Death by medicine

Death by medicine is a really eye opening study suggesting that prescribed drugs, unnecessary procedures, and other iaotrogenic factors (getting sick when you think you will because the doctor has indicated you will – sort of the shadow of the placebo effect) account for more deaths each year in America than cancer or heart attacks. Further, those numbers are probably lower than fact, because iatrogenic cases are underreported – perhaps as few as 20% of cases are reported. While their angle is certainly pro-natural products, the study claims to be an independent review of statistical evidence. Really worth a look.

One reason to perhaps consider this sort of information is having an awareness of the nature and extent of the PR barrage to make people accept and purchase proprietary pharmaceuticals. Earlier we blogged about links and possible collusion between those who make psychiatric medicines and those who define what medicine is prescribed for certain conditions.

But in terms of the lengths that the pharmaceutical industry will go to get us buying what they want, check out this twisted article. It claims that a pharmaceutical lobby group, PHRMA, hired writers to write a novel they’d plotted, involving terrorists (oooh!) altering prescription drugs in Canada to kill Americans buying them cheaply over the internet or by crossing the border. The writers were instructed to “dumb it down” so that women, the main buyers of prescription medicines, would be able to understand it. The point seems to be scare people off buying drugs outside of America.

Why would anyone do anything this, well, freakish? Well, from PHRMA’s website, their members invested $39.4 billion in drug research and development in 2005. So that’d be why.

This moose is happy to have been to a doctor once in the past twelve years.

No Responses to “Death by medicine”

  1.   Pearce
    June 12th, 2006 | 3:08 pm

    I recently was put on painkillers for neck pain. They caused massive intestinal pain lasting for days. It sure took my mind off the pain in my neck, I’ll admit, but I reckon that next time I’ll just go to a masseur and wear a wheat pack.

    I love how you can buy Panadol over the counter without a prescription, even though it is very easy to accidentally overdose. The gap between the effective dose and a lethal dose is very small indeed. (I wouldn’t recommend it for suicides though – it could take you a couple of very nasty days to die of liver failure. I’d also recommend against using it for hangovers, as alcohol increases it toxicity. Mostly, I’d recommend you to stay away from it altogether.)

  2.   Administrator
    June 12th, 2006 | 5:27 pm

    After two days of headache, fever, and broken glass in my throat, I took half a Panadol once. Easily the most disturbing drug experience of my life.

  3. June 19th, 2006 | 1:00 pm

    […] We’re getting a collection of these sort of posts. […]