young woman on couch with phone and laptop, captioned 'When you lose health insurance and can't buy your meds because they are $100 a MONTH for self pay.' and '$18,023.40'

@abigailgingeraleofficial/TikTok

‘Our healthcare system is a crime against humanity’: TikToker finds out her medicine is going to cost 18K for a month’s supply in viral video, sparking outrage (updated)

'How do you f*cking justify that?'

 

Brooke Sjoberg

IRL

Posted on Feb 1, 2022   Updated on Feb 7, 2022, 10:27 am CST

A video of a woman being told her medication is going to cost over $18,000 for a one-month supply has garnered 345K views on TikTok, sparking a discussion about the U.S. healthcare system in the comments section.

In the video, Abigail Gingerail (@abigailgingeraleofficial) is on a phone call with a medical professional telling her what the cost of her medication is going to be for a month’s supply, and she and her husband are floored by the number.

“How do you f*cking justify that?” her husband asks the person on the other line in the video. “That’s so outrageous.”

“Let me talk; let me talk,” Gingerail says to him. “No, no, no it’s OK. … I know you’re not the one who makes the prices. It’s just kind of comical.”

Text overlay indicates that Gingerail recently lost her health insurance. According to her bio, she is a colon cancer survivor, and she uses her platform to share her experience.

@abigailgingeraleofficial

So I’m self pay RN, THIS is the convo with the pharmacy that sends out my very important sleep meds… #cataplexy #merica #healthinsurance #ostomy #EDS

♬ original sound – Abigail Gingerale

Some commenters suggested she try looking at websites like GoodRx or the recently released Cost Plus Drug Company, but she said that’s not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to prescriptions.

“I appreciate all your comments and help trying to find this drug for cheaper while being self-pay, but Mark Cuban’s website doesn’t do shit,” Gingerail says in a follow-up video. “His website is for generic medication. Things like antibiotics, simple things.”

She says that some medications, like hers, are so specialized that they are only available through some pharmacies or do not have generic versions.

“The medication that I need and a lot of overpriced medications are usually only at one or two, or several pharmacies in the U.S., and so they can charge a ridiculous amount for it, even though they also charge insurance companies a ridiculous amount so you’d think that they’d be paid enough to help people that are self-pay,” she said. “I’m not looking for anything free, but $18,000 a month is a joke.”

Others shared their own experiences with outrageous drug prices.

“Cancer patient here,” one commenter wrote. “One chemo infusion is 37K. I have insurance but still have to cover more than half of that. 18 more to go.”

In Body Image
In Body Image
In Body Image

Many used the video to comment on the U.S. healthcare system.

“It’s crazy how many people are commenting stuff she already tried,” one commenter wrote. “Like the healthcare industry is an entire mob operation.”

In Body Image
In Body Image
In Body Image

Updated 7:35am CT Feb. 4: When reached for comment, Gingerail told the Daily Dot she’s “always trying to empower people” through social media.

“The one thing that’s been hard to deal with with this specific video going crazy, there’s been a lot of talk of, obviously political of course, which is something that I don’t personally want to get into but it’s there’s been a lot of negativity and a lot of like, bashing the other side, opposing opinion and stuff,” she said.

She said the video has brought “so much negativity out in people” that she’s come close to deleting the video.

Her husband, Andy, responded to the criticism he received for getting frustrated in the video.

“I’m very used to furiously defending my wife. Dealing with dealing with the healthcare system is obviously very frustrating. You can sense my frustration and so I’m just very used to defending or standing up for her, so that’s probably why people were upset with me because I was I seemed upset, but I’m also I’m just very passionate about making sure she gets what she needs,” he told the Daily Dot.

Gingerail said she’s still trying to work out a solution with the pharmacy or the manufacturer of the medicine, which she said is what a lot of commenters urged her to do.

“The pharmacy reached back out and said they want to talk to me further about their assistance program,” she said. “So initially it was still very unaffordable, like still even a couple thousand a month is just too much for us right now.”

She said she’s looking into different types of solutions, like turning to her doctor’s office.

“There are a lot of cases where like doctors offices, hold this kind of pool of this type of medication, like extras or from people that have gone off of it, stuff like that, and can give you samples. But in my case, my doctor doesn’t have any samples or anything like that for me right now,” she said.


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*First Published: Feb 1, 2022, 8:36 am CST