According to NBC about 1 in 12 U.S. physicians got a free meal, payment, or something else of cash value from a drug company making opioids in recent years.
Source: Many Doctors Get Goodies from Opioid Makers – NBC News
I guess this raises some fundamental questions about ethics, the Hippocratic oath and trust.
But in this day and age, individuals with access to the internet must do their own due diligence.
I suffer from a chronic lower back injury, basically degenerative. I’m not looking to surgery but my surgeon warned me to do back exercises every day for the rest of my life. That was over year ago and the only time when I’ve missed a day was when I was on very long haul flights.
But when I saw the orthopedic surgeon, whom I respect, he provided me an assortment of medication. I was offered steroids as an anti inflammatory which I rejected because of impact on my glaucoma. Secondly, I was given muscle relaxants which I took twice. Thirdly, I was prescribed opioids for the pain. I checked the opioids out on the internet and didn’t like what I read. For a second opinion, I mentioned it my physio who was shocked – she told me that I could be arrested for travelling with this medication in certain parts of the world.
I still do my back exercises religiously EVERY day. I checked with my glaucoma specialist and he agreed that I could use steroids occasionally. As for the opioids, they were trashed.
There’s an old Latin maxim, ‘Caveat Emptor‘, meaning ‘Buyer beware’.
Yes, doctors took the Hippocratic oath but in North America, they earn vast incomes and frequently play the system to their advantage, recommending the latest tests and medication. But my advice is to keep an eye on the doctor and don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. Remember, ‘Buyer Beware’ and fight for your rights as an individual.