Archive for the ‘Rapid Response’ Category

BMJ 2008;336:2-3 (5 January).
Proton pump inhibitors have been a tremendous therapeutic advance and have transformed the lives of patients with previously intractable symptoms, say editorialists Ian Forgacs and Aathavan Loganayagam. But the drugs are being overused, and side effects – although rare – should not be overlooked.

Rapid Response by Dr Raymond C Seidler, GP, NSW, Australia:

  • “Perhaps it would be salutary to consider how rare it is now to see patients with perforated ulcers or even serious gastric or duodenal ulceration.
  • These were commonplace in my early days of general practice 25 years ago. The proton pump inhibitors as a class are effective.”

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“Of course Adriane Fugh-Berman is correct that we need to bite something tender and to get out of that lap.

But we are fighting the wrong beast. The beast is not the pharmaceutical industry – it is ourselves.

We, as doctors, have created the atmosphere which has allowed companies to malfunction. We have allowed industry to subvert the rules of science . We have watched quietly as governments and academics have colluded with industry to hide information critical to our patients. We have remained silent as our medical schools have churned out graduates who have no knowledge of the dilemmas and scandals of medicine. We have allowed many of our medical journals to become corrupted and timid. We have remained silent as the General Medical Council and other bodies charged with maintaining integrity have taken action against doctors for raising questions of integrity, while ignoring serious concerns brought to their attention. We have failed to support our colleagues who have raised concerns.

The soft parts that need biting may well be our own.”

BY: Dr Aubrey Blumsohn. Consultant, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, UK


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