A start to a partial solution to drug costs?

DR. R Centor’s DB’s Medical Rants weblog has a great piece about an MD’s decision to stop meeting with drug reps and accepting gifts from same. The piece is short and well worth the read.
Timing is everything; I am just finishing the second annual survey of prescription drug management in WC. One of the notable changes from last year to this is the recognition by WC payers of the key role of the treating MD in prescription drug cost. There is what can only be characterized as wide-spread recognition on the part of large WC insurers that the most important single stakeholder in this is the treating physician.
Kudos to the Cedar Rapids docs for showing the way.


Why MDs prescribe Vioxx

DB’s Medical Rants has an interesting discussion re why MDs prescribe Vioxx, Celebrex, etc. As MDs are the ones ultimately driving prescription volume, it bears reading.
HSA (my firm) is completing a study of prescription drug management in Workers’ Comp – one of the very preliminary findings is the strong opinion among WC payers that MDs are in large part responsible for Rx cost inflation.
Payers are frustrated that MDs are prescribing drugs patients don’t need, driving up short term costs with no attendant benefit to patients. Meanwhile, these decisions may very well lead to additional costs, as patients suffering cardiovascular events who also took COX-2s for WC injuries seek compensation from their WC payer.
The net – payers see MD prescribing behavior as abdicating responsibility, and increasing payer costs. Frustration is rampant.