I’m furious and disgusted about how the corporate pursuit of short-term profit, unrestrained by ethics or social needs or long-term consequences, is controlling our healthcare.
The dark underside of corporate wealth is the condition of the workers who create the corporation’s success. Working in the jobs the rich create, there are multitudes who work just as long and hard and don’t get rich. They labor in dangerous and dirty jobs for endless hours, under far worse conditions. Often they barely get paid while some C-suite guy running the corporation committing these abuses gets millions in bonuses.
And all those rich people with all their advantages aren’t even nice:
Instead of looking up to rich people as “self-made” heroes, I know they are actually just lucky when all their skills and preparation meet an opportunity they can take advantage of. Without that luck, they’d just be “commoners” like the rest of us.
‘Every time it’s a battle’: In excruciating pain, sickle cell patients are shunted aside – By Sharon Begley @sxbegle – Sept 2017
The U.S. health care system is killing adults with sickle cell disease. Racism is a factor — most of the 100,000 U.S. patients with the genetic disorder are African-American — and so is inadequate training of doctors and nurses.
And the care is getting worse, sickle cell patients and their doctors said, because the opioid addiction crisis has made ER doctors extremely reluctant to prescribe pain pills.
STAT interviewed 12 sickle cell patients who described the care they received and didn’t receive. They were old and young, men and women, scattered from coast to coast, some with jobs or attending school and some too sick to do either. Continue reading
Impact of prior authorization on patients and physicians – Don McCanne MD – Mar 2018
Prior authorization is unique to our dysfunctional health care financing system here in the United States.
It is the requirement that permission be obtained from private insurers to provide certain procedures and services or to prescribe certain medications for the patients. What is its purpose?
Our health care system should be designed to benefit patients.
What a quaint notion! I doubt there’s anyone left who believes healthcare is “designed to benefit patients” when so much money is involved. The corporations that have sprung up to dominate healthcare are created and designed to make money for shareholders. Continue reading
Professional Societies Should Abstain From Authorship of Guidelines and Disease Definition Statements – John P.A. Ioannidis – Oct 2018
Guidelines and other statements from professional societies have become increasingly influential. These documents shape how disease should be prevented and treated and what should come within the remit of medical care.
Changes in definition of illness can easily increase overnight by millions the number of people who deserve specialist care. This has been seen repeatedly in conditions as diverse as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, composite cardiovascular risk, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, or gastroesophageal reflux.
Similarly, changes in prevention or treatment options may escalate overnight the required cost of care by billions of dollars.
For example, if we accept PROP’s argument that we’re all addicted to our “heroin pills”, we’d all suddenly need “addiction-recovery programs/clinics/residential treatment centers/resorts” for our “substance abuse” instead of “chronic pain”. Continue reading
The CDC’s Influenza Math Doesn’t Add Up: Exaggerating the Death Toll to Sell Flu Shots • Children’s Health Defense – October 09, 2018 – By the Children’s Health Defense team
Sometimes it’s interesting to get a look from a different viewpoint on a personal issue. This article was posted by people that are anti-vaccination, which I do not agree with; however, I see we share a healthy skepticism about the CDC’s data.
These folks see the same CDC shenanigans with flu death statistics as we pain patients do with opioid overdoses: both flu deaths and opioid overdose deaths are categorized and counted is such a way that the results show the desired “epidemic”.
Far from being impartial, this once venerable agency that was founded on pure and objective science is now tainted by personal “beliefs” and money, “massaging” their death certificate data to achieve ulterior objectives. Continue reading
Chronic pain requires access to medication – By Lauren Deluca – September 22, 2018
New York is confronting a serious illicit fentanyl epidemic [thank you, Lauren, for calling it what it is!] better known as the opioid crisis, and lawmakers, nonprofits and the health care community are desperately seeking a solution.
…to the point that they are pursuing solutions to problems that don’t exist, like the supposed “prescription” opioid crisis.
However, a new law recently signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will do nothing to alleviate the suffering of addiction. But it could add immeasurably to the suffering of patients with serious health conditions. Continue reading
Drug company CEO calls 400 percent price hike ‘moral requirement’ – By Jessie Hellmann – 09/11/18
Nostrum Laboratories, based in Missouri, raised the price of nitrofurantoin last month from $474.74 a bottle to $2,393, according to the Financial Times newspaper. The drug treats urinary tract and bladder infections.
CEO Nirmal Mulye said the price hike was based on market dynamics, according to the newspaper. “I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can … to sell the product for the highest price,” he said.
And here we doctors and patients are, powerless, with our capitalist system and its primary directive of profit-seeking controlling much of our healthcare. Continue reading
When should insurance companies be held responsible for medical malpractice? – Niran S. Al-Agba, MD | September 25, 2018
In July, 2009, the family of Massachusetts teenager Yarushka Rivera went to their local Walgreens to pick up Topomax, an anti-seizure drug that had been keeping her epilepsy in check for years.
Rivera had insurance coverage through MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid insurance program for low-income children, and never ran into obstacles obtaining this life-saving medication.
But in July of 2009, she turned 19, and when, shortly after her birthday, her family went to pick up the medicine the pharmacist told them they’d either have to shell out $399.99 to purchase Topomax out-of-pocket or obtain a so-called “prior authorization” in order to have the prescription filled. Continue reading
This is a repost of an article from June 2016 that makes a suggestion even more appropriate and even necessary these days (see Elon Musk at Tesla). In today’s America, the richest people are running amok to rape, pillage, and plunder what’s left of the middle class, the economic group essential to sustain a democracy.
Let’s drug-test the rich before approving tax deductions, US congresswoman says | US news | The Guardian
Milwaukee congresswoman Gwen Moore; “We’re not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off Snap. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let’s start on the other end of the income spectrum.”
Moore plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that she thinks will even the playing field or, at least, “engage the wealthy in a conversation about what fair tax policy looks like”. Continue reading
Drug Firms Blame Opioid Crisis on Illicit Websites, Dealers – Bloomberg.com – By Jared S Hopkins and Jef Feeley – July 19, 2018
Two pharmaceutical companies say the real culprits in the opioids epidemic are illegal dealers of the painkillers and want them to be on the hook financially for any damages potentially assessed against drugmakers.
Endo International Plc and Mallinckrodt Plc sued a host of convicted drug dealers and Internet sites this week for illegally offering opioids.
Good luck with that! The reason the DEA isn’t going after these suppliers of illicit opioids is that they are hard to find, hard to track, and dangerous to arrest because they have weapons. Continue reading