Saturday, November 19, 2011

Who is responsible for your health care ? " Free drugs , Few Takers " )s

There was an editorial in my local news paper yesterday entitled , Free drugs , Few takers . The editorial reported a study done at Harvard -affiliated Brigham and Young Hospital in Boston and funded by Aetna . It involved 6000 patients who had experienced a heart attack . Half were given free medications that would reduce their risk of having another heart attack and the other half paid a copay of 50/month for the same medications. Neither group was good at following the recommendations and only 36 to 46 % of patients making co-payments filled their prescriptions depending on the medication. The people getting free medications were only 4 to 6 % higher.
So basically less than 50 % of people in either group was willing to assume responsibility for their own care.

Each of us as individuals are responsible for our own health care . The reality is that many of us fail to take that responsibility seriously. Studies have shown that less that 11% of people with diabetes achieve 3 target goals for test ( A1c , LDL cholesterol and blood pressure) . Meeting these target goals would reduce their risk of heart disease , stroke ,eye and kidney damage and neuropathy.
I have seen patients with all of the above complications and I can assure you that there are no do overs, no second chances to go back and reverse the reality of a heart attack , stroke , vision loss or amputation .
The other reality is that the complications of diabetes are preventible by correcting know risk factors to recommended targets . Preventive diabetes care is a game of numbers. Correct the numbers to known targets will reduce the risk of complications . I can tell you that preventing diabetes complication is a lot more fun than treating the complications.

The reason for me writing Diabetes Office Visit was to provide as easy to use approach for people with diabetes allowing them to assuming more responsibility for their own care . Most of us with diabetes are adults and we take on the responsibilities of raising children , paying bills and many other things without a second thought , but often fail when it comes to taking care of our own health .
Dr. Calder

1 comment:

  1. We should really be responsible for our own health even if we have many kids. It's important to be aware of your own health and prevent any disease by having a regular check up.

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Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD