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Isabella Eclevia

Ms. Jorgensen

English 10 Honors Period 1

29 April 2019

The Negligent Epidemic

Candy is like a child’s drug, and drugs are like an adult’s candy. It brings joy. It brings

highs, It brings ​addiction​. With discoveries in newfound diseases, many physicians have become

improvident within their works. From treating back pain to recent surgeries, they begin to

carelessly prescribe medication which ensues into a different kind of candy—a candy packed

with risks. Oblivious to the consequences, these profligate prescriptions lead into future health

problems and an increase in crime. To waive the influx in these fields, doctors should be limited

to only prescribe medicine in life-threatening situations.

Fun-sized or king-sized, the flavor of the candy would remain the same. Regardless of the

intensity of the issue, the consequences will not change. With the increase in overprescribing,

small cases have been prescribed excessive amounts of treatments, resulting in health concerns

such as resistance. At the time, resistance may not be as threatening, but in dire-need situations,

the problem would be critical. ​Using antibiotics as an example in Dr. Jason Fung’s article,

“Antibiotics — Less is More,” he explains the process of antibiotic resistance by having “​the

antibiotics kill off most of the bacteria, [leaving] a few that are resistant” (Fung). Once a few

bacteria in an infection become resistant, it can multiply, becoming fully resistant to the drug.

When a person becomes resistant to a drug, the drug becomes ineffective, so if someone is given

antibiotics for a cough and the body builds a resistance towards the medication, it would create
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concern for treating future infections, because there will be fewer available treatments, if not

any.

Physicians study medicine for twelve years, yet inappropriately prescribe medicines to be

“better safe than sorry.” In Alice Park’s article, “25% of Antibiotic Prescriptions Are

Unnecessary,” she interviews Dr. Chua where she explains how some drugs such as antibiotics

were prescribed to treat “​conditions for which the drugs wouldn’t be helpful” (Park). Conditions

like bronchitis and respiratory infections were commonly given antibiotics but contain no

correlation “since they are caused by viruses rather than bacteria,” meaning the antibiotics would

have no effect (Park). Despite the efforts to ensure better health, doctors still have the ability to

prescribe inappropriate medicine with the full knowledge that the prescription is needless.

Without any regulations on this matter, overprescribing has increased over the years by 25%

cases in adults and 17% for children (Park). Expressing concern over this issue too,

microbiologist, Hans Kolmos, author of the article, “Should General Practitioners Perform

Diagnostic Tests on Patients Before Prescribing Antibiotics,” argues that testing should be ruled

before prescribing anything, because it would reveal that the infection is acute (Kolmos). Neither

necessary nor helpful, these prescriptions would not benefit the consumer; rather, it would

worsen him/her.

Due to overprescribing, physicians are giving easy access to drugs, exposing the public to

a large variety of substances. In ​Adam Sacarny’s book, ​Medicare Letters to Curb

Overprescribing of Controlled Substances Had No Detectable Effect on Providers​, he discloses

outcomes such as the “provision of addictive drugs at the request of drug-seeking or abusing

patients without proper medical evaluation and physicians’ provision of medications without
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properly monitoring patients for adverse outcomes” (Sacarny 472). In this excerpt, Sacarny

explains that someone is given a prescription, he/she can take that medication and exploit it to

the public. As described in the text, inappropriate prescribing can also lead to drug abuse. The

user can potentially become dependent off of it. Drugs like opioids and morphine, are commonly

abused by patients, increasing the overdose death rate, quadrupling in size between the time

frame of 15 years.

Disregarded through the years, overprescribing should be focused on more. Through

testings and limitations, a new process should be employed to give prescriptions to qualified

people. Encouraging a decrease in inappropriate prescriptions would benefit everyone.


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Works Cited

Fung, Jason.​ ​“Antibiotics—Less is More.” ​Medium,​

https://medium.com/@drjasonfung/antibiotics-less-is-more-63638cd66198/. Accessed 08

April 2019.

Kolmos, H J. “Controversies in Management: Should General Practitioners Perform Diagnostic

Tests on Patients Before Prescribing Antibiotics?” ​BMJ​, vol. 318, March 1999, pp.

799-802.

Park, Alice. “25% of Antibiotic Prescriptions Are Unnecessary.” ​Time​,

http://time.com/5504760/antibiotic-prescriptions-overuse/. Accessed 08 April 2019.

Sacarny, Adam. “Medicare Letters to Curb Overprescribing of Controlled Substances Had No

Detectable Effect on Providers.” ​EBSCOhost,​ vol. 35, iss. 3, March 2016, pp. 471-479