The awkward space between pro-medicine and anti-corporate medicine

I got my meds adjusted today. I think I've mentioned before that I suffer from depression, but I'm not certain I've ever actually said I'm medicated for it.

I find the whole area of the question of medication slightly uncomfortable territory.  My relationship with my psychiatrist (that's the one who does the prescriptions, as opposed to my therapist) is a bit tense, in large part due to major pharmaceutical companies' persistent pressure to push sales of their drugs.  Because of this fact, I'm never sure whether or when the influence of drug reps begins to be a bigger factor in my psychiatrist's recommendations than my best interests as a patient.

So I do a lot of research on my own, and I pretty much self-prescribe.  I run it by my psychiatrist, and if she agrees, I am prescribed.

It's a sort of a tense position, being pro-medication, but still opposed to the way the existing medical industry handles it.  Right now, drugs are pushed for he sake of selling drugs, which is irresponsible and wrong.  People are prescribed medications they don't need, in higher doses than they need, switched from medication to medication to keep up with the patents, and kept on drugs longer than they might need to be.  But on the other hand, not all psychiatric disorders can be handled with therapy alone, and for some people, lifelong medication may be the best possible route.  If a person has diabetes, they don't use insulin just until they work it out with their therapist.  Why should brain chemistry be any different?

Beyond that, I'm a transhumanist; I'm pro-drugs even in cases where the justification provided is "I want the drugs."  I think that's a fundamental right.  But I don't support abolishing the prescription system, at least not right now, because that wouldn't result in a more egalitarian drug distribution.  It would result in pharmaceutical vultures convincing more people to take even more drugs, with less testing and less control, in irresponsible combinations and circumstances.

The role of a doctor, or a psychiatrist, should be to guide their patients to better medical decisions, and pharmaceutical companies undermine that role by splitting doctors' loyalties, putting money against patient care instead of with it.  But it's hard to be understood when you hold that position, as well as the position that some people just should be medicated.  And at the moment, it's impossible to tell where the line between those groups is.