Saturday, 18 February 2012

"Pharmageddon" is Here - How Doctors Do Harm

By Dr. Mercola

It’s a widely held tenet in our society that if you get sick, you should visit your doctor to “get well.”

But many physicians are relatively clueless about “wellness care,” they are in the business of disease treatment.

This is why the vast majority of physicians’ visits end up with a medication being prescribed, or if that is not appropriate, a surgery or invasive medical test is often recommended.

What is blatantly missing from many of these appointments is a discussion of what is causing your ailment ... which often means hope for a real “cure” is forsaken in favor of expensive and often dangerous symptom management.

"Pharmageddon" is Here

Pharmageddon is "the prospect of a world in which medicines and medicine produce more ill-health than health, and when medical progress does more harm than good" -- and it is no longer a prospect but is fully upon us.

Last year an analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that deaths from properly prescribed drugs now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States! And when you add in deaths attributable to other medical care modalities, like hospital admissions and surgery, the modern medical system becomes the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

Authored in two parts by Gary Null, PhD, Carolyn Dean, MD ND, Martin Feldman, MD, Debora Rasio, MD, and Dorothy Smith, PhD, the comprehensive Death by Medicine article described in excruciating detail how everything from medical errors to adverse drug reactions to unnecessary procedures caused more harm than good. That was in 2003. In 2010, an analysis in the New
England Journal of Medicine found that, despite efforts to improve patient safety in the past few years, the health care system hasn't changed much at all.i Researchers noted:

“In a study of 10 North Carolina hospitals, we found that harms remain common, with little evidence of widespread improvement.”

They revealed that 18 percent of patients were harmed by medical care (some repeatedly) and over 63 percent of the injuries could have been prevented. In nearly 2.5 percent of these cases, the problems caused or contributed to a person's death. In another 3 percent, patients suffered from permanent injury, while over 8 percent experienced life-threatening issues, such as severe bleeding during surgery. In all there were over 25 injuries per 100 admissions! In other words you have a one in four chance of getting injured if you are admitted to the hospital -- not very good odds by any stretch.

Story at-a-glance
  • Americans spend more on health care than citizens of any other country, up to 1.5 times more per person -- but we rank 50th in life expectancy and 47th in infant mortality
  • A large number of Americans are dying avoidable deaths because of inappropriate medical care, including medical errors, unnecessary surgeries, adverse drug reactions, and more
  • Medical treatments are often ordered because of the providers’ financial interests -- even though evidence to support their effectiveness is lacking, and oftentimes they end up doing more harm than good, sometimes even causing the patient to die
  • The more you take responsibility for your own health -- in the form of nurturing your body to prevent disease -- the less you need to rely on the "disease care" that passes for health care in the United States

Read the rest of this important article at