I apaologize for not having blogged the last several weeks—nothing much was happening personally, or that wasn’t in the news that I have already commented upon.
For the first time since switching to testosterone gel for my daily HRT treatment, I was able to go to my local pharmacy…and simply pay a copay for my refill, instead of using a “drug coupon” that barely reduced the price.
I made sure to get prior authorization; I have the paperwork for it in case things ever get held up. Because anything with testosterone is considered a class-3 drug, because it’s a steroid that gets often abused, it’s way more highly regulated than anything trans women may take to feminize their bodies.
Now, I know there are oral drugs that make it way easier to masculinize the body and maintain that state. However, taking testosterone orally (shut up, get your mind out of the gutter! 😆) has a history of liver complications, and many of the new ones that have been released in the last couple of years cost a lot (especially if you have to pay out of pocket because insurance won’t cover gender affirming treatments), and insurances would rather we still take injections as they are mostly generic at this point. (With my current plan, it costs me $20 for a 90-day supply of gel, whereas it’d be $180 for 90 days of pills.) Plus, the pill requires taking twice per day, and I often forgo breakfast, which would require me to bring a pill to work to eat at lunch…it’s a whole hassle. Same thing with nasal sprays—three times daily requires me to have to carry the applicator everywhere, remember when to take it, just too much of a hassle. Using gel requires me to apply once per day, which is easy to do after getting out of the shower and right before getting dressed before the day.
Injecting myself once a week or every other week worsened my bipolar symptoms, and with bloating and lethargy occurring for a day or two afterwards. Patches are more expensive than gel, because they’re prepackaged and all that; you pay a lot extra for all those extra conveniences. Implants require all kinds of long-term planning, albeit keeps my levels the most stable.
For a 90 day supply, my copays are $20 for injections, $20 for gel, $180 for pills (nothing generic available), $100 for the patch (again, nothing generic available), and $270 for implants (which require a doctor’s visit and copay on top of that).
Should things go well when I attend my appointment in two weeks, I’ll end my sorry service with Plume (not endorsed nor affiliated), and get my HRT issued locally instead. I used the service when the pandemic was happening and my freedom of movement was restricted, and concierge medicine (with an HSA at the time) was the only known option to me. There is no need to continue using a subscription service when a local provider takes my health insurance, service is good, and there’s no problem with getting my refills and labs.
Really, we need universal healthcare. This way when I visit the doctor, I just worry about visiting the doctor and focusing on my health. When going to the pharmacy, just pick up my meds. Not have to worry about copays, coinsurances, what my deductible is, if I can afford all my medications and the visits. Yes, I know it would be funded by taxes—but that’s what taxes are for, to fund public services, not endlessly go to war.