Are there too many medicines and not enough health?

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According to research out today, half of the adult population in England are taking prescription drugs.

The report, by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), showed that 50% women and 43% of men took at least one prescribed medicine in the last week

On average 2.7 million prescriptions are dispensed each day in England

The drugs most commonly taken are statins, antidepressants, pain relief and asthma inhalers.

Whilst the 21st century has brought innovation and drugs which help prolong peoples lives, are we increasingly relying on pills rather than a healthier lifestyle

Is there over medication in society?

Are there too many medicines and not enough health?

411 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What regular medication do you take? What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

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BarbaraEW
17th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I, like a lot of older people, have leg pains and joint problems. I have a touch of arthritis but with swimming and walking, especially with and for my new darling partner, I have tried to stay mobile. For over 20 years I have been told I am too old for any kind of surgery because it doesn't last and would need re-doing after 10-15 years. I would say I want to be able to do things now, not when the rest of my body is shutting down, but it was always the same. So I have been on various painkillers all this time, plus blood pressure tablets because my weight has crept up with lack of meaningful exercise because of my worsening mobility problems. This year I had an MRI scan on my knees to hopefully get the treatment I have waited 20 years for. The consultant however, made it perfectly clear that I am "not worth the effort, not worth the risk because of my increased weight and he was not minded to operate". Why? because my soul mate and partner died in the Spring and I had lost all motivation as I had particularly wanted to be well and live a long life for him as we had only been together 8 years and he was younger than me. His passing had devastated me and when I told the consultant I had wanted to be fit and well to go to France and Spain in our campervan this year but now that was all gone- he said I didn't need my partner to do those things!! So he was telling me I was not worth anything and 6 weeks after losing my partner, this consultant was telling me my partner was also not worth anything! He had no conception of the loss of a loved one and to be honest, after my appointment with this consultant, all I wanted to do was go home and die because my life was over! he assured me I would become disabled and my weight would therefore increase! If ever there was motivation from a consultant to a patient to go home and end it all, this was it! I've not seen a doctor since. I just take my painkillers and hope to God I don't live too much longer so I don't have to rely on my poor son to do everything for me in the future, or worse still, have to go into a home!
P.Pig
17th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I do not take prescription drugs & will never go down this road unless a life threatening condition required them.
Your body,your responsibility. Abuse it & you lose it.
I have had various illnesses over the years but none has stopped me from leading a normal working life.Lots of pain so I researched & went to a chiropractor & later Poditrist,Massage specialist & healer.
This has cost me lots of money ( not wealthy) but enabled me to live my life working full time in a demanding job until I was made redundant at 64.
My problems are a result of Polio ,Accidents etc so in that respect I am lucky ,ie nothing congenital ,but it still is down to me .
Every day is painful but you get on with it
Pinkmegan
13th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
My husband suffered many 'mini strokes' 2 years ago, only finding this out when having a more major one which led to hospital admission. He had, undiagnosed, hypertension, high colesterol and diabetes. We have always lived a healthy lifestyle. Our holidays and days out consisted of hill, and mountain, walking! This can happen to anyone.
He now takes 18 tablets a day, without which he would not now be here. So I have to comment in the negative as we had one, the health, but now the other, the medication. Things are not always cut and dried!
glovill
13th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
I do apologise go the predictive text on my phone it gets a lot of words wrong and I cannot turn the darn thing off grrrr
glovill
13th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
Just a little though I had a racking cough that just lingered for weeks I was advised by an Asian friend to take half a teaspoon of termaric in some warm water(have a sweet ready) everyorning her mother had done this for leg ulcers and they had cleared up inside two weeks , so I tried it and in a few days my cough had gone I asked my doctor about it as I am one fixation and he said it was an anti inflammatory and would doe no balm at all and it is wonderful if you have arthritis
glovill
13th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
I take a number of tablets because I have a few ailments I don't like taking them and have tried to leave them off but I need them it would cost me over £50 a month if I were not an senior citizen
auldyin
12th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
I am fortunate and greatfull that my health has been good to date
So I would sympathise with those who must take medication in order to manage a medical condition.

