A License to Kill: Prescription Drug Deaths


Michael E. Platt, M.D.

The Los Angeles Times is beginning a series of articles about the large number of people who have died from prescription drugs in the LA area. Their tally did not include drug deaths by suicide, or deaths from drug-related accidents, or from deaths by overdose where people bought prescription drugs on the street. 

Right now, prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in this country. Another way of stating this, is that doctors are a major factor in death statistics. 

The LA Times article pointed out that the California Medical Review Board has been oblivious to this problem. It has failed to examine records that are readily available that detail deaths by medications, as well as those that provide lists of the doctors that tend to over-prescribe pain medications. 

Needless to say, the majority of pain medication related deaths can be attributed to so-called “pain doctors”. These are often board-certified anesthesiologist who have wandered from a hospital-based practice to an office based practice, primarily, I suspect, for financial reasons. Personally, I feel that the idea of making money in medicine is endemic and is certainly not limited to pain doctors. However, I feel that this type of medicine personifies one of the major faults of the medical system, which is the tendency to treat problems with Band-Aids instead of treating the underlying cause.

For example, patients with chronic low back pain might be better served  with  prolotherapy or acupuncture, rather than pain pills or injections.  People with pain from fibromyalgia should be treated for the underlying cause, since it is often easily cured by using that approach. Patients addicted to sedatives, or antidepressants, or pain medications can often be treated just by reducing adrenaline levels. 

Knowing how the California review board operates, it is not surprising that those doctors who do approach problems from the causation are often singled out for investigation. I suspect that this is because they are not good for the business of medicine. Unfortunately, the board is no longer there to protect the consumer. It would appear that they consider doctors who kill patients with medications are within the standard of care. 

My book, The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones,  was severely criticized by doctors at PACE at UC San Diego. These doctors, led by William Norcross, M.D., are a part of the enforcement arm of the review board. They felt the ideas in my book were so dangerous that I should not have a license to practice medicine. And yet, all my book talks about is treating the underlying cause of illness and getting people off of toxic medications. 

In my own small way, I am trying to enlighten people that we have a medical system that is broken. Obviously, a big part of the solution involves educating doctors that there are alternative approaches to getting people well. Hopefully, some will avail themselves of my manual, “The Platt Protocol to Hormone Balancing: A Wellness Manual for Healthcare Practitioners”. This way they can start enjoying the practice of medicine and be reinforced by actually getting their patients well. Frankly, it should be mandatory reading for the doctors at PACE as well as those doctors on the California Medical Review Board.




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