Why are so many Doctors so uneducated on depression, meds etc.?

Why are so many Doctors so uneducated on depression, meds etc.?

The following answer is from Allan Cassels, drug policy researcher, University of Victoria (BC, Canada) as quoted from Greenspiration in his article ‘Buying the Medical Profession’…

“Drug marketers know that the most effective weapons in the arsenal of persuasion are gifts – free samples, pens, and free meals bestowed on physicians by drug reps thousands of times a day around the world. This activity, which accompanies the product pushing known as “detailing” constitutes a large part of what your GP (General Practitioner or Family Doctor) will ever learn about prescription drugs and about treating mental illness.

You might think your physician can see through the marketing spiels, yet the data says something very different.

In 1998, Toronto drug policy researcher Joel Lexchin reviewed the literature on detailing by pharmaceutical representatives and found a very strong link between contact with drug reps and inappropriate prescribing. In fact, Lexchin found that the more frequently prescribers saw industry detailers, the more prone they were to use pharmacotherapy versus nondrug therapy, and the more likely they were to use more expensive medications when cheaper and equally effective ones were available.

With drug reps constantly parading in front of doctors, the chemical view of illness is shaped and reinforced behind closed doors. Why should we be surprised that the dominant paradigm of mental health care has largely been reduced to the tweaking of neurotransmitters and serotonin levels with patented drugs?

The culture of antidepressant use has been beaten into our collective consciousness. Adverse effects associated with these drugs, however, such as the association with suicidality, and alternative views of illness and treatment, do not seem to get much airplay.

With thousands of drug reps working clinics, hospitals and conferences worldwide, how can public health compete? How can we reclaim medicine from the marketplace?

Antidepressants fit the single-pill solution that many of us expect. Yet when the definitions of disease itself are being sold, and where the dangers inherent in using pills are downplayed, how many physicians really have what they need to help their patients through tough times?”

-Cassels has just co-authored a book called Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients.

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