I Don’t Know Who’s More Insane…

…the patients or the doctor who has suggested this:

The NHS should consider paying patients with severe mental illness to take their medication, a leading expert has said, after a study showed that offering “modest financial incentives” significantly improved adherence to antipsychotic treatments.

Well, I won’t stop you from sticking your hands in your own pockets, doc.

But you aren’t that mad, are you?

Professor Priebe said that many “mainstream methods” of improving adherence to mental health treatments had failed and alternatives needed to be explored.

“In lots of areas of medicine it doesn’t make too much difference if a patient misses a certain proportion of prescribed medicine,” he said.

“However, among patients with severe mental illness, just missing one or two doses of antipsychotic drugs poses a high risk of relapse. In these circumstances a relapse can be very difficult; involving re-hospitalisation and highly distressing symptoms for both patients and their carers.”

Not to mention innocent members of the public, but why should the NHS care about them?

However, the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind, said that financial incentives were inappropriate

Well, hurrah!

Oh. Wait.

… because they might influence a patient’s decision to consent to a long-term drug treatment or not.

Well, of course, their concern is for the potentially-dangerous.

Alison Cobb, the charity’s senior policy and campaigns officer, said: “Making a decision about whether or not to take medication should be based on the efficacy of the drug, rather than a monetary incentive. People with mental health problems are more likely to experience debt and unemployment; and rely on support from benefits, so the ‘modest’ incentive offered within this study could be enough to influence their decision.

“Antipsychotic drugs are known to have a range of potentially serious adverse affects, so should only be taken when the benefits outweigh the side effects, and not because there is a financial reward involved,” she added.

There’s the other alternative, Alison – locked wards. Shall we go back to that instead?

3 comments for “I Don’t Know Who’s More Insane…

  1. October 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    One can’t help but wonder if this is a Big Pharma-driven incentive to the NHS.

    People needing psychotropes then not taking them was a concern of those who objected to ‘care in the community’ 20+ years ago. There are loads of patients who do not want to take necessary medication, and money won’t solve the problem (comments on the Independent article cited attest to this).

    On the other hand, psychotropes can produce additional psychological or physical maladies. This is another reason why those prescribed them do not wish to take them.

    A friend of mine who has been on a particular antidepressant developed severe anaemia which took a year and a half to control. The tablet she takes produces that side effect.

    I read of a case online where a woman had violent reactions in her sleep when taking another kind of psychotrope. One night she punched her husband in the eye and had no memory of it. It scared both of them.

    Even doctors don’t know all the side effects of psychotropes, some of which are rather new to the market.

    The woman from Mind — Alison Cobb — is right to emphasise the efficacy of the drug rather than a cash incentive. This isn’t like prescribing pain relief; it’s much more complex than that.

  2. October 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Paying patients to take medicine. Fits the current times.

  3. Matt
    November 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Well, if they REALLY believe in all the smoking claptrap they purvey then there would seem to be an obvious answer. Simply add nicotine to the medication and the patients would all become heavily addicted to it. Problem solved.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot… nicotine is only highly addictive when not prescribed by the NHS. Witch doctors are starting to appear positively mainstream when compared to this lot.

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