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NOWADAYS, IT’S VITAL to make sure all your
health-care providers, including your pharmacy,
have a list of all the drugs currently prescribed for
you by your various doctors.
Recently, my friend “Jack” told me his allergist
had prescribed an antibiotic for a problem he was
having. The doctor endorsed the drug’s use without
any negatives about its efficiency, and the pharmacist filled the prescription without any discussion of
possible interactions with other types of drugs.
Jack then began to wonder if any of the other
drugs he was taking could create a problem, as he
hadn’t been asked by his doctor or the pharmacist.
He called the doctor, who looked in Jack’s file to
check out the drugs he was using. On the list he
found a drug used to control high cholesterol. The
doctor apologized for the goof-up and told Jack not
to use the antibiotic because it might create liver
problems in combination with the cholesterol drug.
It turned out the doctor had been given a list of
Jack’s current medications some time ago, but he
had failed to check it when he wrote the prescription. The doctor defended his oversight by saying he
thought the pharmacy would have caught any such
contraindication from its list of Jack’s prescriptions.
But Jack hadn’t used his regular pharmacy. And
no one from the new pharmacy asked him if he was
using any cholesterol medications. Jack was understandably upset with the double error.
He told me he had learned several lessons.
• For starters, always ask questions before using
any new prescriptions.
• Make sure all of the medical personnel you deal
with have a current list of your medications. This is
particularly important if you’re traveling or happen
to not go to your regular doctor or pharmacy.
Everybody should know everything that you’re taking. Jack now carries a list of the prescriptions he uses
in his wallet and in his car, and saves a copy at home.
• Make sure to read the drug’s printed insert in
case there are any questions that need to be asked
and answered before using the drug.
The bottom line is that you should be proactive
in your own health care. When in doubt, check it out!
OUR NEW homeowners’
association board has
approved a change from
“own your own” to
“condo” status. The
owners in the complex
approved this move.
There’s an assessment to
fix some general plumbing, but also six units
need repiping to their
kitchens and bathrooms.
Do I have to pay for
that? Why I should pay
for anything done to
another person’s unit!
Long Beach, CA
WARD, review the
in your residence con-
tract. If those repairs are
connected to a pipeline
that you use or
share, you may be
should be able to
ask the board for
a look at a copy of
blueprints or the
matics of the
main line and
to be sure.
the board voted to con-
vert the units into con-
dos, they may have
decided that all such
charges are shared
equally, leaving you sub-
ject to their decision.
If either of these two
factors applies, and is
specified in your new
agreement, you must
share the burden as a
member of that homeowners association.
“Generation X,” particularly those born between
1965 and 1972, as the age group faces what could
be lower Social Security income, coupled with
fewer of them having a pension to back them up.
However, baby boomers, born between 1946
and 1964, are generally in better shape. The study
estimates that most people need 65 percent to 85
percent of their annual income in their working
years to stay secure in retirement. What is distressing is 43 percent of U.S. households are falling short
of that mark.
This is coupled wit h changes in
Social Security. The retirement
age for full benefits is estimated to
increase to 67 from the current
age of 65.
To make the situation more
difficult, many companies have done away
with costly corporate
pensions, which guarantee monthly income
for life, in favor of contributions to individual 401(k) plans,
have to oversee.
tell me people save
too little, unlike the
Much of the working-age population saves
very little outside their
pension plan, if they
even have one. C
A penny saved ... helps retirement
Retirement experts sadly report that statistics
show about half of all American families have put so
little into retirement savings that their retirement
years might spell “trouble” instead of “travel.”
A recent Boston College study is the latest research
I’ve seen suggesting households headed by working-age adults are poorly prepared for retirement.
The study says much of the problem can fall on
AMY CAN TRELL
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate.
His “Fight Back!” commentaries are heard daily on
the Jones Radio Network. For stations and times,
check the radio page at
© 2006 FIGH T BACK! INC. ALL RIGH TS RESERVED.
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