Myrios and their adverts on the tube

Myrios are running adverts on the London tube.

This company offers blood testing for various conditions. I am troubled by the evidence and practice of their testing.

 

“We always advise you visit your local pharmacist who will be able to recommend the right test based on your health concerns.”

They also say, in their FAQs,

“When should I get a test?
With all conditions, preventative medicine is key, so it is important to check your health and wellbeing periodically, especially if you feel or notice any changes.”

This is not only wrong, but misleading.

First of all, if you have symptoms ‘any changes’ – you don’t need a single blood test (and how would you choose which one?) but to discuss your symptoms with a doctor, who should work with you to decide what to do, which may not just involve blood tests – and it may not – but clinical examination or other interventions.

Second, the idea that we need a check of our ‘wellbeing periodically’ via one of their blood tests simply isn’t true. These tests are being offered as screening tests, and screening, as I keep on saying, is complicated, with pros and cons. The UK National Screening committee looks at each screening intervention and makes recommendations based on the evidence.

Then there is the problem of false reassurance. For example, testing for syphilis isn’t usally done in isolation – if there is a concern about a sexual infection, for example, multiple tests for many other pathogens are usually run.

And of course, there is the maddening problem of the NHS being left out to sort out results, as Myrios say “You should always speak to your doctor (GP) about your results.” This is very unfair. Normally, before any tests are done, the doctor explains the purpose of the tests and ensures they are done with the cost/benefit ratio is reasonable. Myrios are running tests as screening tests, without NHS approval for them being used as such, and then expect the NHS to deal with them.

It’s a bad deal for the NHS and for the people taking up the tests.

 

6 Responses to “Myrios and their adverts on the tube”

  1. anon April 2, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    I tried discussing symptoms with my GP who just said go away. Being practically housebound I was worried about vit D levels but they refuse to test. I was worried about some lumps and a bad back as well. Lumps dismissed as fat lumps with no testing. Back just ignored.

    Fortunately a consultant I was seeing for something else tested the lumps and chemo going well now.

    This is why companies such as Miryios thrive because some GPs refuse to do their job. Or dismiss you as being a hypocondiac.

  2. Euan April 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    @anon
    It’s always disappointing to hear about people who’ve had a bad experience with their GP. But I’d strongly encourage anyone who feels unhappy to visit their GP again or to go and see another one. You may get a different response visiting the same GP on a different day and most practices have several doctors.
    I’ve never seen any conspiracy amongst GPs to avoid investigating or treating folk – but companies like Myrios are leading people up the garden path with a partial service driven by the profit motive.

    Margaret – I think you have a rogue sentence fragment at the bottom of this post.

  3. Margaret McCartney
    margaretmccartney April 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    I’m sorry you’ve had bad consultations. Like Euan I’d suggest seeing a different GP or changing practice if you can’t. You can also complain and there will be a formal complaints procedure.
    I can’t think of anything worse, though, than for badly served patients to go down this route of private testing without proper discussion and examination.

  4. AD April 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    I agree entirely. The advert says you can test for diseases such as “stomach ulcer” and “gout” which is simply not true, as any doctor would know. (Being H pylori positive doesn’t mean you have an ulcer, and having a raised urate doesn’t mean you have gout.) Taking advantage of the public is one thing, and lying is another. Both are wrong. I’m now going to Google how to complain about this to the advertising agency.

  5. another anon April 19, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    @anon – the current official advice in the UK is that anyone at high risk of vitamin D deficiency (e.g. low sun exposure) should automatically take a supplement to prevent deficiency – testing is not recommended in that situation. The reason private testing companies thrive is precisely because they convince people they should have tests they don’t need, and that GPs aren’t doing their job.

  6. disgusted May 30, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    You are truly pathetic, and evidence of why the NHS is killing people. Don’t want to pay for the patients who self-diagnose?!! You all disgust me. Met around 10 GP’s like you. If someone doesn’t do their job or pay for your testing for health concerns they need fired, not for the patient to move on. You are almost all the same, so there is actually nowhere to go. This isn’t complicated or risky, nor are there any cons other than the patient losing a little of their own money, and the NHS losing A LOT when you have to pay for the REAL illness you would rather misdiagnose as hypochondria and depression!!! You need to go back to school.

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