Posted on September 22, 2009 at 1:57 PM
Have our medicines entered the Big Brother era? At least one medicine developed by Novartis is being tested to be able to have the ability to remind us when we have forgotten to take our next dose of our chronic disease medicine so that we keep up our blood levels of our blood pressure medication, says the Wall Street Health Blog.
How can this be a bad thing? The tiny little microchip inside the medication would monitor one’s blood level and when it slips too low it sends a message to the patient saying, “Hey dude, time to take your medication!” It’s efficient, simple, and could potentially save your life. No complaints here, right?
Wrong! This invades patient’s privacy and a patient’s right to be delinquent taking medication and screwing up their dosing. It makes it much more difficult for patients to ignore doses or to say, “If I don’t want to take medication, I don’t have to” with a microchip inside their body beaming out text messages to a device annoying them all the time. Particularly if that device can send its data to their physician or worse yet to their insurance company reporting them as a non-compliant patient.
But isn’t that the point? To motivate patients to be compliant? Personally, I think the more we can do to encourage chronic disease management that actually works and compliance with long-term dosing regimens that work, the better.
If this drug can actually do what it promises, I hope they make more of them.
Summer Johnson, PhD