One Size Does Not Fit All in Health Care

One Size Does Not Fit All in Health Care

01.10.12 | By

A steady stream of state legislatures is coming back into session throughout the month, and considering that most states have budget shortfalls, Medicaid is likely to emerge as a popular target for cuts.

Restrictions on access to medicines may be considered by legislators all over the country because of the popular belief that one size fits all patients.
As a cancer survivor, that's one myth I take personally. The fact is, no two patients with the same disease are alike and quite often, they require different medicines. It's important to have a range of therapeutic options so that your physician, who knows you best, can decide which therapies you should have.

Frankly, I may not have survived a life-threatening bout with the rare cancer hairy cell leukemia a dozen years ago if I had not had the good insurance I have and had faced restrictions on the medicines I needed. I get a little hot under the collar when I hear stories about patients not as fortunate as me who suffer the consequences when they receive treatment that is not best for them.

When patients don't obtain the right prescriptions, they can end up in a hospital emergency room or on a surgery table, which only adds to the cost of health care. In the end, there are no cost savings. Sadly, there are many examples of problems that arise for patients and the health care system when restrictions are placed on access to medicines. I'm very fortunate I'm not one of those examples, and I look forward to helping fight the myth that one size fits all in medicine.

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