DRUG REACTIONS AND UNDER-REPORTING
"Off-label prescribing is widespread in Canada and the United States. For 160 drugs commonly prescribed to U.S. adults and children, 21 percent were for off-label indications... In this case, 73 percent had little to no scientific backing and once again psychoactive drugs such as gabapentin had the highest level of off-label use. Moreover, doctors do not seem to know what are and are not approved FDA use for many of the drugs that they prescribe." The Role Of Sales Representatives In Driving Physicians’ Off-Label Prescription Habits (June 19th, 2014 issue of Health Affairs Blog) by Joel Lexichin. Not sure what the term "OFF LABEL" means; click on the link.
"Last year, nearly 4 billion prescriptions were filled in retail U.S. pharmacies. These are staggering numbers. Yet, despite the steady upward trend of prescriptions filled per year, (about 300 million more annually) are we any healthier? I would certainly argue this is not the case. In fact, the World Health Report of 2000 ranked the United States number 37 in overall healthcare. Despite numerous policy changes and enormous increases in healthcare spending, it isn’t looking more promising at the time being." United States Tops 4 Billion Annual Prescriptions: Is Our Health Improving? by Chris Sovey from the October 5, 2012 Healthy Consumer. That number is now at least 4.45 billion prescriptions.
"In 1993, Dr. David Aaron Kessler, commissioner of the FDA from 1990 to 1997, told the Journal of the American Medical Association that only 1% of serious adverse events are reported. This means that the true number of deaths from FDA-approved drugs and devices is 100 times higher than reported. Other authorities, including Dr. David Bates, an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School, suggest the figure is closer to 5%. Dr. Bates writes: Hospitals have had strong incentives not to identify too many of these adverse drug events. Reporting large numbers of adverse events and any serious preventable event brings intense scrutiny from regulators and the public. Thus, most hospitals have relied on spontaneous reporting, which only identifies about 1 in 20 adverse reactions and leads to the perception that injuries from ADRs are less common than they really are." From ANH USA's The Problem of Underreporting
After being in practice for over a quarter century, I can say with authority that whether pushed or prescribed, drugs mess people up. Let me repeat that in a different way. the more medicine you are taking --- and I am not speaking of street drugs or OPIODS here --- the greater the chances of winding up with a serious ADR (Adverse Drug Reaction), sometimes referred to as AE's (Adverse Events). This is because we Americans are taking a myriad of unnecessary drugs all day, every day, the the biggest chunk of our collective lives. In fact, the latest stats on the subject reveal that Americans fill about 4 and a half billion (that's billion with a "B") prescriptions per year, with numbers increasing annually.
Stop and do the math. That adds up to over 13 prescriptions per year for every man, woman, and child in the United States. That means that for every person who makes zero trips to the drug store, someone is making twenty-six. It's not difficult to understand why there is a pharmacy franchise on every corner, or why ADR's are a catastrophic problem for our nation.
But honestly, I don't want to spend an inordinate time on ADR's, AE's, drug reactions, side effects, or whatever you want to call them. If you want to, you can go online and make your head swim with the absolutely freaky numbers (HERE are some statistics for you). What I am actually more interested in today's post is the under-reporting of these ADR's. What do I mean by "under-reporting"? Follow along as I show you another of the medical community's dirty little secrets.
AND JUST THIS YEAR -- 2014 -- WE LEARNED THESE TIDBITS
UPDATED INFORMATION ON UNDER-REPORTING ADVERSE DRUG REACTIONS
Bottom line; I could have gone on and on and on and on. In fact, I could have written a book. The cold, hard truth is that drugs are never as safe as you've been led to believe by YOUR DOCTOR, a TV COMMERCIAL, or Aunt Ethel, who claims that the reason she's lived to be 103 years old is because of those wonderful YELLOW PILLS she's been washing down with scotch for the last 45 years.
Unfortunately, I see lots (when I say "lots" here, I mean lots) of people who have been seriously messed up by our nation's CULTURE OF DRUGS. Many are messed up by antibiotics (HERE), although it's frequently statins, the drugs people take for DEPRESSION, or PPI'S that do a number on people as well. And I dare not leave without at least mentioning the insane numbers of shots we give our children that contain ADJVANTS which are being increasingly shown to cause all sorts of neurological problems, including vast amounts of AUTISM. The truth is, it could be anything. If you think I am over-exaggerating, re-read the bullet points above --- or better yet, take a moment to read the "trust us" slip of paper that comes with every prescription you purchase.
What's my advice to you? Get serious about your health and your weight. If you are trusting your doctor to keep you healthy, one one of these days you're in for a rude awakening. Start today doing whatever it takes to get off as many drugs as you possibly can (as always, seek your doctor's permission before doing so). Isn't it time to make the decision to get healthy? After all, you owe it to yourself (HERE). For more information on underreporting, HERE or HERE are recent posts.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).