T Nation

Its an OUTRAGE!!

My father recently went to the doctor and found out that his cholesterol was at 315. Automatically the doctor prescribed him ZOCOR- Are you kidding me? Plus my father had recently injured his knee and was taking medication for it that made him shaky (Give him a coke and he’ll be awake for 3 days straight) so this same doctor prescribed him ZOLOFT as well because that was a sign of depression. WHAT?! Also the doctor prescribed my Step-mother PREDNESONE (I’m not sure if that is the correct spelling) and she was allergic to it and had a psychotic episode- she thought she was GOD! When my father called the doctor about it the doctor told him that it was a mental disorder and not the medication.

HA,HA,HA! Needless to say she spent the next few days in the psych ward at the hospital where they did blood work and found out that it was the medicine. Shes fine now but it took about a month to get out of her system. Here is my point- I think that it is an outrage tht a doctor can prescribe whatever whenever they want. We all know that they get a kick back for these prescriptions. Unless they are apart of that “NO FREE LUNCHES” group. Its like going to a nutrition store and them giving you the stuff they make the most commission on and not the best product. There should be an agency of some kind that they have to get approval through before prescribing something. We all hear about the debate on malpractice suits. I dont think that there would be as many if prescription were being regulated. Well of course I got my father off of that crap and back to the naturals and now his cholesterol is below 200 and feels better than he has in years! Though it may not be completely the doctors faul. A lot of the time they dont learn about natural products, the hospital or whoever just gives them the info on new medications. Plus you cant pattent natural substances so they cant make money on them, thats why they’ll spend a billion dollars to research a medication that has saved 10 people but wont spend a dime to research a natural substance that has saved 10,000 people. If I am wrong- let me know-or if you agree-or if you have other info.

General Pracs can be some of the dumbest ppl in the world… it is rather frightening.

People practically worship doctors, they think doctors know everything and all of them got into the “doctor business” to “help people”.

Sadly, none of this is necessarily true.

I agree 100%. When I was in the hospital last year 2001 in august my GP tells me if I wanted he could send me home. Where the other doctors want to send me to another hospital so I could get checked out more closely. Thank God my GP wasn’t calling the shots. I wound up having cancer. And he was going to send me home. I get a bill from his office for $400 and I called him up and cursed him out. Never did pay the bill, I threaten a lawsuit because he diagnosed my condition wrong, he never sent another bill. What an Ass.

I have my oncology doctor now as my primary doctor. And he recommend me another GP. But the other one you have to make an appointment a couple months in advance, because he so popular. Good doctors are hard to find now a days…

Zocor has helped a lot of people reduce their cholesterol. Drugs like Zocor have some other benefits that are just now being realized, like some prevention of osteoporosis and alzheimers. Drugs and doctors aren’t all bad.

Just like in any other field there are good docs and not so good ones. It helps to have a dialog with your doc rather than take their word as the gospel. If you have any doubts, research the stuff yourself or see another doc. Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t make it better. Niacin reduces cholesterol, time release niacin works better, but it can cause liver damage, just like some of the “real drugs”.

There are good docs, and there are bad docs.

There are docs that don’t know a thing about nutrition, supplements, training, etc., and there are some that know more than you do.

There are docs that are idiots, and there are docs that are geniuses.

Don’t place docs on an infallible pedestal, but don’t discount everything they say because of your own biases. As a patient, YOU should educate yourself and engage in a give and take relationship with your primary doc, and decisions should be made together with the doc being the educated advisor in the situation.

DaStudent, some of your statements are blatantly false and not based in reality. Few docs receive “kickbacks” for prescribing meds. Yes, some get free meals and the like from drug reps, but I know of very few who actually change prescribing habits based on this. The VAST majority of docs prescribe what they consider the best drug for the best situation. Don’t assume you know any differently unless you have some kind of insight into this that you haven’t as yet revealed.

Healthy skepticism is fine. Outright cynicism gets you nowhere fast.

