Pathologists must love the rat poison. I've just become an unpaid lobbyist for a pharmaceutical company and how the pathologists must be worrying about it. After years of taking Warfarin to thin my blood I've moved on to some new fangled drug called Pradaxa, that's being provided free-of-charge via my GP, that apparently does the same kind of thing as my daily dose of rat poison. The big advantage for me is that I don't need to go and have a monthly blood test to check something called my INR levels so I hope that by the time the free trial runs out next June Pradaxa is covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme.

The pathologists will surely be hoping otherwise for conducting hundreds of thousands of blood tests each month on Warfarin users must be a nice little earn bulk-billed as it is to Medicare. Not that the economics are as clear cut as they might seem which is why the German manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim has gone to the expense of providing thousands of free doses. Clearly the Pradaxa team hopes that users like me will help persuade the health bureaucrats that paying for a new drug that's 10 times as expensive as the old one (before adjusting for the saving from pathology testing) is worthwhile.