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Now why did you have to go and do that, Costco?

Pretty much my whole family has had a bit of a love affair with Costco for quite a while. For those not familiar, it’s a chain of those big warehouse-type stores where you can buy things in bulk.

In most cases, the prices are pretty good and the quality of the products is excellent. However, it seems like things may be changing a bit at Costco, and I’m wondering if they’re starting to lose their edge.

Having lost confidence in the last mail-order pharmacy I had been using, I decided to give Costco a try. I’ve probably been filling my prescription with them for at least the last year and have been pleased with the service. The delivery times seemed to vary a bit, but that wasn’t a big issue for me.

When I received my last refill about a month ago I noticed that the pills were a different color and were just a little big bigger than the ones I was accustomed to. I had never seen this particular medication colored like that before coming from any of the pharmacies I had dealt with over the last three years or so.

Naturally, I was a bit concerned that someone may have made a mistake and sent me the wrong medication, so I called the Costco pharmacy to see what was up.

I was informed that they had simply changed providers for that medication and the woman I spoke with even gave me the name of the pharmaceutical company that they were now getting this medication from.

I then decided to conduct a little research on the pharmaceutical company and was a bit surprised to find that they were located in either China or India. I had found websites using that company name from both countries.

We’ve probably all heard stories about some of the problems that have cropped up with various products coming in from China. In particular, I had heard about pharmaceuticals from China that included ingredients like plaster, paint and other substances you probably would not want to ingest.

I decided to call Costco back to find out exactly where these pills had come from. The people I spoke with were very polite and cooperative and informed me that the pills were manufactured in India.

It was a bit of a relief to discover that they were not coming from China. Beyond the potential safety concerns, aren’t we getting enough stuff from China already?

Although I would prefer to get my medication from India if I had to choose between that country and China, my preference is to get it from right here in the U.S.

The economy doesn’t seem to be doing so well these days despite promises from politicians over the past few years that things are getting better. Getting better for the politicians and their cronies I suspect, but for not so great for a whole lot of other people.

It seems pretty obvious to me that dismantling our manufacturing capability in this country and buying stuff from other nations isn’t going to improve things here. Fresh reports of big layoffs are circulating again which seems to indicate that things are getting worse instead of better.

The real estate market is in the tank and it seems like foreclosures are still going strong, although they may have eased up a bit in the past few months. Maybe that’s because they’re simply running low on people to throw out of their houses. I’m sure all these fresh layoffs will help bolster the supply a bit however.

I found it to be a rather strange time for Costco to decide to start purchasing pharmaceuticals from a company overseas. What made it even more strange was that the cost went up about a dollar over what I had been paying since I started getting my medication from them.

One presumes that they decided to switch to an offshore provider to cut costs, so I was a little surprised to see my cost rise as a result.

I got off the phone with my doctor’s office a while ago. I asked them to switch my prescription from Costco to a local pharmacy. I had already spoken with the pharmacist at the local pharmacy to find out who their supplier is. Since we’re over in that area every week anyway and the cost will be about the same (probably a little cheaper), it won’t be any less convenient for me and I’ll feel better about getting my medication from a source here in the U.S. which is employing U.S. workers.

My opinion of Costco has changed a bit based on that experience. Adding fuel to the fire was something my mother told me about some meat she purchased from Costco not long ago that was nowhere near as good as it usually is. She’s also beginning to wonder if Costco is starting to go down hill.

Costco is in danger of losing their “most favored retailer” status with my family if they don’t turn things around quickly. I‘m not sure what we’ll be able to do if we reach the point when we cannot get anything that isn’t manufactured or grown overseas, but I know I am not alone in thinking that things have already gone too far in the wrong direction and I’m getting quite fed up with it all.

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