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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Somebody censored a research conclusion . . .

According to a story in Health Day, researchers have found that 45 % of hospital outpatients taking drugs for chronic illnesses are failing to be followed regularly with recommended lab tests to avoid serious side effects of the drugs.

What really gets me angry is the obviously fudged conclusion. Can you believe this?

"Patients who are prescribed medications for chronic illnesses need to ask their doctors about tests to monitor side effects, the researchers advised."

This is putting the full responsibility for a medication prescribed by a doctor on the patient instead of the doctor where it belongs. Too many doctors do not bother to read the inforamtion provided by law by the pharmaceutical makers. They simply listen to the ad pitch from the detail man who visits the hospitals and doctors office dispensing free goodies, samples, cute little gifts, and prizes for doctors who prescribe the most of whatever "drug of the month" is being pushed. The researchers are advising patients (many of whom are illiterate, blind, deaf, mentally impaired or otherwise unable to do more than follow the doctor's instructions) to do the doctor's work for him! Is this another new way to avoid a malpractice suit? Whatever the merits of the research, the conclusion was obviously doctored.

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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