Connect with us
Snake oil

Flickr – Wesley Fryer

In today’s society, more and more people are aware of health issues that they have and what needs to be done to control those issues. Although some conditions need a pharmaceutical solution, it’s not always necessary. And often, if the pharmaceutical route can be avoided, it’s best to avoid it. Few medications come without side effects. Additionally, becoming tolerant to a medication that might be necessary later is not ideal.

This has resulted in an increase in non-pharma treatments that can provide people with a helping hand. Many people, for example, have issues of concentration and focus. Although this is on the ADHD spectrum, they might rightly be uncomfortable with stimulants. So instead of going the pharmaceutical route, they might benefit from supplements such as iron or Omega-3.

Similarly, people with depression may find anti-depressants unpleasant. Many find that St John’s Wort or tryptophan work better for them. People with digestive issues may find that they benefit more from herbal teas and supplements than from harsh antacids. All of this has created a strong, competitive market in herbal supplements. Which is certainly a boon on one front, but is it all for the best?

Are Regulations Allowing Dishonesty?

In a majority of cases, pharmaceutical drugs will not come to market until they have been tested extensively. Although some exceptions have slipped through the net, existing regulations catch a lot more. Where the issue seems to be arising for some is in the dietary supplement and health food market. Because these aren’t medicines in the strictest sense, they aren’t regulated in the same way.

That approach is hard to argue with, from a regulatory point of view. Of course, pharma-grade medications need to be seen with a firmer gaze. Doctors will be prescribing them, and there is also a natural extra level of trust that is given to them. There is, then, a gap between what we call medicine and what we use for the good of our health. If this gap is exploited in the wrong way, it can be bad for us.

For the avoidance of doubt, the FDA treats supplements as being in the “food” category of its food and drug purview. This means that supplements pass as “safe” unless they are proven otherwise. However, the FDA will challenge companies that make false claims for their produces.

This is the case for health food and for supplements. The recent Hampton Creek news story is one example of where the FDA has requested that a company change its naming approach. This is a relatively benign example and illustrates how the FDA offers guidance to companies. However, companies that make inaccurate claims for their products will face sterner challenges.

What Does This Mean For Supplement Providers?

Companies who make supplements with purported health benefits do not, strictly speaking, need FDA approval to do so. However, there is an issue of credibility involved in the sale of health foods. Without FDA approval, it is more difficult to widely sell a product with claims for health benefits. Health food stores and companies with a wide reach are naturally going to favor products with this credibility.

In order to gain approval, a provider will need to demonstrate the claims they make are accurate. It may sound impressive to claim that a product gives improved muscle mass in just a week. But if this claim is not provable, the company will not get FDA clearance to say it on the label. Without that clearance, the product is automatically less attractive in the marketplace.

For any company looking to sell foods or supplements with a range of health benefits, then, the choice is clear. You can shoot for the moon with bold claims about what the product will do. This will not be cleared by the FDA and will render your product more of a novelty item. Or you can research the benefits of your product and see what it really can do, and benefit from the regulator’s approval.

How Is That Working Out?

In truth, with the limits that exist on the FDA’s power in the food and supplement market, there is only so much it can do. Without the power to ban companies from making claims, or to take products off the shelves, it has less sway than may be ideal. It doesn’t take much time online to find companies selling treatments with outlandish claims. These can range from boasts about reversing the ageing process to boosting sexual prowess.

The FDA is not in a place to prevent these products from being sold nor to restrict the claims being made. What it does have power to do is withhold regulatory approval. This is why such products end up being advertised online in ways which most potential customers will distrust. People will still end up purchasing them, but in much reduced numbers than if they were widely stocked in stores.

For some people, this will naturally be viewed as disappointing. The truth of the matter is that in a free market, regulators will be limited in their scope. Giving them the power to take products off shelves or to dictate what someone can print on a label is difficult. Many people would see it as a restraint of free trade. So is it better that at least the FDA can have some sort of power to dictate credibility?

In the long run, the supplements that we come to trust are the ones which have been widely used and found credible. While some products will continue to be sold on the grounds of unsupported claims, their reach in the market is at least limited.

And what does all this mean for the consumer? Put simply, the decision is yours when it comes to choosing a supplement based on the claims of its manufacturers. We can choose to see for ourselves whether a product does what it says on the bottle. But when there is an option that has already been tested, why risk wasting time and money on something that may be a simple con?

