Is This the End Of Modern Medicine? We Don’t Want It Even If It’s Free?

Pain in acute myocardial infarction (front)
Image via Wikipedia

In all the hullaballoo about healthcare, one study reports the truth.  We may not want chronic healthcare at all.  What if we removed all the hurdles, all the money, and just gave people their drugs?

They won’t take them.  So says the study that tried.  It wasn’t that patients didn’t take the drugs.  They didn’t even want to sign up for the study.  Perhaps this would be understandable if it were chronic pain we were talking about, but these people had heart attacks.  They knew they were likely to die without the drugs.  And they didn’t take them.

The estimates of one third of Americans not taking their drugs is a false one.  That is based on doctors asking in surveys if people are taking their drugs, and many more will say they are than are.  What is MUCH more important is how many people continue to take their drugs.  In this study, less than 10% were taking their drugs as prescribed after one year.

Ok, so if you have a heart attack, you can die from the next one.  Your risk doesn’t go down, it goes up over time.  (We’re assuming that people are not doing Ornish or lifestyle change, but just standard American diet).  But your compliance drops to negligible after just one year?  Let’s be clear that compliance will only drop further as the person continues.  The average complete failure of a supplement regime (that the patient has chosen herself) is two to three years.

So that’s it.  If people won’t comply with the protocols, there isn’t much point to all the ads, all the conferences, all the debates.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ve reached the end of the yellow brick road for modern medicine.  We need to find another way to help people get well.  Some alternatives.  (Hint, hint.)


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