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5/12/2008

Why not cheaper medicine?

A Mdm Chin Fong wrote to the ST about her experience with the Singapore General Hospital. Her husband is a retired civil servants. She noticed that another patient was given similar but branded medicine while her husband, being on govt medical benefits, were given cheaper medicine. She enquired whether the two drugs were equally effective and was assured the case. And when she asked further, she was told that patients could not opt for the cheaper medicine. And I ask, why not? If the drugs are equally effective, why can't patient ask for the cheaper one even if it is not branded and pay less? This is an obvious case of a possibility of lowering medical cost with cheaper medicine. What happens to all the great motherhood statements about being prudent, being frugal and reducing cost? The people, patients, must be given a choice to elect for cheaper medicine or more expensive medicine. Cannot is rubbish. Can someone answer to this simple question, why people must be made to pay more for branded medicine when cheaper unbranded medicine can do the same job? I can't believe that this is happening when everywhere we are talking about cost cutting measures. Unbelieveable is the word. Does Boon Wan know about this?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What you should know is that consultation fee is subsidized but not medicine. It is possible that medicine is subsidized for civil servants but not citizens.

redbean said...

my point is that if unbranded medicine is cheaper and can do the job, then the patients must be given the choice to buy cheaper medicine.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Cheaper medicine ==> generic drugs.

> And when she asked further, she was told that patients could not opt for the cheaper medicine. <

That is becaus the BIG pharmaceutical companies have managed to swing contracts to supply with the govt hospitals.

In other words, these BIG (I mean HUGE) multi-nationals get a nice monopoly from the govt, at taxpayers expense.

The core of the problem: public health care.

As I have stated time and again, the way to avoid unfair govt created and protected monopolies is the FREE MARKET.

In a free market system, the customer (patient) will call the shots. If a hospital or doctor tries to push expensive known-brand medication where the much cheaper generic is available, these business--doctors and hospitals--will eventually go out of business as word gets around.

We all know how fast bad news travels. In a free market there is no one to protect you if you get caught ripping off people.

when there is an inexhautible trough of money-- as in the case of public healthcare... or public anything which is funded by taxes -- you are going to get regular visits by the Greedy Pigs.

The Greedy Pigs are shielded from competition as the government keeps out competition by erecting barriers to entry: regulations, awkward tendering process, licensuing, approval etc.

If you dig deeper in this, you will find that the CEO's of the BIG Pharmaceutical Companies are all buddy-buddy with the State-employed senior executives running the public healthcare show.

A word of caution: don't be using the word "corruption" without evidence. In S'pore you can be sued for using the "c" word.

redbean said...

in paradise, people will say you got money you must pay for branded medicine as a higher price. if not, you will be mean tested before you can buy cheaper generic and unbranded medicine.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Frankly I don't give a shit what happens to the people who live in paradise. For me it is merely a convenience -- a tax haven cum hotel.

The people have chosen the best elites -- specialists in the art of political anal-rape, and I can only say it is my hope that The People enjoy the oppression they've worked so hard to keep for over 40years.

There a lot of stupid people doing stupid things. Paying extra money for something you need, when there is clearly a less expensive option is IMO an act of stupidity. We all know that it is difficult, if not IMPOSSIBLE to keep people from doing dumb shit... so you might as well enjoy their actions and the resultant consequences.

Heck, people tell me that S'pore is a "boring" place. I disagree. I am constantly, and magnificently entertained by S'pore society. I don't even have to go to The Esplanade to enjoy it.