I might have known

Every month, it’s a new story, simply because health writers always need something to write about, and because their readers, or a substantial percentage thereof, are just this side of full-bore hypochondria. The current Amazing Revelation is that unless you have an actual deficiency, you probably don’t need to take vitamins.

I was in Target last evening, picking up a couple of prescriptions and, yes, a bottle of a particular vitamin which, says the doctor, I somehow don’t get enough of. Usually I pay cash for such stuff, but today I whipped out the Visa, and as always, I scrutinized the receipt when I got home.

An X in the right column, apparently, indicates a “health item.” Both prescriptions were deemed health items. The vitamin, which was labeled “Health-Beauty-Cosmetics,” was not. Maybe I’m reading too much into this — or maybe I need to put more things on plastic.


  1. fillyjonk »

    14 March 2014 · 7:09 am

    Well, considering that there’s a special “hair, skin, and nails” supplement sold (mostly biotin, apparently), maybe not. (Also, friends of mine who have had kids claim their hair and nails were never better than when they were on the special pre-natal vitamins. I’d consider buying and taking them, but then I live in a small enough town that talk might get around.)

  2. CGHill »

    14 March 2014 · 9:02 am

    All medical pronouncements of this sort have an expiration date. For all I know, the medical examiner will report that what killed me was a Peeps deficiency.

  3. fillyjonk »

    14 March 2014 · 9:38 am

    Which is why I don’t take any chances, and stock up on the sugary treats every spring. (You can freeze Peeps.)

  4. McGehee »

    14 March 2014 · 10:41 am

    As I understand it, items dispensed by the pharmacist are normally accounted separately — inventory and sales — and paying for dispensed and OTC items at the same time is a courtesy to the customer that wasn’t possible before computers.

    I would therefore assume the X denotes items that are dispensed by the pharmacist rather than metely belonging to the “health” category.

  5. CGHill »

    14 March 2014 · 11:41 am

    I think next time I get a prescription filled, I will bring up a product not even closely related to health as we know it — say, a blind-bag pony, which this store not only sells but has actually seen me purchase.

  6. McGehee »

    14 March 2014 · 12:52 pm

    In your case, anything even remotely pony-related probably is a health item.

  7. CGHill »

    14 March 2014 · 1:09 pm

    Hmmm. If pony starts to eat up more than 7.5 percent of adjusted gross, I may as well take it as a deduction.

  8. Tatyana »

    14 March 2014 · 1:26 pm

    Not anymore, Chaz, it’s 10% now.

  9. fillyjonk »

    14 March 2014 · 1:26 pm

    Too bad a person couldn’t claim Ponies as dependents. Based on the sheer number of blind-bags I own, Uncle Sam would be cutting me a nice fat check instead of the other way ’round.

  10. CGHill »

    14 March 2014 · 1:50 pm

    Obviously I haven’t looked at Schedule A this year.

  11. McGehee »

    15 March 2014 · 9:22 am

    Only just now, I looked up “blind-bag pony.” I thought I was just making a play on words.

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