Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Well... they were going to die anyway...

This will make it happen just a bit faster:
New York, NY (AHN) - The pill popping days of Americans will soon be over, another victim of the economic crisis. After a number of cancer patients in the U.S. have reported cutting back on medical treatments due to soaring costs, the next item in line for cost cutting are prescription drugs.

Dr. James King, chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians confirmed seeing patients who no longer buy Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering drug, due to its high cost. "People are choosing among gas, meals and medication," King told the New York Times.

Pfizer, which man manufactures Lipitor, confirmed the dip in the sale of the world's top-selling prescription drug in the U.S. by 13 percent for the third quarter of 2008. IMS Health, a research company that monitors prescriptions, added that for the first eight months of the year, number of all prescriptions filled out in the U.S. went down compared to last year.

6 comments:

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

I'm not convinced that Lipitor is beneficial, actually. Apparently it does reduce cholesterol numbers but there is no demonstrated reduction in heart morbidity or mortality. And the side effects of these statin drugs are not to be disregarded.

ellroon said...

Imagine being a cancer patient and having to choose between treatment or food. Lovely health services we have in this country....

(Lipitor can be dumped because people will be eating less anyway...but what a way to lose weight!)

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

I agree, I wasn't suggesting that it's good for people to be unable to afford needed medicines. But at the same time, not all pharmaceuticals are equally good.

ellroon said...

But at the same time, not all pharmaceuticals are equally good.

Exactly. And going one step further, when you have multiple pills to take, you are getting into dangerous territory. Doctors don't really keep track of medicines that react badly to each other, pharmacists actually know more.

I've had several friends who were taking a horrific cocktail of pills which were hurting them more than helping. One even left the doctor's care and went elsewhere.

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

If I didn't need the enzyme to treat my genetic condition, I would rather take only cannabis except for emergencies. It doesn't do any harm at all, and might help my bones a great deal, even though my diagnosis of osteoporosis was withdrawn after I challenged it and got a second opinion. They wanted to put me on bisphosphonates, those are another class of drugs I question the benefits of for anyone. They increase bone hardness but can lead to brittleness and actually increase the risk of fracture, plus they cause osteonecrosis of the jaw...

ellroon said...

Good lord, Mahakal. Sounds like you've been through the veritable wringer tangling with the medical mindset.

I'm sorry you've been dealt such a bum deal, but you've done the very thing you need to do: research your condition and know more than the doctors.

Bisphosphonates sound like so many other medicines: a teetering balance between good and bad results. Your story will make me regard any prescription with a careful eye. And do the research!