Thursday, June 17, 2010

Republican Party and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Another area which I disagree with the mainstream Republican party is on the subject of value of alternative health and the dangers of prescription drugs. I have seen a number of Republicans bash alternative medicine and practitioners.

I do not believe that medical drugs should never be used. I do. There are a great many cases where a person would need a drug for a certain purpose. But today, far, far too many people are taking drugs for specious reasons. People are literally seeing an ad on TV for, say a heartburn drug, and then going and seeing their doctor and getting prescribed this drug which, in truth they did not need. Or they have a mild condition and instead of making lifestyle changes to handle their issues, they are lazy and simply take a drug, when this was not actually necessary. For example, if a person's blood pressure is only slightly high, they can often resolve the situation by dietary changes, exercise and reducing the stress in their life. So instead of taking these common sense measures, the person chooses to take drugs despite the fact that these are not necessary.

Another solution, when it comes to conditions is alternative medicine. Not all of the time, but sometimes medical conditions are caused by simple mineral or vitamin deficiencies. For example, for years I had trouble sleeping. In the end, it turned out that I was not getting enough calcium in my diet since I am lactose intolerant and therefore don't drink milk. Because of this condition I needed to supplement my diet with extra calcium and other minerals. I started doing this and the sleeping problem resolved itself. No need for Ambien or some other expensive drug.

And what so many fail to realize is that prescription drugs are not candy. They are dangerous substances that can injure or kill. Hundreds of thousands of people die from these prescription drugs and they are nothing to mess around with. Now again, there ARE some cases where a person legitimately needs a drug. But today, these drugs are being given out like candy and the force driving the boom, direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs, defended by Republicans and some Libertarians, continues unabated despite the obvious fact that ordinary people are simply not able to determine what drugs they need and don't need. And doctors in many cases are unable to do what they should do, which is when asked about a drug, just say no. Don't prescribe it if the patient really doesn't need it.

So instead of bashing these alternative health solutions, such as vitamins and minerals, we need to embrace them. They can't cure everything, not by a long shot, but it can definitely solve some common conditions.

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