Okay, today I will discuss a bit on medicine – its action and reaction.
What happens when you are prescribed a medicine—a pharmaceutical drug?
Source: Google Search
First thing these days, I have noticed is that a patient usually searches on the Internet, the effect and side effects of the prescribed medicine. Now, it is the responsibility of the physician to explain them both. But sometimes patient may not remember all what doctor advised/explained or may be not very well understood due to complicated medical jargon. However, it is the responsibility of a doctor to explain and a patient to ask until the patient and/or the caretaker is crystal clear on the treatment plan, be it a prescribed medicine, advice for lab tests, diagnostic report or the need for any invasive procedure as simple as administering an injection. But does that happen, always? Busy Practice, Fear of Embarrassment, Confidence on Online Data, etc. etc. etc. are various hindrances. A very risky behavior.
Now, let’s understand some definitions.
What is a Side Effect?
Source: Google Search
What is an Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR)?*
An Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) as “an appreciably harmful or unpleasant reaction, resulting from an intervention related to the use of a medicinal product, which predicts hazard from future administration and warrants prevention or specific treatment, or alteration of the dosage regimen, or withdrawal of the product.” Such reactions are currently reported by use of WHO’s Adverse Reaction Terminology…Management includes withdrawal of the drug if possible and specific treatment of its effects. Suspected adverse drug reactions should be reported. Surveillance methods can detect reactions and prove associations.
*Source: Edwards IR, Aronson JK. Adverse drug reactions: definitions, diagnosis, and management. Lancet. 2000 Oct 7;356(9237):1255-9. PMID: 11072960 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02799-9. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11072960 as assessed on 20th September 2019.
More information on ADR can be read on https://www.msdmanuals.com/en-in/home/drugs/adverse-drug-reactions/severity-of-adverse-drug-reactions
What is an Adverse Event (AE)?**
An Adverse Event (AE) is any undesirable experience associated with the use of a medical product in a patient. The event is serious and should be reported to FDA when the patient outcome is:
- Hospitalization (initial or prolonged)
- Disability or Permanent Damage
- Congenital Anomaly/Birth Defect
- Required Intervention to Prevent Permanent Impairment or Damage (Devices)
- Other Serious Medical Events like patient requiring medical or surgical intervention to prevent one of the other outcomes or the development of drug dependence or drug abuse would also be examples of important medical events.
And one such untoward reaction and undesirable experience – Somnambulism – has been illustrated in the movie ‘Side Effects’ of a prescription medicine for depression. Somnambulism is generally referred to as Sleep Walking. But a murder while sleep walking? Well, then it is a severest form of an adverse event. Means this or similar type of suicidal or homicidal instinct would have probably shown up during the clinical trial phase, and if so, the drug would not have been approved.
Such an event/incident for sure does not appear to be a Side Effect. And in case of an approved drug, if such signs and symptoms appear during the Post Marketing Surveillance (PMS), then further investigation is required to ensure if it is true, how true and how severe.
Now, connecting Medicine with Management or Economics, how can such information affect a Pharmaceutical Company? Its reputation? Its Stock Value?
Any negative review for one drug from a company means a bad news to the stock value of the entire company, not just one division of the company. And can this be planned? Hmmm, shouldn’t happen but there is something called as Securities Fraud/Stock Fraud/Investment Fraud, and yes, this can create a havoc, especially, when it comes from a distressed patient supported by a well known Physician—in this scenario to pacify the anxious traders/investors/shareholders is nearly impossible. And thus, the share price crashes. Something very beautifully depicted in the movie ‘Side Effects’, a psychological thriller.
Good actors, great acting, excellent plot and direction. I like Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rooney Mara. No reason not to watch. And it is on Netflix.
Movie Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jQq6BiT-eI
The movie poster reads: “One pill can change your life.”
May be it can.
May be it can change more than just one life in known-unknown ways.
OTC (Over-The-Counter) or prescribed, every medicine is a drug and every drug is to be taken only after its effects and side effects are well understood for the betterment of oneself and for the benefit of the society at large.
More on Securities Fraud can be read on Investopedia, one of my go-to websites for quick reference and easy understanding of economics and finance related terminologies.
Yes, I did watch a few more movies that involved some twisted minds and mind games. Best ones on my list are Zodiac, Seven, True Story and The Frozen Ground. For those who like thrillers and murder mysteries, these are some good ones to watch.
Happy reading and Netflixing!