Sir Richard Thompson is just one doctor of a group of six influential doctors who are warning about the influence of pharmaceutical market when it comes to prescribed drugs. Patients are often given with medications they don’t need.
The former Queen’s doctor said, “The time has come for a full and open public enquiry into the way evidence of the efficacy of drugs is obtained and revealed. There is a real danger that some current drug treatments are much less effective than had previously been thought.”
He also added that firms have a campaign that is “often weak and sometimes murky basis on which the efficacy and use of drugs, particularly in the elderly, are judged.”
Besides this, the doctor adds that the NHS is often over-treating patients and that side effects of too much medicine can be very severe and eventually led to death.
The data connected to cholesterol-lowering medicine that is prescribed to millions of people was never published anywhere just because it is pointing to some questions connected to the power of Tamiflu, a medicine which cost the NHS nearly half millions of pounds.
It is sad that medicine is often released to the public just because of the profit, not because it has beneficial structure when it comes to the patients in need.
Dr. Aseem Malhotra, the NHS cardiologist stated that there is no doubt that a more medicine is better is a part of the culture that is in the heart of healthcare, and it is worsened by the financial benefit in medicine.
“But there’s a more sinister barrier to making progress to raise awareness of – and thus tackle – such issues that we should be most concerned about. And that’s the information that is being provided to doctors and patients to guide treatment decisions.”
More Money for Marketing than For Research
Dr. Malhotra is also stating that leading pharmaceutical firms are giving more money for marketing than for research. These results show the fact that drugs can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to elderly people.
In addition to Sir Richard, Dr. Malhotra is backed by Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health; psychiatrist Dr. JS Bamrah, chairman of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin; cardiologist Professor Rita Redberg, editor of medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine; and Professor James McCormack, a pharmaceutical scientist.
Dr. Malhotra is launching a campaign in a personal capacity, and besides that, he is also a trustee of the King’s Fund health think tank and a member of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. He is also the advisor to the National Obesity Forum. So many titles for one man!
Many studies and data on medications never been published, and that is also the case with the possible side effects of many drugs. A report from 2014 shows that Tamiflu wasn’t effective more than paracetamol. So, why buying it?
This doctor also added that blood thinning drug Rivaroxaban is not safe as the data suggests, but the regulatory standards are standing by this drug.
He writes, “For the sake of our future health and the sustainability of the NHS it’s time for real collective action against “too much medicine”, starting with the Public Accounts Committee launching a full independent inquiry into the efficacy and safety of medicines.”
Professor Ashton added, “Public health relies on a comprehensive, accurate and cost effective evidence base to ensure we make decisions based on the best available research that improves and protects people’s health, as well as prioritize care in the best way for patients.”
Everything is going back to the fact that neither doctors nor patients are informed about the benefits and side effects of the drugs they are using. And just in the US, it is supposed that about one-third of all health care activities actually don’t bring any benefits to the patients at all.
Dr. Maricia Angell backed up the fact from the above with the talk given in the University of Montana in 2009, where she revealed that from more than 650 drugs approved by the FDA between 2000 and 2007 only 11% of them are innovative and have improvement when compared to the existing medications. Three-quarters were just copies of the old ones.
The big problem with polypharmacy, the state where the patient is taking more drugs at once, is that more drugs you take more side-effects you will have.
These side effects can be misinterpreted by the doctor as a symptom of the disease that needs to be treated with additional medicine. The elderly are often the target of this state.
Just between 2007 and 2012 almost all big pharma companies paid a large amount of the fines, because they hid the data for drugs and showed the drugs in a different light, more pleasing to the patients.
So, when some symptom becomes visible, doctors are asking whether it is the side effect of another drug or symptom of a new disease.
Doctors cannot provide a proper care without full transparency and accountability when it comes to new drugs, and large pharmaceutical companies are not allowing that.
Former editor of the BMJ, Richard Smith, wrote, “Something is rotten in the state of British Medicine and has been for a long time,” when the series of the recent scandals broke in recently.
The six doctors who are fighting against the large companies are hoping that future brings the best for the healthcare, but, for now, it is obvious that medical science has taken a turn into the darkness.