thumbnail of Buyer beware; 8; A Pain in the Neck
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
President by word of the consumer shoppers in the modern marketplace look for the Best Buy. The consumer's choice is the story behind this program series. Ladies and gentlemen step right up over here I'd like to meet you Oh that's right you too madam. Just stop Madison man. Why madam you have no idea what you're passing by. My name is Hansen and I were Jay Hanson and I have something here you want to know about. You mean to tell me you're not interested in health. Your health your son tell you what's going to tell you what's going on that I brought to this very community one of the finest discoveries known to man. And here it is going against but also my health. This medical miracle is the discovery of Jonas Miller of Frederick Maryland. It's a botanical wonder thoroughly beneficial for both young and old male and female. Hundreds if you missed it. Nine out of 10 have been permanently
cured permanently cured of dyspepsia colics nervous tremors wellness of spirits politicians of the heart and all rose to write the diseases resulting from a disordered condition. Obvious stomach and liver. It also cures the arrangements of the digestive function so those are your burps. Oh of course it does wonders for software patients to say nothing of general debility or medicine in the 19th century was filled with religious fervor fast talkers and a minimum of science products available from the traveling medicine shows were offered to cure almost any ailment but their primary ingredient was often fate. Today consumers must also have faith in medicine but this field is now the object of close scrutiny by federal and state agencies as well as private groups. Doctors who serve their patients have received extensive training in the basic science of the human body. Dr. Walter Petersen president of the Medical Society of Champaign County Illinois reveals just what a license to practice medicine
means. He recalls his own efforts and those of classmates to obtain an M.D. degree. For most of all when Archer has to have a pre medical education which normally is four years of college but may be occasionally as little as two to three years. After that he goes to a medical school normally a class A medical school as it was known in my days there were class A and class B with about 70 Class AA and only 2 or 3 class B and others perhaps 100 medical schools a Class 8. At any rate for years as a normal medical school education and leads to an M.D. degree. In most instances instances occasionally the M.D. degree is not granted until after the first year of internship. Following the M.D. degree it is normal to interned for one
year and in fact this is a requirement for a state license in most states. Beyond that most physicians take examination either. The state in which they wish to practice or if they have trouble making up their mind. Or if the medical school requires it and as is often the case they take national board examinations which allows them to get licenses with little or no further examination in about 40 of the 48 states such as elective process makes available physicians and surgeons who are licensed by each state. These doctors are asked to register their license on a periodic basis and state officials keep a close watch on any serious complaints about their work. The consumer may be confident in the skills possessed by his physician but
wonder how to pick a doctor. He is confused at the number of specialists and unsure of the qualifications which make one doctor an orthopedic surgeon and another a gynecologist. Dr. Peterson outlines how specialists are trained. This again goes back to the medical school and in turn training with the education I outlined a physician has a state license. And can go into general practice. He is licensed by the state to practice medicine and surgery. However by his ethics training and experience he may limit himself and should limit himself to those things that he knows he can do and should reach for cases that are more difficult or more specifically in need of some physician who has had a lot more training along a certain line. Now this means that for a further training in especially a physician needs to spend
another four minimum of three average for can be as long as five or more years in hospital training called residency training. Which is actually a medical postgraduate education. And this leads with further examinations and practice requirements to board certification by the specialty board. But still that would be patient is perplexed. How does he know which to choose. Dr. Petersen suggests this approach the patient often is a poor one to choose the physician because the he is going by the symptoms which may be far afield or were the problem it is if he is certain that the deeds a certain specialist such as has a skin rash or has a broken bone has no problem and and deciding in what specialty that is he certainly should and can call
the specialist direct if he wishes to do so. If he feels that his general practitioner or is a pediatrician in the case of a one of his children or his internist. Can one handle a problem and to act as the travel service so to speak in case he needs to travel to some other physician for specialized type of care. This is a better way to start the general physician can certainly. Best advise I. Lay person what medical or surgical specialist he may need for his particular problem. When a family moves into a new community and searches for a doctor. Problems arise. Physicians may conform to certain minimum standards but they are not rated. People prefer one person over another but are reluctant to shop around. They don't want to gamble their health with an inconsistent program of medical care. Patients seek the satisfaction of an interpersonal relationship with their doctor and
find recommendations on this aspect of medical care especially hard to come by. Some suggest that families ask their previous doctor to name clinics or specialists in a new community. He may have a list of sites information or may have met doctors from that area. Others advised that families test a new doctor during a minor illness rather than a catastrophe. And of course counsel from friends may help. Though each evaluation of a physician will differ. Above all it is folly to second guess a doctor once he has started treatment. Consider bargains in medical treatment with doubts your health cannot be replaced after abortive attempts to cut corners in medical costs. A major tool in the hands of a physician is drug use. Approximately 7000 drugs are available today and we cannot hope to discuss all of
these. But basically most drugs allow the body to cure itself by setting up the proper conditions. Drugs merely help the natural process of healing. Manufacturers have discovered which chemicals are most appropriate to reduce the effects of various diseases. SuBo director of consumer services for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association describes the link the research culminating in such conclusions. The process of research takes from five to 12 years on average to produce a new drug available on your pharmacy shelf or your physician to prescribe it for you. This is because. Prior to the time of the development of any specific product there is intensive research that goes on in the laboratory about one hundred seventy five thousand substances are checked out or investigated Let's say each year. Out of that total number maybe only ten or twenty will ever be available on a
drugstore shelf which means that for every product that is a contribution to medical science about six to seven thousand of them that have been tested will have been discarded along the way for one reason or another. And this means that there is a tremendous amount of research going on at all times for products that may or may not ever be able to be used now why is it that some of this research is unproductive for many reasons. For one thing as the diseases of man have become better controlled and you recognize that since 1945 the leading cause of death for people under 35 has changed from infectious diseases to accidents as these diseases but become controlled the research is more sophisticated and items that are found to be useful in other words where the animal testing proves that a compound has some promise.
