Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
It's a combination of 2 things.. One is the patient wants to leave with a pill that makes them better, the other is the pharmaceutical companies pay the doctors for prescribing certain medications.
My wife works for a large pharmaceutical company so I know for a fact that there are kick-backs to the doctors, etc.....
The pharmaceutical industry and popular media have created the pill=cure ethos. Only weak-willed and consumer-minded physicians will give medically-unnecessary prescriptions.
The only doctors being paid to prescribe certain medications are unethical ones. The majority do not practice quid pro quo medicine but it is a significant problem in the discipline.
It is an exception NOT the norm to give patients antibiotics as prophylaxis against latent bacterial infections. People with chronic diseases: cystic fibrosis, sickel cell disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, etc get special consideration b/c best-evidence demonstrates a clear benefit.
To the contrary the vast majority of upper respiratory infections (sinusitis, rhinitis, pharyngitis) are viral and in otherwise healthy people it is BAD medicine to give antibiotics. Even clear bacterial infections like ear (otitis media) are not treated by the antibiotic neither is strep throat. In both cases antibiotics merely reduce the risk of complications like mastoiditis (which can lead to meningitis) and rheumatic fever from untreated strep.