Prescription medication safety; Some disturbing news from Dr. David Eifrig.

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Prescription medication safety; Some disturbing news from Dr. David Eifrig.

Prescription medications require a prescription because of they are potentially dangerous. On an average day, 11 deaths are reported to pharmaceutical companies caused by drug interactions. That is a huge death toll caused by the medications many of us believe are safe.

While some medications can be lifesaving and helpful, it is a fact that in the USA, we take and are prescribed more medications than in any other country, yet, other developed western countries seem to have better healthcare systems than we do and overall, their citizens are healthier and are on fewer drugs. Do we really need all these drugs and are we better off without them? Is it possible that one of the largest drivers of healthcare costs is not only the cost of drugs, but the hospitalizations caused when drugs interact or have life threatening side effects. Many of us probably know of someone who was hospitalized for a medication related problem.

Another disturbing fact is that the big pharmaceutical companies actually spend more on marketing than on research. That marketing may include trinkets for your doctors office, samples and conferences at nice resorts which emphasize the benefits of the drugs and deemphasize the danger the drug can cause.

Check out Dr. Eifrigs column here;

These statistics prove why you shouldn’t blindly trust your doctor

From Dr. David Eifrig, MD, MBA:

Doctors have the exact same problem as the rest of us…

They’re suckers for good marketing.

When I was in medical school and then residency, it became obvious that much of the “new knowledge” that doctors learned after graduation came during their annual business/vacation trips.

Several years ago, when I was doing a medical rotation in cardiology, nearly the whole staff went to a conference in San Diego (a nice, warm trip during the dead of winter). When they returned, the doctors started prescribing “statin” drugs like they were candy.

The reason was clear… At the conference, pharmaceutical companies reported data about how well the drugs worked and how they showed major reductions in heart disease. They also claimed that side effects didn’t appear… something we know now to be false.

A recent study out of the University of Minnesota showed that nearly one out of 10 serious side-effect reports are submitted after the required 15-day window to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Drug companies receive the side-effect reports from physicians, but delay reporting them. Worse, companies’ reporting times tend to fall even later when fatalities are involved.

An average of 11 deaths a day from drug reactions are not reported in a timely manner.

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