Friday, February 27, 2015

Cost of the French health care system

The French healthcare system is second to none....but I sometimes ask myself at what cost. Occasionally discussions are raised about the issue of over-prescribing but the pharmaceutical industry and retail chemists appear to oppose any form of prescribing related to actual need. I will give you a small example.

After two recent cataract operations, my opthalmologist advised me that if my eyes felt tired after, say prolonged reading or time in front of my computer screen, I could use eye drops. She then wrote a precription for one month's supply, renewable 12 times.

When I took the prescription to the pharmacy even the people waiting behind me gasped as the chemist handed me 20 boxes, each containing a number of individual dosage phials, for use three times a day x both eyes. I asked 'Are these for the whole year?'. 'No' he replied, 'Just for January' ! I have used the drops occasionally just when necessary and by the end of February still have 19.99 packets left. This is a crazy waste of money, as the assumption is I would be using 6 x 365 = 2190 doses over one year!