In an epidemic of overmedication, who can you turn to for help?
You most certainly know someone whose life depends on the prescription drugs they take: it may be your husband, who takes sleeping pills to counteract the anxiety his heart medications cause him, or it may be your aging father, who takes upwards of twenty pills a day for everything from arthritis to high blood pressure. But we’ve all read the headlines: prescription drugs can kill you. If that’s the case, why are so many Americans, particularly those sixty and older, given so many pills, with no regard to how they interact with one another?
Fifth-generation pharmacist Armon B. Neel, Jr., is on a mission to help patients understand how the medications they take can affect them—for better or worse. As a consulting pharmacist, he visits hospitals and nursing homes daily and counsels patients on how their prescriptions may be interacting dangerously with one another, and how they can reduce the number of medications they’re taking. Armon’s recommendations have been estimated to save $2.5 million a year in health-care costs, and more important, he’s saved thousands of lives. In 2010, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists gave Armon its annual achievement award. The organization then announced that Neel so personified excellence in the field that the award would be renamed for him.
In Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?, Armon reveals what you and your loved ones need to know about the risks, dangers, and benefits of prescription drugs. He explains what needs to be taken into account when prescribing medication to older patients and the catastrophic results that can occur when they’re not. Writing with veteran journalist Bill Hogan, Armon gives you the information you need to be certain that you’re getting the right dosage of the right medicine, and he arms you with the most effective questions to ask doctors.
Armon also provides his own prescription for changing what he sees as the broken health-care system in the United States. Rich with real-life case studies, this groundbreaking book offers older people, who are most at risk—and the boomers who often care for them—a road map to better health. This gripping narrative provides essential information for anyone who depends on prescription medications, and reading it may save a loved one’s life.
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About the Author
Bill Hogan is an award-winning investigative journalist in Washington, D.C. He has worked as a writer and consulting editor for the AARP Bulletin and as a consultant to CBS News.
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I walked down the bus aisle, noticing everybody staring. Nervous, i was about to sit in the back seat all alone when i heared someone call, "Hey! New girl!" I turned to see a cheeky boy with glasses bright blue hair spiked with gel waving at me. A girl with brown hair waistlength was sitting next to him at the window. Her hair was wavy like mine and the same length, but hers was more beautiful. - I nervously sat down next to blue-haired boy, waving shyly at him and the girl. The boy smiled, showing perfect white teeth, but the girl just scowled and looked away. - "Hey new girl!", the boy said in a deep friendlly voice. "Im Josh, and this is my stepsister, Julia." I smiled shyly. "Hey", i said to him. "Hi", i said to Julia. Julia just looked out the window. "Aw come on Julia", Josh said. "Say hi to the new girl." Julia grunted. - "Dont worry", Josh whispered in my ear. "She has an attitude problem." I laughed, already feeling like i belonged. - "By the way", said Josh. "Whats your name?" I looked down at my feet, already embarrased. "Um... its... Ivy", i said quietly. Josh grinned. "Thats a pretty name", he said kindly. "You dont need to be embarrased just cuz its different." I smiled up gratefully at him. - The bus pulled up to the school. As everyone started to get off, i just sat there, afraid to get up. Josh noticed. "Its okay", he said. "Me and Julia will be with you to help you. Right, Julia?" Julia didnt say anything. "Isnt that right, Julia?", he repeated through his teeth. "Whatever", Julia said sharply, flipping her hair over her shoulder. I smiled at them, glad that they both will be by my side, even though Julia doesnt like me. - I walked off the bus and across the parking lot towards the school, Josh and Julia by my side. I didnt dare look around, knowing everybody will be staring. When i walked into the school building, i paused, not knowing where the office was. "This way", Josh said, walking towards a door at the left hallway. He opened the door for me. - "We will wait out here", he said. "You go on in and ask for your class schedule." I went over to the counter. The secretary looked up. "How may i help you, miss?", she asked. "Um, im Ivy, you know the new girl. Im here for my class schedule. And a, um, school map." The secretary looked through a manilla folder, pulling out a couple sheets of paper. - "Here you go, Miss Ivy", she said, smiling and handing me the map and schedule. "Your first period class is Math in room 103 with Mrs. Corall. We have lunch at 11:30. There are three lunchrooms, so go to whichever you want. There is also an outdoor area where you can have your lunch. See you later." - As i walked out the door, Josh jumped out from behind it. I squealed in surprise, then started to laugh as he tickled my stomach. I pushed him away, laughing and gasping for breath. When my laughter died down, i lightly punched his shoulder. He grinned. "So, did Ms. Trisha talk you to death?", he asked. "Oh you mean the secretary? I guess she did", i answered. Julia scowled and said, "Come on, Ivy. Room 103 is this way." - I followed her and Josh through the crowded hall. We came up to a door at the end that said above it: ROOM 103 MRS CORALL SUBJECT: MATH(ALGEBRA). I sighed. I was gonna fail this class for sure. "Well", said Josh. "You and me have this class together, Ivy. Julia is upstairs. But this class isnt too hard." I squared my shoulders, and got ready to face my next challenge, which is sure to be humiliating.