Friday, July 08, 2005

Well, I feel better. How 'bout you?

Shocking news from the world of medicine: doctors admit they might not know it all. "Four in 10 doctors said they received no training in medical school on prescribing controlled substances; more than one-half received no training on identifying prescription drug abuse or addiction. Three-fourths said they had no training in medical school identifying diversion of prescription drugs for illicit purposes."

The reason is, of course, advertising. That's what I read in the papers anyway. "Frist said advertising pushes consumers to ask for drugs they may not need. That pressure can also influence physicians to prescribe those medications or change the prescription...." Advertising might also raise awareness of medical conditions consumers might not know are treatable but that's not important right now. Or it might motivate consumers to visit a doctor when they otherwise wouldn't but that's not important either. What matters is government wants drug companies to impose an ad ban on themselves which Bristol-Myers has obediently already done.

So to re-cap: even though they admit they receive little to no prescription training -- even though they wilt under the slightest pressure from patients but presumably will stand up firmly to future overtures from drug companies -- doctors will be trusted to stay on top of every new pharmaceutical development. Because they have that kind of down time. And consumers, the big brutes, will just have to suffer.

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