I may have long term colon damage because a doctor prescribed me a medication that was too strong for the injuries I had to my hands. He was more interested in get in patients into/ out of the hospital than he was with good patient care. Prescribing narcotics to someone is not something that should be taken lightly but that's what happened to me and now I may regret it for a very long time. I complained to the hospital and they said they feel its not their responsibility to consider side effects of medications. I agree with being am informed patient but when doctors over prescribe how are you to know when you are sick or suffering that they don't have your best interest but rather they are just hurrying through their duties with little regard or consideration for what may happen after you walk out of the facility.
I agree that the medical practices in the U.S. are at fault for needless deaths because they prescribe too many drugs and fail to monitor patients' use of them. I personally had an experience where the doctor prescribed me two types of drugs for depression and my condition got worse. I went to another doctor, and he told me that this is not a good combination. From what I understand, hospitals or doctors have a contract with pharmaceutical companies who make doctors prescribe their brand of medication.
I agree that medical practices in the US are to blame for needless deaths due to over-prescribing and under-monitoring of prescription drugs. My grandparents are both on an enormous amount of prescription drugs. After they expressed concern to their doctor, he evaluated all the medications and cut them off of half of the pills he had originally prescribed. Drugs interact with each other and can lessen the benefits, and in some cases they cause serious consequences, even death. Taking too much medication is hard on the body and oftentimes even lethal, and therefore doctors should be held responsible for the amounts and the types of drugs they are prescribing to their patients.
These days, people see prescription drugs as the new cocaine. Pharmaceuticals are easier to obtain because everyone suffers injury, and the people who are injured can either sell or abuse their leftovers - which is why we should limit the amount of medicine we prescribe to them.
There is a well-known problem between doctors and drug companies in the form of "kickbacks" to the doctor for prescribing their drugs. This, obviously, has created a lessening of patient care. It is hard for a doctor to focus on a patient's needs when the promise of a large check from the drug companies is at hand. Greed is the hardest thing for humans to refuse when tempted with it.
All you have to do is check the average American's medicine cabinet to know that drugs are over-prescribed here. Doctors far too readily prescribe drugs to placate patients who insist on pain-killers, antibiotics, diet pills, Viagra and so on. As a result, we have a plague of addiction and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, resulting in many needless deaths.
I have personally seen mentally ill people show up at a County mental health clinic addicted to anti anxiety medications prescribed to them by general practitioners and by psychiatrists who later abandoned them when the patients lost their insurance... The potential for death in these cases was present as a slow withdrawal from these medications causes flu like symptoms but an immediate withdrawal from these medications can cause seizures and death... If the woman had not gotten immediate help from the County mental health clinic or from an E.R. she could have died. I have also seen many other clients who were prescribed medications which have major side-effects-- compromised liver function, bone density loss, etc. who were not adequately monitored by their primary care physicians and this too could also result in death.
If a person is treated by different specialists for different conditions, each may prescribe drugs without being aware of the other medications being taken. Doctors do ask, but patients may not remember or may not know. If (when) there is a national health database, the information can be input as the prescription is written and it can be programmed to pop up warning messages if there are potential conflicts. I think it also hurts that some physicians may write a prescription and not attempt other alternatives (e.g. pain medication instead of physical therapy).
There is very little coordination between health care providers.
This leads to patients getting multiple medications from multiple providers which could lead to taking medications together that are contraindicated and could lead to serious injury and death.
While I do believe that medical practices should offer clear instructions on how much of any medication one should take, it should be up to the person taking the medication to know when they are taking too much. It is too easy for there to be a miscommunication amongst doctors or nurses for a patient to not take responsibility for his or her own life.
I don't believe it's fair to say that prescribing drugs and failing to monitor the patients' use of them is the sole reason behind needless deaths in the U.S. Many patients are unable to afford their prescribed medications and, as a result, they don't take them as scheduled, or only take them sporadically. For that, I think it's more logical to look at the state of the for-profit health care industry. Once cost is not an issue for getting and staying on prescribed medications, I think things will improve in this area.
The way that medical practices work today have been brought upon by insurance companies holding the doctors' hands, as well as all of the frivolous law suits that have been filed against doctors. Doctors have had to find a way to function in a world where the insurance companies want to pay for less and less, while giving doctors less time to do follow-ups. In addition to this, the patients jump at any chance they get to blame the doctor for something that is out of his control.
If doctors prescribe medicine for a patient because they believe that it will help them to restore their health, then they have completed their professional and moral responsibility. It is up to the patients themselves to use the resources provided by doctors to get better, and it is up to them to use them responsibly.
A nationwide prescription drug database could greatly lead to reductions in accidental dosing conflicts by physicians, but otherwise the patient is responsible for disclosing what they are taking and why. It is your responsibility to know what you put into your body, what it's side effects are, how you can reduce them, and what your alternatives are.
Some people, especially the elderly, will forget they took a medication and take it again. It's not the doctor's responsibility to constantly monitor a patient unless there is reason to believe they are not responsible with themselves.
I personally have been taking prescription drugs since I was 12 years old. I have been on Adderall for 15 years. It depends on how the doctor monitors the patient. I have been taken off of the medication because of problems I have had. I have also had other doctors refuse to give it to me because they thought it was over prescribed. The fact is that patients do need it. But make sure that the practice you go to is careful enough to monitor.