Monday, March 18, 2013


The Philadelphia inquirer has reported that Wegman Supermarket chain is giving out free generic atorvastatin to their customers free, in order to attract them into the store, as a way of getting new customers, something they call loss leaders. The customer would need a prescription and the prescription is filled out, at no cost to the patient. Initially, the Supermarket chain intended to stop the campaign at end April, but the Inquirer reported that the management has decided to continue until the end of 2013.
Apparently this is common practice in USA. ShopRite, another supermarket chain , has been doing this, including dispensing diabetic drugs and antibiotics free.
Is this a good practice? These drugs have side effects and can harm, especially oral hypoglycemic agents. What about antibiotic resistance? I must say that I think that this is a very wrong approach to business, using healthcare as an attraction to get customers.
I hope that such tendencies will not reach our shores.


Winston said...

Doc, allow me to digress.
I have visited the FPMPAM website and read an article about "How doctors die".
I think that's how it should be.
Avoid unnecessary,painful and expensive treatment when one can only buy at most a few months worth of time.
According to the article, many docs would know for a fact that it's far better to "let go" than to go for "full treatment" when faced with diseases with very long odds.
I would even go further.
When one's quality of life is gone, like when one has a really debilitating disease and has to depend on someone else for all one's needs, then it's time to call it quits.
That's what happened in some Western countries when patients are faced with crippling terminal diseases and choose to go for euthanasia.
Some even go to the extent of getting a court order to let them take their own lives because they know that the future for them is very bleak and there's no possibility of recovery.
What's your opinion on such matters?
Thank you.

hmatter said...

I believe in adjudicated euthanasia. There must be a body of evidence to say that it is hopeless, if possible from independent people.
But this is a tough one, as life is precious and deciding on life is an emotional thing. It is so very difficult to be objective.
After 37years of medical practice, I had to make some tough calls. Some, I am proud of, some maybe I am not so proud of. I have to live with that too.