Schering-Plough's Not Allergic To Discounts
I didn't have much of a weekend. I was putting out swine flu fires via work emails and dealing with a really bad allergy attack. Plus, it kinda gets cut short by having to go to bed so early (6 o'clock) in order to anchor "Worldwide Exchange" at 4 a.m. ET. (This is the last week of my one-month rotation on that show, btw, with a couple of days cut out in the middle to cover Dendreon tomorrow from Chicago.)
After a sneezing fit or two Saturday morning, I pulled out my Nasonex (Schering-Plough) from the medicine chest and popped a Singulair (Merck), both of which were leftover from last year. For me, 2008's allergy season wasn't so bad.
But I was too late.
I think Nasonex takes awhile to kick in and my allergies were already in full bloom, so the meds weren't much help.
I was miserable. I went to a local website that monitors air quality and it said tree pollen counts were high. Everything else was low. So, using my novice self-diagnostic skills, I figured that must be one of the things I'm allergic to. (I know that ain't good grammar, but "to which I'm allergic" is so stilted. No one I know talks like that. And in TV we're trained to write for the ear.)
And I guess I'm not alone in my suffering. Sunday morning, while reading the Newark Star-Ledger, I spotted a huge two-page ad for Nasonex. It's the spray that's probably best known for the bee voiced by Antonio Banderas.
But what was more interesting than the timing of the ad to my personal hell, was the tack it took. It promises not only indoor and outdoor allergy relief, but "instant savings." There's a big $15 coupon and the lure of $180 in annual savings.
At a time when the pharmaceutical companies are reporting their earnings and many are talking about the toll the economy is taking on their prescription drug volumes, I guess they've gotta try to entice cash-strapped, unemployed and maybe uninsured allergy sufferers into compliance.
I count myself fortunate that it's not a financial consideration. For me, it's all about the mold and pollen counts. And if they stay high, I'll be refilling my prescriptions soon. My mom was a coupon clipper, which is one reason I am not. But I might be tempted to take Schering up on this offer.
Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com and follow me on Twitter at mhuckman