TED Talks: "What Doctors Don't Know About The Drugs They Prescribe"

by Ashy to Jazzy


I recently came across a video that highlights some of the core problems in our healthcare (aka sickcare). This video is a featured TED Talk What Doctors Don't Know About The Drugs They Prescribe, (If you haven't had a chance to watch any TED talks, I highly recommend it. They provide free lecture videos from brilliant people around the world, in various Techonolgy/Entertainment/Design fields, and are focused on providing "Ideas Worth Spreading" to the world).

Essentially, at the core of this problem is that many times doctors are unaware of many of the details behind what they are prescribing. Unfortunately, in medical and drug trials, many times negative or inconclusive results and findings go unpublished. Positive results, i.e. those trials that say "This drug will fix this", tend to receive the publicity thus leaving doctors and healthcare providers in the dark. 

We cannot expect our doctors and healthcare providers to give us sound medical advice when they are not given the full information. A great example of this is how frequently we see anti-depressants prescribed for patients suffering from depression, only to have more significant side-effects while taking the drug. Unfortunately, publications and prescription drug reps are saying "Doc, this works great! Just look at this study", while not showing the large amount of studies that might show inconclusive results or negative results from using the drug. In my undergrad and master's Research and Statistics for Healthcare and Science courses, we referred to such things as a Research Bias (which is basically a skewed and inaccurate representation of data to yield the ultimate outcome you are wanting). 

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.
— Stephen Hawking

My recommendation is to do your own research when your doctor gives you a prescription, don't just blindly fill it because Doc tells you to. If most of the information you find is negative or inconclusive, go back to your doctor and ask them why they are prescribing this to you in the first place! (You might also want to ask what kickbacks they are getting from the pharmaceutical company, or what perks the pharmaceutical rep is providing them. Yeah....that happens).

Love & Light-

LoDo

Source: http://www.ted.com/talks/ben_goldacre_what...