Thursday, February 12, 2009

Peaches and Hello 2nd Trimester!

Yippee! It's here! The part that's supposed to be the most comfortable and enjoyable of the entire pregnancy. But, I really can't complain at all. I loved the first trimester! No sickness, no major issues to deal with. So, I'm really looking forward to this next step of my pregnancy!

According to the Nest/Bump this week: "Your fetus is forming teeth and vocal cords... savor this, their non-functional phase. Baby is approaching normal proportions, with a head now only one third the size of the body. Intestines are in the process of moving from the umbilical cord to baby's tummy. (Much more convenient.)" Plus, the babies just climbed to 1.4 ounces! Over the 1 oz. mark-yay!

In other boring news, work is still kicking my butt. I've really had it. Travel/drive way too much, too many meetings, etc. Lots of pressure from top management down to hit sales numbers. Yeah-that seems easy in a declining economy where people aren't even visiting their physicians as often as they used to because they're saving money rather than paying higher co-pays and deductibles thanks to insurance rates on the rise and more employers paying less health insurance costs for employees. Why is there never any mention of insurance reform? We have reform for everything else.

And for anyone who thinks that it's the drug manufacturers fault, the fact that nearly no one knows (and the biased media will never share) is that it costs nearly $1 billion to bring a new drug to market after all of the research, development, clinical drug studies, etc. have been performed. Only 1 in 5 products ever reach a billion dollars in their entire patent lifespan of being on the market, so you do the math. It's more often a losing encounter to bring a drug to market than it is to be a $$ successful venture. But, companies still do it, because it's the right thing for the patients-better medicines to help patients live a better life. That's what I do every day-help people live better lives.

But, as an industry, we are under tremendous pressure and scrutiny from the government. It appears most people want government to run health care-the VA is the current model for that. I've worked the VA system. Patients are getting products from 40 years ago (or older), not the new drugs with fewer side effects, better safety profiles, easier to remember dosing schedules, etc. Yet, no one seems to care to have the government take over. If anyone can name me one successful government healthcare program, I would be interested in knowing one. I can't think of any. At all. That is unless you consider Medicare, VA, etc successful (and I definitely don't). Stepping back down off soap box.

Despite my views and beliefs, I'm in a bad place in my job and wish I could do something else. But, I can't. Primary breadwinner, crappy housing market to try to sell home, etc. I feel like I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders every day. I don't have the option to stay at home when the kids arrive, not even for a millisecond. Not saying that I could be a stay at home Mom (don't think I'm wired for that), but it sure would be nice to have some options. I have none. Other than win the lottery. Which of course requires one to actually play the lottery. Maybe I'll buy a powerball ticket on Saturday. I just hate throwing a dollar out on it-seems wasteful.

I realize that I started my post being very upbeat and optimistic. That's truly is how I feel about my babies. The rest is how I feel about everything else in the world. Maybe things will change soon. I hope so.


M. said...

Great news about being in the second tri! YAY YOU!!

As for the drug industry, I was a sales rep for two years after undergrad. I loved the work -- and I felt the same way you do about the entire health care industry. I don't think any of us are clear of responsibility. Drug companies, insurance companies, physicians, hospitals... we all contribute to the problem. And in our own ways, we struggle to find solutions. If only it was up to us, Jill -- we could fix this entire situation.

Anyway, just wanted to say I hear you. Try not to let the sales goals get you down. You're a rockstar, and you'll make it through this. You've been through a hell of a lot harder, right? ;-)

DAVs said...

Congrats on making it to the second trimester! You're really moving along so fast.
Sorry about the sucky job market. I work in healthcare but as an APN and I love my job. But I have definitely noticed many fewer reps hanging seems we just keep hearing of the companies laying people off. Yikes.
I'm sorry you're under so much pressure. I would never be able to hack it--you know, so I can stay relaxed and get pregnant. Ha.
Hope it looks up!

Erin said...

I've been a lurker for almost a year, and I just wanted to give a big AMEN to the last few paragraphs. I'm a rep and I feel EVERY WORD of that last sentence. We're about to launch a new product, and I worry every night that it could result in the end of my job. Unfortunately all I know to do is see that one extra doc a day, make that one extra pharmacy call... When all I want to do is call it in early, go home, snuggle my kids and make their daddy valentines.

Either it will eventually get better, or it will get much, much worse. I'm hoping for the former and preparing for the latter!

A belated congrats on the pregnancy, and a smooth 2 more trimesters!


Leigh said...

Hey Jill

I've been thinking about the same things (well, not the health care) but reducing work hours after my babies are born, and I also earn more than my hubby so it's going to need lots and lots of thought

David said...

I enjoy you reading your blog though I rarely comment. But the conservative in me just has to say I agree. Keep the government small and keep them out of healthcare.
Do we really want our doctor's appointments to be like trips to the DMV?
Congrats on hitting the 2nd trimester mark!
-Molly from Pittsburgh

Penny said...

Yay for 2nd trimester!

Interesting insights into the insurance world.

It's a lot to juggle - career, kids, finances - and it never stops. Or course it's worth it. And most people seem to adjust.

Emily said...

congrats on the 2nd tri!! i know you are frustrated. i wish we would have had longer to talk about it last night. you are doing the best you can, and that is all you can do. take care of you and those babies :)
thinking of you~

Beth & Brian said...

Wow! Second Tri already?! That was fast!!

Heather said...

I know what you mean. Insurance companies do cause a lot of issues. My last health insurance would only pay 90% of lab fees, so every time I had a pap smear done, I'd get a bill from the lab for a few dollars. I can just imagine all the money that could have been saved by not billing me for that extra amount. I do have new insurance now that pays 100% of lab fees, so I'm very happy now.

But with my complaints. I know I have access to very good health care and I'm so appreciative of that. It's those that do not in this country that I worry about.

Chelle said...

WOO HOO for the second trimester!!!

Sky said...

I'm one of the few people who does NOT have a negative view of big pharma because, by no coincidence, I am a critical thinker and have taken the time to understand what they do and how that system works (and works well).

I say, THANK GOODNESS there is big profit for pharmaceuticals - it's why we benefit from drugs that actually work! (remove monetary incentives and see how innovation dies - never mind that I actually do know pharmaceuticals spend enormous amounts to bring one single drug to market and must price it not only to recover that investment but to do so within the patent protection period before the "me too" drugs come out).

The problem isn't the cost of a doctor's visit or the cost of a drug to improve or save your life.

The ONLY problem is insurance providers. They want to make sure you are in tip top, perfect shape then charge you an arm and a leg for coverage that excludes an enormous amount of services, cheats providers of reasonable fees (which is why excellent doctors drop their participation) and then cry to Uncle Sam that they're hurting while, inexplicably, paying their management 8 figure bonuses. WTF?!

That is the only industry I abhor with such a passion it makes me want to scream!

Whitney said...

Great post! I am a pharmacist and insurance companies have ruined a lot about our profession. I don't want the government to take over but a reform would be nice!

Congratulations on being in the 2nd trimester. They will be here before you know it!

Robert and Carmen said...


Congrats on reaching the 2nd trimester. Time sure is flying by.

I also am the "breadwinner" in the family. Even so, my husband lost his job at the beginning of my second trimester and has just now (Makenna is 6 weeks) found something for the time being. An hourly job at Office Max. The pay is better than unemployment, but not what he was looking for.

We'll see what happens the next 4 years, but I don't agree with some of the changes made so far. I sure hope that the government doesn't end up running our medical system - we'd be in trouble!