Guest Writer for Wake Up World
What are medicines for? What do medicines do? Your first instinct might be exactly wrong “Medicines cure disease”. Isn’t that what medicines do?
No, it is not.
I researched the top selling prescription medicines of 2011(you can see the list below) and reached a simple conclusion: Of the top ten best selling drugs in 2011 – not one of them cures a disease. Some of them address symptoms, but none address the cause of the disease they treat. Most, if not all, are simply ‘preventatives’ applied after the fact, as the age-old saying goes “shutting the barn door, after the horse has bolted”.
The statement: “medicines cure disease” is a myth.
You might have seen this common disclaimer on ‘alternative health’ products: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The top ten patent medicines are used to ‘treat’ disease after it occurs. They could use a shortened disclaimer, removing only a single word: This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease – and it would apply to all 20 of the top selling drugs of 2011. Although, it might be argued that they ‘prevent’ illness, take note: none prevents illness before it is diagnosed. They only claim to ‘prevent risk’ after an illness is diagnosed.
There are many truths worth knowing:
A drug that cures disease will not be a bestseller.
It is more economically motivating for drug companies to produce drugs that you ‘keep taking’. Drugs that ‘cure disease’ don’t sell as much, because once the disease is gone – the need for the drug is gone. If drug companies only work to cure disease – they will be working to put themselves out of business. There are, after all, only so many diseases. Sometimes I wonder if we have more drug companies than we have diseases.
Many drug prescriptions lead to death.
Dr. Mercola reports: Fatal prescription drug overdoses surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in 2007, according to the Department of Health.
We can cure many of the diseases the top 20 drugs treat.
This is important. The top 20 drugs treat the symptoms of some very common diseases. In many cases we can cure those diseases, but at present, we prescribe drugs instead of cures.
We can only achieve health freedom when we begin to pursue healthiness as diligently as we pursue illness.
First, we need to go back to the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates. Hippocrates said: “Nature itself is the best physician.” He was talking about healing illness – treating illness by improving healthiness. He also said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” And lastly, he said: “If you are not your own doctor, you are a fool.”
The top 20 (or more) selling medicines are not foods. You cannot buy them without a prescription. They are not from nature – they are designed and marketed by corporations. And they do not allow you to be your own doctor – you MUST get a prescription to purchase them – even if you are a doctor. None of the top selling drugs of 2011 fit the recommendations of Hippocrates.
What’s more, if you cure your heart disease through non-conventional methods, will your insurance company pay for it? Nope. Health insurance only pays for specific, identified treatments, not for cures. It pays for the treatments that are ‘on the list’. If it’s not on the list, and you pay for a treatment that cures your heart disease, your medical insurance will not pay. If your doctor recommended it, (s)he might be reprimanded for recommending a treatment that is not on the list – no matter if it cures you or not. Your medical insurance is not health insurance, it’s sickness insurance.
When will we (the big we, the ‘all of us’, the ‘conventional medical wisdom’ we) learn to cure these diseases? When health becomes a verb. When we learn to health. When we study healthicine as thoroughly as we study medicine. When health insurance pays for cures, when researchers focus on health, not on symptoms, when medicines are not restricted to ‘patent medicines‘, when we put ‘open source medicines‘ and ‘patent medicines’ to the same test – do they cure? Do they heal?
Here’s the top 10 selling ‘medicines’ of 2011 in the United States.
1. PLAVIX – the purpose of Plavix is to prevent blood clots in someone who has recently had a stroke or a heart attack. Does it heal the damage caused by a heart attack or stroke? No. Does it heal the blocked arteries that might have caused the heart attack or stroke? Nope. The expectation is that you will take Pavix, because it will suppress your natural, healthy, clotting tendencies – and thus, possibly, prevent another heart attack or stroke. Does your doctor prescribe Plavix to give you time for other, slower treatments that will cure your circulatory system, or heal the damage caused by disease? Nope. Your doctor signs your prescription, adding perhaps some dietary advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
2. LIPITOR – the purpose of Lipitor is to lower cholesterol. The purpose of lowering cholesterol is, in theory, to reduce heart disease. Does Lipitor cure? No. Does it ‘heal’ the damage of a heart attack or stroke? No. Does it heal the damage that is caused in theory, by high cholesterol? Nope. It is designed to lower your cholesterol, and hopefully your body will heal from the damage caused by high cholesterol. Does your doctor prescribe Lipitor to give you time for other, slower treatments that will cure your heart disease or heal the damage from your heart disease? Nope. Your doctor signs your prescription to Lipitor and then signs off until your next checkup.
