Sunday, February 7, 2016

Take your pills

An every day conversation with my husband:

Me: "Did you take your pills?"
Him: "Let me check. No"

And my lessons from last weekend stand by me.

I am not alone. Drug companies are creating programs to help patients take their pills. Yes its part of a money making program. The more people who take their pills the more they can sell - as the cynical side of me says. But the real problem is people who do not take their pills get sicker and sicker. This drives up the cost of medical care in the US. (Which uses up more health care money so big sticker medications are in the spotlight for a smaller share of the remaining money.)

Time to stop being cynical.

Think of it this way, a patient goes to the doctor for an ailment. The doctor prescribes a medication for which the patient never fills the prescription, or if they do fill it, they forget to take it. If they had taken their medication regularly, they would feel better and not need the surgery they eventually had. Medical research is done so that we get better and live longer.

One of the problems is affordability of the medications. Pharma companies have long since had payment options for the uninsured which does help some.

Another problem is that some people get the mind set that no pill will help them. Or other reasons they come up with not to take the pills. Or side effects, fear of side effects, or no perceived effect by the medication. Along with basic forgetfulness - something we all suffer from time to time. A friend hurt her back recently and said she had a bad night the other night and was in a lot of pain - she forgot to take her prescription....

My message is "take your prescriptions as prescribed and if they don't work, cause side effects, or you can't afford them, call your doctor for options."

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