When did you last ask about the manufacturer?

It’s been a week of finding out things I didn’t know I didn’t know about. iCarly, for one. Life expectancy in young people with deliberate self harm for another. And fake medicines.

A systematic review found that a median of 25% (ish) of medicines were substandard, and there is concern that (despite an absence of formal studies) there are dodgy medicines floating about in high income countries too.

I’d never thought to ask, if someone turns up poorly, “And those meds you’ve given, where did you get them from” … with the exception of herbal/alternative types… but perhaps I should do.

know that the circulation of meds differs in different countries, and that extrapolating from the data is considerably dodgy. I know that the quality of the underlying studies wasn’t all it could have been. But I’m also aware that there’s not a lot of difficulty in asking, if we’re in a situation of great uncertainty about a diagnosis, to get a bit more potentially useful information, and that balancing act of what to do with the evidence we have is always going to be tricky, and this is nidging me to wonder.

– Archi


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