If this book doesnít scare the heck out of anyone taking a prescription drug or seeking a doctorís help, I donít know what will. Overdosed America is a powerful and chilling look at how our entire health care system is failing us, despite claims from our leadership that we are the best in the world. In fact, author and family doctor John Abramson, M.D., points out that America ranks much lower than most industrialized countries in quality of health care. This book goes on to explain how that can be true despite our nation spending the most dollars on a system that is, at best, crippled beyond recognition.
Filled with top-notch research, facts and statistics, it would be hard for anyone to argue with the authorís eye-opening assault on the lies, myths and media distortions most of us have come to accept as truth in terms of health care and medicine. We learn about how closely involved pharmaceutical and research companies are with the medical journals they ďreport to,Ē as well as the unethical ties between these companies and the media and government, which basically means that we, the consumers and patients, are on our own.
It gets harder and harder to trust our doctors and medical specialists as we learn through this book about the many false and misleading research reports that have led doctors to over-prescribe dangerous drugs like Vioxx and Celebrex, as well as drugs that donít seem to work much better than older versions or placebos, as is the case with most anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. There is also plenty of research into the use of statins like Pravachol for lowering cholesterol, and how many of the studies that show statins work are faulty or inaccurate. Abramson also discusses the problems behind managed care, for-profit hospitals and the overwhelming influence of the drug industry on many politicians and uncovers the truth behind the ingrained beliefs many of us hold about cholesterol, heart disease, and hormone replacement therapy.
Once you read about the massive PR campaigns behind the introduction of new drugs, as outlined in this brilliant book, you begin to understand why we are being assaulted by ads and commercials for this and that drug and how the industry is out to make sure they make more and more profits, often at our expense. Abramson talks about many drugs that were sold in the millions that later proved to be dangerous, even fatal. So much for ethics behind medicine.
But the news is not all bleak, as the author points out. With more emphasis on preventative care, and more patients and consumers demanding accountability and honesty from politicians and drug companies, and with those of us who are at the greatest risk, the consumers, taking more control of the power we hold to positively affect our lives through better nutrition and exercise, we can take back our health care system and make it work for us again. It wonít be easy, because many people are getting rich off of our suffering and ill health, but it can be done.
Otherwise, we get to face our health ranking in the world dropping even lower and lower. And that means more people dying before their time from problems that could have easily been taken care of had we had a health care system that worked. This is a book that every American should read. If you care about your health at all, you must.