…the patients or the doctor who has suggested this:
The NHS should consider paying patients with severe mental illness to take their medication, a leading expert has said, after a study showed that offering “modest financial incentives” significantly improved adherence to antipsychotic treatments.
Well, I won’t stop you from sticking your hands in your own pockets, doc.
But you aren’t that mad, are you?
Professor Priebe said that many “mainstream methods” of improving adherence to mental health treatments had failed and alternatives needed to be explored.
“In lots of areas of medicine it doesn’t make too much difference if a patient misses a certain proportion of prescribed medicine,” he said.
“However, among patients with severe mental illness, just missing one or two doses of antipsychotic drugs poses a high risk of relapse. In these circumstances a relapse can be very difficult; involving re-hospitalisation and highly distressing symptoms for both patients and their carers.”
However, the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind, said that financial incentives were inappropriate …
… because they might influence a patient’s decision to consent to a long-term drug treatment or not.
Well, of course, their concern is for the potentially-dangerous.
Alison Cobb, the charity’s senior policy and campaigns officer, said: “Making a decision about whether or not to take medication should be based on the efficacy of the drug, rather than a monetary incentive. People with mental health problems are more likely to experience debt and unemployment; and rely on support from benefits, so the ‘modest’ incentive offered within this study could be enough to influence their decision.
“Antipsychotic drugs are known to have a range of potentially serious adverse affects, so should only be taken when the benefits outweigh the side effects, and not because there is a financial reward involved,” she added.
There’s the other alternative, Alison – locked wards. Shall we go back to that instead?