Monday, September 5, 2011

The American Health System

Since I remember things when I remember them, I wanted to bring up something that is relevant to my condition.  My Neurologist is a tenacious professional who, once she bites into a case, she will not spit it out!  She has treated me with dogged determination to extend my coherent life as long as is physically possible.  Once she reached the 80% solution on my diagnosis of Dementia,  she immediately placed me on the two newest Alzheimer's drugs.  She then sent me to UVA to get a second opinion.  No professional insecurity here!  The UVA folks determined it was Lewy Body Dementia as I have discussed before.  The UVA Doctors told my wife and I that my Neurologist was the reason I was doing as well as I am.

Here is what I wanted to relay to you.  I did some research on the British medical system.  What I found out is shocking. IN their system, they reserve Arcept and Namenda for the last six months of the patients life!  Now, what good would administering these drugs after the patient is already gone mentally and deteriorating physically to the point of failure?

Yes what I take is expensive, but it will extend my productive life and keep me from needing extensive medical intervention until the end.  My Father In Law lived in a nursing home, with Alzheimer's, for 7 years, at the States expensive.  There were no drugs for Alzheimer's then, and the State paid the price.  Now there are effective drugs and reserving them until six months before the patient dies is criminal.

So, the next time someone wants to tell you Socialized Medicine is good, tell them about Alzheimer's treatment in Britain.


  1. Silverfox... can you post the article that you had read so that we can see the facts?

    1. Hi, Susan - and Silverfox.

      This article may be of interest - it states the position is "three acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors - Aricept, Reminyl and Exelon - should only be prescribed to patients in the moderate but not earliest stages of the disease."

      I'm a huge fan of the NHS, but I understand this has caused some frustration.

      At the same time, studies have shown that MORE taxpayers' money is spent per patient in the US than in the UK!

      And in the UK no-one is denied treatment because they can't afford to pay for it (though our current government may well wreck the NHS in the near future).

  2. I'm guessing Michael Moore may not be your cup of tea, Silverfox - but his film Sicko is well worth a watch.