rX My Heart and Hope to Die
This must be a mistake! How could his drug costs rise from $150 a month to $1101 in just three weeks? My hands shook while I read the pharmacy bill.
There was no mistake. The bill I held recorded the drugs ordered by my fathers Alzheimers' care unit. In only three weeks at this eldercare facility, his drug expenses had soared an incredible 734%. Ironically, his quality of life had plunged about the same percent. Walking and talking when he entered, he now spent his days confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk, drugged into a persistent stupor.
"I've got to do something." The thought haunted me all day.
Then, that evening, an incidental trip to the grocery delivered the help I needed. It came in the form of a thick paperback book, The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs (PDR Pocket Guide).
The PDR Pocket Guide provides tons of information for all prescription drugs on the market when it was printed. Specifics include:
The PDR Pocket Guide is available through Amazon.com, or you might find a copy like I did at your local grocery or bookstore. Jam-packed with almost 1700 pages of information, this paperback is a surprisingly affordable $6.99.
Using the pharmacy's bill as a list of medications, I read the PDR report for each drug my father was using. What I found astonished me.
Two of fifteen drugs prescribed were being used "off-label" (not FDA approved for the condition it is used to treat). One of those was specifically contraindicated for use with Alzheimer's patients. Two more were from drug families that I had previously identified as causing allergic reactions in my father.
When I was young, my father used to kid me by saying, "Up with this I will not put!" Up with this I wasn't about to put either, so I called his doctor.
"My father is allergic to Furosemide."
He bristled. "Where did you get an idea like that?"
"Furosemide is a sulfa drug. He's allergic to sulfa drugs."
"I never heard anything like that about Furosemide," he barked. "Who told you that?"
"The PDR Pocket Guide."
"Well, the PDR has a lot of stuff you don't need to know." His arrogance grated on my nerves.
"No more Furosemide." Now I wasn't asking, I was demanding. "You've seen his rash. He didn't have it when he came to the care unit."
"You're not qualified to say what he should or should not have."
"What am I doing," I wondered, "arguing with a doctor who should be helping?" I wish I'd spoken the words I thought next. "Bye-bye! You're fired!"
But, in that moment, I resolved to be fully in control of all my father's drugs. I would learn everything I could and provide drugs direct to the facility. . .or not. There would be no more ordering drugs without my specific authorization
I enlisted the expertise of a pharmacist I found just down the street. She graciously took time from her crowded day to answer all my questions and explain anything I didn't understand. She took a brief history of my father's illness, made note of his allergies, and offered money-saving suggestions. She focused on providing excellent service. In short, she was, and is, an angel.
I immediately began to look for another physician to take over my father's care, but I was too slow. Within a few weeks, my father died of complications from a massive insulin overdose.
Was my experience unusual? Probably not, according to a study from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). On the subject of the increased cost of pharmaceuticals for people over-65, the study's author, Marie Stagnitti, MPA, reports:
Every year from 1997-2000, the average out of pocket expense for prescription medicines for those with a purchase and age 65 and older was more than three times as high as the average out of pocket expense on prescription medicines for those with a purchase and under age 65.
The potential for overmedication in the elderly is clear in Stagnitti's chart showing an average 23.5 prescriptions in both 1999 and 2000 for the over-65 group that used prescription drugs. The number of prescription drugs used by the under-65 group seemed high to me as well: 9.5 for 1999 and 10.1 prescriptions for the year 2000.
Overmedication is not only crushingly expensive for our elderly, it represents a real and present danger. You can do something about it. Please, learn about and oversee medications. You will help elders save money. You might even save a life.
About The Author
A native Texas, Phyllis Staff lives in Dallas with her family. She is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in scholarly journals and popular magazines. She is the CEO of thebestisyet.net (http://www.thebestisyet.net) and author of How to Find Great Senior Housing: A Roadmap for Elders and Those Who Love Them (2nd edition).
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
For-profit medicine incentivizes overmedicating our elderly rather than caring for them - NBCNews.com
Parasites In Your Colon
Your colon is a place for other parasites and organisms to breed and live. Many are harmful to your health and enter the body in various ways - foods we eat, through the bottom of your feet, air you breathe, the water you drink, and through sexual activity.
