I’m a not quite 60, healthy male, with an average number of “family tree” historical diseases – that I know of. Hmm... maybe even a bit more than average. Anyway, I also might be a bit more active than the average weekend warrior. So, when I went in for my annual physical this year and got the usual line of questioning: Any changes in your health? No. Are you on any medications? No. I got to thinking.
My Primary Care Dr. has a large practice, four Drs. and 10,000+ patients. When he walked into the room I thought I’d ask him: “Mark, how many of your patients 60 or older aren’t taking any prescription drugs”? I didn’t take him long to answer “not many – if any”. Wait a minute I said; Really? Almost all of your patients that have reached 60 years are on some type of pharmaceutical? “Actually, I’d say that’s true by the time they’re 50” he shot back. When I walked outside I had a much better understanding how 20% of the US GDP can be eaten-up (no pun intended) by Healthcare costs.
I’ve never had good luck with pharma products, and considering the obligatory side-effect disclaimer in the daily tv. advertising spend, neither have many others. Over the years, I took the tack of going on a prescription short-term (only if necessary) and finding a natural supplement or lifestyle change vs. buying into the big pharma annuity. The way I looked at it: if I spend the same amount of money, or even more, stay off med’s, lose the problem, and the side-effects - I’m ahead. Medial meniscus repairs and hip replacements notwithstanding, sometimes I wondered if I simply waited and did nothing, would the problem go away on its own? Sometimes it did.
Big pharma created the opioid epidemic because it works for the shareholders – not the patient.
Changing to another medication won’t change that.
It’s the patient that has to make the change.
Nancy Reagan had it right: Just say no.
To your health in the new year.