Latest headlines

Loading...

Are You Going to Use Finasteride for Hair Loss? Read This First

Sold in the market under the brand names Propecia and Proscar, finasteride is a medication that is intended to treat people who are suffering from hair loss.  In the early days, finasteride was just like other medications that were originally used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer. It turns out that patients who took finasteride for their prostate-related issues had experienced great results with it, along with a surprising bonus, and that is, the growth of hair.

Finasteride actually works by means of inhibiting or stopping type II 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting the hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT, in turn, is the one responsible for losing one’s hair, resulting to baldness if not remedied.  Thus, simply put, the action of finasteride is to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and the end result would be the prevention of hair loss. This “favorable side effect” of preventing hair loss and promoting growth of new hair by finasteride is what made it famous in the pharmaceutical world, not by its primary use which is for treating benign prostatic hypertrophy and other prostate-related ailments. Read more…

David Caplan aims for better, cheapter healthcare

It's been said that the Canadian model of healthcare insurance promises three things: high-quality care, for everyone, quickly. Reality falls short of the promise, of course. As the saying goes: pick two.

But David Caplan (left), the man selected to follow the controversial George Smitherman as health minister of Ontario a year ago this month, intends to make good on that promise. Universal coverage is a given, of course, but as for quality and efficiency -- well, let's just say that Canada is no Andorra. Maintaining a high level of quality has in some cases meant reduced access and longer wait times, and it's likewise assumed that providing all patients with family physicians (and the enviable same-day access patients in some other countries get) would compromise doctors' ability to give patients sufficient attention and deliver appropriate care.

Complicating matters is the fact that the rate at which governments' health spending has been increasing has outstripped growth in GDP for years, and seems likely to do so for years to come.

Mr Caplan's ambitious goal as health minister is to turn that move beyond the quality/wait-times binary and to save money in the process.

He explained his thinking to me in a long interview for the June issue of Parkhurst Exchange magazine:

"What I want to do is raise the quality of the healthcare experience, of healthcare service, because all of the literature I've read says that when you increase quality you increase efficiency and you increase sustainability and cost-effectiveness. That's the real way. The mistake I think governments have made in the past is they've tried to contain costs first and what you've seen is a degradation of quality. If you raise quality, and that's the goal, almost by definition it will logically follow that cost-effectiveness will result."
Read the full Q&A on the Parkhurst Exchange website, for more on health policy as well as a discussion of following in his mother's footsteps as health minister of Ontario, the decline and future of solo practice, Mr Caplan's struggles with his weight and smoking addiction, and more.

Get Canadian Medicine news by email or in an RSS reader

1 comments:

  1. Rositta6 July, 2009 10:01 PM

    David Caplan is the most inept minister of health ever and I doubt he got the position based on ability.

    Delete