Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Review 10

Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher by Gwen Olsen.

As more provinces in Canada, and states in the U.S.A., grant naturopathic doctors prescription rights, and after seeing several patients after only 2 months in clinic with side effects from prescription medications, I decided to read another book on the topic of pharmaceutical drugs.

This book is an autobiographical account of how drugs, both pharmaceutical & recreational, have permeated society with nearly a complete disregard to their consequences. As a former pharmaceutical sales rep for 15 years, Gwen Olsen discloses enough inside knowledge about the pharmaceutical industry to put the broad spread dependence on prescription drugs, especially those for depression and other mental illness, into serious question. The book is very well referenced with an abundance of evidence including heart wrenching patient cases and scientific research.

As an autobiography, the author openly recounts the horrific events in her life, including messy family dysfunction and mental illnesses, that gave her a first hand experience on the receiving end of many of the medications she was trained to believe would help people. Her ultimate conversion to a traditional view of wholistic medicine, and occasional moments of over disclosure, may give some ardent Big Pharma believers an illegitimate excuse to discard the authors' perspective based on character weakness. However, the book still stands on its own as another beacon of light uncovering the damaged path left by years of unabated over prescribing and the lack of public safety with regards to medications.

Another book outlining some of the corruption in the pharmaceutical drug industry is, The Truth About Drug Companies by Marcia Angell, MD. This book, in contrast, is written from a MD's perspective in completely unemotional prose by the former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.


Anonymous said...

As someone with bipolar disorder, both approaches have been necessary to attain remission.

Working with a ND with dietary, lifestyle, and supplements improved the condition but ultimately did not solve it.

Working with various MDs for years, including general practitioners and psychiatrists, was a grueling process until the right medications were found.

Diet, lifestyle, and particularly specific supplements have been able to lower the amount of medication required, minimizing the side effects of the medications.

Naturopathic Medicine and traditional medicine have both allowed me to have my life back.

Adam Kipp said...

Great book! A must read for anyone looking to understand Big Pharma's role in healthcare (sick-care!).