Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who are pushing for over-prescription?

WSJ blamed impatient parents for over-prescription
Some parents say that once a bacterial infection has been diagnosed, they're not comfortable leaving it untreated. Some also push for the quickest possible recovery so their children can return to school or day care. In a survey of primary-care doctors published in 2007, 65% said parents' demand for antibiotics was the most important barrier to holding off on prescriptions.
Earlier Also reported by WSJ,
"Most people's bodies and immune systems are wonderful in terms of handling things—if people can be patient," says Ted Epperly, a family physician in Boise, Idaho, and president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"I have a mantra: You can do more for yourself than I can do for you," says Raymond Scalettar, a Washington, D.C., rheumatologist and former chairman of the American Medical Association.
So, the patients', or the parents' impatience caused the over-kill, over-spending. Wait a minute, why they are impatient. Maybe they don't understand how bodies work, but is this exact the reason we go to doctors? We go to doctors, for treatment, including advices, not for prescriptions. More likely is the pressure for getting quick relief, so that we can return to work, so that the children can be sent to daycare/school.

Not every company is generous in the sick-leave policy. Even fewer give much sympathy to those who have to care family members. Doing "nothing" here equates to staying at home, longer suffering, and unable to work, which may lead to less pay, or even cost the job itself. In many cases, the pressure to keep the job, to keep the paycheck coming, overrides the potential long-term benefit of doing "nothing". By the way, for those who care sick kids, "nothing" might be exactly the opposite. 

It is one of most important factors of the health-care system: allowing time to recover, as suggested by the experts quoted in the above reports, but it is largely left out of the health-care discussion.