First of all, I am a huge advocate of what is referred to as anti-aging medicine, preventative medicine, alternative medicine, or whatever name it gets tagged. Secondly, I am a pharmacist. I daily dispense regular, Health Canada approved medications to my patients. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly for this short discussion, I work in Canada. A main argument for the anti-aging anti-prescription advocate is, “how can a part of the world with the most advanced healthcare have a life expectancy of 35-50th in the world(depending on which list you subscribe to)”. This is why preventative medicine is so strong. However, when I look at the reference to these complaints, they are often from the United States. There are amazing Anti-aging practitioners in the United States that use preventative therapies. There are also many in Canada. By the way, many medications used in the United States, are also used in Canada. I might say this a second time, Canada and the United States use the SAME prescription medications for the most part. The same medications written for the same medical conditions, yet the life expectancy in Canada, depending on what list you subscribe to, is anywhere from 4th to 15th. Yes we have universal healthcare in this country. Everyone is covered. In the United States healthcare is still there, just covered differently.
Can you see where this is going? How can you blame the abysmal life expectancy on the medications that are written. Of course I think there are better ways to go, like nutraceuticals, but obviously it can’t be the prescription medications that are the cause of the huge discrepancy in life expectancy. Lab orders are more likely written more commonly in the US, where they are covered more. That should make for healthier outcomes. But they don’t. WE WRITE FOR THE SAME MEDICATIONS IN BOTH COUNTRIES ! HOW IS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY SO DIFFERENT?
When we look at life expectancy per province and per state, the northern territories have low life expectancies but low population densities. The US has the worst life expectancies along the Mississippi and Central/Eastern States. The diet in this part of the Country is not the same as the rest of America. Perhaps the River is a collecting area for the rest of the Country’s harmful substances. At a lecture a few years ago I heard a physician who used to practice in the Louisiana area admitted to the lifestyle and diet as the main culprit. Is this skewing the entire country in life expectancy? The life expectancy of the average person isn’t that bad for the rest of the country.
My point is, are we blaming medications for this – without proper scientific backup? Is this an unfair way to push anti-aging medication. Or is the poor life expectancy of 1/3 of the US States to blame? Perhaps access to healthcare is the issue. I know you may say that I am biased with what I do for a living. But I am a pharmacist that practices integrative approaches over typical western approaches. Perhaps the easy argument that our prescription meds are to blame is weaker than it appears to be. I think acid suppressing meds are a huge mistake, bisphosphonates, statins and other meds have issues. But to throw a blanket over all of the meds written daily is an easy cop-out. Complimentary medicine means you compliment regular meds. Now more than ever there are media releases slamming vitamins and supplements based on bad science. How to treat yourself is more and more based on the opinion of the patient or the practitioner. If your pressure is 200/120 then you need a medication to lower it. Prevention is the best medicine, but western medicine is the wrong tree to bark up. Focus on the food you eat, the exercise you get, the pesticides, herbicides, metals, fertilizers, GMO and xenoestrogens you are exposed to. The RX meds you are prescribed are not the cause of your low life expectancy, they are the result of your poor lifestyle.