90% of today’s medicine practice is nothing but a service to pharmaceutical companies

AdvilI am inclined to say even more, but I want to respect those today that are really contributing to medicine like diagnostics, surgeons and genetics. Everything else in the medicine seems to be  working by following simple algorithms. You have these symptoms, you get those medicines. This looks to be true especially for general medicine practitioners.

Since I recently started my research on a particular disease, I was convinced that I could gain more knowledge about it than a local specialist by simply looking it up on the Internet in two-three days. You can be surprised how much information you can find, especially if you are an avid user of Internet like me.

It seems to me that modern doctors rarely use this giant library for research purposes and still rely on the books and seminars as a source of knowledge. But medicine knowledge like everything else is developing at a quick pace. I think it can be forgiven for a car mechanic if he doesn't check Internet site of his car manufacturer, but in medicine it's a different story. They are working with human lives and if staying up to date with current findings can increase world-wide survival rate by only 1%... enough said. Just calculate that in human lives.

The real problem comes from big-pharma (how these huge pharmaceutical conglomerates are usually called). At the beginning of last century, pharmaceutical companies started 'helping' medical schools with generous donations in return for just one member in the board. Over the years this influence grew, and medical schools started straying away from traditional medicine practice and more into the pharmaceutical medicine practice, which has led to the next problem.

Medicine cures the wrong thing

When you have an headache you get an aspirin from your doctor. This practice is so common that we are used to it without even thinking about it. But if you think about headache as a symptom of the problem our body is trying to warn us about, things start to get entirely new perspective.

Imagine you are driving a car and an oil light bulb lights up. What do you do? Would you take the bulb out or stop the car and fill the engine with oil? Medicine does the first, it 'solves' the problem by taking care of  the symptom.  No one in their right mind would chose to do that if they knew what the consequences could be.

And why does medicine work that way? Simply because it is much more profitable. By endlessly curing the symptoms you are putting money in their pockets as long as you live.

In Internet Marketing terms if that's closer to you, pharmaceutical companies are membership sites, where you need to become a member sooner or later despite the membership being very expensive. No wonder big-pharma are richest companies of the world.

Dealing with symptoms rather then problems is not exclusive only to medicine. World politics and terrorism for example. Terrorism is a  symptom of a bigger problem, strong countries are trying to deal with by attacking 'terrorist nests' and what not. But you will never be able to clear the world of terrorism no matter what you do, until you remedy the problem behind it, which is usually big oppression and unhappiness in some part of human population. Or until it gets you eventually.

Point is, symptoms are much quicker to deal with then problems. Dealing with problems takes time and demands empathy. And we all know time is money. Simple as that.

Prevention is the key

Leading healthy life style is absolutely the key. Cancer kills millions of people every year, yet there are parts of human population where cancer rarely or never appears like Eskimos and Tibet tribes. The reason is the natural food and stress-free life.

Today you can not go into any supermarket and buy food without conservants or additives. Even if you could, chance is the food or the source of the food is not natural ie. it's genetically modified.

Think about it more and inform yourself. It is your life that will be in question sooner or later.  For start I suggest watching the video called Science and Politics of Cancer as a mean of getting another perspective.


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13 Comments

  1. Oct 28th, 2009 8:12 PM

    Hey Vladimir.
    I found you in my wordpress admin section and will no doubt need your help eventually.
    My guru who is your age and helped me with my set up is gone.
    Anyway I have read here for a bit and interesting that you follow the pharmacy cartels and say that speak of the fact that natuarl cures are the answer.
    I am 53 going on 35 and feel amazing and that's because I check myself always and take very good care of myself.
    Excercise ,super foods,( I like macca,chlorrella ,flax meal ,olive oil ...etc) super drinks like healthy teas and such.
    Big thing for me is stress management and again it's not that difficult.

    Anyway I love to blog and share.Did not know it until I set up the blog 6 months ago.
    It helps that I am very opinionaed I suppose.
    Take care young Sir.

  2. Steven Weyhrich
    Jan 13th, 2009 3:27 AM

    Ah but surely Steven , even you have to conceed that some people have tried radical things for for whatever reason and it has worked, .. Once you cut through all the misleading hype of people trying to "cash in" on the latest cancer cure , their are people who have tried that jucing diet and have professed it to work ?

    They "professed" it to work, but did it really work?

    Actually, I haven't heard of anyone with a cancer that is biopsy proven (microscopically shows cancer cells), who has truly been cured (meaning the cancer is totally gone and does not recur) by any special diet or herbs or whatever.

