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Medicinal Terrorism is wide spread, Older people have to bear the brunt maximally

Medicinal Terrorism is wide spread, Older people have to bear the brunt maximally

All age groups have become victims of medicinal terror in India, more so the the older people i e about 100 millions and is projected to grow to 12% of the total population by 2020.  Those of elderly, who are lucky to get medical care are often the victims of medical terrorism.  Prescription drug abuse is growing in India and the problem is serious. Unchecked sale of prescription drugs over the counter is becoming India’s biggest drug problem, esp for the older people. Chemists are selling all kind of drugs on their own and for each physiological function they provide a pill to the old patient. Also, it is not uncommon to find older people taking several drugs and following several prescriptions at the same time without knowing the side effects, interaction of drugs, overdose due to medicines common to several prescriptions or uselessness of many expensive drugs. Patient is terrified into taking many seriously dangerous drugs. Pill burden is a term that refers to the number of pills that a patient takes on a regular basis, along with all associated problems – like storing, organizing, consuming, and understanding or remembering various medications in one’s regimen. High pill burden is more often seen in patients of chronic conditions such as diabeteshypertension,  lymphedemahypercholesterolemiaosteoporosis,  heart disease, kidney failure, asthma, constipationclinical depression etc. Doctors as well as patients need to reduce the pill burden on a continuing basis. Unfortunately the spirit of medicalization is catching on recklessly on both sides. Pharma companies and their agents are responsible for this condemnable behavior. What is being said is that the World Health Organization and the US FDA should not be spared for accepting bribes in huge amounts from the pharmaceutical giants for the sake of certifying the drugs manufactured by them. Unfortunately the country has become highly medicalised i e most of the people are taking medicines or undergoing interventions, often un-necessary. Everyone wants numerous tests and early medication. There are no protocols of management of ailments and emergency. Medicines and consumables are prescribed and used with impunity, irrespective of the need or socio-economic status of the family. Statins are such group, which is being sold to most old people to save them from heart ailments, but has many debilitating side effects and good effects are not certain.

Pharmaceutical companies and doctors both are to be blamed

Pharmaceutical companies have a stranglehold on medicine. They are so powerful that if doctors don’t toe the line, they can lose their career. And if they lose their career, they won’t be helping any patients, either. Caucus of corporate practice by owners who treat doctors as replaceable labor, the pharma companies who see money in everything but earn via doctors, quacks who make money via other doctors, laboratory earns money on doctors who prescribe has made doctors as sole villains. This is compounded by consumer courts that have forced doctors to prescribe too many tests to save their own skin.  The issue can be tackled by doctors uniting and saying no to unnecessary tests, unnecessary consultations, unnecessary operations, and unnecessary drugs and unnecessarily hiked up fee. Doctors need also to say no to kick backs. Older persons are hit the hardest, since they are over-prescribed, neglected at home, no societal benefits due to age, due to flawed policies in India.

A Dutch study found approximately one in five prescriptions written for elderly patients were inappropriate. And, the analysis showed, common drugs classed to treat allergies, depression and pain were among the most overprescribed, and also the ones most likely to produce adverse reactions. In India where illiteracy, ignorance, greed and myths combine with doctors’ apathy, it would be much more. Antibiotics, tranquilizers, vitamins, anti allergic, steroids etc are abused freely. Many physicians say these findings highlight a growing and significant health problem. A geriatrician who practices at the University of Rochester Medical Center, believes more bad outcomes occur for seniors from mis-prescribing. Often this happens since old patients tend to see multiple physicians and use multiple pharmacies and do not remain in touch with their family doctor. He notes that older adults with memory issues have difficulty keeping track of the medications they take, or they don’t take them correctly. They often have none to assist. Advancing age also changes the body’s ability to metabolize medication, which can increase sensitivity and magnify reactions. “By some estimates, approximately 30 percent of hospital admissions of elderly patients are related to medication toxic effects,” said Dr. Barbara Paris the director of the division of geriatrics at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. Indian physicians agree that polypharmia is a growing issue. I can tell you first hand that it is. One of my close relatives who expired recently was victim of polyphamia. Out of others he was taking 10 pills of anti-oxidants daily.

If you have an older parent and they’re taking prescription medication, make sure you remain in touch. The medical professionals recommend you do, to protect them from overdosing on prescription drugs: Keep an up-to-date log of all medications. Include over the counter medications and supplements, even multivitamins. Bring all medications and supplements to each appointment with a primary care provider and ask for a review. Make sure you pay attention to frequency and dosage, which may need to be adjusted with age. Let the primary care doctor know about any changes made by other providers to medications and treatment as well as any new supplements. If your parent falls ill, don’t assume symptoms aren’t related to a medication, even if no new medication has been added.

 

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