Name Institution Course Instructor Date Prescription Drugs vs. Alternative Medicine: The Unethical Truth Introduction A prescription drug is any form of medicine that is licensed and required by law to have a prescription from a medical practitioner with a legal license…
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However, the success of the industry is not free of blemish. In the year 2010, a study approximated the number of users of the drugs non-medically and therefore without prescriptions as 7.0 million which represented 2.7 % of the American population (Drugs and Corbett et al.). The drugs abused by the American population range from pain relievers, and stimulants to sedatives and tranquilizers. The extent of the abuse has seen the addiction of some people to the drugs. The blame for this scenario lies in the pharmaceutical companies that influence the medical practice through the use of misleading commercials and making payments for medical practitioners and experts. However, we should delve into the use of alternative medicine in preference to the prescription drugs to reduce the wrongs that have resulted from the marketing of the drugs. Misleading advertisements Some of the companies that make the prescription drugs that are common in everyday life use misleading statements in their product marketing to create the view that their products are better (Weber 98). The promotion of Darvon, a prescription drug intended for pain from surgery and fractures was studied with the results painting a clear picture of this argument. The promotional literature said the drug was better than aspirin. In the study, the opinions of physicians were reviewed. Although the physicians claimed to base their opinions on science, almost half believed the statement used in the drug’s promotion despite the fact that no results showed this to be true ("Drug Company Gifts to Doctors"). As such, the promotion of the drug misled the physicians into viewing the drug as the best option. Therefore, the reliance on prescription drugs due to the opinion of the physician should be avoided as they may be misled. Influence of medical practitioners The pharmaceutical companies are trying to strengthen the circulation of their drugs by influencing the medical practitioners to have preferences for their medication (Weber 47). This is done through the provision of little gifts to the physician. A case in the American Medical Association journal provides an illustration of this. The case describes an insect bite patient who has gone to the hospital to seek attention. An intern made a sensible decision to prescribe penicillin, which would be an inexpensive and suitable treatment. However, the resident thought otherwise prescribing a treatment that was more “modern” and describing the patient as “severely” ill. This option would cost the patient $183 for every day he received the new and modern antibiotic ("Drug Company Gifts to Doctors"). However, after some digging into the issue by the house officers’ supervisor who doubled up as the attending physician, it came to light that the resident’s decision was influenced. A drug representative of the drug company had wined and dined the resident prior to the developments. This shows that the resident’s and some physicians’ decisions were not based on the best choice of treatment as they are influenced by gifts by the drug companies which adopt these as part of their marketing strategy. In some cases, the gifts to the practitioners are monetary. This is evidenced by stories published in the New York Times. In one article, there is a report of the federal law for health care requiring disclosure of payments to medical practitio
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