Prescription Discrimination Essay

Submitted By GoodmanB
Words: 1799
Pages: 8

Prescription Discrimination
Imagine this, you an eighteen year girl old who has decided to become sexually active with your long term boyfriend. This raises a lot of issues for you. While you are interested in beginning oral contraception you are not comfortable talking to your parents about sex. Even if you could talk to them, the chances they would pay for your birth control are slim to none. You do work but $30 a month for the pill on top of the cost of condoms takes up a large portion of your pay check. Do you decide to wait to be sexually active or do you take your chances?Consider a different scenario, you a married woman in your late thirties, with two children, who receives financial support from the state. Every month poses a new struggle when trying to pay the bills. On top of food, utilities, gas and the high cost of raising two children you do not have room for the cost of birth control. Although you love your children, you simply cannot afford to have another under any circumstances. Do you refrain from having sex with your husband or do you takes your chances? According to the Planned Parenthood web site, “approximately 70,000 unintended pregnancies occur in Massachusetts each year,” this makes it apparent that more women are choosing to take their chances over abstinence.For decades women have fought for equal rights in this country and countries all over the world. They have fought a tough fight and have come a long way. This makes a blatant message of sexualdiscrimination all the more outrageous in this day and age. The message is unequal health insurance coverage for women and even in the year 2003 it continues to be a serious issue.Woman nationwide are faced with a choice to either pay high prices for oral contraceptives or take a risk and go without them. On the contrary men are totally supported when looking for coverage of the newly popularized Viagra pill. Viagra is a new creation, which helps older men achieve and maintain an erection. Most insurance plans cover the cost of this drug. While men are covered on a drug that’s sole purpose is to enhance sexual pleasure, woman are unable to find coverage of a drug that necessary to not only avoid pregnancy but relieve menstrual cramping, clear up skin break outs, and regulate menstrual cycles.Rebecca*, a senior at Northeastern University recalls her start on oral contraception, “I started it at 16 years old, not because I was having sex, but because my cramps were horrible, I was missing school because of them. My parents had to pay for them; I remember my mother being very unhappy about that and now I know why, I was even using them for birth control.” Many women who are not sexually active find relief in the birth control pill for menstrual reasons alone.While many states are still struggling with this issue, Massachusetts passed a law as of January 1, 2003 stating that all prescriptioncontraceptives must be covered. Stacy Weston, a John Alden Insurance Customer Service Representative explained that all oral contraceptives are now covered through the pharmacy when the customer presents an insurance prescription card. Customers can now purchase 30 days worth of the generic version of their pill for only $10. Weston explained that when a medication becomes generic, it simply means the patent on the brand name has run out and other companies can now manufacture the drug and offer it for less money.Jane, a senior at Northeastern University explains how this has changed her form of birth control, “I wasn’t even bothering with it when it was $30 a month, I know that sounds terrible but the cost just wasn’t worth it to me. We just used condoms most of the time.” While Massachusetts has moved ahead with this law many other states are still in the dark.Massachusetts’ contraceptives coverage bill only went into effect January of 2003 regardless of the number of women in need of financial assistance for oral contraceptives in this state. According to the Alan