The Absurdity of Bureaucracy

Along with my exile from the paid working world, I have had to adjust to a new insurance with a really strange pharmacy protocol. Instead of being able to run to my convenient neighborhood pharmacy for my refills, I’m now required to order three months at a time through the mail. That is for all my meds except for my RA medicine, which is quite expensive. A special company sends it to me one month at a time.

Because it is very expensive and has to be refrigerated at all times, it comes in a small cooler. No kidding! It measures 11 x 15 x 10 inches and is made of two -inch thick styrofoam. Not only is it packed in styrofoam, but it has Nordic ice packs – yesterday’s shipment had four large ice packs to keep it safe in case it had to sit on my porch in the heat. It also had large bubble wrap to prevent, I don’t know, squishing????

The Box. Comes sealed and secure on my doorstep every month.

The medicine, which for one month is four injectable syringes, was also incased in a very heavy duty ziplock bag. Oh and the amount of paperwork that accompanied it always astounds me. They send me the same six-sheet print out every time. I wish they would realize, that I’m an intelligent person, and that I don’t need to re-read that info every month. Okay, I will admit that my memory is not what it used to be, but honestly, I can save it from month to month.

Now, I really appreciate the trouble they go to to protect my medicine to ensure it reaches me safely, even on hot days. But I can’t help but dwell on the amount of waste that is occurring each month. I am not what you would call an environmentalist by any sort of the definition, but I do recycle everything that I can and repurpose everything else (please check out my website http://www.repurposefuldesign.com or my Facebook page by the same name).

I like bubble wrap, but this size is no fun to POP.

In fact, I’ve already found ways to recycle many for the shipping components. For instance, with my repurpose business, I often need to ship breakables. The styrofoam containers and bubble wrap will come in handy for that. And who doesn’t need big ice packs for picnic lunches? Although I may need some help with that one. If I get four or more a month, I am going to run out of room in my freezer, so if you would like one or two or more of these lovely food chillers, PLEASE drop me a note, and I’ll get them to you somehow. And of course, I recycle all the unnecessary paper that comes with my shipment.

That's a lot of packing material for one little box!

I know, there are probably hundreds, if not more, of patients out there receiving this same medicine in this same fashion each month that don’t really care about recycling. What do they do with all this waste? Fill up the landfills? I also can’t help but think that the cost of shipping materials would out weigh the cost of the medicine. It isn’t like my insurance is not paying for it, or that I’m not going to order it one month – it is kind of like insulin, I have to have it like clockwork. It would make much more sense to ship three boxes of injections in that huge styrofoam box once every three months than one box every month. Oh yeah, did I mention that the prescription itself comes in a 4 x 6 x 1 inch box?

Honestly, its that small and weighs practically nothing!

But then again, this world has stop making sense to me a long time ago.

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