The prescription drug crisis, the truth behind why we take so many drugs.
A number of years ago, my dad visited his gastrointestinal specialist for a follow up and he said they asked him which drugs he is on, of course in a way that assumed that since he was older, he must be on something. This should sound familiar with anyone who has parents who visit the doctor regularly, since it seems most of us are on one drug or another.
In a very sneaky way, big pharma, your doctors journals, the FDA and other influential sources in the medical community continue to move guidelines in a way that captures larger parts of the health care market for pharmaceutical companies. This believe it or not is by design, since doctors are rewarded for keeping their patients and their blood tests as well as their other vital signs within these ever changing parameters. What this means is that fewer people are normal than were normal before the former parameters changed, and with the newer and more restrictive parameters, more people have certain drugs recommended.
A great example in this study is blood pressure. A few years before, blood pressure levels that were higher were considered normal. Years later, studies (most are co funded by drug interests) now show the maximum blood pressure allowable is now normal, and your primary doctor responds by having more people take the medication….forever.
This has nothing to do with your health, but this is a major driver of health care costs, since the general public usually follows their physicians advice, even if more medications often result in side effects, hospital admissions and other acute emergencies which you, the patient pay for, not the pharmaceutical companies.
As a consumer, you need to be aware of this. This new article published in Dynamic Chiropractic reviews a recent article in The Annals of Family Medicine, a journal widely read by family doctors like yours. Read the article here.
Prescribing Trends: Not a Pretty Picture
The harsh reality of the prescription drug crisis is outlined in a must-read paper for all health care clinicians and patients.
By Editorial Staff
From the Annals of Family Medicine1 comes one of the most important studies to date in the effort to define and understand how drug companies are influencing both the practice of medicine and the health of patients who seek care from medical providers.
Conducted by a pair of anthropologists from Michigan State University, the study examines the impact of lower diagnostic thresholds, clinician rewards systems and the prescribing cascade on the health of patients diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension.
The authors lay the foundation for their study by noting, “Spending on prescription drugs in the Unites States has risen nearly 6-fold since 1990, reflecting substantial increases in treatment of chronic conditions and subsequent polypharmacy. As many as 45% of Americans have at least 1 diagnosed chronic condition, and 60% of the most prescribed medications were for hypertension, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 11% of the US population and 40% of people older than age 60 take 5 medications or more.”
Read more here