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Monday, June 16, 2003

Posted by Jake
22 States Limiting Doctors' Latitude in Medicaid Drugs

This is a debate where the pharmaceutical companies are very likely to say that limiting doctors choice is going to affect health care. The fact of the matter is that a good doctor is already selective in the medication he or she uses. Doctors tend to rely heavily on drugs that they are familiar with. The good ones also try to be aware of the financial limitations of their patients and will prescribe reasonable alternatives when such drugs are available.

This is generally a good idea for health care because a lot of new drugs cost a lot more and do generally the exact same thing that the old drugs do. The article mentions Celebrex as not having a generic alternative. Well that is not entirely true. Celebrex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is designed not to cause ulcers. What is the most popular NSAID? Aspirin. And aspirin works pretty damn well is all but a small minority of patients with predisposition to bleeding ulcers.

This is one of the few cases where I would advocate government regulation, basically because it is forcing doctors to do what they should have been doing anyway.


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