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Steve Van Nattan

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DRUGS: Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Are you addicted to prescription drugs?


Drug addiction is usually associated with illegal drugs. It is now possible to become addicted to pharmaceutical drugs prescribed by your doctor. Doctors frequently put people on drugs, and then they make no effort to help them solve he problem that caused the need for a drug. This is a subtle and wicked kind of addiction.

Over the past years, and to an extreme recently, we have seen doctors, ours and those of friends, prescribe drugs which are deadly. These doctors have one of two problems, and these are the ONLY reasons for prescribing dangerous drugs:

1. The doctor is not reading and keeping up on his profession. He is not reading the Physician's Desk Reference on drugs, he is not attending conferences on drug use, and he is not even reading the warning materials sent out with the drugs. He is a lazy slob. He will kill people, and he may kill or maim you. It is very hard to sue a doctor for mis-prescribing drugs because he can blame the drug company.

OR

2. The doctor knows very well what the hazards are to the drugs he prescribes, but the drug manufacturers pay him a kick back for prescribing their products. Pfizer is perhaps the most lucrative bribe based seller in this regard.

So, here are some questions to ask your doctor. If he cannot give you answers, or if he will not quickly try to find out the answers, change doctors. If you refuse to change doctors, at least have the grace to make funeral arrangements so your kids do not have to do it in a panic.

Question One: "Doctor, do you receive a kickback, or incentive payment, from anyone for prescribing this drug?" If the answer is "yes", ask for another drug that is not kick back based. Do not take any argument out of the doctor. He may lie and say there is no other choice. I had a doctor, a Hindu who does not care if he ultimately relieves your pain, tell me to stay on Cardura after I had a run away heart beat attack on the stuff. By the way, Pfizer strikes again. I never went back to him again.

Question Two: Doctor, is this a new drug?" Always ask this question. The doctor will then tell you what the drug is supposed to do and how safe it is supposed to be, but he does not have a clue if he is telling the truth. Drug companies ALL have in-house doctors, or doctors on their pay plan, who write reports on drugs and promote them to doctors. Fully one third of all reports by doctors on drugs are generated by the drug company, and the Journal of American Medicine and Lancet have published many of these without asking questions. Just refuse new drugs. You are a guinea pig, for that drug is not out of the "trials" format yet. New drugs are still not fully approved by the FDA. Final analysis is done later. And, the FDA is corrupted by the drug companies, in that, helpful FDA men are hired on to the drug companies after they retire from the FDA.

Question Three: "Doctor, what are the complications with this drug? What complications have you seen? What are the interactions of this drug with other drugs." If the doctor says there are no complications or interactions, he is a liar and will kill you. All drugs have complications. Table salt and cinnamon have complications. Everything you eat has complications. If the doctor quickly tells you what the complications are for the drug in question, that is a good sign that he is really concerned to do the right thing. If the benefits seem to outweigh the complications, go ahead and try the drug. Interactions are the complications of the drug used with other drugs. Ask him to rethink all your drugs, AND herbs you take, with that drug. A good doctor will be happy to talk through all the things you take. Some herbs are deadly when taken with certain drugs. CAUTION: If your doctor picks up a reference book and reads for a while, do NOT assume he is dumb. There is no way a doctor can remember everything about his profession. Indeed, it is a good sign when a doctor checks a reference book while you wait.

Question Four: "Doctor, is this drug made by Pfizer or one of its subsidiaries?" We have heard so many ugly stories about Pfizer products that we believe they do not care one whit if they kill you. Coumadin it the classic killer. It is rat poison, literally, and aspirin will do just as well for almost all blood thinning situations. The cash flow is the bottom line, and they are now based out of the USA where they are harder to reach by the FDA.

Question Five: After you get home, surf the Internet to see what health organizations are saying about the drug. Sign on to sites who help doctors. The data may be hard to understand, but if you read long enough, you will catch on if there are dangers with the drug. If you cannot surf yourself, ask a savvy friend to do so for you. If you see some really ugly news about the drug in question, print it out, and hand it to your doctor. Ask for an opinion by him. Be sure the Web site is not selling herbs and not some diddle head site where some abject fool is just griping. Look for sites which inform the reader about health issues and do not sell anything. Look for articles which quote ligitimate research projects and medical journals. A research report by Dr. Green Beans is of no use. This takes some zeal, but it may save your life.

Question Six: Ask your pharmacist if he would take the drug in question, and tell him the other drugs and herbs you are taking. Even if he does not know the answer, he has a computer network link to which he subscribes, and he can bring up all the known facts on the drug in a flash. Doctors almost never do this. It is VERY common for pharmacists to know more about drug use than doctors. They are often the first ones to hear about complications from their customers. Also, they are not paid by the drug companies to lie and prevaricate in order to push some suspect drug. Indeed, they have the highest incentive to tell the truth. Lastly, when you hand your prescription to the pharmacist, watch his face. If he shows surprise, ask him what is bothering him about the prescription. If he tries to pass it off, ask him not to cover for something that is wrong. If he tells you something frightening about the drug and using it, DO NOT go and quote him to the doctor-- just change doctors. If you have a pharmacist who tells you things that might make trouble for him, guard him very carefully. You NEED him as a friend.

Question Seven: Ask the pharmacist if there is a generic version of the drug. The doctor will get his kick back, and you will get a steak dinner out of the savings. Some generic drugs are very much less than the brand name version. Also, for what it is worth, you may want to cross the border into Mexico or Canada and see what the brand name drug costs there. I have found the Mexican version to be as much as 80% lower in price. The same drug company makes it. The instructions are in Spanish, so buy the first dose in the USA so you have the literature to read.

If the doctor does not give you straight answer, or if he belittles your concerns, run, run, run. Find another doctor at once. My doctor in Arizona nearly killed me with Cardura because the fool did not know the complications, or he was too greedy for the kick back. The PA I went to next told me he had 3500 patients, many of them heart troubled, and he had never prescribed Cardura once. He hated it. He also really wanted to help me feel better and enjoy life. If your doctor is merely polite but distracted and in a hurry, find a doctor who is personal and likes you. Anyone who deals with the public should be able to like the people they serve. Now, if your doctor runs you off, either you are about to die, or you are a brat and rude and demanding. Be thoughtful about how you present these things so the doctor has every opportunity to respond in a helpful manner. Do not show suspicion, even it you have it. Just change doctors if you don't get straight answers, or if you feel bullied.

Let me say this. If you want to take your Honda to an idiot who botches the work every other time, go ahead. You will pay dearly for your misguided loyalty, but at least the dumb fool will not send YOU to the mortuary. But, if, out of blind loyalty, you stay with a doctor who cannot give straight answers, a doctor who belittles your serious concerns, YOU are the idiot my friend. He is using you to enhance his cash flow, and he does not care if you limp on through life half crippled, cross eyed with complications, and die fifteen years before your time.

Take charge of your health.

Photo of pills by Ramberg MediaImages at Flickr

 

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