Survey Finds Physicians Often Dismiss Complaints About Drugs' Side Effects

As reported in Drug Safety, 650 surveyed patients taking statins to lower cholesterol reported that doctors frequently ignored or dismissed reported concerns about the medication’s side effects. Findings suggest that this pattern of reaction goes beyond statins to other medicines. Survey respondents were in their early 60’s on average and mostly from the U.S. Some respondents engaged the online survey on web sites where patients had posted complaints, raising the possibility that respondents were more apt to have had side effects than the average patient. The study’s lead researcher noted that overwhelmingly, it was the patient who initiated the conversation about side effects. Many doctors attributed the symptoms reported to the normal aging process, denied their connection to statins or dismissed such reported concerns altogether. U.S. patients can report possible medication side effects directly to the US Food and Drug Administration by logging onto the MedWatch web site at Source: Drug Safety. 30(8):669-675, 2007. Golomb, Beatrice A 1 2; McGraw, John J 1 3; Evans, Marcella A 1; Dimsdale, Joel E 4.