"Crazy And It Was: Surviving the Corporate Pharmaceutical Corruption of Western Medicine is Laurie’s recently published first-hand account of her experience tangled up in the American
health-care system (Oakley, 2015)."
"Her story, which is poignant for health professionals prescribing worldwide, includes thorough research, case notes from her medical records, personal journal entries and a brave look into her broken childhood. Laurie says she felt unsupported and disrespected by doctors, and experienced dangerous side effects; she became suicidal after taking medications that, at the time, were not recognized to cause suicidality, a side effect that is still downplayed now."
"‘I spent many years having my side effects misdiagnosed as psychosomatic complaints while the offending drug was listed right there in my medical record,’ says Laurie. ‘I was humiliated by doctors who were the ones completely missing what was happening with the drugs they were prescribing ,’ she says. ‘I spent important years of my life dealing with the physical and psychological effects of these drugs.’"
"While Laurie had some success [with the grievance process] for some specific complaints made against individuals, her biggest complaints involved the larger systemic problem of prescribers being influenced by the profitable pharmaceutical industry and the lack of transparency surrounding clinical trials (Berenson et al, 2004; Neville, 2012). These concerns were not satisfactorily addressed as no one person or agency can be held individually accountable and answerable. Concern about the reliance of both the medical profession and researchers on pharmaceutical companies is valid; however, much of the drug research currently being undertaken could not be carried out without this funding, and it must be said that much of it does result in longer, better lives. Still, such concerns have been echoed in the UK (Kliner, 2012; Wright, 2014), and prescribers must be aware of conflicts of interest, unethical practices, and what to look for when evaluating research or prescribing for individual patients."
"Person-centred care is a standard that the NHS strives for, and it is hoped that the same fervour is extended to putting the patient at the heart of prescribing practice. This was not, however, Laurie’s experience, and her journey is a potent reminder for all health professionals with the responsibility to prescribe medications to remember whose interests must be served. She rightly says that the old paradigm of ‘doctor knows best’ must be phased out but that despite the valuable information patients have to offer, some prescribers have a hard time listening... '
"While randomized controlled trials are considered to provide the highest quality of evidence (Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, 2009), when it comes to making treatment decisions for individual patients, the patient anecdote is king."
-Aysha Mendes, freelance journalist
specializing in health, psychology