Would doctors take the medications they prescribe to their patients? Not necessarily, as it was reported in a recent article in Men′s Health, June 22, 2008. A number of physicians were asked which drugs they themselves would refuse to take.
And it may surprise you especially if you are currently taking one of these drugs, but here is their list:
- Asthma drug Advair
- Diabetes drug Avandia
- Pain reliever Celebrex (a relative of the infamous Voixx)
- Antibiotic Ketek
- Heartburn medication Prilosec
- Heartburn medication Nexium
- Eye drops Visine Original
- Decongestant Pseudoephedrin
The doctors questioned also suggested alternative treatments. Unfortunately, all they could come up with were other drugs! You have to understand that is all they are trained in at medical school…You can find their recommendations in the original article in Men’s Health.
Here is a portion of a commentary by Dr. Mercola on this very subject:
“Seemingly positive and helpful articles like these really highlight how pervasive the conventional drug culture is. Although these drugs are exposed as being dangerous and best avoided at all costs, the writer failed miserably in providing ′healthier′ alternatives; in all cases but two, merely citing alternative drug treatments …”
Actually it was the doctors who failed miserably; the writer just quoted the doctors′ recommendations. Mercola then goes on to comment on three of the drugs on this list — the asthma, diabetes and heartburn/acid reflux medications — and suggests non-pharmaceutical alternatives. This would be a good time for me to restrict my own comments to Avandia. But it should be mentioned that there is a reason lawyers are targeting people who have had adverse reactions to this drug.
In May of 2007 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert on Avandia:
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of a potential safety issue related to Avandia (rosiglitazone), a drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes …”
The agency goes on to say that safety data from some controlled clinical trials showed a potential increase in the risk of heart attacks, but other data provided contradictory evidence. The agency then issues this warning to patients on Avandia:
“Patients who are taking Avandia, especially those who are known to have underlying heart disease or who are at high risk of heart attack should talk to their doctor about this new information as they evaluate the available treatment options for their type 2 diabetes.”
Why didn′t the FDA just mandate the removal of the drug from the market?
“FDA′s analyses are ongoing. FDA has not confirmed the clinical significance of the reported increased risk in the context of other studies. Pending questions include whether the other approved treatment from the same class of drugs, pioglitazone, has less, the same or greater risks. Furthermore, there is inherent risk associated with switching patients with diabetes from one treatment to another even in the absence of specific risks associated with particular treatments. For these reasons, FDA is not asking GlaxoSmithKline, the drug′s sponsor, to take any specific action at this time.”
If changing treatments poses such a significant health risk, why advise patients to talk to their doctors about their available treatment options, i.e. about switching drugs? And exactly what was the information available to the agency that made it so difficult for them to make a decision?
“Recently, the manufacturer of Avandia (GlaxoSmithKline) provided FDA with a pooled analysis (meta analysis) of 42 randomized, controlled clinical trials in which Avandia was compared to either placebo or other anti-diabetic therapies in patients with type 2 diabetes. The pooled analysis suggested that patients receiving short-term (most studies were 6 months duration) treatment with Avandia may have a 30-40 percent greater risk of heart attack and other heart-related adverse events than patients treated with placebo or other anti-diabetic therapy. These data, if confirmed, would be of significant concern since patients with diabetes are already at an increased risk of heart disease.” FDA approval for Avandia was given May 1999 and this safety alert wasn’t issued by the FDA until May of 2007. My question is-What took so long to issue the Risk Warnings of serious cardiovascular complications after most of these studies that were conducted over a short 6 month period of time? It sure is odd that it took 8 years to issue this safety alert, in my opinion!
Of significant concern? Can you imagine a natural health product remaining on the market with a rap sheet like that. Does the pharmaceutical industry control the FDA, or what?
The sad thing about all of this is that type 2 diabetes is considered a life style disease that is both preventable and reversible. The American Diabetes Association readily admits this:
“People with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else. Along with exercise and medications (insulin or oral diabetic pills), nutrition is important for good diabetes control. By eating well-balanced meals in the correct amounts, you can keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal (non-diabetic level) as possible.”
Pharmaceutical intervention shouldn′t even be necessary in type 2 diabetes. Yet the drug peddling continues, with the active participation of the medical establishment.
It is a shame that every Healthcare Provider isn’t required by law to learn what Nutraceutical options exist…but we have to remember who has the greatest influence in a medical doctors education and training-it’s not the nutraceutical companies!
If you’re a Boomer and this has enlightened you today, please recommend our Boomer Wellness blog to your friends!