Six not-so-simple steps toward protecting us from dangerous drugs

This 1960s anti-nausea pregnancy drug was withdrawn from the market for causing liver damage

Is your doctor prescribing dangerous drugs to you? Prescription drugs have in fact become a leading cause of death, disease, and disability in our society. That’s alarming to those of us who are heart attack survivors and must now take a fistful of cardiac meds every day, and to others like investigative health journalist Alison Bass, author of the book Side Effects.

Last month, she warned us yet again of the disturbing influence the pharmaceutical industry has on medical research and doctors’ prescribing patterns. Not a week goes by, she claims, without a new report on the marketing muscle of the industry and the pervasive ties between the industry and the doctors upon whom we rely for supposedly objective medical advice.”

In fact, the number of patients now taking prescription drugs has soared by 72% in just the last decade, with the result that an estimated 46 million North Americans suffer from adverse side effects and 2.2 million are hospitalized every year because of them.   Continue reading