Prescription play not so fun

Prescription and pills, pharmaceutical companies and physicians - where does the patient fit in?

Prescription and pills, pharmaceutical companies and physicians – where does the patient fit in?

A new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows that doctors are not being told the whole truth about the drugs that they push.  How much can we trust our doctor’s prescriptions when they are told what to prescribe by big pharma companies who don’t tell all about their drugs.

How much thought is there when pen is put to the prescription pad? Who do we blame when we begin to experience side effects from the medicines meant to help?

Check out the Times article on the topic.

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Medicine or Money Maker?

When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.

Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.

omprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.

brill.pill9.indd

Awesome article on the plight of the current American medical system and how it’s selling out the Hippocratic oath for big bucks

…..

The hospital’s hard-nosed approach pays off. Although it is officially a nonprofit unit of the University of Texas, MD Anderson has revenue that exceeds the cost of the world-class care it provides by so much that its operating profit for the fiscal year 2010, the most recent annual report it filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was $531 million. That’s a profit margin of 26% on revenue of $2.05 billion, an astounding result for such a service-intensive enterprise.1

Read more:

 http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/#ixzz2MorWWAyv

 

This is why I love living in Canada where healthcare is a social responsibility and those who are too sick to worry about bills are able to heal without a ludicrous invoice lying in wait post-recuperation.

Despite singing the virtues of OHIP (and other provincial health insurance plans), many medications aren’t covered and can add up to exorbitant amounts even without the added cost of hospital visits, lab tests or imaging.

Just the other day I had a patient tell me that he pays close to $600 per month for his long list of meds. Considering this, I should think that the cost of a naturopathic visit and some supplements is pretty reasonable.  Especially when you’re reaping long term health benefits and avoiding the adverse effects and added costs of prescription medication.