Volume 4, Issue 43
October 27, 2011
The bio-identical hormone
you don’t need
If you’ve read my newsletter for very long, you know that I’m a big fan of bio-identical hormones. I’ve seen some incredibly positive changes in people who need them and take them correctly. However, I recently came across a particular bio-identical hormone that I no longer recommend. Let me explain.
One of my patients, I'll call her Mary, was dealing with some postmenopausal hormone issues. She was complaining of vaginal and bladder irritation. And the bio-identical hormone cream I was prescribing for her wasn’t relieving the irritation. This isn’t all that unusual a problem. Sometimes creams don’t get the hormones to the needed spot as well as we’d like. So we actually have to put the hormones at the specific spot. If the need is internal, creams won’t work.
Mary then told me that her friend had the same problem. She cured the problem using a prescription vaginal suppository called Vagifem. She asked if I would be willing to give it to her. I looked it up and was pleased to see that it was a true bio-identical hormone. It wasn’t one of those nightmare synthetic creations doctors so often prescribe these days. So I gave her the prescription and sent her on her way.
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About three hours later, however, Mary calls me on the phone and complains, “I can't afford this. These things are $10 apiece!” I quickly looked it up and sure enough, although her pharmacy was over charging her, the cheapest price I could find online was in the order of $5- 6 per dose. Who would have guessed that a simple thing like a bio-identical hormone for which there is no patent would sell for so much? What’s that all about?
But I digress. On to the happy ending of this interesting story.
Normally, when my patients need vaginal estrogen, I just write them a prescription for the exact same hormone that’s in the Vagifem. Only instead of Vagifem, I have them get it at a compounding pharmacy for the whopping price of about 50 cents a dose. Of course, this is exactly what I did for Mary, and it worked like a charm.
Now I just can't get the whole incident out of my head. I was able to fix her problem for 50 cents a dose vs. $10 a dose. And they were the exact same treatment! It’s no wonder the nation is going broke paying for prescription medicines.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on bio-identical hormones or most drugs. The next time your doctor gives you a prescription for an expensive drug or hormone, make sure there’s not a less expensive way to go. This may require some research on your part – or a good alternative doctor. And oftentimes your pharmacist can help. Remember, you have to take responsibility for your own health – and that means staying on top of everything that goes into your body. You can usually save a lot of money if you just spend a little time and ask the right questions.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Copyright 2011 Soundview Publishing, LLC.
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