Are Drug companies controllling your health?

The medical community maintains that pharmaceutical companies have no influence on how they treat their patients, or what medications they prescribe. However, a analysis of records in Minnesota-the only state requiring public reports of pharmaceutical payments to doctors, provides rare documentation of how financial relationships between doctors and drug makers correspond to the growing use of antipsychotic drugs in children.

Between the years 2000-2005, drug maker payments to Minnesota psychiatrists rose more than six fold, to $1.6 million. During that same time frame, antipsychotic prescriptions for children in the Minnesota Medicaid program rose more than nine times higher than normal.

Doctors who took the most money from pharmaceutical companies tended to prescribe that companies particular brand of antipsychotic medication much more often than any other brand. On average, Minnesota psychiatrists who received at least $5,000 from drug makers appeared to have written three times as many prescriptions for children as psychiatrists who received less or no money.

If one state out of 50 is already clearly having a problem with pharmaceutical company influence, it’s safe to assume that this warped type of practice is happening all over our country.

If you can’t trust your doctor, you need to put your health into your own hands. Start by taking steps to achieve your best health possible, naturally.

[Source: New York Times, May 10, 2007]

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