If you leave your doctor’s office with a head full of worry and a fistful of new prescriptions you may be joining more than 40 percent of Americans who take one or more prescribed drugs daily in the effort to stave off more serious trouble.
The Times found that:
• Pharmaceutical firms have commandeered the process by which diseases are defined. Many decision makers at the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and some of America’s most prestigious medical societies take money from the drug companies and then promote the industry’s agenda.
• Some diseases have been radically redefined without a strong basis in medical evidence.
• The drug industry has bolstered its position by marketing directly to the health-conscious consumer, leading younger and healthier people to consider themselves at risk and to start taking medications.
Every time the boundary of a disease is expanded the sales of prescription drugs skyrocket. Dartmouth Medical School researchers estimate that during the 1990s, tens of millions more Americans were classified as having hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity simply because the definitions of those diseases were changed.
Even today, three of every four Americans technically have at least one of those diseases. But millions of them are not truly sick and may never be, even without medication. Millions of people are taking drugs that may carry a greater risk than the underlying condition.[related_posts limit=”5″]