Monday, April 12, 2010

The Vision of Big Pharma: Your health of their profit???

If you have a long, drawn-out, incurable but treatable disease, it's unfortunate for you but great for pharmaceutical companies. While you're suffering indefinitely, you're also buying expensive pharmaceutical drugs to make the disease "manageable."  Dani Veracity

It seems to me we’ve come to a place in our evolution where we consider an absence of illness as being healthy. Or in the presence of illness if our symptoms are managed pharmaceutically we’re considered healthy.
This is not health; this is hovering at the edge of the abyss. The drop into the abyss is filled with escalating side effects and an erosion of the quality of life.
Health, vibrant, radiant, health is jumping out of bed in the morning feeling refreshed and energized with a desire to meet the new day. When stresses of life come at you, you don’t turn and bite off their head, you are able to deal with things calmly, rationally. Balance is the signature of your life. When your head hits the pillow at night you fall into blissful sleep with ease. This is health.
Did you note that this day was not full of pills or pain?
How have we collectively come so far from what we consider being healthy?
When did the effects of accumulated years of poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and neglect become the norm and referred to as the aging process?
It wasn’t always so.
Take a step back into ancient Greece, the cauldron from which our modern medicine springs. The names Hippocrates, Asceliupsus, Hygiea, Panaceia, might be ones that niggle at the back of your memory as stories you once heard.
These were the names of the most famed healers of ancient Greece, so famed that they were eventually given the status of demi-gods. Their temples and teachings were famous for dietary cures, water cures, exercise, body work, rest, spiritual and emotional counseling, and attending the theater.
Some of these names are sworn by in the Hippocratic Oath. The oath that all Doctors once took.
Medicine was based on prevention. Intervention began with this admonishment “ First do no Harm”
So how did we get so far from our roots?
I think the responsibility for that lies in two camps. Fear and Greed.
The fear is longstanding. Fear of pain, illness, death. Loss of loved ones. That fear has spurred us into every imaginable avenue. The power of fear to make us conceive of things that are preposterous in the light of day should never be underestimated.
Greed is a different story. To get a really good look at greed we’re going to go back to the turn of the previous century. The closing of the 1800’s saw an atmosphere of highly charged, incredibly exciting scientific research. The theories that were developed during this period were remarkable and showed great promise in alleviating human suffering. They were beginning to explore the relationships of the body and energy, the body and the mind. Profound healing at man’s fingertips.
Then came the year 1939, the depression is coming to an end and the next world war is raising its head. 1939 was the year that the award of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine went to Gerhard Domagk. He was honoured for the discovery which meant nothing less than a revolution in medicine. He was the discoverer of sulpha drugs, the very first antibiotics.
Not only were the possibilities in curing disease dreamed of but vast profit as well.
It was at this period that many of the drug companies of today were first established. They have evolved into the Big Pharma multinationals of today.
We have pharmaceuticals to be thankful for many, many things. Drugs have saved many lives. But to see anything clearly we must look at it from all sides.
The sides in the Shadows. Drugs yield many benefits, great profit with little patient interaction for one. Diagnose and prescribe. Drugs had become synonyms for Medicine and treatment.
Time consuming, simplistic treatments were trampled at the wayside. They may be effective but they were (and are) time consuming and unprofitable. Doctors and the new medicine have replaced the old Gods.
In small letters after the indications of what a drug is for, appear the side effects in small letters. Why small letters ask myself. Side effects of prescribed drugs are the 5th leading cause of death in the US.
Deaths due to medical mishap are equivalent to  6- 747’s loaded with passengers crashing.
…on a daily basis
 .....all year long.
For example let’s take a quick look at Vioxx. It turns out that the drug company Merck was aware of the side effects when the FDA released the drug into the public. Vioxx and its contemporaries were block buster drugs used to control the symptoms of osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, and adult pain. But its side effects proved fatal for at least 25,000 people before it was voluntarily recalled. 25,000 people, that’s a death tool higher than the combined death tolls of the war in Iraq and the 9/11 bombings. Yet the US administration sat by and did little. Could that be because contributions to the Republican party from Big Pharma increased by 600% from 1992 to 2002?
Then there’s the amount of money spent on drug advertising, in the US. Beyond the absurd amounts budgeted to sway the public consumer, there is 10,000 earmarked for each physician per year. That’s 10,000 per doctor per year. Do you think that might have just a wee bit of influence on how, when and for what prescriptions are given?
And then there are the 100’s of millions spent on lobbyists swaying government. Is this a good time to mention that a known career path for professionals in the FDA and the Canadian counterpart the CDA to jump from seats of government influence to the boards of Big Pharma!
Did you know that the advertising budget of Big Pharma exceeds its research budget?
The CEO of Merck stated in an interview with Fortune magazine that he regretted that there was a ceiling on profits for drug companies
…they couldn’t create product for healthy people. Well that’s changing now as well. Drugs are now being prescribed for diagnosis which aren’t even diseases. Our next block buster drug profits will lie in the realm of vaccination.
Drug companies are also responsible for 90% of research-I’ll let you guess what gets researched-it’s not the effectiveness of nutrition.
Further more Big Pharma funds hospitals, universities etc. etc. This should make us question who determines the curriculum. Who is going to say that it’s not the only tool in town if Big Pharma wants to stay as the dominator of a 28 trillion dollar industry? Ever ask yourself why in the face of ever rising health care costs are insurance coverage for preventative and alternative treatments largely excluded?
Research shows that despite the 200 billion spent annually on cancer research we are only 5% ahead in terms of cures than we were 50 years ago. But wait. There were studies done 50 years ago that proved conclusively that cancer is preventable. Best bury that study. It could cost the corporate world 100’s of billions, if not trillions of dollars.
So what am I trying to say to you?
Health is not an absence of illness, just as peace is not an absence of war. But peace costs money-not as much as war, not nearly as much, the same goes for wellness. Wellness will cost you. It will cost you in terms of buying nourishing foods, and spending the time to prepare them it will cost you in terms of regular bodywork and regular exercise and the time to pursue these. But the cost of both peace and wellness are well worth the price I think you’ll agree.
So the best way to foil the profiteers is to stay healthy, after all allopathic medicine is the treatment of disease. Well people can just stay away.
Sometimes the God’s don’t like to be usurped, you’ll meet some resistance as you change your allegiance to prevention and away from Big Pharma and Big Business. But you’ll find a lot of support along the way.
I hope I have given you pause to stop and think. Time to reevaluate whose responsible for your health and quality of life. And I hope you’ll join the growing ranks of individuals who know that allopathic medicine isn’t the only game in town. It’s only a tool and you can make choices

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