    This link here is about a study that was done to look at whether or not vitamins (specifically Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and selenium) would do what advocates of them claimed in reducing the risk of various types of cancer. The NIH did the same studies, at the same cost that pharmaceutical companies have to pay, to see whether or not these supplements did any good. And the results showed that not only did these not help, sometimes they caused problems.

    Frankly, I don't look at this with any gloating, bur rather with disappointment. It would be wonderful if there was something safe, effective, and inexpensive that worked for these kinds of diseases.

    Anecdotes about how this person took that herb to treat some disease, and got great results are not, in isolation, much help. Was the disease proven? Was the cure proven? (Not just "I feel so much better!", but did the tumor regress and disappear on x-ray?) Was there some other factor that happened at about the same time that had an influence on the disease (they chose to stop drinking, or shooting up drugs, or began to exercise, or whatever).

    I could name several "tried and true" pharmaceutical treatments in medicine that have been abandoned in the past 10 years, because someone finally did a controlled study that evaluated that treatment, and found it to be of no value, despite thousands of doctors who were certain that they worked.

  3. Jan 12th, 2009 1:39 PM

    Ah but surely Steven , even you have to conceed that some people have tried radical things for for whatever reason and it has worked, .. Once you cut through all the misleading hype of people trying to "cash in" on the latest cancer cure , their are people who have tried that jucing diet and have professed it to work ?

  4. Steven Weyhrich
    Jan 8th, 2009 8:25 PM

    sure thing, the cancer can be cured with tens of other techniques, but everyone these days just sticks to chemo and radiation. it's a money, it's a big business...

    Well, as a member of the "big conspiracy", I have yet to see anyone whose biopsy proven cancer was cured by any of those "tens of other techniques". It's a free country, and you can use whatever you please, but when you come to the oncologist after your other technique has failed, your more advanced cancer will be just that much more difficult to treat.

    This is not like a Mac vs PC argument, or Chevy vs Ford; this is Mac vs colorful umbrellas or PC vs blue jeans; the opponent simply does not have the same capabilities in any way, shape or fashion. If I need a computer to do the job, I'm not going to start typing on the light switch on the wall; I'll get a computer. And if I've got cancer, I'm going to seek a proven treatment that has a chance of curing me.

  5. Jan 8th, 2009 2:16 PM

    sure thing, the cancer can be cured with tens of other techniques, but everyone these days just sticks to chemo and radiation. it's a money, it's a big business...

  6. Jan 7th, 2009 9:50 PM

    Dave: Cheers. Nice helm :)
    Goran: Human health is one area where profit should not be in the first place but sadly it is one of the most profitable markets. Take care.

  7. Jan 7th, 2009 8:50 PM

    I may sign this post ;)
    Profit is the only important

  8. Jan 7th, 2009 8:25 PM

    What a great debate, I dont really have time to throw my hat into the ring but I can see both sides , and as a personal trainer who constantly tells people how to live a healthy life style (and constantly gets ignored, even though they are paying me) I can see the Dr,s side very clearly , but I am also with Vladimir as well , due to having been thrown around by "pharma doctors" for years whilst trying to find out the cause of somthing , I am with you both... I am stumbling this !!!!

  9. Jan 7th, 2009 4:59 PM

    I can understand that there are patients that want it done quickly as possible (as they are handling their car). Fair enough.

    You did mention insurance companies which I would not touch at this moment because it would start another fire, but I would direct you to a much older post of mine called Understanding America today (and possibly provoke even bigger flame :)

  10. Steven Weyhrich
    Jan 7th, 2009 4:38 PM

    Thanks for the thoughtful response! Some comments:

    In my experience physicians do very little to promote healthy lifestyle as the safest cure against most of today's diseases. They are too entangled in this net of commercial medicine where it is much easier to prescribe a pill for the symptom as it appears and move on.

    Sadly, there are physicians who will not or cannot take the time to find out what your underlying problem is, but find it easier to just throw a pill at it and move on to the next patient.

    On the other hand, there are a large number of patients who view their trip to the doctor like they do a trip to Burger Doodle: They want it their way, and in 30 seconds or less. If the doctor is running behind, they get all bent out of shape ("I'm sick! I don't have time to wait!"). They want a quick solution, and please don't tell them they have to change something in their life, just make them better and get them back to their life.

    As a physician, I'm popular and unpopular at the same time. I take the time to listen to what is wrong with you, and try to find a solution. However, that takes far more time than the allocated minutes for the appointment, so I rapidly get 30, 45 or 60 minutes behind.

    And, in defense of the rush in and rush out physicians: Some of them work under an arrangement where they must take no more than seven minutes for a visit. Their contracts with insurance carriers put them in the position that they stand to lose significant income if they don't keep churnin' them through.

