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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Doctors ignoring drug interaction alerts when writing prescrip

Dr Alan Ingilis;

There's been plenty of blame to go around as drug interactions have become a leading cause of death in the United States. We can blame Big Pharma, for cooking up these deadly cocktails that unleash havoc in our systems.

We can blame the FDA, for showing no interest in how drugs will interact before bodies start piling up.

But it turns out that arrogant doctors may deserve a good chunk of the blame for unleashing illnesses and deaths related to drug interactions.

According to a new study, doctors are ignoring electronic drug interaction alerts up to 90 percent of the time!

Researchers looked at electronic prescriptions written by more than 2,800 doctors in three states. The electronic prescription software worked as it should, displaying alerts when doctors were about to write a prescription that could cause a potentially dangerous interaction or trigger an allergic reaction.

Doctors ignored 77 percent of the allergy alerts and 90 percent of the drug interaction alerts. Why? They decided to rely on their own judgment instead – in fact, they even seemed annoyed by the alerts.

If this isn't the height of arrogance, I don't know what is. This system wasn't built to inconvenience doctors – it was built to save lives! And many docs, with their rushed, seven-minute appointments, just can't be bothered.

Researchers said part of the problem was that too many alerts were being generated, and docs just stopped paying attention. The fact that so many alerts are generated is the real smoking gun here. There are literally countless ways that prescription drugs can do serious damage in your system.

You've heard me say it before - your real health problems often begin the minute you accept that first prescription. And once you take a second, you're playing Russian roulette.

Before you accept any prescription, make sure your doctor fully informs you of the risks and potential interactions. We all want to assume that doctors are performing their due diligence – but this research paints a bleak picture we can't ignore.

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