DoctorSolve November 2010 Healthletter Edition                                                 (If you cannot read this, click here)
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Hello,

With Thanksgiving behind us, many people are now turning their attention to the winter holidays. During this busy time of year, it remains important to keep your health a top priority. Stay informed with the health articles below.

Please feel free to forward this healthletter to your friends and colleagues who might benefit from or be interested in some of the information provided. You can also submit any feedback you may have to [email protected].

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The High Cost of Prescription Drugs

A new report released by Wolters Kluwer Health revealed that more people are refusing to buy their prescription medication. The number of Americans who have walked away from buying their prescription drugs has increased by 55% percent in past four years. The increasing rates of abandonment came from an analysis of eight million pharmacy claims; abandonment occurs when the pharmacist submits a claim to the insurance company only to have the patient not pick up the filled prescription despite it being covered by the insurance. 

As most Americans are now enrolling in high deductible insurance plans, they are required to pay a certain portion of their medical expenses before insurance will cover them. As a result, prescription drug prices have increased dramatically for patients, causing them to abandon their already filled and packaged prescriptions. The average American now pays $28 for each prescription a year; an 87% percent increase from the year 2000 in accordance with the Kaiser Family Foundation. It was found that new prescription drugs with co-pays of a $100 or more have an abandonment rate of 20%, whereas prescription drugs with a co-pay of $10 had an abandonment rate of only 4%. Thus, as the required co-pay amount increases for the patient, the rate of abandonment increases as well.

More and more people are asking themselves if it is worth buying their drugs; unfortunately, many elect not to. “Price sensitivity is clearly a factor as consumers decide to forego certain prescriptions altogether, including some for chronic conditions. This disturbing trend may have serious health implications and seems poised to continue especially if the economy deteriorates further.” said Mark Spiers, President and CEO of Wolters Kluwer Health. Many of the drugs being abandoned are critical for the patient’s health, such as antibiotics for bleeding ulcers. Doctors are starting to worry that patients will suffer severe consequences if they do not take the medicine they need.

To resolve this issue, drug companies are negotiating lower out-of-pocket expenses with insurance providers. One way of locating low cost drugs is searching for prescription drugs online and finding online pharmacies such as www.DoctorSolve.com DoctorSolve gets their drugs through Canadian and international pharmacies thus providing a more cost effective solution for Americans looking to fill their prescription.

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Eating Meat Linked to Weight Gain

A European study found that a higher intake of meat may result in weight gain. Processed meats (e.g. sausages) were associated with the greatest risk of gaining weight. This research shows that high-protein diets may not actually help in the long run.

Even after researchers took overall calorie intake, physical activity, and other factors into consideration, the weight gain associated with eating meat was still quite significant. Researchers are not quite certain why eating meat may cause weight gain in people eating a regular number of calories.

While eating regular portions of meat can cause weight gain, another thing to look at is many of us eat too much meat to begin with. Portion sizes are often much smaller than many people are aware of. Lack of proper information results in eating unnecessary and unhealthy amounts of meat.

What Does Your Appearance Say About Your Health?

Young GirlsLooking older for one's age is presumed to be a result of poor health. In contrast to this popular belief, looking older for one's age does not necessarily indicate poor health. A recent study conducted at St. Michael’s Hospital revealed that a person could appear up to five years older than their actual age without being in poor health. “Physicians have assumed that their quick assessment of how old someone looks have some diagnostic value. Few people are aware that that when physicians describe their patients to other physicians they often include an assessment of whether the patient looks older than his or her age,” said Dr.Stephen Hwang, a research scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and an associate professor at the University of Toronto.

In the study, fifty-eight physicians were given the ages of the patients and were asked to rate how the patient looked. The 126 people evaluated were between the ages thirty to seventy, and had completed a survey that accurately verified whether they were deficient in physical or mental health. To validate their rating, physicians assessed the patient’s age using a twelve point survey.

The study found that when an individual was determined to look up to five years older than their actual age, there was little Evidence that the individual was lacking in health. However ninety-nine percent of the individuals that were determined to look at least 10 years older than their actual age were found to be maintaining very poor health. “In summary, the common practice of assessing whether or not a patient looks older than his or her actual age can be useful for identifying individuals with poor health status but with certain important limitations,” the study’s authors stated in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The researchers state that inquiring about the mental and physical health of such patients is justified due to the high probability of the patient maintaining very poor health. Alternatively there were people who looked their age and still maintained weak physical and mental health. “It was also very interesting to discover that many people who look their age are in poor health. Doctors need to remember that even if patients look their age, we shouldn't assume that their health is fine," said Dr. Stephen Hwang.

The bottom line is that looking ten or more years older than ones’ age is a reliable factor of poor health. In any situation an individual can look their age and still maintain poor health.

6 Tips For Buying Prescriptions Online

Treating PsoriasisOnline Pharmacies offer an easy way to buy prescription and over the counter drugs that are dispensed in confidence, and often at significantly lower prices. It is especially convenient for the disabled, for older adults who cannot easily leave the house, or for those who live in rural areas not easily accessible to a drugstore. In addition, Canadian online pharmacies offer anonymity if you are embarrassed when ordering certain medications. When buying from an online pharmacy, it is important to make sure the pharmacy is legitimate and trustworthy. Here are some tips on buying prescription medication online.

1. Verify that the pharmacy is approved by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA). CIPA ensures that online Canadian pharmacies are ethical and professional, and that the products are of the highest quality. A legitimate site should have noticeable and privacy pages and security policies which are easily accessible from the homepage.

2. Do not buy from an online pharmacy if they offer to prescribe a medication for the first time without an exam by a doctor. Likewise do not buy from an online pharmacy that offers to sell you a prescription medication without a prescription.

3. Only use online pharmacies that can provide you with a licensed pharmacist or doctor who can answer any questions you have about medications.

4. Stay away from sites that do not provide you with their contact information including their address and phone number. An online pharmacy should have an easily accessible contact page.

5. If possible, ask for the product you are purchasing to be in the manufacturer’s original package and closely inspect the medicine and its packaging upon arrival. If you notice anything strange or if you are concerned about the safety of the medication, talk to your physician or a local pharmacist before using the medication.

6. Determine whether the pharmacy requires a valid prescription from a doctor before it dispenses medication. The prescription serves as confirmation that you have consulted a physician or other healthcare provider, that a physical exam has occurred, and the proper drug has been prescribed in the correct amount.