Thursday, 4 October 2012

A Modern Medical Scandal

I've a dose of the cold.  Nothing unusual with the cold virus going around at this time of year, but unfortunately it has resulted in a severe bout of bronchitis which required a visit to the GP.  I left clutching a prescription for antibiotics which, I have to say, have removed the feeling of broken glass all down my trachea but have done nothing for the constant cough and other symptoms - not that I expected them to do as bronchitis is caused by a virus.

As usual I Googled the antibiotics to read what others observed because I'm usually hesitant about taking medication unless absolutely necessary and I came across this extract from Ben Goldacre's book Bad Pharma.

He details what most of us suspected about Big Pharma but also shows the drug testing system in the UK is sadly lacking.

Why are drugs being bought by UK health authorities from these large pharmaceutical organisations without all data being provided and not only the positive data done by the companies themselves?

As Goldacre says: 'Evidence in medicine is not an abstract academic preoccupation. When we are fed bad data, we make the wrong decisions, inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering and death, on people just like us.'

His comments don't make comfortable reading but it may encourage more of us to ask questions rather than blithely accepting a prescription without comment. My local chemist used to have several older pharmacists who were excellent at providing information about any drug.  Nowadays the pharmacy is full of young people who are always too busy to answer any questions or they keep you waiting while they research it on Google.  Much better to do your research in the comfort of your own home.


JRB said...

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

~ Mark Twain

... equally applies to using Google.

(but, thank you for the comment on "older" pharmacists)

English Pensioner said...

I've just received my annual letter from my GP "inviting" me to go for my annual flu jab. Needless to say, I won't be going, having read about the possible problems that we are rarely told about. There is no guarantee that it will be effective against the strain of flu we get this year, it is simply a guess as to the most likely.

Demetrius said...

Manuka Honey from New Zealand, alas, is expensive but one option. Then there is Baillie Jamie Nichol of Leith, a nicer antiseptic is hard to find. We are in the position of having to check everything in medications and for that matter food products. It can be quite scary with some stuff. On this subject the Dr. Mercola site is a fun read if rather strident and its own agenda.

subrosa said...

I'd agree JRB but I do try to keep a very open mind when delving into Google.

I thought you'd be pleased with that comment. :) It is true though.

subrosa said...

I had mine too EP and am reluctant to get it for the same reasons.

subrosa said...

I'm actually having gallons of Manuka honey and lemon at the moment Demetrius. A few months ago in a local supermarket there were jars of it reduced to 25% of the price because they were past their sell-by date.

I wasn't aware honey went 'off' so I bought them all. A quick flash in the microwave and any solid particle liquify. Perfect.

I read Mercola too. He does speak sense but he's rather too much of a fanatic at times.

Apogee said...

Mercola may come on a bit strong but it is a sad fact that what he writes about is USA medicine and he is in the middle of it,experiencing it and I don't see him being sued. This cannot be said for the main Pharma companies who have been fined amounts averaging $750 million to $1.5 billion for blatantly criminal activity.Flu jabs? no thanks. I don't need my body filled with mercury or aluminium ,both poisons, used as preservative and ajuvant in a concoction with a success rate of between 25-50% You don't have to believe every thing you see on the net, but from bitter experience I don't believe what big pharma says,
and you don't always get anything like the full story from the Medical fraternity either.

Elby the Beserk said...

My beloved spends much of her time (she works in an area of comp. medicine that
*does* work, helping OAPs get off the massive doses of varied medicines that GPs now prescribe regardless to the aged. E.G. Anti-depressants to an old feller who had many symptoms - but depression was not one of them. Statins a gogo here, there and everywhere, causing all sorts of problems. Statins, you see, interfere with the business of re-building muscles. And yes, the heart is a muscle.

Goldacre is spot on. But who didn't really know what he has to say already?

At 61, I have had two hip ops, and one shoulder op in the past four years. Each time on admittance, I get astonishment that I am not on any regular medication.

subrosa said...

Until recently I too was 'medication free' Elby but recently, because of bronchitis, I had to have what seems to be long-term medication. Otherwise, compared with many of my peers, I too am one of a few who refuses to accept pills are the answer to everything. Don't get me going about statins!

Related Posts with Thumbnails