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Consider Total Cost of Ownership When Buying Viagra

Viagra

Some believe the time spent in a doctor’s office waiting room should be taken into consideration when computing what a medication costs.

It Could Be Weeks Yet

Before Your Appointment

One of the biggest frustrations in today’s health care marketplace is the time it takes to book an appointment with a medical specialist or even your family doctor. The difficulty factor varies considerably depending on where you live and the type of doctor you need to consult.

If you’re trying to see a urologist in Manhattan, you’ll no doubt have to wait much longer than would be the case in rural Pennsylvania. But then again, you might not be able to find a qualified urologist in parts of rural Pennsylvania and thus would be forced to travel long distances.

MerrittHawkins, a unit of AMN Healthcare, a healthcare staffing firm, surveyed more than 1,400 physicians to determine average wait times among five specialties: cardiology, dermatology, family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and orthopedics. According to an article at Forbes.com, the poll found the average time patients had to wait to schedule an appointment had climbed from 18.5 days in 2014 to 24 days by early 2017. The survey was conducted in 15 major U.S. metropolitan areas. Waiting times for an appointment were worst in Boston, where it took an average of 52 days to get an appointment to see a professional in any of the five medical disciplines.

You’ll have to chalk up this sort of wait time to experience because it’s virtually impossible to put any sort of price tag on it. Needless to say, however, it can be very frustrating.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction (The Fred Factor)

Paying the Doctor

Getting There — and Back

Waiting for the Doctor

Filling the Prescription

Time Off from Work?

So What’s the Alternative?

It Comes with a Pill Splitter

Making Comparisons

Introduction (The Fred Factor)

There is a school of thought that maintains the true cost of a prescription medication should be based on not just the price for a bottle of pills but also on all the other expenditures that were made to make that purchase possible. These would include the fee paid for a visit to the doctor’s office, wages lost to schedule such a visit, or time spent waiting at the doctor’s office or in a pharmacy queue, as well as the price of the medication itself. It might seem a bit extreme, but if you take the time to analyze it closely, you might find that it at least sensitizes you to all the various expenses associated with the drugs we buy to maintain our overall health and well-being.

Accurately quantifying all those expenses would be a daunting proposition, of course. Who’s to say what your time is worth? Probably more than your boss thinks but surely less than the price tag you would put on it. Even if the pricing mechanism might be a bit inexact, going through the exercise opens up your eyes to the real cost of things, or, more precisely, points up the fact that everything — even time spent waiting — has its cost.

For the purpose of this experiment, we will seek to calculate the total cost of a prescription for eight 50-milligram tablets of Viagra for a middle-aged gentleman named Fred. The running tab for Fred’s Viagra prescription will be based on certain cost-factors that are specific to Fred but can be worked out for others using fairly simple calculations.

Paying the Doctor

Because the vast majority of Americans are covered by some degree of health care insurance, the cost to visit a doctor for Fred and most others will be the co-pay required by Fred’s insurer. The typical tab for a primary doctor’s visit ranges from $150 to $200 and even higher for most specialists. And the typical co-pay is 20 percent of the posted cost of the visit, putting the cost to Fred somewhere between $30 and $40.

Depending on the policies of Fred’s doctor, a single office visit could be enough to establish a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction and get the first prescription for Viagra, one of the more popular drugs prescribed to treat ED. Once a prescription has been written, the doctor’s office is usually willing to renew it upon a request from the patient unless there is some reason to believe that the patient’s condition has changed. Thus, the cost for that visit could be factored into all future purchases of the drug, thus diminishing the impact of that cost factor.

Getting There — and Back

Unless the doctor that Fred will be visiting lives across the street, Fred will undoubtedly have to spend a bit of time to get to and from the doctor’s office. For our hypothetical, we’ll suppose that Fred must travel 10 miles from his home or workplace to the doctors and a similar distance on the return trip. Using the standard mileage rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for 2017, that round trip of 20 miles gets a price tag of $10.70, which covers gasoline and wear and tear on the vehicle.

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The time it takes to drive to and from the doctor’s office, as well as time spent in the doctor’s office, will be calculated based on each individual’s honest estimate of what his or her time is worth. Let’s assume that Fred’s a relatively modest fellow, who puts his hourly worth at a mere $12. Assuming the round trip to and from the doctor’s office could be completed in 30 minutes, this brings transportation costs, including use of the vehicle, to a total of $16.70, adding $6 for a half hour of Fred’s time.

