Do The Drugs You Take Really Work? And Are They Safe?

A picture of a variety of loose pillsWhen one visits the doctor and drugs are prescribed – one rightfully assumes those drugs are both effective and safe.

After all – we trust the physicians in our lives to make good choices for us.

Did you know that in 1997, Congress passed a law creating a website called clinicaltrials.gov overseen by the National Institutes of Health? The website was established to provide physicians and consumers easy access to information on public and private clinical trials.

In 2007, Congress also passed legislation that required medical researchers to release study findings to this website within one year of a study’s completion.

Soon thereafter, editors at many of the most prestigious medical journals decided to publish only study results that appeared on that website.

Well, in 2008, an FDA medical officer by the name of Turner led a research review looking to determine which research studies on antidepressants actually got published in medical journals.

To his surprise, Turner found that of all studies published on the topic, 94% of the time they reported positive results.

So that’s what all the research must have revealed – correct?

Continue reading “Do The Drugs You Take Really Work? And Are They Safe?” »

Death from Medicine Back in the News…

Death from Medicine is way too common.For decades, medical researchers have been publishing data showing that conventional medicine is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. A paper recently published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) reconfirms this fact.

There are a number of very curious things about this issue.   First – why was this latest article not published in a prominent U.S. medical journal? Well – the author approached the NEJM (the New England Journal of Medicine) and was told “the study was not relevant to practicing physicians”. JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) also said no thanks.

Really?

No interest???

What’s more – how is it possible the medical community has made so little progress addressing these issues, particularly given that researchers have been reporting this data since the middle of the 20th century – over 50 years.

How can it be that the richest nation on earth, a nation that spends more on healthcare than any other major industrial nation, is now witnessing a dramatic increase in chronic disease and a drop in life expectancy compared to other industrialized nations?

Is it possible that business interests are trumping consumer interests?

Robert Kennedy Jr. (the son of the late Senator Robert Kennedy) recently had this to say about medicine in America…

“The pharmaceutical industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. It is a trillion dollar industry. It is the number-one lobbyist in Washington D.C., and at state capitals around America. It gives $2.6 billion – twice what oil and gas give – to our elected officials. The pharmaceutical industry gives four-times to our politicians what defense and aeronautical contractors do. This is an industry that has complete control of our politicians on Capitol Hill.”

Our question is why would an industry so confident about the benefits of their system of therapy feel the need to buy state and federal legislative bodies? It’s a curious question isn’t it?

Continue reading “Death from Medicine Back in the News…” »

Would Your Hospital Admit A Medical Mistake?

Hopsitals' admission to medical mistakesIt’s estimated that medical errors cost the United States $19.5 billion a year – most of it in added medical costs. And that estimate is considered by many experts to be low.

It is also estimated that physicians in this country make 12 million serious diagnostic medical errors a year… and knowingly prescribe powerful and often toxic drugs that are ineffective 80% of the time.

The truth is that medical mistakes and malpractice are the third leading cause of death in this country[1].

Can anything be done to improve this situation?

Well what if your hospital had a strict policy of admitting when errors and medical malpractice occurred?

Actually – there are a few that do that voluntarily.

MedStar Health – a company operating 10 hospitals in the Baltimore, Washington D.C. area has a stated policy that “if the [need for further] care was preventable, we’re waiving bills…”

Sounds remarkable – right?

Sadly few hospital systems in the U.S. operate in such a transparent fashion. Sadder still is the cost to patients.   What happens to those people?

The fact is that of the many tens of thousands injured by medical mistakes each year – only a tiny percentage file a lawsuit to recover their losses.   For the vast majority – the cost of medical and rehab costs for the mistakes of their physicians and hospitals falls to them, the injured – often with catastrophic financial consequences.

“You would expect if [health-care providers] make the mistake, they would make you whole,” said Leah Binder, president of the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization that grades hospitals on their record of preventing errors, injuries, accidents and infections. “But that is not what happens. In health care, you pay and you pay and you pay.”

Well there is a tiny glimmer of hope… some insurers are requiring that hospitals handle mistakes by providing all follow-up care for free. The industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans is one such group pushing for this reform.

Interestingly – research indicates that when healthcare providers are transparent about mistakes – patients are much less likely to sue… and that’s good for everyone.

If you or a loved one is ever the victim of a surgical error, a defective drug, the improper prescription of a drug therapy, over-exposure to medical radiation, a hospital acquired infection, a fall while in the hospital, a preventable blood clot, a misdiagnosis, or any form of medical malpractice, call a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer. A knowledgeable malpractice attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.

RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of medical malpractice cases over our 60 years serving the people of Connecticut.

What’s more, our Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of these cases.

We have a great team of legal experts dedicated to medical malpractice in Connecticut.   Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.

 

[1] MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – BY THE NUMBERS, CENTER FOR JUSTICE & DEMOCRACY. 2015