It seems that every day, and certainly every month, a new drug that we once thought was safe turns out to have a surprise list of possibly dangerous side effects.
The trend is so striking, that many families in our practice are beginning to lose trust in the whole notion of a safe prescription drug.
We at Advanced Pediatrics think this is an important time to emphasize our stance in this unsettling time.
We Listen to Your Concerns
The most important point to make is that we truly share your perspective. The way we put it is that all interventions potentially harmful, all carry some risk. This includes not just medications, but lab tests, X-rays, consultations, even holistic or alternative medicine interventions.
Anytime you take a person and subject them to an intervention, unanticipated consequences are possible.
Therefore, we try to take a very hard and close look at any intervention we suggest you consider.
The best test for whether an intervention, any intervention, is a good idea is a two question test:
- Does it work?
- What harm can it cause?
If it does not work, that is make your child's life actually better, we do not recommend it.
If it works, but the risks outweigh the benefit, we do not recommend it.
Manufacture v. Marketing
When it comes to prescription or over-the-counter drugs, the pharmaceutical industry does a exceptional job in manufacture. That is, a pill that claims to have 20mg of a particular drug in the US, almost certainly does contain 20 mg of that drug. Manufacture in the US is extremely reliable. However, when it comes to marketing, we all know that medications have become very much like cars. They are both very aggressively marketed. A tremendous effort is expended to try to have you take a large number of drugs.
This aspect of the US drug industry is actually fairly useless. Marketing pressures have no role to play in answering the two key questions of whether to take a medicine: does it work, will it cause harm?
Sticking to the Facts and Avoiding Marketing Influence
To keep our attention on the key questions- does it work, and what harm can it cause- Advanced Pediatrics works hard to stick to the facts. We read current medical literature published weekly. We are conversant with literature searches on the National Library of Medicine. We listen to families who find leads on stories of concern about particular drugs and other interventions.
Just as importantly, we try to shield ourselves from marketing influences as completely as possible (although we do still see the same commercials you do).
To that end, these have been our policies as long as this office has been open:
- prohibit any representatives of any pharmaceutical industry from physically entering our office
- discard any marketing materials from the pharmaceutical industry mailed to the office
- buy our own pens, pads, and calendars
- accept no gifts from the pharmaceutical industry
- do not review, or quote articles funded by the pharmaceutical industry
THE BOTTOM LINE
We share your worry that so many drugs are turning out the be potentially harmful. Our office is here to help you keep your children healthy, not mainly to prescribe medications or order tests. Our goal is to make sure advice we give you is based on the facts. The key facts we seek about any drug is what it is supposed to do, and what harm can it possibly cause. We try to avoid distractions that would keep us from sharing the actual facts with you.
Please feel free to call us with questions that you have, it's the best way to learn together.
The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.