Warning: don’t believe everything your doctor Says
A recent study by Portuguese consumer group Deco suggests that not all doctors should necessarily be believed.
Deco wanted to see how doctors prescribed anti-biotic drugs to their patients. They used private and public health centres in Lisbon and Oporto to test their hypothesis. The fake patients, who were all healthy, were instructed to tell doctors they had sore throat but no other symptoms.
After 50 consultations, the researchers found out that 40% of doctors prescribed anti-biotic drugs unnecessarily. Deco said ‘In 20 [out of 50] cases, [the doctors] immediately prescribed antibiotics.’
Chemist shops fared better than their counterparts in health centres. Deco said that out of 70 shops, only one sold them drugs without a prescription.
Deco said that their study had valuable implications since improper use of anti-biotic drugs can boost bacteria resistance. They concluded ‘If measures are not taken to halt the development of resistance we will be weaponless to combat bacterial infections in a few years.