It may not be true in humans and so this is why there is such extensive and long lasting research that goes on before a product ever even is filed with the Food and Drug Administration as a potential for the market. Others beside manufacturers are concerned about this process. The Food and Drug Administration is closely watching preliminary tests on new drugs. Margaret Robinson consumer specialist at the FDA clarifies the nature of this supervision. All new drugs must be proved faith and effective for human beings before they can be distributed in interstate commerce. It's up to the manufacturer to do that by law clearly stated. The manufacturer of course have to have well-equipped laboratories he has to hire well qualified find us to do the research studies. And these are first done on animals and records carefully kept when the animal studies are completed. The record. The manufacturers
plan for clinical studies on human beings are sent to the Food and Drug Administration scientists medical scientists in Washington. These Man and Women Study carefully the results of the animal experiments and the plans for the clinical studies to be sure that there will not be an unreasonable hazard in initiating the studies on human beings of course then the next step is carefully controlled testing of the new drug on human beings. But that all requires that before using one of these investigational new drugs that the position must get the kind of plant that's human beings or their representative you see in a case of a child it would have to be someone to find for them. And that consent is fine. And then of course once in a while the physician has to use the new drug
anyway. But for the most part consent has to be obtained to use that new drug on humans. Now in the meantime an inspector a well-trained inspector goes out to the drug plant he inspects that drug company. Carefully to make sure that there can't be any mistakes made in the manufacture of that drug. Critics question whether it is worth it for the more expensive drug investigation of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. The study has been repudiated many many times and even by FDA personnel as being not a very accurate study of the products that
were tested and that while there were 2000 products produced by 84 of our member companies there were twenty five hundred products of one hundred sixty two other companies involved 119 products that they stated were in violation that were produced by companies. One hundred two of those were made and tested again and out of those actually only 18 were found to have any violation in them. And out of that whole bunch only reason only recalled three of them so they obviously were not serious defects or they would have done something about 19. I'd like to make one point on this. Our companies produce roughly 95 percent of the prescription drugs that are manufactured in this country. These other companies a thousand or more of them produce the other 5 percent. Yet that group that produced the 5 percent account for 80 percent of the recalls so that I think has something to say about the quality of the products that our manufacturers produce.
Critics of the drug industry have also pointed to the wide variance in cost recently for example. Samples of Penicillin G were priced this on patented drugs sold for $6 and 62 cents per 100 tablets from one company a well-known brand name manufacturer and for 92 cents per 100 from another company. Why pay more. SuBo points out that consumers are paying for more than the simple ingredient of penicillin. When we're discussing the difference between drugs one thing I'd like to point out it isn't a difference or it isn't a discussion of how it's named. In other words the name on a product isn't going to make one bit of difference in the quality of it whether it's named by its chemical name more commonly called its generic name or whether it has a brand name doesn't make one bit of difference on whether that drug is a good or bad drug. What does make the difference is who made it and how it was made and what's in it. I'm sure you're aware that the active ingredient in any medication is only a very
tiny proportion of what is in the medication. The other ingredients of it are not regulated by any authority or anything like that. This is up to the individual manufacturer. In fact these differences may be striking relates just a few variables which doctors must consider the type of an active ingredient that is used in a tablet or capsule may produce some effect in a person there may be some unknown allergy to this and these inactive ingredients vary between manufacturers you see. There are as I said there's no standard formula formulation for how a specific. Type of medication is to be formulated. So this may affect how the person would react. The amount of compression of the tablet may depend it may determine how fast it dissolves and some tablets are supposed to dissolve in the stomach. Others are supposed to be delayed and dissolve in the intestine. The
number of coatings that are put on a tablet will have an effect. Maybe what's in the coating you see the person might react to. And there are up to 90 to 100 different different layers of this coating put on one tablet. So how many coatings are put on may determine how fast it dissolves. Unfortunately there are cases where a tablet has never dissolved and it has been found to have gone clear through the patient and obviously had no effect. Physicians have extensive information about prescription drugs and control their use by patients but each consumer has the right to choose so-called over-the-counter medicines. Excessive use is particularly a problem here is well-known and often nationally advertised remedies seem so familiar that we lose respect for their powers. Aspirin for example is considered quite harmless. Some people may take
four or five tablets when only two are recommended. Aspirin in excess can cause disturbances in the stomach even bleeding of the stomach lining a small child who eats a bottle of aspirin may develop a skin rash bleed from the gums and have acute abdominal pain even more severe problems may arise if a consumer mixes drugs a combination of cough syrup nose drops and a sedative could be deadly though all were obtained over-the-counter without the counsel of a physician. Non-prescription drugs may also mask symptoms of a severe disease. Constant use of aspirin for a headache may hide a more serious malady even prescribed medicines may be misused by the patient visits to different doctors may provide a patient with several medicines. Each physician should know about all the drugs you take normally to avoid dangerous combinations of drugs. Patients should also report any unforeseen
