Posted on Tuesday 26 March 2013

No. Just keeping up with psychiatry is all I have time for, but it’s hard not to notice the cost of medicine in America. Managed Care came to Medicine not long after I did, and from my perspective, the combination of Hospital Corporations, the Third Party Carriers, the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries, and who knows what else has hardly helped us with medical costs – if anything, just the opposite. The graphs are scandalous!
    berit bj
    March 27, 2013 | 5:54 AM

    … next, graphs showing results of more supposedly new, supposedly better, supposedly less harmfull pills, treating supposed mental illnesses — soaring costs, early disability, earlier death to the most vulnerable, the young and the elderly citizens …

    March 27, 2013 | 1:06 PM

    Wait until ObamaCare is fully implemented.

    Pushed through by the Pharmaceutical Research and Marketing Association (PhRMA)…. You may remember those clever television ads in the summer of 2009.

    “Free” antidepressants and statins for *everyone*!
    Grandchildren and great-granchildren left with the bill.

    Better living through chemistry.
    Prosperity by runaway spending.

    Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
    The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
    Alice: I don’t much care where.
    The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
    Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
    The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.


    March 27, 2013 | 1:40 PM

    I was blogging yesterday about psych meds at http://asserttrue.blogspot.com/2013/03/is-depression-really-biochemical.html and near the end of the post, I brought up the fact that Abilify (which on a dollar-volume basis is now the highest-revenue drug in America) costs around $700/month retail, which makes it (ounce for ounce) many times more valuable than gold. Then I brought up what my friend said about it. I’ll quote the relevant paragraph from my blog [as follows]:

    It would be easier to accept the many neurotransmitter-imbalance theories of depression if the drugs in question worked with the same high degree of efficacy that, say, aspirin works for a headache or that insulin does for diabetes, but in fact the drugs work so poorly that the number one bestselling drug in America right now is an adjunctive drug sold on the basis of helping antidepressants work better (Abilify). When I mentioned to a (non-depressed) friend of mine that the retail price of a month’s worth of Abilify (5mg, 30 pills) is a thoroughly unconscionable $683 (making Abilify many times more valuable than pure gold), his comment was: “Why don’t you just go lease a new Acura and see if that doesn’t cheer you up? It’s cheaper, and more satisfying.”

    March 27, 2013 | 1:52 PM

    One of several cocktails I declined while in lock-down was Abilify. I asked if it were still under patent and didn’t get an answer. After seeing it advertised as an adjunct to depression I asked why it was being offered to me since I wasn’t taking an antidepressant, and got a vague answer to the effect of that they can prescribe if for psychosis too.

    A nurse assured me by telling me that he takes it too. Was not convinced.

    March 27, 2013 | 1:52 PM

    cocktails I declined included Abilify

    I go make coffee now.

    March 27, 2013 | 9:05 PM

    Good to see Ezra Klein picking up on this at the Washington Post.

    Singlehandedly, Steven Brill changed the dialog about healthcare costs in the U.S. His brilliant article — which should be read by every voter in the land — is at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2136864,00.html

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