In the 1980s when I started my private practice in internal medicine, drug reps came to my door every day promoting their newest products.
Every time they brought a new drug for me to try out on my patients, they brought along scientific studies to support their case and encourage me to use the new drugs as better and more likely to help my patients than the competition or older drugs with the same action.
While initially I did listen and read the data, it didn't take long until I figured out that new drugs, even though all FDA approved, have no long term data on their safety or efficacy. It takes a long time and a lot of users to determine the truth about any drug.
At that point in my growth as a physician and human being I vowed that I would not jump on the new drug bandwagon so fast. I would give a new drug only under circumstances that required its use and an old comparable drug that was proven safe could not be found. If I was treating under emergency circumstances, the patient was terminal or the drug was useful in extremely specialized areas of care by all means, but under usual circumstances, old seemed always a safer bet than new.
Since most of my patients are mostly healthy and trying to stay well by using true prevention to achieve their goals, I find they don't need to be treated with new drugs as a first line of therapy in my practice.
Let the drugs be tested and proven over the course of years on millions of people to solidify or discredit their effectiveness and side effects.
My patients need not be guinea pigs.
Maybe I am a bit extreme, but then, I deal with the importance of treating individual human beings who have entrusted me to tell them the truth about what I am treating them with. If I don't know the truth, I will say so and that will often mean, I stay away from many a drug promoted to be the newest and best.
Case in point Vytorin, an FDA-approved cholesterol-lowering drug prescribed to three million people a month before a study found that it appeared to increase the risk of cancer. The drug was new and its track record too fresh to determine its true safety.
Vytorin and its companion pill Zetia generated $5 billion in sales Before their rapid disappearance from the market.
Too many doctors react to drug reps and marketing hype without waiting for more information. I am sure they believed new drugs to be safe. I doubt any doctor would ever prescribe a drug thinking it wasn't safe. However, the fact is, we just don't know and relying on the "FDA approved" statement all too often only gives us a false sense of security.
While new drugs get promoted as panacea today, only to flop after hurting people in short order, old drugs like bioidentical/ human identical hormones that so many doctors are unwilling to prescribe because of misinformation and confusion and the false belief that big pharmaceutical companies are not marketing them and they can only be obtained from compounding pharmacies, have been around and proven safe and effective for decades.
There are many FDA approved bioidenticals and they contain the same as the compounded estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. Their track record is safe on both sides of the FDA story.
And still doctors are confusing scared patients who don't need to suffer.
At the end of the day, you need to be your own doctor, take responsibility for listening and making your own decisions. It's your health after all!