3. ADVAIR DISKUS – contains two medicines; one that relaxes the muscles in the walls of the air passages in the lung, keeping them open and thus making it easier to breathe. The other reduces inflammation in the lungs and thus helps reduce swelling and irritation in the small air passages in the lungs. It is commonly prescribed for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Does it cure asthma or COPD? Nope. Does it heal the damage or inflammation in the lungs? No, it reduces the effect of inflammation, but does not address the cause. Does your doctor prescribe Adviar Diskus to give you time for other, slower treatments that will cure your asthma, COPD, to heal the damage it caused? Nope. Your doctor signs your prescription, adding perhaps some lifestyle advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
4. HUMIRA – a TNF inhibitor. TNFÎ± inactivation is used to lessen inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune diseases. As of 2008 Adalimumab has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, moderate to severe chronic psoriasis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Does it cure any of the diseases it treats? No. Is the expectation that your doctor will prescribe HIMURA while they work on another treatment to cure the illness, or search for the cause? No. Your doctor is expected to sign your prescription, adding perhaps some lifestyle advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
5. ENBREL – a TNF inhibitor. TNFÎ± inactivation is used to lessen inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune diseases. It can be prescribed for is rheumatoid, juvenile rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis and ankylosing spondylitis. Does it cure any of the diseases it treats? No. Is the expectation that your doctor will prescribe Enbrel while they work on another treatment to cure the illness, or search for the cause? No. Your doctor is expected to sign your prescription, adding perhaps some lifestyle advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
So, 5 of 5 so far. Not one of the five top selling medicines actually cures anything. What’s up with this? Let’s continue.
6. RITUXAN – destroys B cells, and is used to treat diseases characterized by excessive numbers of B cells, overactive B cells, or dysfunctional B cells. This includes many lymphomas, leukemias, transplant rejection, and some autoimmune disorders. Put simply, Rituxan lowers your level of healthiness (killing cells that are normally a healthy part of your body), while attempting to lessen the effects of disease. Does it cure any of the diseases it treats? No. Is the expectation that your doctor will prescribe Rituxan while they work on another treatment to cure the illness, or search for the cause? No. Your doctor is expected to sign your prescription, adding perhaps some lifestyle advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
7. REMICADE – is a monoclonal antibody against tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-Î±) used to treat autoimmune diseases. Just try to say that with a straight face – and then try to explain what it means. Remicade is a relatively new immunosuppressant, so new in fact that, according to Wikipedia, its actions are not yet clearly understood. It can be prescribed to treat psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. Does it cure any of them? No. Does your doctor prescribe Remicade as a temporary measure and then try to find the cause of, or a cure for your illness? Nope. But like Embrel and HUMIRA, you are warned that these drugs can have serious, even fatal side effects.
8. CRESTOR – is a statin, used to treat high cholesterol and similar conditions, to prevent cardiovascular disease. Does it cure cardiovascular disease? Nope. Does it cure high cholesterol? Nope. As with all statins, there are risks of diabetes, kidney toxicity and other ‘side effects’ that your doctor needs to monitor.
9. AVASTIN – an angiogenesis inhibitor, it slows the growth of new blood vessels. It is used to treat cancers, because cancers stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. Does it cure the cancer? No. It only attempts to slow it down.
10. HERCEPTIN – is an antibody that interferes with the HER2/neu receptor. It is primarily used to slow the growth of certain breast cancers. Does it cure breast cancer? Nope. Studies showed that it increased the life of late stage cancer patients from about 20 to about 25 months. 5 extra months – for a cost approaching $100,000 per year (according to Wikipedia).
Do the top selling drugs ‘cure disease’? Nope. Ten for ten.
Health Freedom? We can only achieve health freedom when we begin to pursue healthiness as diligently as we pursue illness.
Edited abridged version by Wake Up World. To read this article in full please click here
Previous articles by Author
- Why We Need More Open Source Medicines
- Are You Getting Enough Vitamin M?
- Fratricide, Filicide, Homicide, Suicide, Genocide, Pesticides, Herbicides, di-oxides, Climaticide, Earthicide, Planeticide? Can we hide?
- What are the Symptoms of Healthiness and Healing?
- The Hierarchy of Healthicine
About the Author
Tracy Kolenchuk, author of Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness is a retired Canadian computer geek, health nut, arts photographer, cyclist, swimmer, world traveler, dog and horse lover, chess-player and tai chi practitioner who is passionate about everything he does.
He is the founder of PersonalHealthFreedom.blogspot.com and the site Healthicine.org, where he expects to change the way the world defines and looks at health, healthiness and healthicine. He has written posts for GreenMedInfo.com and now WakeUpWorld.com.