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#13793 - 12/27/03 09:04 PM drugging into the future
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
I was talking with a friend who owns a pharmacy and is also a vitamin supplier.

Wow, the things he had to share about the industry!

One thing he mentioned which I found to be interesting and believable is that in ten years the use of prescription drugs will more than likely double.

Why? research continues to find reasons to medicate us whether we need it or not.

Also, children have never taken as many prescription drugs as they now take and they will not get off them as they grow. He believes more will be added to their regimen to offset side effects of the medications they are now taking.

He mentioned that doctors don't always take into account side effects of medications. When a patient complains of anohte ailment after starting amedication, they simply prescribe another medication to fix that problem instead of trying another med for the initial problem.

Any thoughts?

I found everything he had to say to be so true yet such a shame. He complained that doctors don't have the time to spend with patients because of the HMO's. Doctors collect a small payment from the HMO's and therefore have to work harder, see more patients so they can make an honest living...if you call getting them in and getting them out honest!

So much to think about.
Any thoughts? [Eek!]

#13794 - 12/28/03 01:07 AM Re: drugging into the future
smilinize Offline

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
I think I wrote about this some when I posted about flu shots. It's one of my favorite soap boxes. Sounds like your pharmacits friend and I agree.

I fear he is right about increasing drug use. It's alarming how many doctors give drugs for self limiting problems then drugs for the side effects the first drug created which are in many cases worse than the original problem. Then more drugs are needed to counteract the side effects of the first and the second causes side effects that require a third and... Well, you get the picture.

The problem is tremendously compounded by drug companies advertising in the media. Their advertising dollar exerts a tremendous degree of control over the news. Notice the news coverage of a mew drug. At first there are reports of the new drug producing miraculous results then for the next 7 years or so (the usual length of a drug's patent) while there is no competition and the prices are astronomical, the new drug is reported to be the wonder drug of the century. Then after the patent expires and the drug becomes U.S.P. and can be manufactured competively as a generic, suddenly you hear about all the deaths and horrible side effects that have occured and the once wonder drug is now considered practically a poison. Of course you don't learn about the ill effects until a company has come out with some wonderful new alternative with absolutely no side effects (sure). And the whole process starts over.

The problem of over prescribing starts when the pharmaceutical companies provide the pharmacology education to doctors in med schools and continues with continuing pharmacological education after the doctors are in practice. The so called education is actually marketing. It is estimated that 80% of the cost of a drug is for marketing. At one time doctors were even paid bonuses for prescribing (or over prescribing) large amounts of very expensive new drugs by the pharmaceutical companies. Now it's more carefully veiled as continuing medical education.

As to children taking more pharmaceuticals, it is illegal in almost all cases to conduct clinical trials on children so we are giving them drugs that have not been tested on maturing tissue. Even vitamins could have frightening effects. We're really not sure. The 'minimum daily requirement' is still a just a theory. Ritalin and the other mind altering drugs are given to children whose brains are still maturing and may react in totally unexpected ways. We have no idea what the long range effects may be. We should all pray that we are not raising a whole generation of children altered in some terrifying way.

As to doctors having to spend less time with each patient in order to see more to make a living, I think most are well beyond the 'living' stage. I know they've spent a lot of time in training and they have great responsiility, but how many professions can one pursue, much at the expense of tax payer, and finish with an expected first year's income in the six figures? And how many professionals, other than sports stars or celebritries of course, can generate a million or two a year after a few years experience? Doctors and hospitals brought the HMO situation on themselves. They increased their fees to the point where no one even with insurance could afford them.

Some doctors blame the cost of mal practice for the increase in their charges, but I've paid it for the doctors who worked for me and though it may have been expensive, it was merely a fraction of a physician's income and really not proportionally much more than for a plumber or an electrician.

I certainly do not begrudge anyone prospering. That's the America way. But it seems wrong for physicians to whine about spending less time with patients in order to see more and make more money. Somehow it seems that the economy of mass production should not apply to saving lives.

Seems like the patient suffers the consequence of over prescribing and HMO's as well. Doctors merely suffer the inconvenience.

Maybe it's just me. Now I'm getting all worked up. Maybe I need one of those new tranquilizers. Maybe a little Prozac. You think??


[ December 27, 2003, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: smilinize ]

#13795 - 02/08/04 05:48 AM Re: drugging into the future
scootermammy Offline

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 10
I take no prescription drugs at all and think that a lot of people are suffering more from the drugs they take than the ailment they are taking them for. One thing though - I wish our marijuana laws were more realistic.

#13796 - 02/08/04 05:25 PM Re: drugging into the future
Agate Offline

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 164
Loc: Minnesota
When my mom dropped down to 70 pounds due to lack of appetite, I joked about bringing her in some pot brownies. No one laughed. Sigh...

I was just ranting in my head this morning about doctors and medical care. I received a pamphlet in the mail yesterday for a service that will help me communicate between my mom's various doctors and nursing home personnel to make sure everyone is on the same page. It's sad that that kind of service is needed. I've found that hospital doctors don't look at a patient's past history very carefully (and their past drug reactions)and they don't listen to the family or bother to notify family of or explain treatment because of course, we wouldn't understand anyway.

There are times when the side effects are the lesser evil than not taking the medication. The one medication my mom was taken off of because they were worried about side effects was the one medication (Predinizone) that allows her to function with her arthritis. I know it has nasty side effects but quality of life has become more important than quantity of life at this point. Other more modern, "safer" medications did nothing to relieve her pain and stiffness and made her anemic and stop eating.

I think that often a patient's instinct about what they need and what they don't need is better than doctor wisdom.

#13797 - 02/09/04 02:36 AM Re: drugging into the future
scootermammy Offline

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 10
>>When my mom dropped down to 70 pounds due to lack of appetite, I joked about bringing her in some pot brownies. No one laughed. Sigh...<<<

Agate - do you mean no one here on this panel laughed or no one you knew in person laughed?

#13798 - 02/10/04 07:47 PM Re: drugging into the future
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Agate, I know an elderly woman who was so drugged last Christmas that she doesn't even remember it.

She now has a geriatric doctor who has taken her off all but one medication. She's ALERT and doing well again.

Trust me, I believe in using medication when it helps, but there are definitely times when it makes matters worse and the doctor does nothing but prescribe anohter drug to help the new problem, which could be a side effect from the last drug. Make sense?

I believe our generation is better equipped to ask doctors for more information. My mom's generation thought all doctors were kings and didn't question.

#13799 - 02/11/04 03:59 AM Re: drugging into the future
Agate Offline

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 164
Loc: Minnesota
I meant that no one at the nursing home laughed at my pot brownie joke.

Trying a new fangled, hot, wonder drug is what put my mom in the hospital in the first place. Remicade and methatrexate may be great arthritis treatments for someone who is otherwise in good health, but not a good idea for someone as frail as my mom.

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