Human Exceptionalism

NHS Meltdown: Women and the Elderly Less Likely To Receive Heart Attack Drugs

Medical care in the UK keeps getting worse. Now, it turns out that thousands of heart attack victims received less than optimal treatment to prevent another infarction. From the story:

Thousands of women and older people who suffer heart attacks are dying unnecessarily because they are not being prescribed the gold standard treatment which could prevent another attack. One in five people who have had a heart attack in Britain do not receive all four drugs recommended to prevent a second, a study of 60,000 people have found.

Relevant to the Obamacare debate, many were elderly:

Lead author Prof Iain Squire, professor of cardiovascular medicine at University of Leicester and consultant at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, calculated that 2,000 out of the 5,000 deaths over the two year study period had been undertreated and ‘could potentially have been avoided’. He said: “The patients who are most likely to get undertreated are the elderly and females but they get incremental benefit for each drug they take so we should not be withholding these therapies based on age and gender alone.” People aged 65 to 74 were 20 per cent less likely to get all four drugs compared with those under 55; while people aged over 85 were three times less likely to get all four medicines.

Repeat after me: We do not want centralized cost benefit control over our medical system.