Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, March 18, 2011

16 pence a pack

I really approved of the radio doctor on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. Full of good advice. He wasn't the sort to recommend a trip to the GP if you had a bit of a sniffle. He did suggest that men of a certain age should take low dose aspirin though and I'm still taking his advice.

As I remember in the UK, in 2004, a packet of aspirin in a supermarket or one of those shampoo and  sun cream shops was going for around 16p. A hundred dispersible 75mg aspirin were about a quid so it was a bit of a shock when I got to Spain and a pack of 30 tablets was around 4€.

Then I found out that Aspirin is a Bayer trade mark in Spain so, by asking for Aspirina, I was asking for the equivalent of Anadin  rather than the generic. Acido acetilsalicilico may be a bit of a mouthful but salicylic acid is the generic name and the tabs come in at about a quarter of the price.

As older men we were talking about illnesses. My pal Geoff said that he didn't take all the aspirin that he was prescribed and would I like them? When he dropped them off I wondered why he was being prescribed the Bayer brand rather than the cheap generic equivalent. I could have sworn that the Spanish health care system had pledged to save millions by prescribing generic. Maybe I misunderstood or maybe it's the doctor who misunderstood.

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