Heck of a markup

To the Editor:

The other day I made arrangements, on my doctor’s advice, to have a colonoscopy, a rather unpleasant but necessary test to detect lesions which may tum into colon cancer.

I was directed to purchase a colonoscopy preparation kit. The kit consisted of a plastic bottle containing some dry chemicals to which one is directed to add water. Also included was a single Dulcolax laxative pill. The chemicals in the bottle were sodium chloride (table salt), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), potassium chloride (a common salt often used as a salt substitute), and polyethylene glycol (antifreeze). In addition, there was a choice of several flavoring agents (Kool-aid).

I would like to point out that these are not miracle drugs; the total cost of these agents would be well under one dollar.

For this collection of essentially worthless chemicals, I was charged $74.30 by a local Oak Bluffs pharmacy, an allegedly discounted price from the usual $80. This is a robbery which is reminiscent of the Brinks job of 1950.

If one is concerned about the causes of our rising national health bill, one need not look much further than at practices such as the one, which I have just described.

John B. Thomas, M.D.

Oak Bluffs