Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD
Does your doctor give you drug samples? It’s always nice to get something for free. But, medication samples aren’t like the free samples you get at the supermarket. If you accept a cube of cheese offered to you at a grocery store, you can decide to purchase more if you like it, and walk away if you don’t.
The myth that menopausal hormone therapy prevents heart attack and dementia should have died a swift death after the definitive results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) a dozen years ago. But the concept that hormones might prevent some disease —in some women, somewhere, sometime, somehow — just keeps rising from the grave.
New guidelines released in November 2013 by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) advised preventing heart attacks by treating cardiovascular risk factors instead of high cholesterol. Seemed like a good idea at first.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a vague term for a vague disorder. The diagnosis is one “of exclusion,” meaning that it’s what doctors are left with when tests fail to reveal another diagnosis. IBS is a syndrome rather than a disease because a disease causes abnormal changes in tissue whereas, with IBS, the intestine looks normal but patients don’t feel normal.
In all likelihood, every time you fill a prescription, information about you is sold to a company that then resells that information to pharmaceutical companies for promotional purposes.
In all likelihood, every time you fill a prescription, information about you is sold to a company that then resells that information to pharmaceutical companies for promotional purposes. Your name is removed from your medication history, which is supposed to make it all better. Industry may know all your intimate health details, but as long as they know you as number 0178 rather than by your name, it’s all legal.
Do you know that radiation exposure from one “CAT” scan can be equivalent to the dose received by some survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bombing? No? Chances are, neither does your doctor.
“Even the scale I was weighed on had the name of a drug on it – a weight loss drug,” said my friend, after visiting her doctor. If it’s any consolation, the ad wasn’t directed at her.