the drug rep), when there are other products that work just as well.

  6. Ok I just checked the website for Epiduo, the acne drug I paid $176 for. If I fill out their survey they give me a membership card so that when I show the card I’ll never be charged more than $20, for up to a $200 Rx.

    SO yeah, how come filling out a form on a website gets me the drug for 10% of the original cost????? This IS a racket.

  7. I wish I had kept this cream. They gave it to us but I didn’t find that it worked well for our Princess.

    I have several thoughts on health insurance in this country, some positive some negative. On the positive, when I look at the over $500 for my daughter’s monthly immunosuppressant so that her body doesn’t reject her liver transplant, I am very thankful for my $25 co-pay.

    Off to rummage to see if I still have those sample packs. 😉

    • I found that it worked in the areas that weren’t… scabby, if that makes sense. The areas that were just bumpy and dry, but not really red, it worked/works wonderfully — it gave her creamy, soft skin that I couldn’t stop kissing. However, we’re back to Protopic, because her worst areas started breaking out with open sores/scabs again. 😦 So, in our experience, Atopiclair worked best on the areas of mild eczema.

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