Drug Reps Will Give You Asthma

I know you’ve been there before….waiting in the doctor’s office for your appointment and some smartly dressed man or woman barely has to say hello to the receptionist and walks right by your seat, straight to the doctor’s office. “Hey, that’s not fair,” you say to yourself as you dig your nose into that outdated magazine trying to mask the irritation.  “My time is just as valuable as theirs is, put me to the front of the line!”  As a patient, my frustration with the #health care system only percolates at the injustice.  Isn’t the cost of #medication so high in America because of all the drug companies?  If there were no drug reps, wouldn’t my doctor have a better and certainly more unbiased selection of medications?  Granted, the goal of any #pharmaceutical company (employer of drug reps) is to make profit, but they can’t do that unless a product (medication) works well and is taken as directed.  In the end, drug companies want you to be adherent to medications prescribed so they’ll work, you get better, all of which is good for the bottom line.  Almost sounds too good to be true when everybody wins, but hang on and I’ll show you how this is possible.

Drug reps can give you asthma and a whole host of other diseases by bringing your attention to the problem at hand.  Of course, they don’t give you the disease, but often you’re the only one who doesn’t realize you have a medical problem. Let’s take asthma, for instance, as a condition that isn’t noticeable most of the time.  You may exercise, or your child may play outside and have no coughing or wheezing until exposure to just the right trigger of asthma,  and just like that, you’re in the emergency department trying to juggle your schedule for tomorrow and get well at the same time.

Results of an asthma attack
Results of an asthma attack

Not an ideal lifestyle!  Your local drug rep talks to your doctor at each one of their “service calls” about the importance of #preventing asthma to avoid those late night emergency department visits and your lack of sleep.  Education about asthma is the key to using your medication as it was intended and some of that time commitment is shouldered by your friendly pharmaceutical representative.

My purpose in telling you about the drug rep industry is larger than a pat on the back.  I find that giving information about how asthma works can motivate patients to take their controller medications everyday to PREVENT any future asthma attacks. Here’s a good reference to look at pictures and videos on asthma that let’s you see the lungs from a different perspective, namely inside out! The resources necessary to develop and promote this website and videos on this subject don’t come cheap, but time spent on your own education is one of the best investments you’ll make.

Here's the website, now go for it!
Here’s the website, now go for it!

 

This is what your doctor or health care provider should be telling you about asthma at home and at school:

american-lung-logo
• Asthma action plans for all students with asthma

• Asthma rescue inhalers carried and self-administered by all students with asthma

• Education for all school personnel on asthma basics and emergency response

• Full participation in physical education and physical activity, when students with asthma are able, is encouraged

• A full-time registered nurse on site all day, every day

• Tobacco-free policies in schools consistent with CDC guidelines

• Success stories shared with stakeholders and decision-makers

• Appropriate policies that affect asthma in the school environment, consistent with CDC guidelines, developed, adopted and implemented

Dr. Clark from the Center for Managing Chronic Disease, University of Michigan  has found

center for managing disease

 

 

that educational programs are more successful if:

1.  They are community based–hello, drug companies are great at making events local.

2.  Provided program components in a clinical setting

3.  Provided asthma training to health-care providers–once again, no one does this better than the drug reps!

4.  Collaborated with other organizations and institutions and with government agencies–this one is a challenge for the pharmaceutical industry, but they’re working on it.

5.  Tailored content or delivery based on individual health or educational needs

6.  Conducted environmental assessments and tailored interventions based on these assessments–Let me dream a bit on this one.  If only we had the resources to conduct home visits for asthma?

So before you get irritated at that drug rep taking your doctor’s time to detail product, they may be helping you out in the long run.  It’s always worth a shot.

 

 

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