I agree with Doc-T 100% on this one.From what you are saying, your father’s 315 total chol would have elicited a prescription for a Zocor, Lipitor, or some other HMG CoA Reductase inhibitor from the vast majority of physicians. That is a level of cholesterol that must be at least attempted to be lowered, and the best medications we have now are the class which was prescribed for your father.You can’t fault a physician for trying to heal your father with the best meds he has at his disposal.

If your father was having side effects from the drug for his knee, he should have explained that to his physiaician AND pharmacist. Likely one of those two professionals could have found the problem and alleviated it.

I have never in my professional career heard of prednisone causing a delusional state in a patient. Prednisone is simply a corticosteroid, produced as cortisone in your body naturally.

I’'m glad to hear your parents are doing better, but to blame their illnesses on medication related problems is pretty silly and casts an unnessesarily bad light on the medical community. Their are a few areas we as health care providers need to improve upon in regards to prescribing protocols ( most notably antibiotic selection), but the vast majority of the time we take great pains in providing the best medication for the improving health of the patient.

I’m so sick and tired of people always complaining about the “evil” pharmaceutical industry and how drugs are bad - yes I work for a drug company and have actually sold Zoloft and Lipitor (which is a competitor to Zocor that you mentioned so you dad could just have easily been put on it). Why is it that when a company produces products that save and extend our lives do people complain about it (yes we make a profit but does that make it wrong? Do you have any idea how much it costs to research and produce a new pharmaceutical? Over $100 million) Why is it that nobody really considers brewing or cigarette companies as “evil” as drug companies. What about McDonalds and KFC? Do they produce something that improves quality of life? But still, drug companies are bad right? Have you considered why we need pharmaceuticals and why these drug companys are so successful? Its because most of the population, as we know, are overweight, lazy and dont know or dont want to know how to look after their health or educate themselves when it comes to eating and exercising properly, its much easier to live with your head in the clouds until something goes wrong then its off to the Dr and you expect to take one pill to make up for years of abuse and everything will be better, right? Now we arent stupid, we know not all drugs are going to work in every patient, and yes some people get side effects but what about the 95,000 patients in clinical studies for Zoloft that show its safety and efficacy not to mention the 23 million patient years worth of post marketing surveillance? Its still crap right, just because your dad got side effects. Plus high cholesterol is asymptomatic he wouldnt feel any different if he had a reading of 700 or 200, why is he feeling better than he has in years? You dont know how many patients I have heard of from Drs that were seriously suicidal, or suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder or from panic attacks that have been saved by SSRI’s (antidepressants).
I dont know what it is like in america but here in Australia to be prescribed a statin (cholesterol lowering agent) and get it on the pbs the patient has to go through a 6 week period of diet and exercise changes before they can get the drug, guess how many people, even when they have the hard facts of high cholesterol (some post MI etc) that actually change their diet? Approx 1 in 20, the rest just want the pill!!
Now as for how us reps “buying” the Dr with lunches. How would you rather us promote new advances, new studies etc, do you think the Drs have time to read every clinical paper that is published to provide up to date health care service to the pts (I’m sure you would understand if a Dr didnt prescribe you with the latest drug because he didnt have correct details of it yet). So should we provide the new info during consultation hours (I’m sure you would be happy to wait wait an extra 30 mins while we talk to the dr and you wait), or would it be better to bring lunch and do it then when it causes the least inconvenience…you work it out! Plus have you ever thought that we have no idea how many scripts for a drug a Dr writes, I dont sell him 10 boxes of Zoloft, I tell him about it and its advantages over alternate therapies and when he sees a patient he writes a script, it goes to the pharmacy and you get it there! I have no direct influence over his prescribing habits, I cannot “buy” him with a lunch. Drs DO NOT get kick backs from drug companies.
So really the question is not how bad the drugs are or the quality of the GP(there are good and bad in any profession), but why the hell are you taking / letting your family go back to the same Dr you are complaining about? Its because that would make you have to accept some of the responsibility, you said the Dr was crap, he had prescribed something for your dad that made him “shakey” you werent happy, why go back? Its because its always easier to blame somebody or something else and drug companies are easy targets.

