Patient, heal thyself?

Author:Rundles, Jeff - Online prescriptions - Brief Article

THERE'S AN OLD ADAGE THAT STATES, "Anyone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client." Just think Zacarias Moussaoui or James Traficant.

But how about the person who acts as his or her own doctor? Is the patient mentally ill?

I got an e-mail the other day from something called Meds Online that advertises some of the more popular--and profitable--prescription drugs on the market these days. Phentermine, described on the site as an "obesity weight-loss drug," leads the parade, complete with a photograph of a nice-looking woman in a swimsuit. The other products featured are Zyban, a smoking cessation medication, Tenuate, an appetite suppressant, and the ever-popular Viagra for erectile dysfunction. The Web site promises that "a U.S. licensed doctor will review your medical history and evaluate if the medication you requested is right for you."

Are you kidding me?

Do you think doctors on the payroll of Meds Online ever turn anyone down?

My apprehenison is that, based on a 50-word, gushing description of some prescription drug or another, am 1, or you, qualified to prescribe?

To hell with medical school; I read an article and part of an ad in Cosmopolitan and I know for sure that Claritin is right for me.

This is marketing, not medicine, and it raises some serious health and business concerns.

There was a piece in The New Yorker from July 29 about Andropause, or more casually "male menopause." There is very little agreement in the medical community if indeed there is such a thing as Andropause, but there are pharmaceutical companies pumping a bunch of money into an effort to give it some credibility.

Why? Because if a drug company can create a problem and then sell its solution, especially to a well-heeled (healed?) crowd like middle-aged men, it can...

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