Bipolar 2 From Inside and Out

The Abilify Saga Continues

It turns out, Abilify works for me. Except now I have to work for Abilify. To afford it, I mean.

I now wake up around 7:30 or 8:00 instead of 10:00. I can concentrate long enough to read whole chapters of books, and am enjoying that immensely. I am able to get showered and dressed and go out to run a few errands. I can decide what to eat and even recognize when it’s time for me to eat.

And I can work. I have taken on a mega-project, which has required my attention up to eight hours a day, researching, writing, editing, and proofreading. I don’t know how well I’m doing (there are some differences of opinion about that), but I’m doing it, goddammit.

I may be pushing myself a little too hard, despite the new energy and focus. The other day I had to force myself, one pitiful step at a time, to address a dozen Christmas cards. “You have the list, you can put the addresses on the envelopes. You’ve got enough stamps, you can surely put them on the envelopes. (Don’t call me Shirley.) Better put return addresses on. You can do that much, then stop. You can slip the cards into the envelopes. How hard can that be? You had them printed with your names, so you don’t really have to sign them if you don’t want to and won’t have to fake your husband’s signature because he’s not here. That would be too much. Now lick the envelopes. All you have to do is stick out your tongue. Might as well take them to the mailbox. You need to get cat food out of the car anyway. Okay, now you can crash. Egg sauce, Ted.”

Many’s the year when all that was Just Too Much. According to the Mystic Law of Reciprocal Cards, we get about four nowadays, and are very grateful for those.

And grateful for the Abilify. Except it’s $800 a bottle, even for the tiny dose I’m taking. I got one free month and one discounted month ($650) from the manufacturer and have spent a lot of time since worrying and seeking solutions.

There will (we hope) be a generic in April. Yay.

I know someone who was taking it and has some left over.

I know someone in Canada.

Will my doctor prescribe a higher dosage so I can break them in half and stretch them (and the cost) out?

I may have at last solved the problem. After hours on the phone and hours more on hold, we finally have new insurance. It costs about as much per month as a bottle of Abilify, but the drug benefit kicks in before we’ve paid the deductible (which is way lower than previously). So our many, many other drugs will magically shrink to $15 per – or less with mail-away – and we’ll come out ahead. A little. Probably. If I can keep up the pace on work.

Plus, now we have dental, and oh lord do I need that. But that’s another story for another time.

Comments on: "The Abilify Saga Continues" (6)

  1. Best of luck getting some affordable Abilify. Terrible that people cannot access the medication that they need. Wrong.


  2. I see Dr. R. on Tues. Maybe I’ll know more then – like whether I can do two weeks without it until my new insurance kicks in.


  3. rainbowriverrider said:

    Informative article. I am so shocked to find out the high cost of drugs in your homeland. I have just started ability both orally & via once monthly injection. The NHS may be a poor relation of services in the USA but at least I only pay @$45 in total a month for all 9 drugs I take. Those on disability get them for free.Wish I could help. Someone somewhere is making a lot of money out of mental illness.


    • It is quite a problem. I wish we would have gotten a single-payer insurance system, but I an very glad they’re now required to cover mental health services and pre-existing conditions –otherwise, I’d be even worse off.


  4. robin1967 said:

    I found out ten years ago that Abilify is the “magic” drug for me. While I’m glad I found something that helps so much with my bipolar depression, I have been annoyed all these years at the high cost of Abilify. Even with insurance I spend over $100 per month for it. I’m hoping it goes generic sometime soon…


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