Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mom Update

My mom has been battling cancer for the past few years.  Traditional chemotherapy treatments do not put her cancer into remission, so she undergoes cancer treatment every 6 months.  The cancer treatments kill off her immune system and it takes her about 4 months before she recovers enough to have energy to do her normal daily routine. 

In April, mom caught pneumonia which aggravated her COPD.  The medications she received eventually helped her recover, but she had a cough all summer.  One positive of her pneumonia was that she finally got a regular doctor.

Mom caught another cold a few weeks ago and is having a difficult time breathing.  Her COPD is so bad that she can't walk up a flight of stairs.  Washing a few dishes is impossible for her, so mom has moved in with my sister until she recovers.  Mom went to her doctor last Monday and is bordering on pneumonia once again.  She completed a cancer treatment in August, so her immune system is almost non-existent.  

The doctor prescribed 4 medications.  She was able to purchase 2 of them, but the remaining two medicines will cost her 70 percent of her monthly income.  Her doctor will not change the prescriptions to less expensive drugs.  Mom's local pharmacist is consistently calling the doctor's office for alternatives, but is meeting resistance.  I think it's time to look for a different doctor. 

We realize that many drugs are expensive to develop, test, and produce,  but there are other drugs that may be less effective available.  Why is the doctor unwilling to prescribe a less expensive drug?  Most people don't have thousands of dollars to spend on medications each month.  Mom doesn't expect the most cutting-edge drugs, but the older drugs are normally much less expense.  Mom doesn't have any other underlying health issues and isn't on any prescriptions, so drug interactions are not a concern.  It just doesn't make sense.

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