Pinworm Panic

Worms part 2… and yet another med school lecture I must have missed.

A few nights ago at 2am a patient came to the ER with her freaked out mom and a bottled pinworm. Mom wanted a prescription to rescue her afflicted daughter, so I looked in my Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy, and the top tip was mebendazole. I don’t spend much time thinking about pinworm emergencies, especially at 2am. So I wrote the Rx and moved along.

In the morning after work I got a Pre-R call from a woman who also discovered pinworms in her stool. It felt like a rogue wave. Having just mastered the treatment, I called in her Rx and carried on.

Later in the day, however, I got another call from my Pre-R patient to ask about any other options, because apparently mebendazole cost $800, for 2 tabs! (Now it shows on GoodRx as unavailable.) I called the pharmacist to get his advice. He said most patients use Pin-X… OTC… Sub$10!

My Pre-R patient did just fine with that option. No clue about the late night nervous mom though. Since she didn’t seem nervous about her ER bill, maybe her mebendazole was covered too.

Real time price transparency is my mantra in all things. According to this Fortune Magazine article U.S. Health Care Costs Skyrocketed to $3.65 Trillion in 2018, and a fair fraction is my fault. Trump could probably build his wall with cash saved after a fireside chat just touting Pin-X! Chain link anyways.

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