Thursday, March 26, 2009

just ask your doctor

man, i hate commercials for medicine! 'just ask your doctor' puts you in a position where you are forced to ask permission for something and me in the position to either grant or deny you that permission. it puts me, as the doctor, in the role of power over you, the patient. and it shouldn't be this way. the drug companies make it sound and look as if there is a perfect life out there waiting for you if your doctor will just let you have this medicine.  the same thing happens with various tests, especially mri's. we laugh at 'therapeutic' ct's and mri's - once a patient goes through the whole deal of getting one of these tests, even if it's not necessary, it seems that they get better. was it just the attention paid to the problem? your doctor watches the same stupid commercials you do, and he or she gets bombarded daily in journals and in person with other advertisements for drugs or treatments - each with articles 'proving' how much better their particular treatment is than the one they were selling last week. 
don't assume you have a disease just because you have the symptoms on the commercial. most diseases have symptoms that are similar to common problems like the flu or other viral illness, and these are way more common than the diseases they are advertising the treatment for. sure, everyone's depressed or anxious or fatigued or whatever - some of the time - but if it took a commercial to make you realize it was it really that bad? open your eyes! these people are selling something! they don't care about you and your health and your family. they care about making money.
don't let their advertising put me in a false position of power over you - holding in my hands the pen that can write you the prescription that will be the answer to all your problems. the drug companies have put the patient and the doctor in an adversarial position and they are capitalizing on it. don't let it work. be smarter than that. new is not always better. expensive is not always better. 
consider the source of the advertising and their ultimate motive - $.
sure, they have drugs that can help problems. but just because they have a great commercial doesn't mean they have a great treatment. listen to the end of the commercial. unless it's for an erectile dysfunction drug, then the side effects sell the drug. 

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