I had a patient yesterday tell me
that he wasn’t sure if I had a deal going with the pharmacies, just
because I told him to shop around to find a cheaper price for a private
script.

Then again, can you blame him? Sitting in my room at the
moment I can count several different pieces of advertising – on pens,
clocks, mugs, my thermometer, my calendar. Not to mention my software,
which is riddled with ads.

The major medical software company Medical Director (for all our note
writing and prescribing) – which boasts 85% of the market – is
significantly more expensive for a version without advertising. Hence
most practices are faced with full page ads when they load up the
system, which have to be clicked on to send them away and have little
ads all the time, and full page ads every time you go to prescribe that
don’t go away till you have printed it.

The
difference in cost can get up to thousands of dollars to upgrade or
change to a new program, so most practices would use the version with
ads. Apparently a new version of Medical Director will not have full
screen pop ups, but it’s more expensive and the company has not been
specific as to whether any ads will remain.

And some medical
software programs don’t have the ability to prescribe without using the
brand name for a drug, meaning that you are forced to pick one and even
if there’s a cheaper option, some patients will not want to change from
what is written or are not sure that the medication is the same –
Medical Director does let you write out generic scripts; another
program, Med Tech, doesn’t.

Peter Fray

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