No one wants to live in pain. No one wants to suffer from poor health. That’s why we seek relief through readily available avenues, such as medications offered by pharmaceutical companies. But there are many dangers to using prescription drugs that are often overlooked, and too often, not reported.
Unfortunately, much of the time, taking prescription drugs doesn’t end well. You all know that the beloved actor Robin Williams tragically took his own life recently — but what if his suicide wasn’t related to his depression at all? What if it was caused by a chemical imbalance created by his Parkinson’s medications … drugs that have been linked, in some cases, to depression and an increased risk of suicide.
We’ll probably never know for certain whether it was Williams’ depression, his medication or some unfortunate combination of both that drove him to take his life.
However, it raises questions that need to be answered. And it brings awareness to a discussion that the pharmaceutical industry prefers silenced. The industry pushes hard to control the dialogue and fights tooth and nail to bury the truth about disease and treatments.
It doesn’t have your best interests at heart. That means you’ve got to protect yourself from the side effects Big Pharma is trying to keep a lid on.
And I’ve found a way to help you do just that.
A Prestigious Medical Journal Makes a Pretty Good Judge
Shortly after Robin Williams’ death, his wife revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — a chronic and progressive movement disorder that involves the malfunction and death of nerve cells in the brain.
But could Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s medication have done more harm than good?
The FDA warns that patients on Parkinson’s drugs “should be observed carefully for the development of depression with concomitant suicidal tendencies.”
That’s not even mentioning the litany of other side effects. One treatment for Parkinson’s, called a dopamine agonist, causes side effects that may lead to hypersexuality, pathological gambling and compulsive eating. Mix that with the most common treatment for Parkinson’s, a natural chemical called levodopa, and you might get nauseated or begin hallucinating.
Parkinson’s medications are just one example. There are plenty of other prescription drugs linked to hazardous side effects. Every antidepressant in the U.S. carries an FDA black box warning (the strictest warning possible for prescriptions). Psychotropic medications do as well.
This begs the questions: At what point does the cure become worse than the disease? Does Big Pharma even care about us … or just its bottom line?
Dr. Marcia Angell explains the situation well. She was editor at The New England Journal of Medicine for 20 years, a journal that has served the medical community for 200 years.
She departed as the first woman ever to serve as editor-in-chief. And she left with a damning indictment of how Big Pharma manipulates the entire health care industry, from the FDA to the M.D.
In a 2004 article she was blunt:
Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the U.S. Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself.
Dr. Angell concluded from her time at The Journal that most published clinical research cannot be trusted … nor can we rely on the judgment of doctors and medical guidelines.
And this is what she specifically said about antidepressants: “A review of seventy-four clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that thirty-seven of thirty-eight positive studies [that praised the drugs] were published. But of the thirty-six negative studies, thirty-three were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome.”
The drug makers control what they want you to see.
Too often they don’t want you to see the truth. Yet this deceitful practice determines the risks we’re forced to swallow, known or otherwise.
Let’s Talk About That Deceit
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a government agency devoted to uncovering knowledge that can enhance our health and lengthen our lives.
Their mission is full of noble-sounding goals. But it all amounts to a government-centered source of funding for all things that can be tied back to health.
That includes pharmaceutical research and drugs.
One medical doctor recently said this about the NIH:
In general, the process of developing new drugs is that small companies receive grants from the NIH and develop the drug with governmental monies. Those companies are then bought by bigger companies that provide proof-of-use [a requirement of the Trademark Act] and are bought by even bigger companies, which promptly move off shore so they don’t have to pay taxes.
That is the process by which our government, through our taxes, finances this massive industry … That is wrong.
The incentive to grow the pharmaceutical industry and its regulatory bodies is all right there. And you’re paying for it in more ways than one.
Iatrogenic deaths — deaths due to medical treatment error — are estimated as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Patient Safety that estimated up to 440,000 people die each year because of preventable medical errors. Prescription drugs used as prescribed make up somewhere around 28% of iatrogenic deaths.
Many will claim that is the cost of doing business — that medical treatment has saved far more lives than it’s ended. True. Innovation in America’s emergency care and surgery should be commended.
But considering the deaths and the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, alive and suffering just from prescription drug treatments gone wrong, the acclaimed benefits of pharmaceutical care are not so obvious.
An honest, transparent conversation will help prevent unnecessary deaths.
We need the pharmaceutical industry to acknowledge the very real risks. We need physicians to better prioritize and individualize treatment, recommending natural healing alternatives first … instead of artificial, never-ending treatments.
One way to start the conversation is by doing the research yourself. Learn about the alternatives.
Otherwise, this will just continue.
What’s the RxISK?
As always, I encourage you to explore alternatives first. Things such as diet, natural supplements and lifestyle changes.
Unfortunately, despite the dangers of prescription drugs, there are times when alternatives just don’t cut it and prescription drugs become necessary. Be sure you stay informed. Analyze your doctor’s decisions and understand the risks.
If you are already taking pharmaceuticals, I found a tool to help you stay informed of how your prescriptions are affecting your condition and your overall health.
It’s called RxISK.
From their website:
Drug side effects are now a leading cause of death, disability, and illness. Experts estimate that only 1–10% of “serious” adverse events (those causing hospitalization, disability, or death) are ever reported. Not to mention the millions of “medically mild” adverse drug events that occur each year — ones that compromise a person’s concentration, functioning, judgment, and ability to care.
RxISK is the first free, independent website where patients, doctors, and pharmacists can research prescription drugs and easily report a drug side effect — identifying problems and possible solutions earlier than is currently happening.
Click here to explore the RxISK website for information, warnings, and guidance as well as what others just like you are saying about the same prescriptions you might be considering.
Click on the player below to listen to Podcast of this article:
When you’re in the doctor’s office, consider the Russian proverb used by Ronald Reagan as the Cold War was winding down: “Doveryai, no proveryai.”
It means: Trust, but verify.
To quality living,
Editor, Sovereign Living