What your doctor doesn’t know about your prescription
Prescription Medication Secrets
It is a scary reality when you do not know if the medication you are taking is good for you or not, and no matter how much your doctor had confidence in the drug, they may not have known that it was harmful.
Ben Goldacre who is a best-selling author, broadcaster, medical doctor, and academic with a specialty in unpacking bad science and claims, shared how his research has proven that the majority of medication is reported to be positive when there are in fact significant amounts of negative trials that have gone missing or were never published.
In his speech on TedMed, Goldcare gives a few different scenarios were negative findings that were important for the public and medical field to see where never published. In 1980, a trial was done on the drug Larcainide which is an anti-rhythmic drug created for abnormal heart rhythm after heart attacks. The trial was small and included 100 participants. Out of those 100 participants, 50 were given a sugar pill, and 50 were given Larcainide. Out of the 50 given the sugar pill one of those occupants ended up dying, and out of the 50 given Larcainide 10 participants died. Of course, commercial development for this drug was stopped, but the evidence and trial were never published.
A few years later a similar anti-rhythmic drug was unknowingly prescribed by doctors who had no knowledge of the effects it had on humans. Because the trial of Larcainide was never posted and researchers never discovered its effects, over 100,000 people died unnecessarily as a result of these drugs.
Although this incident occurred more than few years ago, there are similar situations still going on today. Goldacre shares how he was prescribing the drug Edronaz Reboxetinmesilat, an antidepressant. He had done significant research on the drug to see if it would be worse or better than the other treatments that he was prescribing for his patients. Out of the published documents he could read, the drug had proven to be more successful than others. Later it was found that 7 trials were made on this drug. Out of the 7, 6 had negative results proving that Edronaz was worse than the other antidepressant treatments. After finding out this information, Goldacre and others in the medical field felt misled.
Reality and what doctors and the public are able to see are very different making it dangerous for our health to take medications not knowing what effects they may have. Many fake fixes have been made in effort to stop this problem but none have succeeded because of their limitations. Goldacre gives two suggestions to what he believes would be an easy and quick fix to this problem.
1. Force researchers to publish all trials on humans including older trials for all drugs in current use.
2. Tell everyone you know about the problem. Info@alltrials.org
The fact that not all of the relevant research is available to the public or to those in the medical field is dangerous. Not much is being done to prevent this from happening. In order for your doctors to accurately help treat you, this information should be available to them.
Source: Ted, “Ben Goldacre: What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe,” Septemeber, 2012.