You asked for it. Blame yourself. I told you before that I won't offer
you paper quality to my essays. Most of them are suppressed; put into the
deep of my hard disk and never let out again. I could find more examples,
but I'm fed up. Besides, the examples I have given you, belong to the "serious"
part of the industry. There are lots of cowboys. No end. But I know too
little, and could not care less.
If one treatment cures a disease and another maintains a comfortable
life without a cure, the industry will go for the one with the chronic
high blood pressure
high blood cholesterol
So there will be strokes, coronaries, impotence, depression.
It is a fact that these problems would go away if the eating habits were changed. But the pharmaceutics industry comes to rescue, offering drugs against those problems, so there is no need to do anything drastic about the product spectrum of the food industry, or the TV commercials for all that junk.
Exercise decreases blood pressure. So do the pills. The State or the Insurance companies pay for the pills, but not for the exercise programs. You may guess where the money comes from
The earliest blood pressure lowering drugs (those that might have saved Roosevelt and averted some of the disasters following the Yalta conference) were of a sort that maybe prolonged life, but definitely made life seem longer. The decades after brought about lots of different classes of blood pressure lowering drugs. The best ones came, I think, in the fifties or sixties (the thiazide diuretics). They are now ridiculously cheap compared to their value, and have passed out of use. The industry now says these drugs are metabolic poisons. But they aren't. Much of the problems were caused by too high doses. If I had needed blood pressure lowering and needed only one drug, I could have treated myself for the equivalent of a few Euros per year - less than an annual packet of cigarettes but the actual product was taken off the market because of low profitability. A typical treatment would now be from 400 Euro and upwards (for example Cozaar, a new drug). Combinations with other drugs may be necessary, like Adalat Oros (300 Euro per year). Starting with the old ones: Esidrex one-half tablet daily: 20 Euro per year. Combination with generic atenolol 50 mg per day (one-half 100 mg tablet): 40 Euro per year. These are the prices of a intermediately-priced European country. On the world marked the price differences are much larger. So ten or more people on the old drugs could be treated for the price of one on the newer ones. The atenolol, by the way, would slow me down on the bicycle. Anyway, you may see the point. Anyway: The State pays, and more willingly the more expensive the drug is. And - a rhethorical question: Who decides which drug the patient is going to use? I've answered that one before, I think.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs decreases the mortality rate of people who have had a coronary thrombosis. But it does not stop people from dying. At a price of 900 Euro per year you can have Zocor and have your prognosis improved somewhat.
The State will also pay for your antidiabetic drugs - insulin, for example. You can have 5x500 units for 50 Euro, or 5x300 units for insulin pens for 35. The State pays. The insulin will have to be injected. All the big insulin companies are now developing insulin that can be inhaled (you breathe a powder). This will make insulin acceptable to more and more people, so you will need less and less diabetes to be eligible for insulin.
Drugs against too much acid in the stomach is one of the big winners on the drug market. You may know names such as Tagamet, Zantac, Prilosec (or Losec). If you eat these drugs every day, your ulcer goes away. If you stop with the drug, your ulcer comes back. But the most common cause of too much acid in the stomach is a bacterial infection: Helicobacter pylori. Kill all of them, and the ulcer goes away. Permanently. Without any more drug treatment. This information the industry has been suppressing for years. And when it could not be suppressed any more, they started spreading the propaganda that treating the patients would cause so much antibiotic resistance in the environment.
So they make the medical community advocate Losec at 1700 Euro per year instead of a simple triple therapy with cheap drugs - perhaps 50 Euro for a single and definite treatment.
Antidepressants are hugely popular. Did I hear it: No side effects,
high efficacy? You have all heard of Prozac. Or Zoloft. Or Seroxate.
But in the trials, the depression lifted in 70-80 percent of the patients taking the drug, and 60-70 percent in those who received placebo (inactive tablet - for comparison). This means that most of the ones treated did not need the drug at all.
Another bit of beef is that quite a few of the users have troubles if they try to stop using the drug. They have gotten into some sort of dependence. So it's easier not to stop.
After the depression success - on comes documentation that the drug works for "social phobia". So if I am going to a meeting or a party and don't feel quite good about it: Guess what? You go to the doctor, don't you? And have a State-subsidised prescription for an antidepressant.
And asthma. Some cases - perhapt the majority - are chronic infections (Chlamydia pneumoniae) that may be cured. But the standard (and only well-documented) treatment is long-term suppression of the symptoms. Becotide. Pulmicort. Flutide. And a host of others which actually inhibits the clearing of the infection. The State pays.
You say: "Cioff's mad! Com'off these kiddish 'conspiracy' tehories!"
But I say: Go into Medline
or through the Altavista (I've cut through some spam for you)
for Vitamin K or phylloquinone and bone or whatever you like. Fractures, for instance.
Green vegetables (boiled cabbage or other GREEN vegetables or some soybean or rapeseed or olive oil a few times a week would probably be enough). Or fresh boiled potatoes instead of all the junk products made by industry from potatoes (or grain, as pasta, for that matter).
The drug industry even eats itself into the tobacco industry. An increasing
product group is the replacement therapy. Nicotine gums, nicotine patches.
And drugs; the Americans will know Zyban. The tobacco industry recruits
the users. The drug industry gets the maintenance therapy (because the
smoking cessation success and weaning off nicotine replacement therapy
is no more than 20 percent). 3 Euro for a nicotine patch?
Propecia is another one, with different properties. If you have 800 hairs somewhere on your head, Propecia will give you 100 extra. I say: Give me 1000 hairs where I used to have 1000 but now have none.
But no such drug existe.
To conclude (and I've got blisters on my fingers now): The pharmaceutics industry has made itself a market from the crimes of the food industry, and suppression of the spread of knowledge or serious research about treatments that do real prevention or real cure. Products are poorly documented and studied. Overbloated, overpriced, buggy. Do I hear a bell ringing?
Was this beef, Fravia+?