Friday, May 4, 2012

Rational Drug Use

The Philippines, compared to it's neighbor countries has the highest drug prices in Asia next to Japan. Medicines are priced way too high beyond the reach of ordinary Filipinos so much so that many patients die, not because medicines are unavailable but primarily patients cannot afford to buy them.  This high cost is due to an unregulated free-market forces that wreak havoc on the country’s healthcare system.  Indeed, compared to the demand side, the supply side — the pharmaceutical industry — is so dominant that it can dictate whatever price it wants. Corollary to this, patients are often prescribed medically inappropriate, ineffective and economically inefficient drugs. One major challenge of the country's health system is to ensure that all citizens of the country have access to essential, life-saving medicine and rational drug use.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Health Risks of Oral Contraceptives

I do not know if the non-medical advocates of hormonal contraceptives for birth control have their information wrong or they are just like those health professionals who are succumbing to pressures from health policy makers and government. I say this because it seems to me that there is a continuous refusal to see the facts that indeed there have been many documented adverse reactions resulting from contraceptive use, the latest of which is The Lancet study, that reported that there is a strong link between HIV transmission and the use of hormonal contraceptives, particularly injectable hormones such as Depo-Provera aka "the shot".

Teaching Empathy In Health Care

As a member of the medical profession, it is painful to see a progressive decline in empathy and conscientiousness in recent years among healthcare providers especially among new doctors. Medicine is a service career and what the patients need are compassionate, conscientious and caring doctors who will be role models for all other health care providers. The noble dictum of service above self  seems to have been replaced by the new order of self first before others.  This is the major motivation why I have been teaching Medical Ethics for the last 9 years.