I think when you achieve the status of a silver surfer then you should know your own body and be wise enough to realise that a pill can't solve all your problems.
daydreams
12th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
I take several meds for raised BP, plus diabetes, IBS, and several connected with transplant surgery, a total of a dozen a day, and without them I would not be here. However, the side effects of many many years of strong drugs have taken their toll.... the raised BP, the diabetes, severe skin problems are some of them. But even so, I am thankful for them.
mumknowsbest
11th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I take several different meds, for blood pressure, anticoagulant and heart rhythm control, without which my quality of life would not be nearly as good.
In fact I might not even be here , so I am all in favour of essential medications, which help me to,keep healthy
JulieO
11th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
I'm 58, diabetic, have IBS, lactose intolerance vertigo, tinnitus and I wear hearing aids. But I'm a lot better off than a some people. I inject and also take quite a few tablets every day and I worry that all these medications aren't actually 'curing' my ailments, just keeping me ticking over. I am becoming more and more convinced that the big drug companies don't actually want to find a cure for long term illnesses like diabetes because it's just too profitable for them to keep us diabetic and if a cure were ever found they would probably find a way to 'bury' it for the sake of profit.
Archiebald
11th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
Hi Julie-I cannot believe the drug companies would do that as they are all in competition and the first to find say a cure for diabetes would make so much money and it would have a such a positive effect on their brand.
JulieO
11th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Archiebald, I do so hope you are right but the cynic in me thinks they earn more money by maintaining the status quo.
Baxi
11th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
I'm lucky, I don't take any medication on a regular basis. I think there is a cultural thing now that everyone expects to be able to take a pill to get better, loose weight or feel happier. It's a reflection of people not taking responsibility for themselves. If everyone ate fresh food and did a bit more walking/exercise and helped other people they would be thinner, fitter and feel better about themselves.
br
11th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
Personally I take medication only if absolutely necessary. We have been conditioned to believe that there is a pill to cure all ails. Walking and fresh air is free to all and lifts both body and mind. Life is good and we should be grateful if can can enjoy the simple things in life that no pill can recreate.
fandebbydozy
11th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
There needs to be far more training for doctors on the part nutrition plays in good health. The answer isn't always that drugs are best, they all have harmful side effects. I get the feeling that big drug companies have far too much influence on what doctors prescribe.
Baxi
11th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I agree with you. Good nutrition and exercise are the best things you can do for yourself.
Jo Kingham
11th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately the pharmaceutical companies run the show here! and in a lot of cases influence the Doctors. I just wished we spent as much money on prevention in the first place. We spend billions looking for cures and lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies by prescribing medicines when in a lot of cases we should be educating people and investing in prevention.
Peter
11th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I take prescribed medication for high blood pressure and it has really helped to get it back down to normal levels. I have a very healthy lifestyle, I don't smoke or drink to excess, I'm not overweight or stressed, I have a great diet and I exercise regularly - my doctor says that there is no reason for my high blood pressure - I'm just unlucky.

I'm sure there are a lot of others like me but I do think that we should all take more responsibility to look after ourselves and lead a healthy lifestyle - 'eat less, exercise more' has to be the way forward to reduce our reliance on prescribed medication.
Bazeley
11th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I think the fact that we have made such progress in medicine is great and so many people benefit from those advances. I just hope that as much money is spent looking for cures as it is looking at medicines to help symptoms.
valspe
11th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
Could it be that the GPs are paid considerably to prescribe statins etc etc that there are so many prescription drugs dispensed every day?? General Practice is not about caring anymore, it is a money making business!! Care is a thing of the past!!
Rob60
10th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
Life expectancy goes up every decade and a larger proportion of our society is elderly. I am lucky enough to not be on any prescriptions but have a lot of friends of similar age who are.

It is only assumption but I'd expect a correlation in the percentage of the populus dependant on medication and the two aforementioned factors. You hear horror stories about some drugs but I know people, who are anything but loafers, who's quality of life have been greatly improved by medication.

Regarding the huge numbers of poor people who suffer from depression and related conditions - I certainly do think we need to focus on what the root causes are. This is an area where I think research into the effects of lifestyle and socioeconomics could be more rewarding in the fight against these debilitating conditions than research into new antidepressant medication.
Archiebald
10th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately I do have to take some prescription drugs daily but am not too worried about it. Some of my relatives in their late 80s are positively rattling around with pills but its what keeps them going
Wilf
10th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I don't take any regular medicine but I do count myself lucky. Many of my friends are on statins for their high cholesterol and blood pressure and I also have had friends at different periods who have taken anti-depressants. I think we are getting hooked on medicines and best to avoid them if at all possible. I try and resist taking antibiotics from the doctor even if I feel quite ill. trying to eat healthily and exercise as much as ever as I get older,
Peter
11th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
Agree with you Wilf - eat less, exercise more is my mantra!
Archiebald
11th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately Peter most of society today is the other way around eat more and exercise less! and therein lies the problem!

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