Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Learn and Share - Rip-off in the health sector.

I have this annoying allergy which causes powerful eye itches and - as a treatment - the doctor prescribed me a quite expensive drug; ..useful, but way too expensive. This is when I became inquisitive regarding the pharmaceutical sector.
It didn't take long to discover that it behaves just like any other industry with the money being the driven factor. I'm sure this industry has its own angels and demons, but it seems I stumbled upon the latter.
The drug I was prescribed is made of only one ingredient, present in a certain amount. A simple internet search revealed that there were other similar pills, with the exact ingredients and dosage, BUT a lot cheaper: 2 euros vs 11 euros - for the same amount (a huge difference since I have to take these pills regularly).

Considering we live in a money based society, this fact shouldn't have surprised me.
What is surprising and worrying is that doctors prescribe such expensive drugs, when they should know better. Many old people buy what the doctors tell them and they don't have the same resources to dig for the truth or search for better alternatives.
Not all doctors are like that though, in one occasion, one of them actually mentioned to me to avoid certain expensive pill widely suggested by the pharmacist (which, like any seller is interested in profit). But that happened only once..

There should be some regulations in place and a well developed public awareness, in order to avoid being ripped off when it comes down to our health.
From my understanding, drug companies sometimes offer bonuses to doctors in order to influence them to prescribe their own products. This is wrong; there must be a limit to human greediness and we shouldn't try to benefit from the others' illnesses. There are better, more honest ways of making money.



Raine said...

Also in Italy! And I guess that it's more or less like this all over the world?!
Here is an example from a CS friend of ours, who is traveling in S-America: http://elinasurfing.blogspot.com/2010/04/tapachula-oaxaca-and-mexico-city.html

Razvan and Andra said...

Nice blog, thanks for the link :).
We're making the final preparations for our own trip, so blogs with similar experiences are a really useful travel resource.
As for the problem with the money industry - taking over everything, I doubt there are many free sectors without investors and profits. But maybe some countries are less tainted than others.

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