There is a new staged Campaign in United Kingdom against big Pharmaceutical companies by leading doctors quote: ‘
Patients are over-medicated and often given profitable drugs with ‘little proven benefits.
Too much medicines is doing more harm than good – and costing hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide.
The Campaign, staged by the Queen’s former doctor, has called for an urgent public enquiry into drugs firms’ ‘shady’ practices.
Sir Richard Thompson, former-president of the Royal College of Physicians and personal doctor to the Queen for 21 years, warned tonight that many medicines are less effective than thought.
The physician is one of a group of six eminent doctors who today warn about the influence of pharmaceutical companies on drugs prescribing.
The experts, led by National Health Service (NHS) in England, cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, claim that too often patients are given useless – and sometimes harmful – drugs that they do not need.
They maintain that drugs companies are developing medicines they can profit from, rather than those which are likely to be the most beneficial.
And they accuse the NHS of failing to stand up to the pharmaceutical giants.
Sir Richard said:
The time has come for a full and open public enquiry into the way evidence of the efficacy of drugs is obtained and revealed. There is real danger that some current drug treatments are much less effective than had previously been thought.
He said the campaign highlights the ‘often weak and sometimes shady basis on which the efficacy and use of drugs, particularly in the elderly, are judged’.
Writing for MailOnline, Dr Malhotra says commercial conflicts of interest are contributing to an ‘epidemic of misinformed doctors and misinformed patients in the UK and beyond’. He said the NHS is ‘over-treating’ its patients, and claimed that the side effects of too much medicine is leading to countless deaths.
And he claims the full trial data on statins – cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed to millions – has never been published, and also points to questions about the power of Tamiflu, a drug that has cost the NHS nearly £500 million.
The group has called on Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee to conduct an independent enquiry into the safety of medicines, claiming that public funding is often allocated to medical research because it is likely to be profitable, ‘not’ because it will be beneficial for patients.
Dr. Malhotra expressed his belief on more efficacious medicines and healthcare, but further stresses the objective behind the campaign: To create awareness and provide information for doctors and patients to guide treatment decisions.
In his comment to MailOnLine, Dr Malhotra warned of several things that deeply concern him about the state of medicine today which include:
- Biased funding of research – funded because it is likely to be profitable, not beneficial for patients
- Biased reporting in medical journals
- Commercial conflicts of interests and an inability of doctors and patients to understand health statistics and risk
All these he said, are contributing to an epidemic of misinformed doctors and misinformed patients in UK as well as costing tens of thousands of lives around the world.
According to report from DailyMail, the doctors said problem with polypharmacy is that the more drugs you take, the more likely you are to experience side-effects that are then misinterpreted by a doctor or nurse as a symptom of disease that needs treating with additional medicine.
I have lost count of the number of over-medicated elderly patients I have treated, with sometimes three or four blood pressure medications making them dizzy and fall over.” It’s a vicious cycle and one that costs lives each year.
The elderly are particularly vulnerable to polypharmacy with one in three hospital admissions in those over 75 as the result of an adverse drug reaction. Many of these patients will fall and suffer a hip fracture because of medication side effects and a quarter of these will die as a result.
But what is most disturbing is that Professor Gotzsche claims much of the behaviour of the pharmaceutical industry that drives this over-prescription fulfils the criteria for ‘organised crime’ under US law.
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