Mark-up on drugs

is unconscionable

My wife and I do not have any prescription coverage, mainly because we are both, thank God, healthy and do not require very many drugs. But my wife noticed a problem with her eyes, and we went to the doctor. He discovered a minor infection and ordered a prescription from our local RiteAid pharmacy.

The pharmacy called to let us know the generic drug would cost us $124. I figured we only get two eyes per lifetime, so $124 was acceptable. But before I left to pick up my $124 prescription, I quickly scanned Google for the price of the drug. Lo and behold, I was offered a coupon for the drug from RiteAid for $68. Wow, some difference. With my coupon in hand, I went to the pharmacy, and my $124 prescription was now $68.

But as a retired pharmacist, I have access to the price that RiteAid pays its wholesaler for this drug. The wholesale cost knocked my socks off - RiteAid pays $8.64 for this item.

So RiteAid pays $8.64 and charges a senior $124. I truly resent the arrogance of these multibillion-dollar companies that rip off our citizens. Every company is entitled to make a profit. That is the American way. But a gazillion percent profit is ugly, disgraceful and un-American. Shame on you, RiteAid.

With the Internet, we now have access to information we never had before. The so-called bigshots do not have the edge anymore. Knowledge is power.

LEW BRATSPIS

Northfield

Obama fiddles

while U.S. fumes

We now have a president who said before his first inauguration that "we are five days away from fundamentally changing America." What did the adoring robots do? They cheered loudly. Americans who claimed to love their country applauded Barack Obama. There was no fear, only joy and blind faith. Why they wanted America "fundamentally changed" by a radical leftist whose only real experience was as a community organizer in the corrupt city of Chicago is beyond me.

Now, even the uninformed Obama-ites are wondering what he is doing. Obama has us buried deeply in massive debt that continues to grow. He has buried small businesses in onerous regulations and Obamacare. He allows criminal activity to further his political agenda, then claims"I know nothing," like Sgt. Schultz of "Hogan's Heroes."

He ignored cries for help from Americans in jeopardy in Benghazi, again to further his political career. His attorney general puts himself above the law. The Constitution is treated with disrespect and seen as an obstacle to an agenda.

Through all these scandals - the Internal Revenue Service targeting Obama's political enemies, the seizure of reporters' phone records, and abandoning Americans in danger and creating a phony scenario - Obama smiles, plays golf and vacations, as if all is well. It is very similar to Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned.

As the comic-strip character Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." God save America.

DENNY HANNIGAN

Absecon

O.C. sign law works -

except for a few violators

Several years ago, in response to complaints from citizens and property owners about the degradation of our neighborhoods by a plethora of signs, Ocean City passed an ordinance regulating real-estate and other signs.

The benefits are obvious. No longer are residents and visitors faced with the visual pollution that used to clamor for their attention for as far as the eye could see down many streets.

The reasonable new standards allowed pertinent information to be publicly displayed while preserving the attractiveness of our town. Sale or rental information must be contained on a single sign not exceeding three square feet and be attached to or within one foot of the building. It was also sensibly required that signs be parallel to the road instead of perpendicular.

The vast majority of our real-estate professionals comply with the city's ordinance and are active members of our community who care about all our neighborhoods. The few exceptions who blatantly violate this law not only show their disrespect for our neighborhoods but take unfair advantage of their colleagues. When noncompliance goes unenforced, it encourages others' contempt for our laws.

JIM TWEED

Ocean City

Former soldiers

can help police

Congratulations are in order for law enforcement and the mayor of Atlantic City for the recent arrests of violent drug-gang members in the city. Nothing is more important to the residents or tourists of this area than safer streets.

Having said that, more has to be done. In some high-crime areas of our country, local law enforcement has joined forces with former members of the military who have fought insurgents in Afghanistan. These highly trained personnel are teaching police how to bond with residents in fighting crime. They are walking the children to school. They are accompanying SWAT teams on raids. They are literally helping to take back the streets. It's working, and it can work here.

AL CASALNOVA

Galloway Township

Don't punish drivers

of alternative vehicles

Regarding the May 21 story, "Whelan retools plan to tax alternative-fuel vehicles":

State Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, wants to enact legislation that would tax drivers of alternative-fuel vehicles? If anything, drivers of alternative-fuel vehicles should be given tax breaks for this progressive, helpful act.

I understand that not as much money will be going into the state Transportation Trust Fund, but these drivers are helping the environment and helping us get off the gasoline habit. Look for another way to build up the trust fund. Do not punish those who are trying to change our behavior for the better.

KARL M. FRANK III

Mays Landing

Now FEMA will torture

Oklahoma residents

In the months since Hurricane Sandy, we at the New Jersey shore have had experiences with the Federal Emergency Management Agency that were unsatisfactory or even insulting. I thought of this as I watched the TV display FEMA's phone number for the folks in Oklahoma to call for assistance after tornadoes totally devastated a wide area there.

Can you imagine those people dealing with FEMA when they no longer have proof of owning a home, don't have proof of paying utility bills, or may not even have proof of having a driver's license because everything they had was destroyed?

We had President Barack Obama promise New Jersey residents that all the red tape would be kept to a minimum and that he would be with us and help us get through this mess in New Jersey.

How did that work out for New Jersey residents so far - with's FEMA new flood-elevation maps and its insistence that it will not provide assistance to municipalities unless they adopt FEMA's unproven flood-zone changes?

I shudder to think what each Oklahoma resident who needs help will encounter when calling and talking to FEMA representatives.

DAVID F. LIPTON

Beachwood