If you don't think that charging drug prices for fish oil is wrong, take a look at a letter from an angry Heart Scan Blog reader
Hello Dr. Davis,
My 44 year old brother had an MI [myocardial infarction, or heart attack] in June. He got pushed around due to "bad government insurance," a state-run program for the "uninsured": government pays 1/3, job pays 1/3, and individual pays 1/3.
What they didn't tell him is that there is no major medical coverage and little to no prescription coverage. We fought for 4 months to get him open heart surgery that the insurance was not going to pay for.
Now, with no assistance, terrible insurance, and no disability he has little to no income. He is a heavy equipment mechanic and is trying to be the "good American"-- take care of his bills, not file bankruptcy, etc.
Anyway, the doctors never seem to pay attention to what they prescribe. Lipitor was not working for him, due to side effects. Now they want to give him Zetia and Lovaza....Zetia at $114, and Lovoza is $169.85! Wow! For dead fish?? I think this is a little fishy! I looked up Lovaza, gee how nice, they will give you a $20 coupon....
Forget it, he can't afford this stuff. So I am enrolling in the Zetia program for him. And trying to get him OTC [over-the-counter] fish oil. The most prevalent fish oil around here (that I take myself is) Omega 3 Fish Oil that has EPA 410mg, DHA 274.
Thanks for your blog. It made me feel better that I wasn't the only one outraged by this stuff. I 've been a nurse for 20 years and it just never seems to get better. Thank you for your wisdom.
Sincerely JP, Tennessee
Had this reader not been aware that her brother could take fish oil as a nutritional supplement, he likely would have been denied the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids in slashing the risk for recurrent cardiovascular events. You and I can buy wonderfully safe and effective fish oil as a nutritional supplement, but there won't be a sexy drug representative to sell it, nor an expensive dinner and payment for a trip to Orlando to hear about it.