Da Student, you’re absolutely wrong. Your father’s cholesterol was/is dangerously high (btw, what was his hdl/ldl ratio?) His doc was absoluteky right to prescribe Zocor. It’s been proven in study after study to dramatically lower cholesterol and hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. There is no other known treatment that even begins to approach the effectiveness of drugs like Zocor in reducing cholesterol. So instead of having a knee-jerk negative reaction to the doc’s good advice, tell your dad to take the meds (and to continue to be followed by his physician) and you may just see his cholesterol drop to safe, healthy levels. That way he can be around for many years to come.

Thank everyone for your info. I am of course not saying that all doctors are “bad”. I understand that alot are out to help. But the problem is in the ones who are not. A few extra question- Shouldnt prescription meds be used as a last resort? Knowing what you know would you take thes meds? Also I do agree that people want the easy way out. And to Martin- the day I talked to my father about the doctor was the last time he went back. And of course if any of you are like me and try to help others with the information you have, they still will have to listen.

DaStudent, your comment about prescription meds being used as a “last resort” is controversial. First of all, what do you consider a “last resort?” The accepted guidelines for people with high (not extremely high) cholesterol and blood pressure are diet modification and exercise. The problem is that this doesn’t work for most people for whatever reason (i.e. ignorance on the patient and doc’s part about nutrition, exercise, etc.). It’s great to think that “natural” means are going to work for everyone, but it just doesn’t work out that way.

The second problem is that most patients EXPECT to receive a prescription when they come into the office/ER/hospital. People come in all the time with simple upper respiratory infections that do not warrant antibiotics, but EXPECT to receive them anyway. This is not all the patients’ fault as a lot of docs play the “keep the patient happy at all costs” game and give them a script. The same goes for cholesterol and BP. Most people would rather get a script and do no work of their own to “solve” their problem.

In an ideal world, people would eat well and be in shape and prevent a multitude of these problems, but we have to face reality. The vast majority of people would rather have a quick fix and continue what they’re doing rather than change lifelong habits.

My Mother is a doctor. There is no “kickback” from the drug companies based upon how many prescriptions you fill out for their product. Otherwise, ALL doctors would specify that the namebrand drug was required, yet they rarely do that unless the patient specifically asks for that. The only thing that happens is that the drug company salesman try to woo the doctors, just like any product salesman does, so that they’ll be more likely to prescribe that product based upon how nice the salesman was to them.

Doctor’s are people too. Just as a carpenter might measure wrong, or a banker might forget to carry the one when adding, they make mistakes; as seems the case with your mother’s medication. (although his defensiveness might be a result of the legal landscape these days.)

As for your father’s medication, the reason that a doctor will prescribe medication to control cholesterol is because that is the only way to create a paper trail that is defensible in court when you and your mom go to sue him cause your dad died of complications due to high cholesterol and the doctor didn’t DO anything about it. You can’t just prescribe a diet and excercise because they’re not QUANTIFIABLE. A prescription, and how many times it was refilled and how OFTEN it was refilled are QUANTIFIABLE proof that he did or didn’t listen to the doctor’s advice.

My mother was sued because a family kept coming to her to treat their daughter’s bladder infections. Mom kept prescribing the appropriate antibiotic to treat the problem as well as the appropriate followup visit to check the progress of the case. As it turns out, the family sued Mom and the hospital when the daughter had to have a kidney removed due to infection saying it was because mom had misdiagnosed the problem. The reality that came out in court was that the family rarley, if ever, went and got the prescription filled in the first place, NEVER ONCE got the prescription refilled as directed, and NEVER came back for the followup visits. The kidney failure was mostly caused by the lack of treatment and the impossibility to make a correct diagnosis without the followup visits. When you see 20-30 patients a day, you do not have the luxury of following up with a patient that cancels each followup appointment. Nor could she discharge the patient from her care since they were receiving medical assistance and it’s not allowed.

The malpractice issues that are plaguing this country are ridiculous and something needs to be done to eliminate the frivolous suits and MAKE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS.
Doctors included, because I’m sure that there are plenty of cases where the Doc is flat out wrong.

