Government Cracking Down on Unnecessary Prescriptions and Tests

Government Cracking Down on Unnecessary Prescriptions and Tests

Quebec City (Quebec) 6 May 2015 – The Québec Liberal government has decided to crack down on the number of prescriptions doctors hand out over the course of a year. Health Minister Gaétan Barrette predicts the government could save at the very least $150 million annually.

The problem, the minister claims, is that doctors quite often prescribe medication and testing that is not necessary. For example, cholesterol medication is often prescribed for other things other than cholesterol. The drug can sometimes be recommended for patients who do not suffer from cholesterol but, is prescribed by a doctor as a precautionary measure to prevent blood clots and or heart ailments.

The minister claims the government could probably save even more by restricting the use of certain other drugs at the same time; things like drugs prescribed for reflux problems and chronic obtrusive lung disease where doctors’ over prescribe as a preventive measure.

There is also a question of reducing the number of blood tests that people get on a regular basis. According to the minister, there is a lot of over-prescribing and extra preventive practices that are most of the time unnecessary.  Although the government has decided upon saving $150 million, the minister claims they could probably save up to $650 million a year if the recommendations are followed to the letter.

The minister is expecting a strong resistance from doctors concerning the new guidelines including the patient quota strategy.

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