Canadian Doctors don’t want to Prescribe Medical Marijuana and Pharmacists don’t want to Dispense It

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 15th, 2013

Week in Review

Americans love Canada when it comes to health care.  And drugs.  Because in Canada they have single-payer health care.  And medical marijuana.  However, while they do have medical marijuana the drug is still illegal unless you have a medical condition.  And a prescription.  Something simpler said than done (see Need medical marijuana? You’ll have to get it by mail by The Canadian Press posted 6/10/2013 on CBC News).

Pharmacists and physicians alike questioned the lack of research into medical marijuana.

In December, the president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Anna Reid, described the proposed marijuana rules as “akin to asking doctors to write prescriptions while blindfolded.”

She said the government was dumping the responsibility for medical marijuana onto doctors.

“Not only does prescribing drugs that haven’t been clinically tested fly in the face of medical training and ethics, but marijuana’s potential benefits and adverse effects have not been rigorously tested…”

“There is little information available on safety, effectiveness, dosage, drug interactions or long-term health risks,” the association said in its letter to Health Canada.

“Pharmacists, physicians and nurse practitioners need evidence-based information to support safe and effective prescribing and dispensing of (medical marijuana).”

The association said it didn’t know how many pharmacies would be willing to participate a revamped system.

“While the distribution process would be regulated, there remains the concern with pharmacists dispensing a product that does not have adequate safety and effectiveness evidence. In addition, the potential security risks to pharmacies due to robberies would need to be considered.”

Apparently marijuana is not everything some would have you believe it is.  While it takes years of studies and clinical trials to bring a new drug onto the market this hasn’t happened with medical marijuana.  They say it has medicinal benefits but unlike EVERY OTHER DRUG brought to market there are no studies showing this.  Which is why doctors don’t want to write prescriptions for it.  For what will they write?  Smoke two-thirds of a joint twice daily?  Take three bong hits daily?  What will people do with the other third of that joint?  Or with the bong after three hits?  Snuff them out and through away the unused portion?  Yeah, like a pot smoker would do that.

Is it medicine?  Well, if it is it is the first one ever that people really want to take.  And look forward to their medicine time.  Which kind of tells us it’s not medicine.  People want it to get high.  Yes, some may actually ameliorate their medical symptoms by using it but the vast majority of people just want to get high.  Which is why pharmacists don’t want to dispense it.  Because having a large quantity of it in their pharmacies will only attract the criminal element.  Who will want to break in and steal it.  So they can sell it to those who want to get high.

At best it’s like taking a shot of bourbon every night for medicinal purposes.  No doctor will want to prescribe that.  Because there are a whole lot of bad things that can follow by having a drink every night.   Especially if someone is on medication that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol.  For which there is a lot of medical research available.  And if there was medical research available on medical marijuana it could very well be just as dangerous in the long run.  Even if people only consume it for medicinal purposes.

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People attack Pharmaceuticals and can’t Understand why they Get Out of the Drug-Making Business

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 21st, 2013

Week in Review

Everyone hates the pharmaceuticals.  Because they don’t make life-saving drugs cheap enough.  And they don’t bring them to market quickly enough.  But when people need a new antibiotic that can take on a superbug who do they come running to?  Those evil and vile pharmaceuticals.  And they beg them to do what no one else can.  Save lives by bringing new drugs to market.  Of course when they do rush a drug to market and it hurts some people then everyone hates the pharmaceuticals.  For not taking the time to make sure the drug was safe before rushing it to market.  Just to make a buck.

Pharmaceuticals just can’t win.  They’re damned if they do.  And damned if they don’t.  It’s a wonder any of them stay in the business (see Antibiotic progress on superbugs called ‘alarmingly slow’ posted 4/21/2013 on CBC News).

Both biological and economic factors hinder the development of new antibiotics, Murray said. Yet new drugs are needed for resistant infections that continue to increase in frequency, causing significant illness and mortality, the society noted…

Wright’s team has some promising leads on potential antibiotics, but they can’t find a drug company willing to spend the money to get the drugs to market.

“Funding is the challenging thing,” Wright lamented.

The infectious disease society found that most of the large drug companies have left the antibiotic business. The group has proposed tax credits to encourage the remaining pharmaceutical companies to conduct the expensive clinical trials needed to test antibiotic candidates…

“One would like to think that the pharmaceutical industry has motives in mind that are to benefit health care and human kind in general. Sadly, I think their bottom line is a business,” said Simor, who has no shares or interest in the pharmaceutical industry.

Expensive clinical trials?  What, you mean they weren’t lying when they say it takes a lot of money to bring a new drug to market?  If so why are we always accusing them of charging too much for their drugs?  I mean, someone has to pay for all of those lawsuits.  As well as those clinical trials.  And there is only one thing that can.  The price per pill.

Yes, they are more concerned about their bottom line than benefitting human kind.  Because they can’t force their highly skilled people to work for free.  Most countries have labor laws against that sort of thing.  And because they have to pay for these people years before they can sell any drugs they are working on someone has to pay them in the mean time.  And these people are investors.  Who take the risk of paying people for years of work even though what they’re working on may be nothing but a dead-end that produces no revenue.  Which happens a lot.  So the drugs that actually make it to market have to pay for themselves.  And all of those dead-ends.

Capitalism makes those miracle drugs possible.  And the proof of that is that they need these drug companies to bring these drugs to market.  For the state cannot.  Because the state doesn’t know anything about risk taking.  The only thing they know is how to raise taxes to pay for an inefficient bureaucracy.  While a private drug company knows how to get an investor to pay for an efficient business plan.  Capitalism brings new drugs to market.  And when you attack capitalism too much (higher taxes, more regulations, no relief from frivolous lawsuits, etc.) those who wish to make a profit may get out of the drug-making business.

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