Among the services we offer here at KindlyMD is medication management. As a culture that depends so heavily on prescription medications, we rely on our medical providers to guide us along the medication pathway safely and effectively. That does not always happen. For that very reason, we passionately believe that medication management in the U.S. could use some adjusting.
Our philosophy is that medication is just one of many tools medical providers can bring to bear as they seek to help patients feel better. It is not the only tool. It's also not the best tool in every situation. Unfortunately, the reliance on prescription medications has become so pervasive in the American healthcare system that too many patients are subject to overprescribing.
Overprescribing occurs when patients end up taking too many drugs, too frequently. We see it all the time in pain medicine. Narcotic pain meds are the go-to pain management tool that many doctors turn to without a second thought. Patients receive one prescription after the next and, before they know it, they have been taking their meds for a lot longer than established guidelines would otherwise recommend.
We have seen similar situations with prescription sleeping pills, antidepressants, and other drugs. Continually writing prescriptions without ever addressing the root cause of the problem is not smart medicine. It is an approach that seems like something more fitting of the dark ages.
Our goal with medication management is to bring it out of the dark ages and into the 21st century. Our clinicians reach beyond normally prescribed medications to look at other treatments that are equally or more effective. As part of our approach to medication management, we try to introduce qualified patients to plant-based therapies.
One downside of the traditional approach to medication management is that it only considers FDA-approved medications. There is nothing wrong with such medications per se. In order to gain FDA approval, a pharmaceutical company must prove both efficacy and safety. So there is science behind their products.
On the other hand, plant-based medicines do not have FDA approval for the most part. That is not because the medicines are unsafe or don't work. It is because they do not require approval by law. Yet this does not equate to quackery. Plant-based medicines are science-informed, which is to say that they are backed by scientific principles long accepted in Western medicine.
For example, we already know how certain types of natural substances interact with the human body based on how their molecules bind with brain receptors. So even though a plant-based medicine hasn't been approved by the FDA after rigorous safety and efficacy testing, science does inform us as to how that medicine will affect a patient. The science informs us how the medicine might be used to treat a patient.
The strongest case for changing America's approach to medication management is the fact that our current system is not working. We have far too many patients chasing medications that are not helping them. Meanwhile, we have medical providers beholden to a system that gives them very little room to be flexible. The ones who suffer from this arrangement are patients themselves.
We believe medication management needs to account for plant-based alternatives. In fact, it needs to account for a full range of alternatives to Western medical standards. Medication management is vital to patient health. But if it is intentionally limited by the old ways of doing things, patients cannot be cared for the way they should be.