Showing posts with label primary care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label primary care. Show all posts

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Americans Taking More Prescription Drugs Than Ever: Survey

From Med Line Health Day:

Thursday, August 3, 2017
HealthDay news image
THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A new survey finds 55 percent of Americans regularly take a prescription medicine -- and they're taking more than ever.
Those who use a prescription drug take four, on average, and many also take over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and other dietary supplements, the survey done by Consumer Reports shows.
But many of those pills may be unnecessary and might do more harm than good, according to a special report in the September issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
Among those who take prescription drugs, 53 percent get them from more than one health care provider, which increases the risk of adverse drug effects. More than a third say no provider has reviewed their medicines to see if all are necessary.
Forty-nine percent of survey respondents who regularly take prescription medicine asked their prescribers whether they could stop taking a drug, and 71 percent were able to eliminate at least one.
"We can see that when consumers ask if they can stop taking at least one of their medications, in the majority of cases, their doctors agree," Ellen Kunes, leader of Consumer Report's Health and Food Content Development Team, said in a news release.
For more click here.
Editor's note:
Medications can be helpful tools to manage symptoms and underlying physical disorders, but the knee jerk reaction in the business model of delivering health care services is to prescribe a drug. It is quick and easy and gets the patient off the physician's back in 12 minutes or less. In other words, prescribing drugs is good business but can be questionable health care. 
Patient's feed into this dynamic believing that unless the physician prescribes a drug for their complaint they haven't been taken seriously. The problem of the overprescription and utilzation of pharmaceuticals is endemic to the corporate culture of modern health care delivery. As the old Latin expression Caveat Emptor states, "Let the buyer beware."

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Addiction Drug Underused by Primary Care Docs in U.S.

From Med Line Health Day 08/03/17 THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) --

Many doctors aren't making full use of a medication that can wean people off addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers, according to results of a new survey. 

 Buprenorphine is the first drug for opioid use disorder that's approved for prescription by primary care physicians, allowing treatment in the privacy of a doctor's office. But many doctors aren't applying for the federal waiver that would allow them to prescribe buprenorphine, said researcher Andrew Huhn. He's a postdoctoral fellow with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's behavioral pharmacology research unit. 

 Further, most who have obtained a buprenorphine waiver aren't prescribing the drug to as many patients as allowed, Huhn said. This reluctance to fully utilize buprenorphine is hampering efforts to combat the epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States, Huhn said. 

 For more click here.

Editor's note:

American's have been led to believe that their is a magic bullet and a magic key for addiction problems when in fact they are complex, multi-dimensional, and not easily addressed in a primary physician's office in a 12 minute office visit.

Addiction treatment requires not only medication but also a focus on the psycho-social, legal, and spiritual issues which addiction involves. This is not  an area of expertise for most primary care physicians nor do they have the time and energy to address these issues without them being a disruptive to their medical practice.

Bottom line is that treatment of addiction is best when it involves not only medication but a counseling component as well. Primary care offices are not equipped for this counseling component of high quality addiction treatment.