Just my own personal observation is that when I was a kid, doctor's still made house calls and it seems that the emphasis was on getting you back to health. Full well realizing the technology, testing, surgical procedures and the like are light years ahead of when I was a kid....it still seems to me that we LOST something along the way. The overwhelming emphasis today seems to be on WHAT PRESCRIPTION DRUG CAN WE WRITE FOR THIS PERSON? We have lost in many cases (NOT ALL), that personal touch and asking questions about eating habits, lifestyle, how much exercise and what kind does a person do etc. In many cases you only have a doctor's attention for perhaps 5 to 10 mins max, so it is easier to prescribe a drug or two and hope that solves the problem.
Take a look at the information below concerning this issue:
A vitally important story reported in the April 15, 1998, issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), sums up that a
minimum of 106, 000 people die each year from properly prescribed
This death toll may be as high as even 196,000, which places deaths
from prescribed drugs between the 4th and 6th leading cause of death in the
United States, just behind heart disease, cancer and stroke.
While only approximately 15,000 people die each year from illegal
street drugs, over 100,000 are killed each year from properly prescribed
The real drug problem seems to be the misuse and overuse of both
prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration say there are about 300,000 over-the-counter drugs
available. Did you know that 75 percent of all visits to an MD end with a
prescription? Did you know that pharmaceutical companies spend 10
billion a year to market their drugs?
The following article contains some alarming facts that you should be
aware of. After reading it over, please share it with your friends. It is part
of my job to keep you informed on health-related matters.
● In an average year, 1.6 million people are hospitalized due to the
side effects of prescribed drugs. Up to 160,000 will die from their
reaction (Dangerous Drugs, 1992).
● Americans consume 15 tons of aspirin a day, 19 billion tablets per
year. Although thought to be harmless, a single aspirin will…
…Be responsible for 1500-2000 deaths,
…be the leading cause of kidney disease,
…Cause ulcers, toxic headaches and children’s Reye’s
The average senior citizen gets 15 prescriptions each year (U.S.
Health and Human Services Department 1992).
● For people over the age of 60, in one year there will be…(from the
Public Citizen Health Research)
…1 million adverse reactions to prescriptions,
…243,000 hospitalized due to drug reactions,
…163,000 suffering from memory loss due to prescription
61,000 Americans will suffer drug-induced Parkinson’s Disease this
● 32,000 suffer hip fractures annually including 1500 deaths from
drug-induce falls (USA Today, July 29, 1994).
● 7600 deaths and 76,000 annual hospitalizations are due to internal
bleedings caused by non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, most
used for arthritis. Forty-one percent of these prescriptions are
unnecessary (Ann Intern Med, 1997; 127:429-438).
● 23% of the elderly receive repeat prescriptions for more than a year
without seeing a physician.
● In U.S. hospitals, a serious drug error occurs in one out of every 14
patients. (Harvard School of Public Health, Sept. 22, 1994).
● Medical malpractice is responsible for 80,000 deaths per year, one
every seven minutes (Public Citizen. May/June 1994).
Between 106,000 and 196,000 people die each year in U.S. Hospitals
form properly prescribed drugs. Over 2 million suffer serious side
effects. (JAMA, 1998).
● A 13-year study showed that 66% of all non-prescription drugs don’t
work. (U.S. Public Health Service, 1986).
● 4500 people die each year due to angiograms for the heart, with no
evidence they work at all (Health & Healing).
● No studies have shown that heart bypass surgery extends life at
all. Most studies show plaquing of the arteries again six weeks after
surgery (Health & Healing).
At present, there are in excess of 54,000 prescription drugs and
300,000 over-the-counter drugs on the market. (CNN Headline News,
Sept. 18, 1995).
● Americans consume over half of all drugs in the world today. We
are only 5% of the world population. This is at a rate of over 25
million drugs per hour.
● The average family has over 29 different drugs in the home at any
● Every third TV commercial is a drug advertisement. By the time the
average child reaches 18, they have seen 20,000 hours of drug
commercials such as “Plop-plop, fizz-fizz, oh what a relief it is!”
● Three of ten patients now request a prescription drug they have
seen advertised. Doctors can net up to $4,000 per patient referred to
drug companies to participate in their studies. Smart Money
● More than 11 billion is spent each year by pharmaceutical
companies in promotion and marketing, $5 billion of which goes to
sales representatives, “It has been estimated that $8,000 to $13,000
is spent per year on each physician. This is about $30 million each
day. Physicians and the pharmaceutical industry, JAMA, Jan. 19,
Adverse drug reactions kill 73,000 elderly Americans each year
(Sacramento Bee, 3-24-91).
● One-fourth of all alder Americans are prescribed at least one
“inappropriate and dangerous drug” each year (USA Today, 7-28-94).
● 40-60% of all antibiotics in this country are misprescribed (Health
Approximately 180,000 people die each year partly as a result of
doctor- caused injury. This is equal to three jumbo-jet crashes every
two days killing all passengers (JAMA, 1994; 272:1851-52)
● Drug “problems” each year cost as much as $182 billion, kill as
many as 198,815 people, put 8.8 million in hospitals, and account for
up to 28% of all hospital admissions (American Medical News; Jan.
15, 1996 P.11)
● Adverse drug reactions add an average of 4.6 days to the length of
a hospital stay, at an average cost of $5,857 (JAMA, 1997;227(4):307).
● Over $75 Billion per year is spent on treating patients injured from
bad reactions to prescribed drugs. Almost $2 billion of this is spent
on additional prescriptions (Arch Intern Med., 1995;155:1949-1956).
● Properly prescribed drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in
the U.S. Only heart disease, cancer and stroke kill more Americans
(Newsweek. April 27, 1998 P.61).
● Overall, 51% of approved drugs have serious adverse effects not
detected prior to approval (JAMA, May 20, 1998).
● Up to 140,000 people die annually due to side effects of prescribed
drugs (US News & World Report, Jan. 9, 1995).
(PLEASE read the entire article for more information - STARTLING statistics)