We Need To Talk About Doctors

March, 18, 2012 | 5 Comments


  1. Dr. Healy
    Thanks for your perspective here on the important topic of what’s basically become identified as marketing-based medicine, adorned with what you aptly describe as “ever more vigorous pharmaceutical ivy growing on it”.

    But doctors armed with their prescription pads are hardly merely passive helpless victims here. Many are willingly seduced into becoming “thought leaders” on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry. Others are fraudulently signing their names to scientific papers they didn’t write, posing as “honorary” or “guest” authors. Physicians’ financial conflict of interest disclosures on most published journal articles read like a “Who’s Who” of Big Pharma.

    As a heart attack survivor who must now take a fistful of cardiac meds each morning, the truth is that I have no clue which of these drugs were prescribed for me (and millions of other heart patients) based on flawed research or tainted journal articles. And worse, neither do my doctors.

    Happily, small changes may be afoot. Many docs are actually choosing to no longer see drug reps in their offices any longer, for example. An AccessMonitor™ report from ZS Associates surveyed 500,000 American physicians, nurses and other drug prescribers two years ago, and found that the number of busy health care professionals now willing to see visiting drug reps is down by 20%. Interested physicians can, in fact, even download a “NO DRUG REPS” certificate to post in their waiting rooms: http://www.pharmedout.org/tools.htm

    I live in hope.

  2. In the United States, doctors tend to be quite pretentious about their knowledge and superior intelligence.

    I agree, it’s hard to see them as helpless patsies. If non-physicians can see through the lies about psychiatric drugs, why can’t physicians? How can they ignore the obvious adverse effects patients bring to them all the time? Many of them don’t even know the most common side effects listed in the PDR or the package insert for the drugs they prescribe every day.

    Yes, the pharmaceutical companies have insulated themselves from liability. But the doctors are the ones who are supposed to be gatekeepers of safe medical treatment.

    When it comes to psychiatric drugs, corrupt pharma supplied the bullets, corrupt research psychiatry loaded the guns, but clinicians are responsible for pulling the triggers. They are responsible for patient harm.

  3. It’s called tunnel vision. These clinicians were educated to a high standard, they all have a focus ‘to make the patient better.’ How many people have we met who are unable to have a quite reasonable discussion about grief, death, loss, etc. without becoming excrutiatingly embarrassed and who then head off because they cannot deal with it.
    Well, clinicians are people, too. ‘Tunnel vision’ has enabled clinicians to head off with ‘pills’ as the answer to all problems, and, I agree with the comment above, the clinicians pull the trigger.
    Step 1. Give the patient a pill
    Step 2. Stop or start the pill
    Step 3. Behaviour of patient worsens
    Step 4. Acuse patient of worsening symptoms relating to ‘state of mind’.
    Step 5. Patient becomes aggressive, suicidal, violent
    Step 6. Patient kills himself/herself/and/or/others
    Step 7. Patient accused/dead
    Step 8. Clinician totally respectable, admired, superior because they have a degree and social status in life and in medicine/psychiatry.
    Step 9. Clinician argues that manufacturers of ‘pills’ are right and the patient is wrong.
    Step 10.Legal cases appear US/disappear UK
    Step 11.Several high profile cases appear, mother’s knowing drugs are to blame for loss of child.
    Step 12. Regulatory Agency refuse to admit prescription drugs cause loss of life/aggression/suicide/violence.

    We. who know, think ‘out of the box’.

    We know what is going on here and we are not accepting of this travesty of the destruction of human life by ‘pills’ designed to make us ‘happy’.

    Any drug which ‘mucks about with brain chemistry’ is dangerous and it does not take much to grasp what a ‘pharmageddon’ is going on here.

  4. Oh dear. I’ve just discovered, from no less a source than the fabled Mayo Clinic, that I may have intermittent explosive disorder. In a section entitled “Diagnosis: Preparing for the Interview” it says:
    Your doctor may ask:
    How often do you have explosive episodes?

    (Every time I read an article like the one below.)

    Does anything seem to makes these episodes occur more often?

    (The increasing number of articles like the one below.)

    Is there anything that you’ve found that can help calm you down?

    (Tearing them up with a scream of frustration – and maybe a martini or two. Oops! Acoholism?)

    Has anyone else in your family ever been diagnosed with a mental illness?

    (Anyone ELSE? You mean you’ve decided that I have a “mental disorder”? What can I do about it?)

    “There’s no one treatment that’s best for everyone with intermittent explosive disorder. Treatment generally includes medication and individual or group therapy. Many different types of drugs are used to help control intermittent explosive disorder, including: Antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine (Paxil)”

    (And that’s when I punched him, My Lord.)

    Antidepressants for Patients with Parkinson Disease
    A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of antidepressants in Parkinson disease Neurology April 17, 2012
    A well-controlled, multicenter study suggests efficacy of paroxetine and venlafaxine.
    Comment: Because of safety concerns with tricyclic antidepressants, the researchers included venlafaxine, a dual-acting serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Commentators note that the venlafaxine dose used is primarily serotonergic, not “dual acting.” Unfortunately, the study enrolled only 50% of its target number of patients; with larger numbers, some secondary-outcome differences might have been significant. Whether nortriptyline would be equivalent or superior to paroxetine or venlafaxine remains unknown. This study supports the initial use of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for treating depression in patients with Parkinson disease. However, if response is insufficient, clinicians should consider other modalities (nortriptyline, cognitive-behavioral therapy).

    (Perhaps I’ll get away with an insanity plea.)

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