Maybe we don’t have a healthcare problem in America

Maybe we have a medical ethics problem instead.

A girlfriend and I have talked about the way statins are overprescribed for years. She had her training early on as a medical technician. She knew the old numbers. This article pretty much sums up our years of discussion.

Drug companies are rich because they funded the studies to change the normal and create demand for their product. I wouldn’t call that ethical at all.

The new mantra is “evidenced based medicine” in healthcare. You should be asking who funded the evidence. It seems conventional wisdom, or the practice of medicine has been shoved out the door in favor of the well-funded researcher. That could actually cost you your health instead of saving it. Statins, for example, have nasty side effects.

Could this be the core of the American health care crisis? My gut says absolutely. And I listen to my gut.

Comments

  1. right on the money. after many Drs. and tests the side effects were too nasty and i now take one baby aspirin a day. good results.military vets like me will confirm that aspirin was a cure all and not expensive.

  2. I am so confused. I swear Pelosi said that the insurance companies are the “immoral” “villians”!

  3. A friend with a son in med school told me that one half of a med student’s educational cost is subsidized by big pharm. Not knowing my doctor’s bias or relationship to drug companies is very concerning to me and makes for a state of mistrust.

  4. I’d love to see some of the subsidy cash! I fork over $45k a year and have yet to hear from a drug rep in 3 and a half years! In fact, we’ve had a number of lectures and seminars specifically telling us NOT to attend anything funded by drug companies.

  5. Dan H. My understanding of the subsidy is that is is covert, not overt as you’d prefer. Monies, or nicely put ‘support’, is directed to your professors’ salaries, stipends, studies , etc. Also check your development funding sources at your university. It’s not that the money flows to you personally but your actual tuition is reduced by this process and your professors may be directly tied to Big Pharm.

    That is how it was explained to me. Course I’m not a med student so you get to make the call on whether there are nuances of the instances I’ve described within the system at your university.

    Aside from all that, I admire your dedication to pursue such a profession. Laudable.

  6. Thanks RL.

    I’m sure that drug companies have given a sizeable chunk of change to the institution, but your initial post makes it sound like BigPharma is paying for my tuition. Which they most definitely are not.

    Here’s something even scarier for you, the US GOVERNMENT is paying for my school right now. WHATS WORSE? Haha.

    The beauty of medical school is that it trains up the analytical mind. If one were to be such a drone that they were subject to the mind control of big pharma in every aspect of their practice, I would highly doubt they have the necessary mental faculties to make sound medical decisions. You see? There’s more to medical school than simply rote memorization of medical facts and drug brand names!

    You will be pleased to know that I learned over 1000 individual drugs through the course of my pharmacology training – never learned a drug by its Brand or trade name. My school only teaches generic names.

  7. I can identify a bunch by seeing the word, but darn if I could pronounce them. I don’t envy you there.

  8. There are quite a few “generic” statins, and their cost is fairly minimal. An occupational medicine MD I know (Occupational medicine studies morbidity and mortality from an actuarial standpoint for purposes of pricing insurance) felt almost everyone should be on a statin, said that is one of the single drugs that would prolong and enhance quality of life. There are theorists who believe that inflammation is a leading cause of disease and that statins address the inflammation effects.
    Yes, statins have some side effects and some people don’t tolerate them. But most can take them.