This looks at a story on blood pressure medications and why do I bring this is up? We don’t prescribe medications, at least general nurses don’t, nurse practitioners do but why do we need to know the differences between generic and brand name medications? This is an ongoing issue and as every nation in the world struggles with dealing with the increased cost of providing high quality medical care to our patients. Why aren’t we looking more closely at previous treatment modalities? Medications that are very inexpensive and are inexpensive to duplicate, to replicate, to provides, easy for the patients to manage with a well-known profile of side effects and issues that we can document and keep track of very easily rather than new medications that have a less proven track record that may or may not cause and extended life of the patient.

So, why do we- we need to look at those kinds of studies and do that kind of research and this particular study that I found here over at medicine net.com looks at dealing with patients with a history of hypertension and dividing that patient group up and giving some of them a standard, easily available generic diuretic medication that has been used for years to treat high blood pressure and also another group of patients giving them a rather new ACE inhibitor or rather new calcium channel blocker and looking at how that high blood pressure is being treated using those particular medications.

So, they had 33,000 people in this study and they looked at these patients and how they responded overtime. This study came out- began in 2002 and they followed up with these patients over 4 and 8 years and discovered that the diuretic was better than the calcium channel blocker in preventing heart failure and better than the ACE inhibitor in preventing onsets of stroke, heart failure and overall cardiovascular disease and that’s significant. We’re talking about a  20% higher death rate for tyhe ACE inhibitor group and a 12% higher rate of hospitalization and death in the calcium channel blocker group. Significant changes are differences in how these patients were managed when they were put on just a diuretic versus the more expensive, newer, brand-name medications.

So, we should be doing more studies like this because if the old medication is working fine, either similar effect in this or in this caase had a better patient morbidity and mortality profile then we should probably be doing more studies like this much more frequently because it just doesn’t make sense to go ahead and continually make new drugs that overtime were shown not to be that effective in treating the patients and yet caused increased expense to the entire health care system.

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This article has been featured in the news segment of the Nursing Show podcast episode Psychological Assessment and Episode 145.

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