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

Continue Reading
Comments

Health

Feeling the Pressure of Prescriptions? Read this Now!

Published

on

Prescription medicines

Healthcare costs have been rising at runaway rates for the past few decades. In 2018, Americans spent nearly $3.7 trillion on health care, reports Fortune Magazine. That’s more than the GDP of the United Kingdom, Mexico, Spain!

This is increasingly a big problem for a nation that now spends significantly more as a country, and per person, than any other developed economy. While lawmakers and society will have to figure out a way to control these skyrocketing sums, on the individual level, it’s important for everyone to do as much as they can to keep their own costs in check — without sacrificing the care they need.

It isn’t always easy. One area where we continue to see higher expense is on pharmaceuticals. More and more people are now taking prescription drugs. This is good in many ways. They allow people to live with less pain, fewer symptoms, better mobility, and so much more.

But it also means that so many people have to find a way to pay for their sometimes expensive prescriptions. This makes getting the right coverage and getting the best advice from doctors more important than ever.

Nobody wants to put their wallet ahead of their health. And with the right strategy, you can hopefully avoid ever facing such a difficult situation. Try this advice and you can likely find savings for years to come.

1. Go With Generic Medication

Pharma companies invest billions in research and development. This pays off greatly when they come up with a great new drug that is used by many people. But the patent on that pill only lasts so long. Once it expires, anyone can make the same medicine and this naturally cuts the price.

This means that you don’t need to pay more for the label. Many people prefer to pay more for the name they know. But in many cases, the generic is literally the exact same thing — just with a lower price tag. Talk to your doctor and see if you can find some savings by going generic.

2. Fill Your Script in Bulk

There can be extra costs for pharmaceuticals each time you fill a prescription. Specifically, you might be on the hook for a co-pay whenever you get a new bottle. So if you only get 30 pills at a time for the month, that means 12 extra charges per year. In some cases, you may be able to instead get 90 pills. Not only do you now pay just 4 times per year, but it saves you a lot hassle.

“Buying in bulk” can also pay off if you get larger doses in some cases. Certain pills can just be cut in half, so getting 30 pills of 20 mgs then splitting them at home is the equivalent of 60 pills of 10 mgs. Doing this effectively accomplishes the same result if your doctor is on board.

3. Understand Your Plan

The more you know about your healthcare coverage, the more you can benefit. A lot of plans allow people wider access to doctors and clinics than they realize — and at very low costs. All it takes is understanding your policy a bit better to take advantage.

Medicare is a great example. It has been around for so long, and most people have relatives or friends who use it. So they think they know what it does and does not cover. But the popularity and availability of supplemental coverage has grown significantly over the decades, with Medicare Part D becoming a particularly great option. Because it makes many prescription drugs free — for such a small extra premium — it is one of the best ways to protect your health and your bank account.

Great Health Anyone Can Afford

The right prescriptions can be a life saver. We have so many options and ways to treat our issues nowadays, and it really is amazing for anyone who is suffering or wants to prevent a disease from progressing.

But it sure does cost a lot. That’s why you need to be smart and employ strategies like going generic, filling your prescription in bulk, and really understanding all the benefits available in your plan. 

When it comes to medication, you want to get exactly what you need at the lowest possible cost. You can’t afford to make sacrifices to your health. And with a few simple tips, you really will be able to afford whatever you need.

Prev postNext post
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Health

Putting your health on the best hands

Published

on

healthcare doctor

Our background can affect our priorities in life. For example, some people want to travel while others prefer to stay at home with their love ones. But if there is something that everybody should always be a priority no matter what, it is our health. Our health should always be the most important aspect in our lives, therefore, we always need to prioritize having access to the best health services to look after it. 

Having access to the best health services

Health is one of the most important things in life. Becoming sick can have a detrimental effect on our lives, and, in severe cases, receiving the proper treatment as soon as possible can mark the difference between life and death. Therefore, when we sign for a health service, we need to make sure that we will have access to the best professionals in the sector and the best facilities. 

This also extends to health services when we travel abroad. Over the last decades, Marbella has become a popular holiday destination and a trendy place for expats to start a new life. This southern Spanish town seems to have everything you could wish for, including which is probably the best private clinic in the country. 

