Many patients don't take meds due to side effects and a preference for natural options
With the support of the US Surgeon General, pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and several other key healthcare organizations and businesses, the National Consumers League (NCL) launched its “Script Your Future” campaign on May 11. This nationwide campaign is dedicated to improving “medication adherence” by getting patients to pledge to take their drugs as prescribed by their physicians.
A key component of this three-year campaign is a website, ScriptYourFuture.org, which is designed to educate people on the importance of adhering to their drug regimen. The campaign slogan, which is plastered on the home page of the website, says “If you don’t take your medication as directed, you’re putting your health and future at risk.”
Folks, this is absurd! One of my biggest problems with the medical system today is its lack of ethics. While many doctors, drug makers, and government agencies are quick to discount the proven safety and benefits of nutritional supplements and alternative therapies, they turn a blind eye to the potential dangers of mainstream medicine. I can’t count how many times those in positions of influence have suppressed such information. This campaign is the latest example. Let me explain.
Downplaying Drug Dangers…
On the ScriptYourFuture.org site, it states, “More than one in three medicine-related hospitalizations happen because that person did not take their medicine as directed. Not taking your medicine as directed can do more than just send you to the hospital—almost 125,000 people die every year because they did not take their medicine as directed.”
My question—and the one you should also be asking—is, “What about the millions of people who are injured or killed each year by side effects of prescription drugs that were taken as directed?” Not surprisingly, that information is nowhere to be found on the site.
…and Ignoring Patient Concerns
Since “medication adherence” is the focus of the campaign, before its launch, the NCL conducted research to find out why people don’t take their drugs as prescribed. The reasons ranged from concerns about side effects to out-of-pocket costs of prescription meds.
These findings are similar to what I hear from patients who tell me why they don’t comply with their prescribed drug regimen. For starters, most of them don’t like the idea of taking drugs, and many have firsthand experience with adverse side effects. They also believe that lifestyle changes and other natural therapies are the way to go.
Most folks feel that they know more about this approach than their conventional physicians, who simply write prescriptions and send them out the door. Yet, to spare feelings and avoid confrontation, they take the scripts with no intention of ever filling them.
Beware of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
You would think that this campaign would address these concerns, right? Wrong.
As is usually the case when Big Pharma, our government, and the physician organizations that set treatment guidelines band together, patient concerns are ignored, or at least downplayed. Instead, all efforts go into furthering the agendas of these entities—all the while masking them as concern for the public’s welfare and quality of life.
My advice to you: If your doctor has prescribed a drug and you’re not taking it, be open and honest about your actions and express your concerns. If your physician isn’t willing to explore non-drug alternatives, find one who will. To find a physician in your area who is open to this approach, visit acam.org.