My Insurance Paid for Ascor®

Finally!! Hooray!!


I have been waiting for this day!

It feels so official.
So dignified.
So legitimate.
So real.
So monumental.

This is a drug for my stupid life-ruining disease, Hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and my insurance should cover it, right? Right!

My insurance had not paid for Ascor in the past because I could only get it directly from McGuff. That is their policy: no coverage if purchased directly from the manufacturer. Full retail price only!

Last time I needed to stock up, i could not find a pharmacy whose distributor could get it. I called everywhere: Costco, big chains, small boutique pharmacies. No one had access.

So, I schlepped down to fabulous Orange County, walked into McGuff and bought $600 worth, packed it into my cold bag and drove back north to not as fabulous Los Angeles. Read about that exciting trip in my post Visiting McGuff Pharmacy.

This time, when down to my last couple of vials, I called my favorite local Walgreens. Their guy could get my Ascor, they thought. Two bottles please!

After several delays, it came! Sound the trumpets!


Note the retail price for each bottle is $165.75. Yikes. If I bought it directly from McGuff, the price would be $32.30 per, almost exactly my co-pay. So this event was more symbolic than anything. I’ll take it!

It’s in my nature to be practical, so I had my doctor call in a prescription for 6 bottles to McGuff. It waits for me, unfilled. The next time I go to the fabulous OC, I’ll pay cash and stock up, because this does seem ridiculous and the cost is no difference to me.

Walgreens is also where I get my needles and syringes. These four boxes, containing 100 rigs each, cost me about $85. Insurance doesn’t cover. Still, a great deal at $0.21 each.

The BD 18G x 1 needle (not pictured) that is needed to suck the thick, syrupy Ascor out of the bottle is covered by insurance, don’t know why, although I did ask the pharmacist once. The answer may have been that it is diabetic supply? Can’t remember.


Such an inexpensive, safe and darn effective treatment. I’m not cured. I’m not normal, but I am sooooo much better. I’ll take it!

How to end this post?

How about with a report of swimmers crashing my triathlete group last Saturday and not paying their club dues. So rude.

They also don’t get the swimming round the buoy part. They just swim back and forth on one side of it, showing off and disrupting our training. I stopped my exercise, just treaded water and watched them until hypothermia began to set in.

There were six dolphins out there and one very dapper sea lion who swam right by me. I wanted to stop him to ask how he keeps his whiskers looking so refined. But he was busy with his sashimi breakfast which he did not offer to share with me. Such bad manners the local sea life have.

I could hear the dolphins exhaling and slapping their tail fins against the water. They were also calling to each other underwater. I don’t speak Dolphin but I think they were probably laughing at what awkward swimmers we are (I’d like to see them walk!) although the water was so cold I could hardly stand putting my head in to listen.

Three dolphins swam into the shore, into the shallow, crashing waves but did not get out and run around the lifeguard tower like the rest of us.

Can you imagine their conversation? 

Dolphin 1: Where are all those pack fish-animal terrible swimmer disappearing to? 

Dolphin 2: Freaky.!

Dolphin 3: Let’s go check it out. But I’m not going alone. 

Dolphin 2: The shore is dangerous. We don’t know what is beyond that.  Best not to.

Dolphin 3: I have to know. We can swim off to the side. Don’t want to get to close to them even though we can swim circles around them. What if they tried to capture us?

Dolphin 2: They are here every Saturday and have not ever harmed us.

Dolphin 1: Good point, let’s go. 

After swimming to shore

Dolphin 1: Still no idea where they went. Look they’re getting back in.

We’ve had the coldest winter in about 100 years in Los Angeles. It was glorious. But I hope the water warms up soon. I’ve got some races coming up and it’s still freezing out there. But I do get to ice my neck while I exercise, and isn’t that a plus.

Wishing you health, healing and fun.