A Thin Line Between Frustration and Progress in Obesity Care
A thin line between frustration and progress in obesity care is apparent in the reaction to a new analysis of obesity care patterns published this week by MedScape. On one hand, you can see that even in patients with clear medical needs, 35% of primary care physicians say that they never prescribe obesity medications. Sam Klein, a former president of the Obesity Society reacted to these finding by saying:
To me, the most striking observation from the survey is that it demonstrates a considerable knowledge gap in the indications, efficacy, and safety of currently FDA-approved drugs for obesity that affect prescribing these medications.
On the other hand, numerous top experts saw progress in these observations. Said Ken Fujioka:
Believe it or not this is improvement and appears to indicate more healthcare providers are treating obesity. I know it looks dismal, but things are moving in the right direction.
Donna Ryan echoed Fujioka, saying, “The good news is that there seems to be some movement in physicians’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors around obesity.”
So maybe these observations are encouraging and maybe they’re frustrating. In truth, they offer plenty of reasons for both reactions. When MedScape asked healthcare professionals about the biggest unmet need in obesity, they said they need “patients willing to follow my plan for them.” The need for more effective treatment options was a distant second.
It says a lot when professionals have convinced themselves that the patient, not the disease, represents the biggest problem.
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March 31, 2016