Monday, September 27, 2010

Doctors over-prescribe, test: report

From the National Post:
Swayed by pharmaceutical sales reps and less than fully versed on new technology, family doctors may be prescribing drugs improperly and ordering too many expensive diagnostic tests, warns a new federal-provincial report.

Governments must give such primary-care physicians the tools to make better decisions if they want to corral spiralling health-care costs, says the Health Council of Canada in a report to be released on Monday.

"Our research points to inappropriate prescribing of drugs and over-use of diagnostic imaging," says the report, Decisions Decisions. "If there is no change in how family physicians are supported in their role as gatekeeper, we can expect a surge in health service use."

The council's head stressed the group is not attacking the competency of the doctors Canadians visit most often, but issuing a "call for action" to help them better assess a barrage of new medications and technologies. ...more

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