Tuesday, July 01, 2008

8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take

As a health sciences librarian for almost 20 years, I have many issues with the coverage of medical topics in such popular literature. The latest to get me going is a Men's Health article entitled 8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take.

Sadly, this article is filled with overgeneralized statements such as "Unfortunately, it seems some doctors rarely pull the PDR off the shelf. Or if they do crack it open, they don't stay versed on emerging research that may suddenly make a once-trusted treatment one to avoid"

Well, for one, I would question how up to date an MD was if they were still using a 'print' PDR. Second, the reader is supposed to trust a popular magazine article that relies upon a single source article and/or the comment of a single health professional to supports the author's argument for placing a drug on the list.

The author, Morgan Lord, doesn't even appear on the Men's Health list of "experts," which include a bartender and "smart New Yorker, who isn't afraid to tell guys what women really want." He doesn't have an MD or even a PhD after his name. Just try to find more information on his credentials as a medical writer. He also writes for Women's Health magazine and is listed simply as an Assistant Editor on this Rodale Internation publication.

I have no issue with Mr. Lord. He needs to support his family.

My major concern is that this content also is published on other site sites including MSNBC and MSN. This provides a false sense of credibility. DrV's comments really sums things up:
So, while I understand that Mr. Lord has as his job to report information that 'scares' people, I believe that he is remiss in not reporting why a person's Doctor may find important uses in these drugs or may even disagree with studies that are out there. If you've ever seen a patient die without a long term medicine to control their asthma, or you've seen someone whose life has been changed with the addition of a 'questionable' drug, then you will understand that blanket statements that a drug wouldn't be taken by your doctor may be dead wrong. Personally, I'd take this drug (or similar) if I had asthma, and I have family members on it as well. Please, Mr. Lord, do not make my job more difficult; patient compliance is hard enough already as it is.
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1 comment:

Nancy said...

while I do agree with you to some degree, my husband and I have had several serious reactions to drugs and had the HMO MD looked in the PDR regarding the terrible reaction my husband had to Mevacor, he would have plainly understood the issue of muscle side effects. Same goes for me with anti-hypertensives. Fortunately, my profession is medical transcription, and I have learned more than some "MDs" on this subject.