Scott: Doctor, many people get prescribed prescription drugs. Some are very powerful and some can be very dangerous if not used properly, or even if used properly. How much does the patient need to know and are there concerns with a lot of the drugs that are prescribed?
Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Well, Scott, how many, how many patients a year do you think die from properly prescribed drugs? Properly prescribed, we're not talking about improperly... probably more.
Scott: And that were used correctly.
Eliaz: But from properly prescribed drugs, well over one hundred thousand people. A hundred thousand. Ok, one hundred thousand. Just imagine, die every year, from properly prescribed drugs. We hear all over the news, there is a supplement or an herb that made one person sick, and one person died from an herb, and the congress jumps on it and the FDA. Over one hundred thousand people die every year from properly prescribed drugs.
Now, of course the patient needs to be well educated about the side effects. But these are properly prescribed drugs. The best thing is to try and avoid drugs when you can. That's the value of holistic medicine, of integrative medicine. And we have to remember the pharmaceutical industry, which drives these drugs, have no interest in healthy society. I mean, it's their nightmare. If we all became healthy, it's their nightmare. Our wish to make people healthy is a pharmaceutical industry's nightmare. Why would they do things to make people healthy? People will use less drugs. They make their money by people being sick. So there's a huge conflict of interest between the health industry, the medical insurance industry, the idea of making people healthy and the drug company which needs people to be sick in order to make money. A huge conflict of interest.
And the supplement industry is very different, it's health driven. If you look, a lot of educational materials, a lot of the education the public has, that's available to the public, is promoted by different organizations that are related to the dietary supplement industry. So this industry side by side, side by side with the dietary supplements that they offer, who's quality is getting better and better, they offer education that promotes health. There is a synergistic effect between people being healthy and the dietary supplement. The goal of the dietary supplement industry is to make people healthy. The goal and the focus of the pharmaceutical industry is to treat sick people.
There are some drugs that are developed for rare illnesses, and there are a few hundreds of people, a few thousands of people. But the cost is huge. But it's important to help these people. But the basic thing, the basic philosophy, is a problem. And when we use so many drugs and there are so many side effects, it's almost impossible for the doctor to know all of them. That's why now there are more and more databases for toxicology. It's computerized that when it's going to move in the future to a place where when a doctor prescribes a few drugs and he does it through an automated, computerized system, there are dangerous side effects, and they will show up immediately. Because a doctor can not remember all the side effects.
But what to do about it is know what you're taking. Try and stay away from drugs as much as possible, while realizing that prescription drugs can save lives, they're very important in the right time. But there's really no way around it. Some drugs are so toxic, that you really will ask yourself, how come they are even approved.
We actually know, Scott, when you have a new drug approved, when you see a study about the positive effects of a new drug, especially in oncology, this is one out of five studies. Four studies that show negative results are not shared with the public. Only the positive ones are. It's very well known, you hear it from a lot of pharmaceutical executive. And it's how they get drugs approved. And that's why very often, you get drugs, especially in oncology, but also in other areas, that get great results in clinical trials, which are not the way we live our lives. They're very isolated. It's a scenario that doesn't mesh the daily life situation of the patient. So you have this clinical trial with great results and you can't mimic the results in life. First because they may have published the positive studies and have not published the negative study. And second the situation is not a natural situation.
And there's another point, that I always was curious in want to do a study on it, but it's too much energy and too risky. Many clinical trials, all the clinical trials, don't allow the patients to use supplements, dietary supplements or other treatments while they're on clinical trial. And I know for a fact, in my experience in integrative oncology, that almost all the patients that go on clinical trial for oncology drugs, do other treatments. And it may very well be that the results you're seeing in a clinical trial are not because of the drug, they're because of the other treatments. But the patient is afraid to tell the doctor.
I was curious about going to such a patient and promising not to disclose which study it is where they are. And maybe publish it only after the clinical trial is done, just to show how biased is the clinical trial. Because we rely on clinical trials, it's the golden standard. Very different, you know it's an issue, it's a big issue. And the outcome, of course, is prescription drugs with a lot of side effects.
Many Americans are on a prescription drug or will be at some point. But as Dr. Isaac Eliaz explains, more than 100 thousand people die each year just by taking properly prescribed drugs. But not much is ever said or done about this. Doctor Eliaz discusses some of the problems and the reasons behind this shocking number, as well as what you can do to help you and your family and maybe reduce your chances of becoming part of that statistic!
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