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Doctors’ Knowledge on Drug Prescription

When patients visit hospitals and other medical facilities, they expect doctors to have adequate knowledge on the best therapies. Unfortunately, that is not the case as explained by Ben Goldacre in the TED video. I was surprised that the health industry is not controlled by medics but by the political and economic powers (Goldacre, 2012 03:15). This is because every drug has side effects and it is unfortunate that concerned companies choose to ignore and not publish negative results during trials. This unethical behavior by firms dominating the market in the pharmaceutical industry is selfish because it aims at monetary benefits at the expense of the public’s health.

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The reason why doctors have little knowledge of the drugs they prescribe is misplaced priorities during clinical trials. Most medical research organizations pay more attention to the financial aspect of the projects compared to other elements, and clinical trials can either be trustworthy, fast, or cheap, but only two of these can be present in one test (Carrier et al., 2017). Drawing information from the TED talk, a clinical trial can be cheap and fast or trustworthy and fast. The majority of companies prefer the former because their goal is generating profit as soon as possible. The latter, on the other hand, is the right approach considering human lives are involved. Achieving better results within a short time frame is expensive but this is the right thing to do because in the end the discovered drugs will be reliable.

Similarly, treating patients with mental illnesses requires much keenness and so should the process of introducing a new drug. Even though drugs take a short period in the body, the side effects stay longer depending on the nature of the medication. Consequently, during trials, the researchers should try and develop therapies with limited side effects to avoid causing more harm to the brain considering its complexity (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). Clinical trials must be done extensively with efficient procedures to ensure the manufactured drugs are safe.

The subject of clinical trials is delicate particularly when it is concerned with biopsychology. The brain is sensitive to any substances introduced in the body and therefore when treating mental disorders it is important to use medications that are effective and safe. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry is full of companies prioritizing profits over public health. Consequently, it is imperative that proper approaches be used to avoid the manufacturing of harmful drugs during trials.


Carrier, F., Banayan, D., Boley, R., & Karnik, N. (2017). Ethical challenges in developing drugs for psychiatric disorders. Progress in Neurobiology, 152, 58-69. Web.

Goldacre, B. (2012). What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe [Video]. TED. Web.

Pinel, J., & Barnes, S. (2018). Biopsychology (10th ed.). Pearson.

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