Letters to the editor

Jun. 25, 2013 @ 03:50 PM

Pink slip for NSA

Regardless of what you think of Edward Snowden's actions in disclosing the existence of a massive surveillance state operated by the U.S. National Security Agency, events of the past few days should give one pause.

We knew where he was. We had a good idea of where he was going. 

Presumably the whole CIA/NSA/DoD/ADHS apparatus was after him. And he

just -- disappears.

This isn't as hard as identifying unknown terrorists. This is keeping track of one person whose appearance and identity are known. What are we spending hundreds of billions of dollars for every year, anyway?  

They couldn't stop the Boston bombers. They were taken by surprise by the Arab Spring. And now, a person they are trying desperately to get ahold of just disappears. These buffoons deserve a pink slip.  I want my money back.

Jim Senter

Rougemont

Don’t restrict mental health meds

In regards to the proposed Senate budget bill requiring prior authorizations for all psychiatric medications for consumers with Medicaid benefits, access to mental health medications is in jeopardy in North Carolina.  Evidence shows that imposing obstacles such as prior authorization for patients to access medication will not lower costs and will certainly not improve the possibilities for recovery.

Staying on prescribed medications is probably the most important factor that allows people to recover and contribute to society.  Making it more difficult to obtain medications moves medical practice backwards and adversely affects mental health patients.

Newer medications are often safer and more tolerable than older medications. As a result, consumers are more apt to take them, decreasing their overall rate of relapse.  Medication compliance also results in fewer emergency room visits, hospitalizations, homelessness, and violence resulting in incarceration.

A previous analysis of a prescription drug prior authorization program has demonstrated that more than 95 percent of prior authorizations resulted in an approval of the originally prescribed medication, making the entire process not cost-effective.

Mental health consumers who have Medicaid benefits deserve to have access to the same safe and tolerable level of care available to others in order to have the same chance of recovery.

Dr. Bryce Reynolds

Community sector psychiatrist

Durham