Health Car Problem Select and Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

At which point, they talk about the effects that the different kinds of coverage are having on senior citizen, with many using a combination of Medicare and private insurance, while others have used a combination of Medicare / Medicaid. To rectify the situation, the article points out that there is one of two solutions to include: the government placing price caps and importing prescription drugs. A government model of limiting the overall scope of price increases, could help to reduce the negative effects that this having on the elderly. Another option, for those who are opposed to such a plan, is to allow the import of prescription drugs. This is significant, because it shows how increasing the available supply of prescription drugs are a key to curtailing costs. If some kind of programs, this could be introduced to address this issue. At which point, it could be effective in reducing the severe economic impact that prescription drug prices are having.

Carbaugh, R. (2006). Chapter Summary. Contemporary Economics (pg. 76) Mason, OH: Thompson.

In this piece of literature, the author discusses possible solutions for increasing prescription drug prices by: examining the impact of providing more generics and having the government create a competitive market. Where, many states have required pharmacists to increase the total amount of generic drugs that are available, in comparison with prescription drugs. A second option is: to have the government create a second market, that consumers could use to purchase prescription drugs. Under this program, the government could pay a set amount of for prescription drugs of certain programs such as: Medicare. Where, patients will receive a discount in comparison with the retail price that is charged to consumers. The thinking is: that by introducing some kind of alternative market, you are creating a lower price structure that will force prescription drug prices to come down. At which point, the author discusses how Americans are paying the highest amounts for prescription drugs in the world. According the General Accounting Office (GAO) the average drug that retails for $1.00 in the U.S. will be sold in other countries at different prices. With, German citizens paying $.71 cents for prescriptions drugs, while in Sweden they pay $.68 cents and in Canada they pay $.64 cents. This is significant, because it shows how the drug manufacturers do have flexibility in their pricing. Where, they can adjust what they are charging for a particular drug, based upon the underlying amounts of regulation in a country and the availability of competing drugs.

Possible Solutions to the Problem

The literature review highlights how there are a number of different issues that are affecting the elderly when it comes to prescriptions drugs the most notable would include: misdiagnosis and economic factors. Misdiagnosis can occur when the health care professional will fail to fully understand the dosage that they are giving to patients. In many cases, this problems lies in the fact that the patient is not communicating about what is bothering them. This can lead to the patient taking larger dosages of the medication, than is required for their conditions. This can cause the underlying levels of health to become worse, as taking too much of a particular drug will create changes in the individual on the molecular level. To prevent this situation, health care professionals can be more vigilant when working with elderly patients. Where, they must monitor for some of the common side effects of the medication and begin to implement effective communication. At which point, they would want to involve the family members of elderly relatives in the process. This will reduce the chances that the patient is taking to much dosage of a particular drug, while providing an effective mechanism for the individual health care professional to monitor the patient.

Various economic factors can affect elderly patients, as the high costs of prescription drugs will mean that many will have trouble affording them. Where, this group of the population must take these drugs to address their conditions, while having to pay a large portion of their income every year for these drugs. This can lead to patients not taking their medications, as they will often horde those drugs that are the most expensive, by not taking their medication or reducing the dosage. In either case, this can cause the underlying levels of health in the patient to become worse, as this will negate any kind of positive effects of the drug. To effectively rectify this situation, means that the government must implement an alternative pricing structure, as there needs to be increased amounts of available generics and increased imports of prescription drugs should be allowed. The combination of using all three elements will give consumers more choice, as far as prices are concerned and the available supply of the drugs on the market. That being said, the health care professional can have an impact on elderly patients, by researching available generics that could be prescribed to patients and recommending those pharmacies that have a large supply of generic drugs. The cost savings of utilizing an approach would save the health care system of possibly $10 billion dollar per year. For the individual this could mean a possible potential savings of between $200 and $500 per month. If such an approach was utilized, the long-term effects of rising prescription drug prices will stop, as the increased amounts of supply and competition will provide consumers with more choice for prescription drugs. The health care professional identifying alternative generics will have dramatic impact, by helping their patients find a suitable alternative. This will improve the overall levels of health in elderly patients, by ensuring that they can have affordable alternative, which means they can take the appropriate dosage at the right time (without worrying about the costs).

Clearly, prescription drug prices are a major problem for the elderly. This is because the high prices that are charged for the medication, means that they must pay more for it out of their own pocket. Once this takes place, it will force many not purchase the drugs that they need or begin to horde it. At which point, the underlying health of the patient will become worse, as these strategies will negate the effects of the drug. At the same time, health care professionals must monitor the dosage, to ensure that elderly patients are not taking too much. In either case, this shows that the health care professional can make a difference in the lives of their elderly patients, by increasing communication with the patient and family members. They can also find different generic drugs that will have the same effect for patients as prescription drugs. If such actions were taken by a health care professional, they would have a direct impact upon the lives of elderly patients by: ensuring that they have affordable alternative for the prescription and they are taking the right dosage. At which point, the underlying levels of health of elderly patients will improve. This is because the health care professional was being vigilant and went the extra mile for their patients.


Carbaugh, R. (2006). Chapter Summary. Contemporary Economics (pg. 76) Mason, OH: Thompson.

Day, T. (n.d.). About Medical Care for the Elderly. Retrieved June 26, 2010 from Long-Term Care Link website:

Ham R. (2007). Clinical Pharmacology. Primary Care Geriatrics (pp. 94) Philadelphia, PA Mosby.

Kimbuende, E. (2010). Prescription Drug Costs. Retrieved June 26, 2010 from Kaiser Foundation website:

Pynchon, T. (2010). Prescription Drugs. Retrieved June 26, 2010 from website:

Salzman, K. (2005). Drug Prescribing Adverse Reactions. Clinical Geriatric Psychopharmacology (pp. 52 -- 54) Philadelphia, PA: Lippencott.

Wilson, D. (2009). Rising Drug Prices Lead to Call for Inquiry. Retrieved June 26, 2010 from NY Times website:

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