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Va And Two Different Opinions

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I recently moved to a FLorida from Georgia and something funny or not right happened to me. My VA doc in Georgia put me on several meds one of which is for High Blood Pressure and my civilian Doc (specialist) put me on several meds for my prostate. When I saw my VA doc in Florida several weeks ago for the first time, he/she took me off several meds the VA doc in GA prescribed me and he took me off several meds my civilian doc (specialist) had me on. I don't know who to beleive, my civilian doc here want me back on my meds however the VA doc is saying no. What the heck is going on and what should I do? please help...


August 1990 - October 2010... 20 yrs, 2 months and 2 days exact....

Mathew 18:20 KJV

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

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Off the cuff, it's your health, so it's really your decision whether or not you take specific medications or not.

One of the fun things about contemporary medicine is that you're your own best and often best informed advocate - something like how we should all be addressing our claims with the VA, for instance. Research your conditions on your own and decide what you need. MyHealtheVet has a search feature. I like www.nih.gov myself. My wife and I often joke between ourselves that we shouldn't have wasted our early years in the service or working but pursued multiple degrees in medicine, law, accounting, etc so that we'd be prepared to address all the needs of our current times...because you can't always trust the professional and always need to follow up on whatever recommendation or course of action a professional thinks is appropriate in your case.

Meanwhile, your current VA doc has the opportunity to agree or disagree with specific treatments offered by other doctors based on what he or she is seeing as well as that doctor's experience, etc. So they don't have to keep you on the same medications. But, if you think you need them based on what you know about yourself and your conditions, then remain on them but you'll have to find another source to pay for them other than the VA.

Another option is to request a different primary care provider at your new VAMC. Again, you are your own best advocate. If you think any of your doctors are off their proverbial rocker, seek out a different one. There should be a procedure to do that through the VAMC. If you run into difficulty, do not hesitate to contact the VAMC patient advocate office and ask for assistance.

Your life is precious if for no other reason than Whom gave it to you and sustains it. Don't let a half-baked doctor put you on or take you off medications without you understanding what's going on.

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WELL SAID TiredCoastie!

This was superb advise.

It is possible that one of the docs saw 2 or more meds had been contraindicated by some other med (s) and dropped some meds for that reason but then again, ....

if I were you I sure would follow Tired Coastie's excellent advise here.

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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Under most circumstances, "less" medication is better than too much, especially if you are doing as well or better on less meds. You never want to take medications unnecessarily so, and your situation, such as your blood pressure, may have improved to the point you no longer need meds for it. I also agree with the others.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

When you look at a complex drug treatment package - - -

I'd trust a board certified specialist's treatment over a VA PCP.

When a conflict occurs, I ask/tell the VA PCP that they are not

the primary and treating physician, the specialist is. Their function

is to approve or disapprove the VA supplying the drug.

Changing any of the drugs without consulting

the specialist, without informing me beforehand is a big no no.

Having said that, I found that the VA often favours alternate drugs due solely to cost,

even when the preferred drugs are on the VA's "list". I have, in the past, seen internal paper

from the VA pharmacy directing PCPs to use certain alternative drugs, unless they can make a case otherwise.

There is some rather vague language in the reams of VA paper that say that the VA

must supply the drug if it's on the list, and is not contraindicated.

Evidently cost is an over riding issue, much as it is with some insurance companies.

There can be a big difference between individual VA PCPs in what they are willing to prescribe for the same conditions.

As to why, your guess is as good as mine.

At my last visit, the VA PCP gave me a long spiel about him changing one of the pills

the VA has been supplying for a decade. Originally, my non VA cardiologist had prescribed

a slightly more effective drug (Much higher cost, and not on the VA's "list").

The drug recently went generic, so the VA put it on the "list", and is now recommending it's use.

The side effects are similar for both, and so forth. Want to bet that the generic version is less expensive than

the generic alternative the VA originally supplied?

Edited by Chuck75
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