Better Drug Records Might Have Saved Brittany Murphy

She may have been 'doctor shopping,' and if docs had known...
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2009 1:19 PM CST
Better Drug Records Might Have Saved Brittany Murphy
Brittany Murphy.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Brittany Murphy’s death may illustrate a grim truth: that “stars’ poison of choice is the legal and prescribed kind,” Rahul Parikh writes. Even sadder tragedies involving legal drugs might be averted if doctors embraced technology as much as, say, librarians. “Libraries are technologically integrated,” continues Parikh, a practicing physician. “Same for banks. Same for airlines.” And yet doctors “work in our own silos, blind to the outside world.”

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“We rely on patients and their loved ones to be reliable narrators,” Parikh writes for Salon. “And sometimes, they are not.” Murphy had a “pharmacopia” in her medicine cabinet, and if the drugs weren’t supplied by a single “pusher MD,” they were likely prescribed by numerous well-intentioned docs who had no way of knowing about one another. An integrated computer system, Parikh writes, “needs to play an integral part” in the health care of tomorrow. (Read more Brittany Murphy stories.)

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