Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New pill splitter needed

Do you know anything about “pill splitting?” I'm only supposing here, but I believe that plenty of seniors who are on lots of medications has come across this process before. It's a strange phenomenon and I'm trying to get to the bottom of one or two aspects of participating in the practice.

I'm starting to think that it might be the drug stores themselves that have the greatest objection to allowing it to take place without objections.

Here's how it goes … suppose you have been prescribed a medication for high blood pressure, such as myself. The doctor wants you to take one 80 mg pill each morning to control your high blood pressure. Let's say you are on a very meager fixed income, such as millions of seniors are who receive Social Security. You try to pinch your pennies any way you can. Let's say you become aware that you can purchase the same pills, only at twice the strength, for the same co-pay and it's not a generic brand. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with generic brands that I am aware of and the only difference is, they are less expensive.

You talk to your doctor about pill splitting. He KNOWS about it, don't be fooled. He says he will go along with it so long as the pills are split as accurately as possible to insure that you will be getting the proper dosage. Sounds good … right?

Here's the rub … the prescription must be written up a certain way for the plan to work. The doctor must specify a month's supply of double strength pills and instruct the patient to take one half a pill each day by mouth. That done, you will end up with 60 pills and pay only one co-pay amount in two months. I believe the reason some drug stores (certain pharmacists) object to this practice is that for one month, they will not realize whatever profit they would have received if you stuck with the regular pills.

One pharmacist I proposed this plan to informed me that he was not going to be part of any scheme to swindle the drug companies out of their rightful profit.

I would bring your attention to another important fact if you want to try this yourself. A lot of pills are manufactured in odd shapes. They come in all shapes and colors, with specific identification symbols imprinted upon them. The pills I take and split are shaped like teardrops with the normally pointed end rounded off to something akin to an oval or ellipse.

I am not aware of any currently available pill splitter that will accommodate ALL types of pills, so their usefulness is limited.

Such a device is badly needed now and that fact will become more intense as newer pills are created and manufactured.

So, listen up all you inventor types out there. This is a project that might pay-off for you in the near future.

Splitting a hard, dense pill is a difficult undertaking with most tools I've tried so far. Right now, I use a small pair of pruning shears that is of the anvil/blade design. The pill MUST be held securely while the razor-sharp blade cleaves it in half. If not, those pill pieces will fly anywhere and everywhere, never to be found unless one looks under and behind or down through grates, air-duct covers, etc. Lost medications are dangerous to children and pets; any living creature that might find and consume it unknowingly. One is simply using a dim eye to judge where the precise middle of said pill is located. Fortunately, my pills are embossed with three letters on one side and the middle “V” is the perfect spot to line up the blade before squeezing the handles, holding both pieces of the halved pill between index finger and thumb of the hand not holding the pruner handle. It works well enough for me in this instance but it's a time consuming, tedious process.

Please help us feeble, old, shaky, senior pill splitters ASAP. I await your solution(s) to arrive on my store shelves.

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