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Doctors; Prescribing Problems

Doctors can have some very funny ideas about prescribing medications, which can be a problem for anyone with a chronic (long standing) condition. This can be due to the fact that they are sometimes trying to make statistical decisions without a sufficient understanding of the mathematics.

Another cause of dubious decisions is due to prescribing for surgery profit maximisation. For example, Zantac is the standard medication used as an ant-acid. Being a branded medicine, it has to recover it's research costs. This makes it expensive. To get around this, the standard aproach is to prescribe generic versions of the same medication (in this case, ranitidine), usually formulated using a different path. Some doctors have been observed to promote specific branded generic versions (which include ranitic) which can cost more than twice the cost of the generic drug. This is usually because someone in charge of the account observes that commision can be earned with this version, making more money.

Even though most doctors now know that it causes major problems, there is still a tendency for too many gp's to prescribe antibiotics for colds and other viruses because the patien want to leave with some pills. If they want to do this, they should give a placebo instead.

Another problem is to do with certain types of medications which should only be prescribed for a limited time. Often people find out that they have been on a drug for six months or more which should only be given for weeks.

Zyra has a page about some of the other problems with generic drugs.

last modified 19:22 2006/12/13