That sounds like a very strange set of happenings: Medical Doctors go on strike and there are might be fewer deaths. Could it be true?
Iatrogenic Disease is defined as a disease that is caused by medical treatment.
How Prepared are YOU to Not Become a National Statistic?
If a Jumbo Jet crashed and killed 280 people everyday… 365 days a year… year after year… would you be concerned about flying?? Would you question the Federal Aviation Administration? Would you demand answers?
Think about it! IF close to 100,000 people were dying every year from plane crashes you might seriously consider a different mode of transportation me thinks!
What if you were told that over 100,000 people are killed and over 2 million people maimed and disabled every year…year after year from modern medicine…would you believe it?? It is true. That is what is termed Iatrogenic Disease.
Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Starfield has documented the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm in the following statistics:
* The term iatrogenic is defined as “induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially to pertain to a complication of treatment.” Furthermore, these estimates of death due to error are lower than those in a recent Institutes of Medicine report.
If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.
Even at the lower estimate of 225,000 deaths per year, this constitutes the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
Dr. Starfield offers several caveats in the interpretations of these numbers:
First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.
Second, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include the many negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort.
Third, the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report. If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.
Australians should not be complacent either.
Don’t put faith in hospital care, expert warns
From: The Australian October 28, 2008
PATIENTS need to ditch the “it’ll be right” attitude to hospital visits and take more responsibility for their own care, a health expert says.
It has been widely accepted for the past decade that about one in 10 Australian patients will have something go wrong during a hospital visit, University of NSW Institute of Health Innovation director Jeffrey Braithwaite said.
Professor Braithwaite will urge patients not to solely rely on hospital staff to deliver perfect results in his address to the National Forum on Safety and Quality in Health Care in Adelaide tomorrow.
“Hospitals are dangerous places. Whilst you go there to be treated for whatever illness or injury you sustain you can actually suffer harm,” he told AAP ahead of his address.
PATIENTS’ lives are being put at risk in Queensland hospitals because of an alarming level of blood-type identification errors, experts have warned.
A medical conference in Brisbane last week was told that a recent study of Townsville, Royal Brisbane, Wesley and Greenslopes hospitals in Queensland revealed four patients had been given potentially fatal incorrect blood transfusions.
The six-month study to December 2007 also identified a further 26 cases of blood-related errors.
“Every drug administered, every diagnostic test performed, every operative procedure entered into, carries with it the risk of iatrogenic complications. The more medication, tests and operations a patient experiences, the more likely he or she is to develop an iatrogenic disease. Because of the present fragmentation of medical care with each sub-specialist looking after his own particular organ system, the total risk to which the patient is exposed is often forgotten.” The Pharmaceutical Drug Racket – part one
Now that dear friend sums it all up in a very scary way!
It has been a conundrum to me for quite some time, trying to work out why Australia follows what the US does, so very closely. For example, if a drug is approved in the USA, then you can bet your bottom dollar it will be on the market here in Australia very soon after. How much by way of drug trials are actually conducted in Australia prior to the drugs release on the market? Are the FDA rules and guidelines and approvals simply taken for granted as being A OK?
International bribery and corruption, fraud in the testing of drugs, criminal negligence in the unsafe manufacture of drugs – the pharmaceutical industry has a worse record of law-breaking than any other industry.
Describing many examples of corporate crime, which shows the depth and seriousness of the crime problem in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Braithwaite’s revealing study is based on extensive international research, including interviews of 131 senior executives of pharmaceutical companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico and Guatemala.
(At the time of researching the subject, Braithwaite was a Research Criminologist at the Australian Institute of Criminology.)
In the book – Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry – 1984, Dr. Braithwaite shows how pharmaceutical multinationals defy the intent of laws regulating safety of drugs by bribery, false advertising, fraud in the safety testing of drugs, unsafe manufacturing processes, smuggling and international law evasion strategies.
Personally I do not think terribly much has changed since then.
Braithwaite reported in the 1984 book that:
Dr Ley, spoke before the US Senate hearings of a spot check that showed up the case of an assistant professor of medicine who had reputedly tested 24 drugs for 9 different companies. “Patients who died while on clinical trials were not reported to the sponsor”, an audit revealed. “Dead people were listed as subjects of testing. People reported as subjects of testing were not in the hospital at the time of tests. Patient consent forms bore dates indicating they were signed by the subjects after the subjects died.”