Spanish public health system may seem flawless sometimes, especially if we expect a quick response to our health problems. Therefore, checking out for a Marbella private clinic during your stay is, by far, the smarter option.

A private clinic that has become renown, not only in Marbella  but on the entire country, for the excellent quality of the services they provide is Excelan. 

Excelan was especially designed keeping the needs of foreign patients in mind. Their team will provide you with multilingual assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

But the services Excelan provides to their patients go way beyond the language. Excelan has its own fleet of private ambulances. Excelan has the latest models of ambulances to ensure safe, fast and comfortable transfers, all fully equipped with the latest technology to take care of the patient. A good example of Excelan being the smarter choice is that their ambulances are equipped with a hydro-pneumatic bench system (a system that absorbs the vibrations or sudden movements that could affect the vehicle while transferring the patient)  which can not be found in the public health service ambulances in the area. 

Excelan also incorporates the latest medical innovations. Their team of professional always keep up with the latest findings on the medical field. For example, Excelan’s doctors were pioneers in Spain on the Dr Hangover treatment.

And best of all, Excelan comes at a very affordable price. Excelan experts believe everybody should have access to the best medical services, so they provide the best treatments at a low price, all while keeping the higher quality standards.

Seeing a doctor at your own home

Visiting a doctor can be unpleasant sometimes. We need to travel to the doctor’s offices while being sick, and we often end up exposing ourselves to the illnesses of other patients. But Excelan Clinic offer their patients the services of the best GP doctor in Marbella.

Excelan offers the services of a GP doctor that will offer you whichever health services you need, wherever you need them. With a simple phone call, e-mail or whatsapp message, your doctor will visit you at your hotel, home, restaurant… The doctors are available 24/7, because your comfort and health should always comes first.

This option is especially recommended for tourists, since the staff is multilingual and this will help solving the possible language barriers. 

The professional team at Excelan has a lot of  experience and will make sure to give you a health service tailored to your needs. Because each patient is different and has different needs, opting out for a personalized service like the one provided by Excelan will always be the most intelligent option. 

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Health

Key Methods for Identifying Hospital Staff

Published

on

healthcare workers

In hospitals and other healthcare organisations, it’s vital that patients are able to identify members of staff. It’s also necessary for staff members to be able to identify each other and their roles. Different methods can be used to identify staff so that the people who need to know who they are can easily recognize them. Employees can use lots of visual cues that tell people about their role, their name, and which hospital they work for. These are some of the ways you can make sure your staff members are easily recognizable to anyone who needs to know who they are.

Uniforms

Uniforms are a great way to identify the staff in a hospital and to distinguish between people working in different roles. They are essential in hospitals for hygiene purposes, but they also serve an important purpose when it comes to making employees recognizable and trustworthy. Different uniforms help your staff to see who works in what role, and this can also be useful for patients, especially those who are staying long-term. Using different colors, patterns, and designs for different roles is helpful. You might also have logos or extra information printed or embroidered onto uniforms to provide further help.

Name Badges

It’s not just roles that are important for patients and staff members to know. People should also be able to identify employees at a hospital by name. Name badges are an easy way to do this, putting names and roles in a visible place. Name badges should be easy to clean so that they can be wiped clean regularly. They might not always be appropriate to wear, but it depends on the environment and the duties of the person. Although name badges can be a quick way to identify someone, they shouldn’t replace employees introducing themselves.

Official ID for Security

Security is another reason staff members may need to identify themselves. They will need to show identification when they enter the hospital and will likely need to use it to access certain areas of the hospital. When you provide ID for hospital staff, you also need to offer solutions for carrying and displaying it. A lanyard can make it easy for a member of staff to have their ID visible at all times. Some people might prefer to pin or clip their IDs to their clothing instead, especially if they don’t want to have something hanging around their neck.

Identifying Information

It can also be useful to provide information that helps patients to identify staff members. This could include providing materials that tell them how to identify people in different roles. You can provide them with a guide to what doctors, nurses, and other members of staff wear. It’s also helpful to explain what different roles mean. It’s not very useful for a patient to know which uniform a phlebotomist wears if they don’t know what a phlebotomist does.

Help your patients to identify hospital staff and your employees to identify each other by providing visual cues and useful information.

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Trending