What is Going On With Pharmacies in Canada
There is a large amount of talk lately in regard to Canadian pharmacies, and why not? pharmacies in Canada provide the same identical perscription drugs you would find at the local pharmacy, deliver to your front door, and most importantly, save you some cash. But not all pharmacies are the same.
The Lower Cost Prescription Drug Alternative
Today in the United States, there are hundreds of thousands of people who do not have and cannot afford adequate health care coverage. Sadly, many must pay out of pocket for medical treatment of any kind, not to mention much needed prescriptions.
Molluscum Contagiosum Virus (MCV) Treatment Information - But First, What Is Molluscum?
Molluscum contagiosum treatment is certainly possible with the correct treatment information.Many people are told that molluscum contagiosum must be left to run its course (even by dermatologists).
Rebound Headache - Stop The Cycle
You've been getting headaches. Finally, you find some medications that are making a difference.
How to Find a Drug Rehab in Florida?
When you're in need, the quickest way is the best: if you put "drug rehab in Florida" in your search engine, the first page it finds will be the right one. There you'll find all the information you need, including addresses, contact information as well as some number and explanations to how they are going to help drug addicts.
Prescription Drug Side Effects: Treating From The Outside Or The Inside?
Throughout time there have always been two opposing points of view as to how to maintain good health, or how to regain it after having lost it. This conflict has continued since ancient times .
Can You Always Trust Your Dentists Recommendations?
Can you always trust your dentists' recommendations? Think for yourself - in the last 30 years the health of our teeth has improved dramatically. We drink fluoridated water, which almost eliminated decay in our teeth.
Top Ten Things You Should Know About Contact Lenses
1. Soft lenses are perceived by most patients and practitioners alike to be more immediately comfortable while adequately correcting vision.
Building A Medical Spa Inside Your Existing Medical Practice
The physicians conundrum: Everywhere, physicians are contemplating or engaged in expanding into the "medical spa" market. Seduced by the media buzz around this hot new phenomenon, many doctors see the medical spa as a means boosting their income and eliminating the growing grind and countless headaches of their daily practice.
Blood Pressure Treatment: High and Low Blood Pressure Tips and Medication!
High blood pressure is on the rise worldwide. But, doctors believe that small lifestyle changes can go a long way in preventing this silent killer.
After Viagra, Its Now a Premature Orgasm Pill for Women
Pfizer's exciting drug history traces back to the most popular Viagra drug, which treats erectile dysfunction in men. Now, they are gearing up to hit the bull's eye with a new premature orgasm pill for women.
Prescription Drugs from International Pharmacies Save Elderly Money
As pointed out by *Jack Shapiro, an internationally-known healthcare marketing consultant "For the first nine months of this year, the U.S.
Toenail Fungus: Treatment and Prevention
A thick, yellowish nail with splotchy white areas is a classic presentation for a fungal toenail. In the early stages the toenail is only slightly discolored, or slightly thickened.
Quitting Smoking: Planning To Succeed With Zyban!
Step One: The Big DecisionOne of the most frustrating things about deciding to quit smoking can be people's reactions: "Well, it's about time!" or "It was a filthy habit, why didn't you quit sooner?" But as anyone who has been using nicotine knows, it's one of the hardest decisions, and one of the most difficult tasks, many people face. For many of us, smoking isn't just a physical addiction: we may associate smoking with our first cup of coffee in Paris or favorite college bar.
Prevent Foot Problems When Walking
Americans are on the go. According to a NSGA Survey, 71 million American adults are exercise walkers, making walking the top sport in the United States.
Pain in the Butt. How to Deal with Hemorrhoids?
This is very sensitive area of your body. Too private.
Antibiotics 101- What You Absolutely Need to Know
IntroductionAntibiotics are said to be the greatest contribution of modern day science helping the doctors to think beyond microorganinsms.their importance is felt much more in developing countries where the infections are prevalent.
CT and MRI Scans in Neurological Practice: A Quick Overview
Before computed tomographic (CT) scans became available in the 1970s, there was no good method for imaging the brain. The available methods and technologies struck around the target without quite hitting the bull's-eye.
How to Tell If Online Consultations Are Right For You
As computers, Internet and technology have become increasingly more available and accepted, so have the applications for using them. Online consultations are something that is becoming more widely used by both medical professionals and those seeking medical advice.
|home | site map | Dr. Thad Thomas|