Waiting for the Doctor

Life would be much simpler if a visit to the doctor involved no lost time thumbing through last year’s magazines in the waiting room, but that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. It’s probably safe to assume that Fred will spend at least another 30 minutes waiting to actually consult the doctor once he arrives at the office or is ushered into an examination room. So let’s add another $6 — for Fred’s personal time — to the accumulating costs of a visit to the doctor’s office.

Filling the Prescription

If Fred has successfully convinced the doctor that his symptoms of erectile dysfunction warrant treatment with Viagra, he must now see about getting that prescription filled. Many doctors today electronically transmit prescriptions to the preferred pharmacies of their patients, which in Fred’s case hopefully would eliminate that added step of dropping off the prescription.

However, once the prescription’s been filled, Fred must make a separate trip to the pharmacy to pick up the medication. Depending on the distances involved, this will probably involve additional transportation costs and an expenditure of Fred’s personal time. For argument’s sake, we’ll put Fred’s pharmacy a 10-mile roundtrip from his home, which will entail a vehicle cost of $5.35 and personal time expenditure of $3, covering the 15 minutes it will take to drive there and back to his wife, Wilma

And, if Fred must spend some time waiting in line for the pharmacist, that will add to his tab for personal time spent waiting.

Time Off from Work?

Trying to sandwich a visit to the doctor’s office into a regular work week schedule can be difficult and may require that Fred take time off from work to get the job done. If he takes a half day, and his hourly pay rate is only $12, that adds another $48 to the tab. For those conscientious enough to note that some of Fred’s assertions of personal time expenditures are being accounted for by this $48 of wages lost, we’ll concede that his $9 of personal time charges can be absorbed into this $48 figure.

So What’s the Alternative?

While we would strongly counsel against careless online shopping, particularly when it comes to potentially potent prescription drugs, there is a safe — and less expensive — way to buy ED drugs online. AccessRx.com is an online facilitator that partners with Secure Medical to market a select assortment of lifestyle medications, including Viagra and other oral ED drugs. AccessRx uses Secure Medical’s proprietary processing capabilities and data centers to safely and securely conduct online transactions with prospective customers.

If you already have a doctor’s prescription, you can fax it or scan and email it along with your order to AccessRx. However, if you don’t yet have a prescription and would prefer to avoid the added cost of a doctor’s visit, AccessRx can set up a complimentary consultation with a member of its team of licensed U.S. physicians. AccessRx’s doctor will then review your symptoms, medical history, and a list of the prescription and OTC drugs you’re taking to see if you’re an appropriate candidate for Viagra or one of the other ED drugs available from AccessRx.

Once a prescription has been authorized, your order will be discreetly packaged and shipped directly to your home.

It Comes with a Pill Splitter

Your first order from AccessRx will come with a complimentary pill splitter, which allows you to take advantage of one of the more unusual pricing eccentricities in the prescription drug marketplace.

Viagra

Sometimes you may have to wait in a line at the pharmacy to pick up your prescription.

Because it costs just as much to produce a 50-milligram tablet of a prescription drug as it does to manufacture one that is twice as strong, the manufacturing cost to the drugmaker is identical and his cost to wholesalers and retailers is also identical

If you take Viagra and find that a 50-milligram tablet of the drug produces the desired results, you can take advantage of this pricing phenomenon by ordering 100-milligram tablets that can then be split to yield twice as many doses. AccessRx’s current price for eight 100-milligram tablets of Viagra is $684, bringing the price per 50-milligram dose to a more affordable $42.75. Of course, you can increase your savings even more if you’re willing to try generic Viagra. Eight 100-milligram tablets of sildenafil citrate produced by Pfizer subsidiary Greenstone LLC cost only $352, or $22 per 50-milligram dose after splitting.

Making Comparisons

Using an online facilitator such as AccessRx, you can get a complimentary online consultation with a licensed U.S. doctor, your prescription, the Viagra itself, and even a pill splitter for far less than the total cost you’d pay after getting a prescription from your doctor. That’s assuming you’re taking into consideration all the costs involved in getting and filling that prescription.

Visiting a doctor has some advantages for patients who really need to have certain questions about their symptoms of impotence answered by a medical professional. It’s also advisable for men with other serious health issues to talk directly to a doctor to learn what course of action is advisable for them. If you want to learn more, you can find a wide range of information on erectile dysfunction on our blog.

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About Don Amerman

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Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+