Tag Archive for cost

The Cost of that Burger

Many of us, knowing how much it costs our environment to eat beef hamburgers, are trying veggie burgers and “impossible burgers.” The question is, though, which of these is better? This article, Which is the Greenest Burger, compares costs in terms of greenhouse emissions, water and land use, and genetically modified ingredients.

Why Drug Prices are so High

A new drug enters the market with a 20-year monopoly before a generic version of it can be sold.  This is the time period in which the pharmaceutical company recoups the amount it spent in developing the drug.  In other words, unlike your small business, they get to  charge a high price for that little pill until they break even.  If that’s the case, why don’t they drop the price after 20 years?  The answer is simple: more profits.

Yes, a generic company can make a cheaper version and challenge the 20-year window through the FDA.  It’s really a patent challenge, claiming that there’s a flaw in the patent or it isn’t valid for some other reason.  Of course, the big-pharma company counter-sues  leading to lengthy and expensive litigation.  If they think they might lose or don’t want to take the chance, they just settle it all with an agreement that the generic company will drop the suit and hold off introducing their more affordable pill, and, in exchange, big-pharma will pay them a tidy sum.  Everybody wins, right?

Wait a minute.  What about us consumers who depend on the medicine, especially people who, because of the expense, must often choose between life-saving medications and food or rent?  And doesn’t that also add to the high costs of our medical system?  Mmmmmmmmm.

Hope for Defeating Robo-Calls

Next year, plan on half your phone calls being from robo-callers. That’s according to a recent report.

There’s a solution to this–maybe. A program called Stir/Shaken lets your phone company verify the number of your caller, identifying if it’s a valid number or from a robo-caller, then block it. It’s to be larger and more effective than NoMoRobo, which has been great for me. Sounds good.

Not right now, though. It’s supposed to kick in next year. The problem is, nobody knows who will pay for it. Will we have to subscribe to it and pay a big fee, or will the phone companies incorporate it into our current service? And which phone companies will actually choose to use it?

I’m going to contact my phone company and tell them I expect them to add this to my service but not to my bill. I suggest you do the same.

Thoughts from a Purple Flower

Today’s Thursday Thought quote is a cost-free idea that is priceless.

“When you see something beautiful in a person, tell them.  It may take seconds to say but for them, it could last a lifetime.” — The Purple Flower

How to Tell if that Organic is Worth It

Organic or not, always wash fruit and veggies before eating them. But first you have to buy them. There’s so much hype about how much healthier organics are.  Sometimes, though, paying for organic isn’t worth the money.

A rule of thumb is  whether or not the fruit or vegetable has a thick skin that chemicals can’t get through.  If so, call them the “Clean Ones.”  If not, call them the “Dirty Ones.”  Here’s a helpful list.

“Dirty Ones” (buy organic)

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

“Clean Ones” (don’t waste $$$ on organic)

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit


Cheap Idea: Help Victims–But Not All

A new office is being created to help crime victims–but only the victims of immigrants.  It’s called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, or Voice.  This is a smart move on the Administration’s part because it’s far less costly than helping all victims of crime.  In fact, it will help the smallest group of victims.  That’s because, according to the CATO Institute, citing many studies, “With few exceptions, immigrants are less crime prone than natives or have no effect on crime rates.”

I’m not sure how this office will work.  I assume it would provide extra law enforcement to go after the immigrant perpetrators, then deport them.  I guess this will give victims some sort of “closure.”  Although it does help ICE, the agency it’s housed at–it should lead to discovery of more “Illegals” and their families so they can be deported.  Their hotline might be helpful to victims, although it doesn’t seem to me any different from calling the police.  It will provide jobs for 48 people (21 community-relations officers and 27 victim-assistance specialists).

They haven’t figured out a budget for it yet, but I’m confident that it will be cheap enough for all the good it will do.


High Cost of Gunshot Treatment

Startling fact:  It took almost $7 billion–and possibly more–to treat gunshot victims over nine years (read Gunshot Wounds Cost U.S. Hospitals Nearly $7 Billion Over 9 Years).

See also the Stanford study “Gun injuries cost Americans $730 million a year in hospital bills.”  A related startling fact.

Translate the money into number of lives affected and that’s not just startling, it’s a national crisis.

And it begs the question, How  much value do we put on human life?


Epipen’s Cost to Us All

I admit.  I have a vested interest in the issue–a granddaughter with a peanut allergy.  I want her to keep carrying a non-expired Epinephrine-dispensing device that can save her life.  Most people know the device as an Epipen (although there is a cheaper alternative a doctor might prescribe, Adrenaclick).

I don’t get it.  Pharmaceutical companies always issue a new product at a high price because “we need to make up for all the money that went into its research and development.”  Then, shouldn’t the price go down rather than up — or  at least stay the same — after almost ten years of their recouping their investment?

Look at the Epipen, at what PHARMACIES have paid over the years for each set of two pens: $100 (2007), $103.50 (2009), $264.50 (July 2013), $461–up 75%! (May 2015), $608.61 (May 2016).  And the price from the pharmacies to consumers, of course, is much higher.

Now Mylan, who makes the Epipen, promises to offer a generic Epipen for around $300 for a two-pack, but that’s the cost to the pharmacies, not to us.  It’s still a lot of money for something that started out at a price of $100, which Mylan figured would cover their R and D costs.

Also, people with such allergies should, to be safe, have two pens with them at all times (in case a second dose is needed), plus two at home and two in in any other home they spend much time in (such as a divorced parent).

Oh, and those pens expire in 12 months.  Expired ones should not be used because the Epiniphrine degrades, making it less effective or totally ineffective.

Yes, insurance covers the pens. There are two hidden costs there, though: the patient’s co-pay and the rise in insurance rates due to such unreasonable medication costs.  A third, devastating cost is in lives lost because a family can’t afford the co-pay or an insurance plan that covers such medications.

I want my granddaughter, and everyone else’s family members, to be taken care of, not to be taken advantage of!



DVR and Cable Costs

There are two energy-gobblers you stare at daily yet don’t think much about.  One is your DVR. If you seldom use it, unplug it until you actually do want to use it.  The other is your cable box.  While away on vacation, unplug it, too.  These items draw a lot of power, even when not in use but while still plugged in.

Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000 or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

Cheaper Electric Cars

Although I’d love to switch from an environmentally harmful gas car, I’ve had several concerns.  One is that there haven’t been any electric mini vans made (I need one to carry my handicap scooter), but that’s changing, according to this morning’s news.  Another is the slow-moving plans for long-lasting batteries that can adequately be recycled once they die.  Price, obviously, has been a factor, as well, although competition is starting to have some effect there.  And my monthly electricity bill has been a deterrent–until I learned that gas would have to go down to a dollar a gallon to be as cheap as electric power for vehicles.

I look at old faithful–my 2004 Dodge Caravan–and know she won’t last forever.  Maybe I’ll eventually replace her with an electric van.  In may garage, at least, if not in my heart.