Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Physician identifiers and Pharma marketing

After receiving the umpteenth mailing from a prescription benefit manager (PBM) at my home regarding a patient medication issue, I finally took the time to write one of the managers responsible. Getting these at home drives me crazy. The misuse of my DEA makes me crazier!

Some info: I never use my home address in any patient related matters. The only reason the PBM's have it is because they use my DEA registration address. Why? Because that's how they track my prescribing, even for non-DEA schedule medications. Today's mailing was about a beta blocker, and they list my 'prescriber number' which conveniently is identical to my DEA. What a completely wrong and market (not patient) driven problem.

The FDA, DEA and multiple medical organizations have weighed in against this misuse of DEA numbers. There are great alternatives (like the pharma driven National Provider Identifier), but pharma is slow to adopt them. Why change when the old system works fine for them? Who cares if your number is stolen so easily. Narcotic abuse? - not our problem.

I just wish Pharma wasn't so friggen mercenary about this. All their talk about "best for patients" is complete bullsh*t when seen in the light of their marketing behaviors. And to top it all off is the conversation I have with pharmacists who are likewise stuck in the middle between the patient and their PBM - "I'm sorry doctor but the insurer won't pay for the medicine without your DEA number." This for a diphenhydramine prescription - an over the counter anti-histamine. And if I don't cough up my DEA the patient hears "your doctor didn't approve it."

Damn right I don't approve it.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Let the record show...

That while Prince Charles was in town celebrating the Academy's 150th, I was watching Penn - St Joe at the Palestra. You can take the boy out of Kentucky but you can't take the basketball out of the boy.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007

Finishing 06 the right way

So; Philly gets to keep the picture after the extortion game played by Bob Barchi and Jefferson's board. My town really stepped up to the plate on this one - true philly spirit at work.

My just completed nine day hiatus is just the thing for the mid-year recruiting/accreditation/holiday chaos that is my life in Winter. A few days in North Carolina with family, a few hours struggling to survive my son's driving (on I-95, in the rain, during rush hour, at night), and plenty of time to putter around the house and finish up some BIG work projects.

Not only that: I finished Tony Bourdain's new book The Nasty Bits. His commentary on the various chapters is real whipped cream on a satisfying collection of life's lessons. Sure, it's about the food on the surface, but in the end it's about Tony and his addiction to life. I'm just jealous that he's getting paid for it.

And the iggles pulled it off. Andy Reid's workmanlike affect may not inspire the same kind of loyalty as Knute Rockne, but it'll do, pig.

I even saw Rocky Balboa. What a great bookend to the break for anyone who loves Philadelphia and its spirit - and I do. I even teared up a few times at what is admittedly an average picture. Am I a sucker for sentimentality or what?