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Hepatitis B patient. Prescribed medicines which are quite expensive. What to do?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
Hepatitis B patient.
No particular symptom now.
I was prescribed a new very effective medicine.
The doctor told me that it is a new drug and very effective but if once I start taking it you can not stop taking it all your life. If you do, you will have a serious problem. I checked at the hospitals drug store. To my great surprise I was told it will cost 3 to 4 thousand dollar per month. Question: I felt that the doctor is irresponsible and even unethical to recommend patient to take such extra expensive new drug just saying if you once start taking it you can not stop it. My doctor in other location of the same organization was always considerate but I was shocked and disappointed. Am I wrong? Doctors often interface with patients like this? Am I wrong? If so, what was wrong?
Posted Sat, 3 Aug 2013 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 2 hours later

Yes, your doctor was irrational in the choice of the relevant drug for you. This is unethical. Before the doctor starts the patient on any drug, the cost, risk-benefit ratio, potential outcome of the drug use, the willingness of the patient to take the medicine et al needs to be verified and agreed upon both the treating doctor and the patient.

If you have not started taking the drug, then please do not take it now.

You must have been prescribed the newer antiviral like Tenofovir, entecavir, or adefovir. I am not sure of the drug. However, these drugs are costly; they run in thousands of dollars.

There is a reason for your shock and disappointment. I am sorry about it.

You are not wrong. Doctors rarely do such things with patients.

I hope I am clear to you.

Take care!
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