It is unethical to force medications on an entire population: British Medical Association

We need to stop pushing drugs on healthy people for minor inconveniences

Attention India
5 Min Read

The belief that “prevention is better than cure” is currently being radicalized, with unfavourable results. It involves dousing entire communities with potent drugs. The “father of modern medicine,” Sir William Osler, asserted that the willingness to consume medication sets humans apart from other animals. Osler passed away in 1919, but like most of his insightful proverbs, it still holds today, albeit with the addition that a lot of us take medication even when there is nothing wrong with us. Additionally, he believed that teaching patients not to use medication should be among a doctor’s primary responsibilities. Unfortunately, the notion that medications have potential risks and therefore to be avoided has vanished.

A recent poll found that over 75% of British doctors prescribe something they know is probably not going to work at least once a week, such as low-dose medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, or an unneeded checkup. The British Medical Association considers the use of placebo treatments to be immoral, and this practice runs directly counter to their recommendations.

Medications are also prescribed for a ‘placebo effect’

The results, according to the researchers, point to a widespread practice among physicians and should be utilized to modify government guidelines for the usage of placebos. According to doctors surveyed, they administered them to create a “placebo effect,” either to reassure patients or in response to patient requests for therapy.

The idea of ‘prevention’ is better than cure’ is radicalized a lot today

The idea that “prevention is better than cure” is currently being radicalized, with unfavourable results. Therefore, prevention today involves giving strong medication to entire communities instead of just emphasizing healthy living, exercise, quitting smoking, getting regular immunizations, etc. Rather than personalized medicine, this is population medicine. Rather than giving each patient in the consultation room individualized attention, a comprehensive medical history, and personalized treatment, you medicate a population, or what’s known in the industry as an “epidemiological cohort.”

Majority of patients do not require medications

Reducing the population risk is deemed worthwhile, despite the uncomfortable reality that the majority of patients do not require the medications, they will never experience any benefits, and they may even cause harm. This goes against the conventional wisdom of preventative medicine. However, it enables pharmaceutical businesses to portray their goods as having a protective purpose in an attempt to sway public health policy. And that has a huge positive impact on their revenue. Yesterday, again another example emerged. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a U.K. government agency that directs National Health Service prescribing practices, suggested cutting the barrier in half to statin availability in order to provide the medication to even more individuals.

These cholesterol-lowering substances are already among the medications that family doctors prescribe the most regularly for their well-being. It is obvious that they help those who have experienced a heart attack or stroke; it is less clear, though, if others who only have high risk factors will also benefit. Statin medication does not appear to be beneficial for individuals who do not have significant cardiac disease, according to a meta-analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Furthermore, one statin user will experience liver damage for every 136. Some (granted, frequently infrequent) adverse effects include cataracts, acute renal failure, and muscle aches.

Psychiatric medications are also prescribed heavily without making the patient consider other alternative treatment options. By practicing population medicine, people assume the risk of worsening their health for the sake of other people in the population who may benefit.

By: Gursharan Kaur

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