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The Washington Post has published a very interesting story titled "US Medicine is Crazy".

It's about two eye drugs, Avastin and Lucentis, virtually the same. Both Avastin and Lucentis are equally effective. One costs $50. The other costs $2,000. Guess which is prescribed a half million times a year?

According to the Washington Post doctors may benefit if they prescribe the more expensive drug. Yet, the article estimates that the drug is costing Medicare an extra $1 billion a year. But apparently there is a less expensive way. According to a study from the National Eye Institute in 2009 reported by Emaxhealth "omega-3 fatty acids added to the diet may help prevent development of the eye disease vision loss by more than 30%."

So why do we have 2 drugs, both doing the same thing, one is 50 dollars and the other 2000?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Big Pharma gives doctors kickbacks and samples (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, 207wickedgood

    It's a VERY lucrative industry with a LOT of under the table money all around, from Washington to your doctor's office.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:16:25 PM PST

  •  Rules that control this are allowed ..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by the Medicare agency, which is under the Health and Human Resources Department.  The head of this serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

    It would take signing a regulation that states that Medicare payment will be limited to the lowest priced effective pharmaceutical for a given condition.  Don't blame this on big pharma because it is human nature to try to steal as much as possible when there are no adverse consequences.  

    The President feels that the rewards for saving billions of dollars, (this waste is ubiquitous) is less politically harmful than earning the enmity of the drug industry and physicians.

    No law that I know of overrides the executive authority, if so, please let me know about it.

    •  Be careful with this. (4+ / 0-)

      Especially with mental health medications, different drugs affect people in many different ways, and people often have to take not the cheapest drug but the one that happens to work best for them.

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:02:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  medicine is crazy, but recently it has gotten (0+ / 0-)

    slightly less so. Doctors now use computers! Hospitals are starting to make less when they don't fix people.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 05:49:14 PM PST

  •  Needs more info (0+ / 0-)

    Not that this is data, but there seems to be more to this than simple price gouging.  Might still be complicated price gouging, but need more detail.

  •  Need ophthalmologist commentary (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps a DailyKos ophthalmologist could help make some sense out of this issue for us.

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