Active Learning: Go chat with your local drug rep
So I was chatting with a new friend who works for a pharmaceutical company. He takes a medication that his employer makes. Recently, his company created a new version of the medicine he's taking. This new version of the medicine causes less side effects and less kidney damage, hooray! Here's the part of the story where it gets weird. I didn't record the conversation but I'll paraphrase it as best as possible: Me: "So they have a new medicine that causes less issues? That
Q: But why make it state-dependent?
"But why make it state dependent if you're advocating for a single payor?" This question was submitted by a friend and accountant. A "citizen-owned" statewide nonprofit allows citizens in each state to set their health care goal. For instance, in Vermont, if the citizens there chose to pay more into their general health fund so that all preventative and all sick visits are covered, they could do so. As a Texan, with our ridiculously fierce independent streak, we would likely
Q: Is brand medically necessary?
"If people knew how much time we spent on stuff like this, it would blow their minds." This conversation was had between me and a fellow child psychiatrist. Here's the back story: Intuniv is a medication commonly used in the treatment for ADHD. It's a long-acting form of a medicine called guanfacine that costs four bucks at most pharmacies. The good folks at Shire pharmaceutical company worked out some great deals for Texas Medicaid and earned a place on the Medicaid formular
Q: Then who's going to pay for medicines?
"The costs of medications are so high. Who's going to pay for people to get their meds?" This question was posed to me by someone who currently works as a nurse in a psychiatric ER. One of the reasons medication and medical device costs are so high is because Big Pharma and Big Devices drive up the prices. We know from looking at other countries that the very same medications and technologies have huge markups here comparatively. Why is that? It's partly because we are requir