El Paso family shocked by cost of prescribed flu medicine

Veronica Cervantes was shocked to learn the prescription her son was prescribed cost over $200.

An El Paso family was shocked by the price tag of the medicine a doctor prescribed to treat the flu.

Veronica Cervantes' 10-year-old son, Jordan, tested positive for the flu this week. She said the doctor prescribed Tamiflu, an antiviral drug that helps make flu symptoms less severe.

Cervantes tried to fill the prescription, but the first pharmacy she went to was out of stock. She went to a second pharmacy but chose not to buy the Tamiflu because of the high cost.

"They told us it was going to be $222.99 with his insurance," she said. "I know there's no price on our health, but that's a little bit overly ridiculous."

Cervantes decided to opt for over-the-counter drugs, rest and hydration instead.

That's not a bad choice, according to a local doctor.

"If you're sick, (drink) lots of fluids. Take medications for fever. Wash your hands," Las Palmas Medical Center Dr. Oscar Vega Jr. said.

Vega said there are less expensive medications, but it's up to your doctor to decide what to prescribe.

Cervantes said she thinks Jordan is through the worst of the symptoms and will hopefully return to school on Tuesday.

"The fever stuck with him for almost 36 hours," she said. "I'm just taking care of him at home and he's doing fine. He hasn't been to school all week but he's good."

The Walgreens Flu Index map shows Texas as state with the most flu activity. Within Texas, El Paso is ranked third for the most amount of retail prescriptions for antiviral medications used to treat the flu.

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