Another audit looked at a commercial drug-testing firm that had apparently worked on 82 drugs and 28 sponsors:
“Patients who died, left the hospital or dropped out of the study were replaced by other patients in the tests without notification in the records. Forty-one patients reported as participating in studies were dead or not in the hospital during the studies…. Record-keeping, supervision and observation of patients in general were grossly inadequate.”
Between 1977 and 1980, the FDA have discovered 62 doctors who had submitted manipulated or downright falsified clinical data. (6) A study conducted by the FDA has revealed that one in five doctors investigated, who carry out field research of new drugs, had invented the data they sent to the drug companies, and pocketed the fees.
Jump ahead now to the year 2000 and onwards, and let’s see if things have improved.
June 2004 – UK drugs group Glaxosmithkline (GSK) has been sued in the US for allegedly lying about the effectiveness and safety of its antidepressant Paxil.
2004 – Drug firms accused over medical articles. There is an entire page available that shows some of the fraud cases.
2009 – The news that Scott S. Reuben of Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., has faked data for Celebrex, Vioxx, Effexor XR and Lyrica might make you think that the FDA will enact strict new guidelines on drug testing. You’d be wrong.
When the FDA discovers fake data it takes only limited actions, applying extra scrutiny only to the lab that developed the bogus studies, according to a recent letter from the FDA.
In 2009- Pfizer Inc was one of the big headline grabbers for its huge healthcare fraud scheme. The drugs giant was found guilty of making false claims about four prescription medications it sold, it was ordered to pay a total of $2.3bn. Included in that sum was $102m that was awarded to several whistleblowers. They informed the authorities after they became very concerned that the company was asking them to miss-sell drugs.
To say Pfizer’s been accused of wrongdoing is like saying BP had an oil spill. Other drug companies have a portfolio of products, Pfizer has a portfolio of scandals including, but not limited to, Chantix, Lipitor, Viagra, Geodon, Trovan, Bextra, Celebrex, Lyrica, Zoloft, Halcion and drugs for osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, kidney transplants and leukemia.
During one week in June Pfizer 1) agreed to pull its 10-year-old leukemia drug Mylotarg from the market because it caused more, not less patient deaths
2) Suspended pediatric trials of Geodon two months after the FDA said children were being overdosed
3) Suspended trials of tanezumab, an osteoarthritis pain drug, because patients got worse not better, some needing joint replacements (pattern, anyone?)
4) Was investigated by the House for off-label marketing of kidney transplant drug Rapamune and targeting African-Americans
5) Saw a researcher who helped established its Bextra, Celebrex and Lyrica as effective pain meds, Scott S Reuben, MD, trotted off to prison for research fraud
6) was sued by Blue Cross Blue Shield to recoup money it overpaid for Bextra and other drugs
7) received a letter from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) requesting its whistleblower policy and had its appeal to end lawsuits by Nigerian families who accuse it of illegal trials of the antibiotic Trovan in which 11 children died, rejected by the Supreme Court. And how was your week?
The Food and Drug Administration in the USA does not do any of its own testing before approving a substance for use. It relies solely on reports it received from the manufacturers. There is an entire page of links to stories on corruption at the FDA. We even have stories such as: Lawyers who want to sue drug companies will be drooling over the news that the FDA has “certified” a 2009 letter sent anonymously by FDA staff to President Obama describing “systemic corruption and wrongdoing that permeates all levels of FDA.”
This kind of information does not give me a comfortable assurance that the Australian system is the best for us, because it relies far too much on the FDA.
So back to the start, when I wondered if more patients would live if doctors went on strike, I give you these facts direct from the mouth – maybe I should say ‘keyboard’ of the Medical Error Action Group (Australia) for final consideration.
FACT #1: Doctors report medical mistakes kill 18,000 Australians, at least, and harm 330,000 every year …and this is just a minimum number!
FACT #2: Aeroplanes are 10,000 times safer to enter than hospitals
FACT #3: Our roads are 11 times safer to use than our hospitals.
FACT #4: Medical error is a leading cause of death and injury in Australia.
Some thoughts Dear Reader to ponder till next time…….. Be as well as you can.