Psychiatrists, like other physicians frequently will give a patient a starter package of sample medication when beginning treatment. The pharmaceutical industry spends more than 50% of its marketing budget on sampling. Research suggests that sampling has a significant influence on the practice of medicine. Research also shows that most samples don’t go to uninsured low income patients and don’t save people more money in the long run. Doctors may not choose their first choice medications when samples are available. Psychiatirsts should discuss the pros and cons of sampling and of using generic medications.
After recently moving to California and experiencing a mild earthquake I decided to obtain an extra month supply of prescription medication for my family and myself as this is recommended for disaster preparedness. I found out that this is a very difficult thing to do and furthermore most insurance companies wonâ€™t pay for it. Experts working in disasters know that people frequently donâ€™t have access to their everyday medications. While there may be some exceptions such as concern about addiction or suicidal tendencies, most people should have the ability to obtain an extra month supply of their medication above that which is usually prescribed for them. The author co-authored a resolution at the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association that would have this organization work with other medical groups and interested parties to advocate that laws and regulations be changed to allow individuals to have extra medication on hand for emergencies and disasters. The readers of this blog were asked to check the situation where they live in the U.S. or internationally in regard to this problem and to report in the comment section of this blog.
This is a review and discussion of a novel titled “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan. It is the story of the real life extramarital love affair of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney a writer and a married mother of two children. Both lovers left their spouses and children in order to live together. This very well written story raises questions about love, marriage, feminism and the impact of divorce on children. The potential role of psychotherapy in these situations is part of the discussion of this novel .
The author describes his experience of wishing a patient in psychotherapy a happy 65th birthday and telling the patient that his fee is now reduced since he is now on Medicare. Opting out of Medicare is discussed as well as the implications of new healthcare changes which may discourage psychiatrists from doing psychotherapy.
The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most popular suicide site in the world. By the year 2008 approximately 2000 people had jumped off the bridge and committed suicide. 99% of the jumpers from this bridge do not survive. A recent article on this subject in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Association by Drs. Mel Blaustein and Anne Flemming is reviewed in this blog. The building of a barrier to prevent suicides at this bridge is also discussed. Understanding and preventing suicidal behavior is the goal of all mental health professionals. A quotation from one of the few people who survived a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge makes the case for making every effort to identify and help people who are suicidal.