"Too Many Meds? America's Love Affair With Prescription Medication"

Aug 28, 2017

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, we're discussing the cover story of the September 2017 issue of Consumer Reports: "Too Many Meds? America's Love Affair With Prescription Medication." Our guest is Lisa Gill, the deputy editor of Consumer Reports' ongoing prescription drug program, Best Buy Drugs. (For those not familiar: Consumer Reports is a non-profit, advertising-free, 80-year-old magazine...and now, website.) Just how hooked on meds are we Americans these days? One health-related article in this issue begins like so: "If you're like most Americans, you probably start your day with a hot shower, a cup of coffee -- and a handful of pills. More than half of us now regularly take a prescription medication -- four, on average -- according to a new nationally representative Consumer Reports survey of 1,947 adults. Many in that group also take over-the-counter drugs as well as vitamins and other dietary supplements. It turns out Americans take more pills today than at any other time in recent history...and far more than people in any other country. Much of that medication use is lifesaving or at least life-improving. But a lot is not. The amount of harm stemming from inappropriate prescription medication is staggering. Almost 1.3 million people went to U.S. emergency rooms due to adverse drug effects in 2014, and about 124,000 died from those events...."