When i was home for christmass my mother told me something that was... a little hard to swallow, to process. I think i'm still processing this.
My father was on Vioxx. We never did an autopsy.
His death was *before* the whole media-onslought about the drug. I had totally forgotten my father even had arthritis, but it's not surpriseing.
Mom talked to an attorney about the whole thing, mostly at the urging of nosey family members and some friends. We would have to... ummm... still do an autopsy to do anything about it. She decided against doing anything, too much money, emotional bullshit, etc with unsure resaults. I agreed with her. I'm still not sure if she's told my sister yet.
I'm not mad at the drug company. I'm mad at the doctors. I'm not really all that mad, mad is probably the wrong word. Apparently a patient isn't supposed to be on Vioxx for more than 18 months. This is information that was apparently known pre-scandle. My dad was on it for somehting over two year, maybe something like four (mom wasn't really sure how long he had been on it, but knew it was a number of years). His Doctors should have switched him to something else after 18 months. Maybe, and i'm not blameing them, the pharmacies should give a little warning screen/slip/something once he'd been on it for 18 months, and well, let him know or let his doctor know that he should, you know, not be on it anymore. But mostly i blame the doctor, who should, you know, know something about what they are perscribeing.
I'm not actually looking to blame someone for my father's death. I've come to terms with the fact that these things happen. While it's been depressing, and upsetting, and all of that, it's kinda made me get my ass in gear about life. I really don't know if i would have gotten off my ass about school or not without this... experience. It has tought the lesson about life being short, never knowing what's going to happen next, this day might be your last, etc. I kinda like that we won't ever know if it was the Vioxx. I like just looking at the whole thing that it was his time to go, and that is that. If it was from the Vioxx, then that was just the cause. If it hadn't been that, it would have been something else.
But this whole thing just personalized my belief that Doctors over-perscribe for their patients, and too many of them don't pay attention to what it is they are doing. I was thinking that about Vioxx when the whole thing came to light, and this just makes me think more so. There are also always risks to drugs, even simple antibiotics (haveing allergies to many of the common ones makes me acutely aware of that) and over the counter pain killers (i take naproxin because i can't take ibprofin anymore... and i'm gonna continue takeing naproxin knowing that there are potential risk, and i'm not gonna bock and sue if something happens to me, 'cause it's the only thing that gets rid of my migraines anymore...) and i think people need to be reminded about personal-responsibility. but i also think doctors have a responsibility too. (the reason i can't take ibprofin anymore is 'cause i was directed to take it incorrectly *by* my pediatritian.)