I’m a med student, part-time employee at a nutrition store, and a full-time iron pusher. I totally agree with DocT and HB about making generalizations about anything or anyone. You’re going to have knuckleheads in every field, that’s life. I can tell you from personal experience that future doctors are now being trained to acknowledge the change from paternalism (which someone referred to as “self-righteousness”) to patient autonomy. Doctor knows best is old school. There are so many resources out there for patients to educate themselves with, and docs must understand that it’s impossible to know everything. It’s true that some doctors are quick to dismiss a patient’s own theories about what is wrong and how to fix it. In my opinion, elitist attitudes are usually just a way to cover up ignorance. For example, my classmates often try to rip me for working at a health foods store with comments like “you believe in all that crap?” Then they find out that people on certain diuretics need K supplements, diabetics can benefit from chromium, people with some anemias need iron, etc. I could go on but you get the point: they don’t have much to say now.
To the person whose parents had drug reactions: It’s unfortunate to hear that this happened, but I have to disagree w/you on a few things. First, a total cholesterol above 200 warrants action by the doc, whether it be diet and exercise or drugs. It’s important to tell your doc what other meds you’re taking, but they should ALWAYS ask. If the doc didn’t ask, you may have a reason to be pissed. As far as prednisone causing a psychotic episode, I can’t believe the docs who prescribed this said it was a mental disorder. Poman, I don’t know what kind of health care provider you are and I don’t mean any disrespect, but euphoria and psychoses are “commonly observed side effects of long-term corticosteroid therapy.” -Lippincott’s Pharmacology 2nd Edition pg. 277. Maybe the dose was too high for her, I don’t know, but alternate day prednisone 5mg is sometimes prescribed.


Lastly, the comment about drug companies’ reluctance to market “natural substances” reflects the thinking of many customers where I work. I don’t think a lot of people realize that most drugs were discovered from natural sources such as plants, molds, or other animals. If a drug company finds a compound that they feel is effective and cost-efficient to produce and sell, they will jump on it. People, the difference between “natural” supplements and synthetics is not as black and white as drug and supplement companies will have you believe. A plant is discovered to have a chemical compound with antibacterial properties. A drug company is simply taking that compound and making it in a lab. In many cases, I would rather have the synthetic form. For example, I take herbs like milk thistle for my liver because I drink a few pops occasionally. Sure, I’m getting the desired compound, silymarin, but who knows what other crap is in there that might cause me to grow a third nipple? It goes both ways, take creatine for example. If creatine that’s made in a lab is less than 99% pure, you’re getting a significant amount of impurity that can and will eventually harm you.
My whole point of this tyrade is that knowledge is power. Keep learning and researching on your own, so when you go to the doctor, you will be more informed and empowered to make decisions about your health. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and if your doc gets defensive or can’t handle it, that’s his/her problem. Find somebody else that will respect your opinions or concerns. Right on to the real…

Yes. Privatized Health Care is indeed gay. The doctors can hide behind their insurance companies, meanwhile profiting off of your suffering.

You just have to have diarrhea of the mouth about everything, don’t you? Save your opinion for political discussions, as you’re out of your league here, son.

non-american, I don’t know which non-american country you are from but I do know a doctor (anesthesiologist) in Canada that makes over $250,000 a year working 3 days a week in their government run health care system. You don’t see many poor doctors in any major civilized country, nor should you. I guess the docs in ours that make the same basic amount are just evil in nature. My family doctor here in the US makes about what most family docs do, a bit over $100,000 a year. She studied long hours to get there and works hard for her money. She helps people live better. She won’t go to lunch with drug reps because it bothers her to do so. She tries to only treat when it’s called for but sometimes the patient won’t take “healing takes time, and sometimes changes in your lifestyle” as an answer.

From reading your posts so far I get the idea that there is nothing that we here in the US do that you would agree is good. Fine. You can continue to deny that most of the beneficial inventions in the modern era were developed here. A lot of the drugs that help save lives are invented here. We are one of the first countries to show up when an earthquake or other natural disaster stikes anywhere in the world too. I guess that there must be some way to make a buck off the the people we help dig out of the rubble, right? We aren’t a perfect country, we have things we could do better, but we are far from evil.