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Conflicts of Interest

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Let us say that you go to your doctor for something that you are struggling with. Your doctor, or more likely, one of his nurses, will take your vitals, perhaps draw some blood, take some urine or run any other number of tests on you, provided you have insurance and it will cover the costs said tests. 


You will then have a perhaps a ten to fifteen minute discussion with your doctor, in which time you’ll explain what you presented for. Your doctor, at that point, can do a number of things; he can tell you to wait it out, refer you to a specialist, recommend a follow up, or write you a prescription.

Let us lay aside the fact that diet and lifestyle will probably not get brought up in any sort of diagnosis or recommendation you get. Let’s focus on that prescription.

Prescription drugs are prescription drugs because they would otherwise be sold over the counter, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. There is something about their composition that led a panel of experts to believe that only a knowledgeable, licensed healthcare provider should be able to recommend them to a person. This likely means that there is some danger in a person taking them. This risk is not to be taken lightly – somewhere in the area of ***** Americans die each year from taking prescription drugs, often exactly the way they were prescribed.

Knowing that there is some risk associated with taking prescription drugs, even as you they were prescribed to you, you would want to be absolutely sure that your doctor believed that taking those prescribed drugs was the best thing for you, right? You would want to be certain that this was his or her only motivation behind his or her recommendation, right? You would want to be sure there were no ulterior motives, such as financial incentives, right?

Slate Magazine ran this article recently – Click to Read.

The story centers around the high profile Dr. Drew Pinsky, but the article goes on to note what a widespread problem conflicting interests have become. Somewhere in the area of $760 million annually is estimated to be spent on influencing prescribing patterns from doctors.

It is important for me to note that I personally believe doctors prescribing drugs for financial incentives is the exception, not the rule. However, the linked story underscores a couple of points. First we at KTC believe that drugs should be a sort of last result. If changing your diet, perhaps to a Kaufmann 1 diet, beginning a sensible exercise routine, getting ample rest and supplementing properly aren’t getting the job done, it is perhaps time to try a different route. Secondly, build a good relationship with your physician; make sure that he or she always has your best interest in mind

Again, no one at KTC would ever recommend you stop or refuse a pharmaceutical regimen your physician has prescribed. We would simply encourage you to be educated and to work hard at taking control of your own health.


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