Sunday, 20 July 2014

Overtreatment and Waste

Aseem Malhotra has written a good piece in today's Observer on Stressful Hospital Syndrome and waste and over-treatment in medicine,
  • As a profession we have also been guilty – unwittingly or otherwise – of exaggerating the benefits of medications often perceived as magic pills by patients when their benefits are often modest at best. This also detracts from more meaningful lifestyle interventions by giving the public the illusion of protection.
He is quite stinging in his criticism (and in my opinion, accurate).  He also offers a source of solution,
  • In an effort to curb the unsustainable healthcare costs, estimated to reach a staggering $4.6trn by 2020, a campaign known as Choosing Wisely is gaining momentum in the US. Part of the campaign involves communicating with patients that more expensive medicine doesn't necessarily mean better medicine. And this is reflected by the evidence that four fifths of new drugs are later found to be copies of old onesnot surprising perhaps when pharmaceutical companies spend twice as much on marketing new medications as on research.
 As always, follow the money, especially when YOU are the source of the gain for others!

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