poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Aug. 18, 2009 . Time: 8:27 a.m.

macular degeneration Entry:

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macular degeneration

I discovered this tidbit on CNN this morning. Basically, there was a rumor that macular degeneration would not be covered until a person lost sight in one eye. It piqued my interest because my Dad suffers from macular degeneration. Anyway, the article goes on to reassure the reader that this is nonsense and this rumor was formed because of something that happened in the UK. Apparently, in this country, people actually were denied an expensive but apparently effective treatment for MD. Another article.

Three UK patients headed to court challenging their NHS trust to pay for the treatement of Lucentis, a sight-saving drug for wet macular degeneration. The court case came after Warwickshire health bosses made “difficult decisions” not to fund Lucentis, basing their decision on the cost of the drug. With macular degeneration being the leading cause of blindness in the UK, and the cost of treatment with Lucentis being estimated at approximately 21,000 pounds per patient over a two-year course of treatment, the NHS trust justified denying the patients coverage for the sight-saving drugh.

My Dad has injections every few months for his treatment. Apparently they cost thousands of dollars every time. (10K springs to mind, but I can't remember the exact amount.) His opinion on the subject is that these injections are fantastic because they have reversed all the problems he was having with his sight, but they are crazily expensive. In fact he proposed that perhaps Medicare shouldn't cover them. And this is the rub - if you want to keep costs down as they do in Europe, you consider things like letting people lose sight in one eye before covering expensive treatments. After all, they're already in their 70s. Do they really need to see anymore? In this case, obviously the government lost their case and the expensive treatment was covered. However, I really feel things work differently in the US, and people expect the treatment that *might* help them to be covered no matter what their age or what the cost if they are insured or covered by Medicare. It's almost part of our culture.

I really feel like I haven't heard anything substantial from Obama on reducing cost. We'll see how things shake out.

8:27 a.m. - Aug. 18, 2009

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starving Afghan women legally

What is the matter with Afghanistan and Afghan men? And why is the protest over the way women are treated in so many parts of the world so muted compared to say the protests against apartheid in South Africa?

1:48 p.m. - Aug. 17, 2009

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crush me

This song, Crush Me by Go Periscope, rocks my socks off. The song starts at about 50 seconds in the video.

12:32 p.m. - Aug. 17, 2009

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percent

I don't necessarily agree with this guy that we should spend more of our GDP on healthcare, but he certainly offers some food for thought.

8:59 a.m. - Aug. 17, 2009

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