adBlockCheck

Columbia House Launches Subscription Meds Program

Top Headlines

Business

How Obamacare Can Be Improved

With Aetna just the latest health insurance provider to opt out of covering Obamacare markets, many are wondering what changes can make the Affordable Care Act more appealing to customers and insurance companies. Here are some proposed improvements

How Internet Clickbait Works

Facebook and other sites have recently begun to fight back against “clickbait,” often misleading internet posts designed to be seen by as many readers as possible. The Onion breaks down the production and spread of this content

Home Depot Employee Can Tell This Customer’s First Attempt At Pipe Bomb

APPLETON, WI—Shaking his head Monday as the customer selected a length of plastic pipe over a stronger metal alternative and placed it into his shopping cart, local Home Depot sales associate Graham Warner, 57, was reportedly able to tell right away that this was the store patron’s first attempt at making a pipe bomb.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

KFC Introduces New Previously Owned 20-Piece Hot Wings

LOUISVILLE, KY—In an effort to meet the changing demands of its consumers, fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken announced Wednesday that it has begun offering customers the option of purchasing, at a significant discount, a 20-piece box of pre-owned hot wings.

Man Has Loyalty To Pretzel Brand

BROWNSVILLE, TX—Describing them as “the best pretzels out there” and “the only ones [he] buy[s],” local resident Ned Carlisle expressed his firm loyalty to Snyder’s of Hanover–brand pretzels Tuesday.

New Mountain Dew Vows To Kill 99.9% Of Stomach Bacteria

PURCHASE, NY—Touting the beverage’s refreshing citrus taste, tongue-tingling carbonation, and prescription-strength antimicrobial properties, PepsiCo officials announced Wednesday that their newest product, Mountain Dew Code White, kills 99.9 percent of consumers’ stomach bacteria.

Heart Attack A Real Wake-Up Call For Man’s Insurance Provider

HARTFORD, CT—Saying the incident had forced them to completely rethink their past decisions about the man’s coverage and how they would approach his policy from here on out, Aetna executives reported Thursday that the recent heart attack of longtime plan member Michael Burns was a real wake-up call for the 163-year-old insurance company.

Big-Box Stores Vs. Small Businesses

While massive superstores like Walmart and Target have dominated the retail landscape for years, many shoppers are rejecting them in favor of smaller, locally owned shops. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two options:

Brita Unveils New In-Throat Water Filters

OAKLAND, CA—Representatives from Brita, the nation’s bestselling brand of household water filtration products, held a press event Wednesday to unveil a new line of filters designed to be installed directly inside users’ throats.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Columbia House Launches Subscription Meds Program

TERRE HAUTE, IN—Music and DVD mail-order giant Columbia House is offering a new direct-mail subscription drug program for the estimated 10 million senior citizens who have not yet signed up for the government’s Medicare prescription medication plan.

A Celebrex fan looks over paperwork for her membership in the new Columbia House program.

"This is the best way to enjoy all the top medications by today’s pharmaceutical superstars at a low, low price," said Columbia House spokeswoman Sandra Farrell. "There’s no more waiting in line for the latest releases at the pharmacy, and because Columbia House sells directly to the consumer, you can kiss Dr. Middleman goodbye."

The Columbia House program, which was launched in January, offers a wide array of AARP chart-toppers and many popular prescriptions from the past through its supplementary color catalogue conveniently found in more than 400 Sunday newspapers nationwide. Qualified seniors may choose either 12 generic drugs for one cent, or five brand-name medications for 49 cents each, plus shipping and handling. Members are then obligated to buy five more brand-name medications over two years at their regular price, ranging from $12.99 to $549.99.

Under the Columbia House program, members are free to cancel and go off their medication at any time after fulfilling their obligation.

New members may order by phone or note their drug choices by applying the red "YES!" stickers to the provided order form and returning it in the mail using the included postage-paid envelope. The first prescriptions arrive in six to 12 weeks.

"I’m in a lot of pain, so I chose the generic painkillers," said Art Gallagher, 69, of Colorado Springs, CO, a recent enrollee who has been on pain relievers since his stomach surgery three months ago. "I’m not always thrilled with the limited selection—they don’t have Vicodin, and I already have plenty of Percocet. But they do have a pretty good selection, as long as you’re not too picky about some of the fancy extras, like extended side-effects or warning liner notes."

Although Gallagher is generally satisfied with his coverage under Columbia House, he expressed some frustration with the inconsistent offerings. "They base their selections on what’s hot at the moment, so they stopped carrying Fentanyl, my favorite, right when I was getting hooked on it," Gallagher said. "I tried a different one that was really popular with all my friends, but I couldn’t get into it."

"It made me spit up liver bile," he added.

Sadie Wilcox of Bethesda, MD enrolled in the Columbia House program to try something different besides "the same old insulin."

"Last month I took a chance on something I’d never heard of that was really popular on college campuses," said the 77-year-old grandmother. "I have to say, I really enjoyed it! Their ‘recommended list’ said that if I liked Pfizer, I’d absolutely love GlaxoSmithKline—and they were right."

But critics, including elder-affairs advocate Melissa Rocklin, say Columbia House is taking advantage of less medication-savvy members unaware of their responsibility to inform the company if they do not wish to receive the featured drug of the month.

"Elderly citizens who fail to understand this obligation can wind up with any number of unwanted and expensive prescription drugs, and everyone knows the fine print is practically unreadable for a senior," Rocklin said. "Plus, it sometimes takes months for them to offer the newest releases."

Esther Goettner of Missoula, MT experienced this confusion last week, when she was inadvertently sent a bottle of phenobarbital. "I take Tenormin for my blood pressure, and I get my Celebrex for my arthritis," said Goettner, 67, who said phenobarbital, an anti-convulsant medication, was not part of her usual drug regimen. "Maybe I can pass it off to [friend] Ginny [McFee] for her birthday."

Because a broken hip kept him from walking to the mailbox for six months, Donald Haskell, 80, of Jefferson City, MO took the last three medications shipped to him, which included Levitra, OxyContin, and Premarin, a hormone replacement therapy generally prescribed for post-menopausal women.

"I know I don’t need Premarin," Haskell said. "That was one Virginia used to take before she passed. But I didn’t get the card in on time, so they billed me for it—damn near $300. If I don’t try it, I’m just wasting my money."

While the benefits and ease of the new program are largely viewed as an improvement over Medicare, some members remain leery of the exorbitant shipping fees and long waiting period.

"I could barely wait for my Vioxx to get here," said 72-year-old Edgar Shebesta of Milwaukee. "It took so long, I thought I was going to die."

Columbia House also plans to offer a free compilation of rare imports to customers in good standing.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close