Lansoprazole and Obama: The curious case of the undiagnosed acid reflux
Only last week, President of the United States, Barack Obama, was diagnosed with acid reflux after complaining about a persistent sore throat. Whilst he was most likely prescribed with a course of Lansoprazole, I was intrigued by his pathway to diagnosis.
You may be wondering why I am writing about President Obama’s undiagnosed bout of acid reflux. It is not the most newsworthy story, and doesn’t really say much about anything (other than the fact that he might have indulged a little too much over thanksgiving, which you can hardly blame him for!). At most it’s amusing and just a little bit silly.
I was, however, quite interested by the manner in which President Obama was diagnosed and subsequently treated in comparison to the pathway to medicines access for someone like you or me.
Let me outline it for you, if I may.
Whilst I would not personally complain with this level of healthcare, I would argue that for most, nay the majority of us, it is inconceivable. So what could you or I do if placed in a similar situation to President Obama, after hours with symptoms that just won’t go away?
Using an online pharmacy to order acid reflux medication“How? Why? Surely not!” you may proclaim. Well, fear not, it’s not as radical an idea as it sounds.
The aforementioned symptoms, such as sore throats, are commonly associated with Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). It is a condition that occurs sporadically in a healthy person, has no long term consequences and is commonly treated with a short course of Lansoprazole.
To use an online pharmacy is simple enough. Fill out a medical questionnaire relating to your symptoms. Once it is checked by the prescriber, your order will be dispatched to you, with next-day delivery always an option.
Compare this with the process involved in going to your GP for an acute condition such as Acid Reflux, or an acute migraine.
I need say no more.
President Obama clearly would not have contemplated going to a pharmacy, whether it be an online pharmacy or on the high street, for some advice on an acute condition. As I mentioned, not everyone has the luxury of having medical experts waiting for you hand on foot. You do, however, have a wealth of healthcare resources available to you. In fact, I would argue that for certain minor health issues such as a migraine, acid reflux, or a common cold, your access to diagnosis and medication is equal to that of President Obama. Okay maybe not quite equal, but most certainly improving. That being said, pharmacies are becoming increasingly accessible for a range of issues, and online pharmacies can provide next-day access to medicines. You are also doing your part by positively affecting the resource burden on the NHS.
The moral of the story? Take some responsibility for your own healthcare and it may go some way to helping you feel that little bit more presidential.