Everybody knows that some medications can cost a lot of money.  I always try to take the cost to my patients into account when prescribing a medication- after all, if someone can't afford it, they are not going to take it.  When it's appropriate (and 9 times out of 10 it is), I try to prescribe a generic medication.  They are much cheaper and work just as well as the ...

Read more...

Hydrocodone as it is currently prescribed in the U.S. is a schedule 3 drug.  The FDA puts rules and regulations on the prescribing of medications that have a significant potential for abuse, diversion or addiction, and the lower the schedule number, the more the restrictions. Schedule 1 drugs are illegal in the U. S.  They are deemed to have no legitimate medical purpose.  Examples are heroin, LDS, methamphetamine, marijuana (strange but ...

Read more...

I am employed by a hospital, and have health insurance through my job. The coverage is comprehensive, and the cost has an employer contribution and employee contribution. I still get confused (though I have the hospital's own plan) about what is covered and what is not. I can only imagine how hard it must be for my patients. The prescription plan that comes with this insurance is straight forward: $40 for ...

Read more...

Now more than ever, the growing consensus among many is that doctors should avoid seeing pharmaceutical sales representatives, otherwise known as drug reps. A position statement from the AAMC, the head organization of all US medical schools and residency programs, recommends that all academic health centers avoid having drug reps on their campuses, hospital and clinics. Many medical institutions including the VA and Kaiser have also enacted similar policies banning ...

Read more...

Willful blindness of our public health officials on tobacco is still killing hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Here are the facts: i) There are approximately 46 million tobacco smokers in the United States. ii) While three-quarters say they want to quit smoking, and about one-third try to quit each year, fewer than 10% succeed. iii) The FDA-approved smoking cessation aids simply do not work: They improve quit rates only minimally, if at ...

Read more...

I am not a huge baseball fan to begin with, and when I am, I root for the Nationals.  Thus, I pay little attention to the New York Yankees, and was not aware that Yankee player Mark Teixeira had been suffering from a cough for the past month until it the story from the New York Times came through one of my Twitter feeds. According to the story: "Mark Teixeira had ...

Read more...

It seems that study after study has been touting the benefits of chocolate – eat more of the (delicious!) dark stuff and you might find yourself losing weight, suffering fewer or less severe heart attacks, possessing cleaner arteries, and having a lower blood pressure. Despite the theoretical explanations for chocolate’s health benefits, it is usually found packaged and processed along with some other not so healthy ingredients including saturated fat, ...

Read more...

When you are handed a prescription by your physician or your pharmacist there are many questions you should know the answer to before walking out the door. 1. What is this medication for? This may seem obvious, but countless times when I ask a patient if they know what their prescription is for they tell me they have no idea.  When someone doesn't know what a medication is for, there is little motivation to take it correctly or ...

Read more...

Nine months ago I saw a new patient, a delightful 86-year old male. His past medical history included lymphoma many years ago, a stroke five years ago, dyslipidemia and hypertension. Medications included aspirin, a generic statin, and a non-generic ARB-HCT combination, which he had been on for years. He lived alone with a lot of support from his loving and attentive family. The patient looked great. I refilled his meds ...

Read more...

The ability to critically assess the validity of a clinical trial is one of many important skills that a physician strives to develop. This skill helps guide clinical decision-making, and there are a number of things that we are trained to look for to help determine the validity of any given study. Right at the top of the list of factors that go into this appraisal is that of study ...

Read more...

Most Popular