reactions to drugs and remind their physicians about past experiences which indicated an allergy to a drug. Experts also recommend that all medicine prescribed to be taken even after the onus disappears. Many medicines are only effective if taken for a definite span of time. Too little is as bad as too much. In short respect the recommendations of your doctor and the fine print on the label to get the most effective use of money spent on drugs. The supervision of the Food and Drug Administration and the drug industry as a whole means most drugs are safe. Taken as directed. But many know of the disaster of thalidomide a drug which was never officially released in the United States. Others have heard of people relying on the curative powers of a copper bracelet on their deathbed. How can such
tragedies occur despite the efforts of the FDA. Some drugs are made available through illegal channels. These may be drugs which are allowed but not issued through a doctor's prescription or they may be completely fraudulent and worthless. Margaret Robinson of the FDA explains how these exceptions occur quite often. In the past and once in a while we'll find. A drug being sold with exaggerated claims that has not gone through the testing required by law. There was a Rand cancer vaccine for example in Ohio. Two or three years ago that made outlandish claims as a cure for cancer. Quite often one creeps up. All over the country in Mexico and in California. And
sometimes in Canada. Call it a trail. And this is again a drug with claims and made for helping cancer. So it's usually in the diseases where we really have no good cure. And here is the problem. People search in desperation for any solution they eagerly try late trilled or criticize and or any other cure for cancer. Arthritic to grab at any new relief for their pain. Even the president of an association of arthritic CE who warns against such quacks admitted that he sometimes was tempted to listen to new claims for products. The agony of such pain brings many consumers to their knees and leads them to quacks. The medicine show impresario is not a vignette of the 19th century. In the 1950s the nation bought over 20 million dollars of how to call in a single year and continued to swear by this fame to tonic. A
Louisiana state senator had devised this combination of alcohol B-complex vitamins iron calcium phosphorus dilute hydrochloric acid and honey. Consumers swarmed like proverbial beads to cure their ills with this country auction. Once again the Federal Trade Commission was called in to check the claims made on behalf of a medical product. Another federal agency follows closely such pure rolls and tries to protect gullible consumers. Charles a Miller assistant chief inspector for criminal investigations for the post office outlines their concern. New types of medical cost inspectors. Frequently become involved in an investigatory way will run to relate to cancer cures arthritis cures weight reducing fabulous one
week weight reducing regimens or maybe it's a project or a product. You know you don't have to stop eating or you can eat what you want to but this is and this is really going to do the job and do it in an easy way. Smokie this is something that's going to end any course again anything that is much sought after by people can be used by a swindler as a means of extracting money from trusting people. We regard medical fraud investigator as one of the very most important and that we also have stocks or investment types when these are. This is where someone where the victim is trying to add to his income is investing is already taking a certain chance that in
these medical cases he's not trying to make any money. He's just trying to repair its body are to say he's wired something this time. The Food and Drug Administration joins the Federal Trade Commission. The post office and other groups in a fight against deception of the ill and needy strong legislation has provided ammunition in the battle against drugs and medicines sold to consumers on a fraudulent basis. But the picture is not so encouraging when authorities proceed to the field of therapeutic devices. Marguerite Robinson of the FDA sees limits here. Well the Food and Drug Administration does have jurisdiction over therapeutic prices but the laws are very weak that govern therapeutic devices. Under the law are medical devices must be safe and label truthfully. There is something that consumers should always remember about the law. The law does not
require medical devices to be proved safe and affected before marketing to the public. In other words the consumer has to be harmed. The Food and Drug Administration has to learn about it and then they have to prove the therapeutic device harmful and go through the proper legal channels then to get the device either made safe you know approved by the manufacturer or taken from the market. Now this is a long drawn out process and during the time of the Food and Drug Administration is going through this process. That device could very well be on the market and be sold to. Humans to consumers such therapeutic devices ranging from exercise belts and copper bracelets to pacemakers and kidney machines may spell the difference between life and death. But for the moment positions
can only suggest the most effective devices on the basis of their limited knowledge and they cannot keep a consumer from investing money in some piece of machinery that may do no good or even harm him. Still by word consumers search for the best. Our next program will interpret mathematical puzzles to solve problems. Next program. This is the national educational radio network.
Buyer beware
Episode Number
A Pain in the Neck
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-h41jnf02).
No description available
Consumer Affairs and Advocacy
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 71-8-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Buyer beware; 8; A Pain in the Neck,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023,
MLA: “Buyer beware; 8; A Pain in the Neck.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <>.
APA: Buyer beware; 8; A Pain in the Neck. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from