Prescriptions – Good or Bad?

I think we all buy into the fact that medications work.  That’s why we’re the most medicated generation.  So, what happens when someone challenges that assumption.  Aren’t these drugs rigorously tested and approved by the FDA?  Isn’t this why we have clinical trials?  Isn’t everyone using many of these drugs?

I get confused and I work in the business.

Here’s an article from the LifeTime Fitness magazine that talks about drugs for high cholesterol, hypertension, and acid reflux.  I’ll let you make your own decisions, but I think this is just another example of the contradictory information that consumers have to struggle with.

Three common classes of prescription drugs in the United States — statins for reducing cholesterol, angiotensin II antagonists for lowering blood pressure, and proton pump inhibitors for reducing stomach acid — can all cause side effects worse than the problems they aim to treat. And the symptoms caused by one drug may necessitate the use of the others.

For large numbers of people with questionable risk factors, these drugs deliver little or no benefit, but that hasn’t stopped pharmaceutical manufacturers from aggressively marketing them as preventive treatments. Underlying their marketing strategy is a host of scientific studies that “exaggerate positive results and bury negative ones,” says Shannon Brownlee, author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer (Bloomsbury USA, 2007). “The science on which so much of prescribing is based is biased, shaky, over-marketed and misinterpreted. These are excellent drugs when used on the right people. The problem comes when they’re marketed to everyone on the planet. There’s benefit to a few people, but when you start giving them to everybody, they may do more harm than good.”

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One Response to “Prescriptions – Good or Bad?”

  1. Life Expectancy in 1908 was between 47 and 49 years.
    Life expectancy in 2008 was 78.4
    Somehow the meds are working.

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