Sunday, December 2, 2012

Health Care and pharmacoeconomics: the use of generics in neuropsychiatry, Athens Psychiatric Conference, Dec. 2, 2012

These are my rough notes from this most informative of lectures. Greece is presently facing an economic crisis and this fine research has clearly found ways of saving millions of health care dollars while ensuring quality of care. He was a very fine speaker and his data was most impressive and well researched. Public policy advocacy.

Lectures Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 First Interdisciplinary Congress “Psychiatry and Related Sciences” Chairs; W. Gaebel (Germany) M. Mavreas (Greece)

Health care and pharmacoeconomics: The use of generics in Neuropsychiatry Mentenopoulos (Greece)

Presented comparison of economic expenditures with other European countries. 16% of health spending in Greece is medicine Generics are 50% in Europe and Generic Market Share is different by country Greece has a very low level of generic use

In Germany generic mirtazepine shows 90 million saving from original medication

Addressed urban myths about generic drugs wide misperceptions study showed less than 12% of patients were innappropriate for switching - 88% of patients were suitable for substitutions

 (I found all this information accurate and useful but had difficulty listening because in Canada we have a ‘forced’ generic policy, pharmacists giving the cheapest alternative. The difficulty with chemistry is that people believe everywhere else ‘you get what you buy’ and yet in chemistry there is this belief prozac and fluoxetine are the same despite our intrinsic knowledge that there is a difference between a Harley Davidson and the Honda look alike. Further what wasn’t discussed is the multi million dollar pharmacist and minister of health scandal and corruption which was uncovered in Canada by the Minister of Health of Ontario. Kickback political money was disgusting and persists with all the research possibility funding going instead to backpockets. What is a problem now is there is no funding for new research in mental illness because the competition of the generics has made there be less ‘profit’ in developing new drugs for mental illness)

 I asked a question and the presenter responded very well to this - he noted that pharmaceutical companies who had ‘pioneered’ a medication were often ‘pushing’ ‘as like’ medications with little greater benefit. He said that now the ‘generic’ companies were beginning to do research into new compounds.

After the presentation I raised my individual concerns with him and he answered each with great insight and thought. He’d in fact considered all my concerns and was struggling to find the right solution for ‘greece’. He sounded like a marvellous ‘patriot’ as well as a brilliant scientist. What it came down to was a desire for ‘choice’ and the chance to know more and more wisely use health care dollars. I was very impressed.

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