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How do we know when prescribed medicine is truely in our best interest and not a

Pharmaceutical companies contribute 10 billion to presidential campaigns according to 60 minutes. Doesnt this mean that any president that accepted a portion of these funds owes these companies big time and therefore the interest of drug companies is a priority over the health and welfare of Americans?
How can we be sure drugs being pushed on us are good for us? Such as drugs to erase our memory, drugs to treat hyperactive children (ended up having long term neurological damage), drugs to help women go through the change of life (but ended up causing cancer)?

Answers:

WH

Who is pushing drugs on you? A good doctor will explain to you the benefit of taking a drug as well as potential side effects and allow you to make the decision. Also, an ethical doctor will not take money from drug companies. What does the president have to do with what drugs you take? As far as I can tell, no one is forcing your mouth open and pushing the drugs in.
In addition, there is a movement among doctors not to take any gifts or “freebies” from drugs reps- not even pens- in order to keep from being influenced.

EV

Every drug has side effects and each is designed to alleviate certain symptoms. In a way, no drug is good for us as most dont fix the underlying problem, just mask the symptoms. Medicine is not really healing, even though thats what it should be.
But if you have a doctor you trust and you make sure to only take a medication if you feel like you can’t deal with a health issue in other ways (diet, exercise, stress relief) then a medication can be beneficial. The key is to be informed about side effects (see WebMD or ask your doctor) and make an informed choice.
And yes, big pharma doesnt have our best interests in mind. It is more beneficial for them to create a drug that makes us feel better so long as we take it but doesnt fix us. So as a future practicioner, I recommend using alterative medicines and therapies wherever possible, as chiropractic, yoga, control of diet, meditation and other methods can actually heal you some of the time.
There are cases where medications are necessary though and are helpful. Antibiotics and vaccinations have saved our populace from the century ago fear of the common cold and measles, etc. Steroids and painkillers help people deal with injuries and allergic reactions. Even antidepressants can help people, though personally I think they are over-prescribed. So it comes down to personal choices; what do you think is right for you?

I

I do agree. We can’t be sure the drugs we receive are good for us. Money is a driving force. And in this case it’s a big one. Although no doctor may be ‘forcing the drugs down your throat.’- The big companies will influence your doctor in terms of information or miss-information.
There should be large independent organizations that challenge the claims and methods of the pharmaceutical industry.

YO

You must realize that we live in a society where MOST people would rather take pills than alter their lifestyles. I see HUNDREDS of patients who need to quit smoking and lose weight, but prefer, instead, to treat their high blood pressure and diabetes with medication.
Cigarettes kill 350,000 people a year, but that’s their “personal choice”, even though it’s you and me who are paying for much of their health care. How many politicians do the tobacco companies own? (Answer: all of them)
Pharmaceutical companies don’t care if you live or die. They are in business to make a profit. Same goes for your health insurance company.
Your health is YOUR responsibility. If you eat well, exercise and never smoke, your chance of needing what the drug companies are pushing will be reduced.
Just my $0.02.

WE

we will know this when it takes a hard effort to locate and begin using such a product. Hard effort may even define reading past the snake oil cliche’ label of MANY effective treatments. But let me tell you, you (we) are truly on to something that the masses will not hear out.

WO

Wow what a good question.
You point out a lot off stuff that is true.
I do not have an answer because it is such a big industry.
It makes you sad that is is that way.
I had to say no to drugs made out of horse urine for the change of life.Had to say no to a hysterectomy for fibroid tissue.
They like to “offer” you so much help and you wonder in which interest it is.You are a smart person and will get places.No not by travelling!.

PO

Point is, we do not truly know on both counts of your question.
Only you know on the first count, whether it is in your best interest, fortunately or unfortunately, for ultimately if cynically so, your life is literally in your own hands; and on the second count, there exist an inexorable measure and mix of one with the other. Conventional health professionals are not yet as forthcoming as they could be much less can they afford the patient the time needed, which is an otherwise critical tool.