Virumax was the name of the fake drug we parodied in the Placebo Journal. Five days of nothing that really does nothing for your virus.  The bottom line is that people who go to the doctor want something for the effort.  They do not like hearing “it’s just a virus”.  A recent article talked about this same issue.   Although almost 90 percent of Americans know that antibiotics are effective for treating bacterial infections, more than a third also erroneously believed the drugs can fight viral infections such as the common cold or the flu.  This comes from a new poll, which surveyed 1,000 adults by phone and more in focus groups, and was conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts in collaboration with the CDC.  Here are some more results:

  • Only 25 percent of respondents had heard “a great deal” about antibiotic resistance, one-third had heard a “fair amount” and a full 41 percent had heard very little or nothing at all.
  • Even though the majority of respondents knew that unnecessary use of antibiotics could harm their health, less than half realized that this could also harm other members of the community.
  • Many participants wrongly believed that individuals build up tolerance to antibiotics, when it is the bacteria themselves that become resistant.
  • Eighty-six percent of Americans know that the full prescribed course of antibiotics should be finished even when symptoms have vanished, but many said they did not actually abide by this rule.

What disturbs me the most about this is that doctors are to be held accountable for UNPROVEN patient satisfaction surveys.   Trust me, now that I am working in an urgent care I have found that patients are NOT satisfied unless they get their antibiotics.   We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.