a reply to: reldra
I just read Over-diagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health, by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, etal.
Mention is made of drug advertising, in the context of creating more patients to buy more drugs, via over(mis)use of diagnostic testing for diseases &
condition. In this case, we are all in need of some drug
I have come to the realization that the idea that insurance comps can no longer legally deny health coverage for pre-existing conditions was never
done for our benefit. One diagnostic test result counts as "pre-existing condition". Now there is a way to increase diagnostic testing and have it and
its resulting medicines/treatments to be payed.
So, not only will drugs be advertised but testing will be encouraged via ads. People who might never have thought of being tested might now decide (be
frightened into) testing. And unneeded drugs and testing will be paid for.
A true story. A friend went to her doctor with symptoms and was given a drug that successfully treated that one condition. But
then she was
told to undergo testing for things totally unrelated to her condition. She complied
and, lo and behold, now she was scared into thinking she
was pre-this or that and in need of more testing and drugs. She refused
Then she had to visit an emergency room for something unrelated to any of the above. Problem fixed. But the doctor she was referred to by the ER to
monitor the problem decided, taking only her word and not once viewing her medical records
, to put her on an expensive drug paid for by her
insurance. Even the drug company website contraindicated use of their drug in her situation. She was in a vulnerable position that day to refuse, but
the next day called the pharmacy to cancel her prescription.
Her doctor just made a note that she was intelligent and had decided not to take the drug. It made me wonder how many vulnerable female patients
sitting in his office had succumbed to his pressure and, out of fear, were willing to take any high-powered drug he could sell them on.
The last ten years or so, I have been seeing more and more people around me harmed by the drugs they're taking, for conditions that may or may not be
helped in any way by the drug. All this testing and drugs, and these people are worse off.
Oh, before I sign off, here is a link to a website covering controversial issues
Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?