Wined and Dined: Are You At Risk?

Whether or not you are a fan of Obama or the Affordable Care Act, it really doesn't matter in this case.  We are all entitled to our own opinions.  That's what makes the world go 'round.  I am not a supporter or a fan of either one, however, I would like to give credit where credit is due.  A provision of the Affordable Care Act released the 'Open Payments' website, which allows you to look up your doctor to see if he or she is being wined and dined by the pharmaceutical companies.  It also allows you to see how much they are being paid and how often. 

I honestly wonder how many doctors go into this profession anymore with the thought of helping people, or if it is just because of the income related to their profession.  Doctor visits have become so ridiculous these days.  I have to admit I didn't go for years, but in the last year and a half, I've been several times.  Fifty is fun. 

I am so tired of being told I need to go on Zoloft.  I am not the only one - everyone I talk to has had the same experience.  I tell them I am not depressed; I have never been depressed.  It has come to the point that I get really upset and ask them what percentage or kickback they get for the drugs they are promoting that month. 

Doctors are being paid for prescribing drugs as part of drug studies.  Are you going to be their guinea pig?  You need to educate yourself and see if medication is truly right for you.  See if changing your lifestyle by incorporating some healthy habits helps before trying other methods.  If it is indeed necessary for you to go on a medication, find out what your options are, find out what the side effects are, and take all of these things into consideration before jumping right in.  Most importantly, take your health into your own hands.  Don't let others make decisions for you.  Education is the key.  

I do not think all doctors are bad, the key is finding the right one for you.  I really like my new doctor.  My first visit, he spent over an hour with me.  I felt he listened to me and was genuinely concerned about helping me.  He did try to push several medications, but when I told him I had no interest, he respected my decision.  Then he put together an alternative plan for me.  

Show up informed, or come back informed.

Visit openpaymentsdata.cms.gov to see how friendly your physician is with big pharma.