The magic of medication:
The ugly truth is that medication is great! Particularly prescription medication like the kind that pharmaceutical companies have spent years developing and patenting.
I know that the modern way is to tough it out, not bother going to your GP (because you can’t get an appointment any way) and when you do finally give in and go it’s because you want him/her to prescribe you something that is going to make you feel better; after all what are our GP’s there for?
I know from personal experience that attending the GP with a view to leaving with a prescription is all too frequently an anti-climax as he/she stares at the screen and says that you should try hot milk, or a hot bath to cure sleeplessness (because of course I’m far too stupid to have thought about or explored these lesser remedies myself). Or when you attend with a respiratory infection, having infected most of the people in your office and the GP’s waiting room, and the response is literally “you have to get over it yourself” (while taking down with you enough people to populate a small country). The result of this “non-prescribing” policy is of course that we all just take more time off work, which costs employers and the economy a shed load of money, not to mention the impact on productivity in the work place!
An additional argument to support the “loosening of the prescription pad strings” is that people end up SELF MEDICATING and we all know what that means; cannabis, the all too respectable bottle of wine every night, abuse of over the counter meds including things like Co-codamol, Day and Night Nurse, all of which administer an excellent buzz in the right combinations and proportions. The result of all this SELF MEDICATING is that people develop OTHER health problems associated with this “off the shelf” management of their ailments, which let’s face it folks, would have been treated by your GP back in the good old days with some good old sleeping pills and an SSRI prescription.
And what about conditions not deemed as illnesses but part of the life-cycle, like the MENOPAUSE!!
Back when my mother and her peers were approaching “that time” in their life, they were freely and happily prescribed HRT; GP’S were handing them out like smarties and women frequently stayed on it right up to retirement age. Of course they may have developed a few health conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure but weigh that up against large numbers of middle aged women going what can only be described as “a little bit batty” (and that’s being polite) most of these women when questioned, look back very fondly on what can only be described as the HRT years. They were Oestrogen fuelled, full of bosom and oddly confident well in to their late 50’s, while most of today’s menopausal women are sharing shaving foam with their husbands while everything else droops and sags! It’s just not fair.
And what about cognitive enhancers which include drugs like METHYLPHENIDATE (Ritalin to you and me)? The benefits included enhanced study skills and concentration and if it’s safe enough to prescribe to children, why not the worn out parents and professionals being forced to juggle family life, aging relatives, their professional world and goodness knows what else (these will of course be the same crowd who are going home at night sagging with exhaustion and cracking open that bottle of wine).
In my opinion the medical profession need to just lighten up and stop being so stingy with the meds, after all if we were actually able to measure the COST-BENEFIT of prescribing, versus non-prescribing, I think they would find they have the power to make this rough and bumpy ride on planet earth a much happier place. Discuss J !!!
Disclaimer: I have a fabulous GP, empathise with the pressure they are all under and recognise the issues around antibiotic resistance.