    Finally about this:

    Hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol .... All three problems come as a result of an unhealthy life style, endorsed by big pharma by advertising pills that auto-magically remove the symptoms when they appear.

    I disagree. All three problems have a genetic predisposition as their basis, and lifestyle often (but not always) causes them to appear. The lifestyle is not a result of the drugs that "big pharma" has provided for them, but rather because of things these people have chosen to do: Eat too much, drink too much alcohol, smoke, and exercise too little. If The Conspiracy by big pharma extends so deeply as to somehow make people do these things, then I can agree that it is indeed their fault. Otherwise, it is a cultural and societal issue. I would maintain that there are extremely few prescription medications that cause hypertension, diabetes, or elevated cholesterol as a side effect, and if they are used it is because there are no better alternatives available.

  11. Jan 7th, 2009 6:43 AM

    I am glad to have you here Steven and much appreciate your input as a medical professional. I think what you and me said does not contradict but combines.

    I am aware that you would happily cure hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol instead of just control it if you could, but my point is not to allow it to happen in the first place. All three problems come as a result of an unhealthy life style, endorsed by big pharma by advertising pills that auto-magically remove the symptoms when they appear.

    Same goes with migraine, I really did know much about it so I looked it up and first page on search that came up was Mayo clinic, probably the best example of 'commercial medicine' representative.

    Causes of migraine are (quoted from Mayo Clinic):
    * Hormonal changes
    * Foods
    * Stress
    * Sensory stimuli
    * Changes in wake-sleep pattern
    * Physical factors
    * Changes in the environment
    * Medications (certain medications can aggravate migraines)

    I as a laymen see that most causes for migraine are created from an unhealthy lifestyle, even from the same medications Mayo clinic probably recommends elsewhere.

    In my experience physicians do very little to promote healthy lifestyle as the safest cure against most of today's diseases. They are too entangled in this net of commercial medicine where it is much easier to prescribe a pill for the symptom as it appears and move on.

  12. Steven Weyhrich
    Jan 7th, 2009 1:11 AM

    Let me toss my 2 cents in here ...

    I'm a Family physician, so I have more than just a passing interest in the topic and the author's solution. I wish it were just as simple as he indicates that it is.

    Let's talk first about disease states and lifestyle changes.

    It is absolutely true that a fair number of the problems people experience are related to poor diet, lack of exercise, etc. It is also absolutely true that for virtually EVERY person whose cholesterol panel returns elevated, who I tell "eat better and exercise, and let's recheck this in 2-3 months" NONE of them return for the retest. They have the impression that if "all" the doctor recommends is exercise and diet, it must not be too bad. In the meantime, during the next two years before they return and check that cholesterol again, they have NOT done either recommended item, and their cholesterol is STILl elevated, and during the interval they have built up a larger layer of plaque in their arteries that may lead to a stroke or heart attack in the future.

    Suppose that I get that unique individual who really DOES what I suggested, comes back, and his/her cholesterol is still too high. Hey, good news, I have a number of highly effective prescription drugs that have been tested and found to bring down the cholesterol, and have been shown in well done clinical studies to _significantly_ reduce the chances that person will have a stroke or heart attack.

    I could say the same story about diabetes and hypertension. All three are diseases that, when left untreated, can wreak a catastrophic toll on someone's life due to the complications caused by the disease. And the medications that are used to treat these problems are all shown in clinical studies to be effective and in most circumstances quite safe.

    Okay, so I don't want to toe the line with "big pharma", and so I'm going to go out to "the Internet" to get my information. How well you do with that endeavor depends on exactly WHERE you decide to go, and, usually, on what is your philosophy before you start searching. If you are convinced that big pharma is simply out to take as many of your dollars as possible while prolonging your condition, you will certainly not go to any web sites that are sponsored by major medical research centers (Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, etc), because they've been tainted by money from big pharma. Can't go to the big pharma web sites either; they are the enemy. That leaves me to go to someone's rant site, IHateLipitor.com or NorvascKilledMyFather.com or whatever. Or wait; you can go to the sites that promote natural or herbal products, virtually none of which have well researched studies to prove the claims of their lobster elbow extract, or whatever. "University studies showed that ..." Which university? How was the study done? Even expensive, well funded studies do not necessarily result in valid results if it is not conducted in a double-blinded manner.

    Does this mean that I believe big pharma is entirely blameless and pure as the driven snow? Absolutely not! I take what any pharmaceutical rep I see says with a grain of salt, and I look to see what are the results from using the product, using the study results and personal experience with the drug. If it doesn't live up to their claims, it doesn't get used. If it does, I'll prescribe it.

    About the claim that drugs simply prolong the problem, so the patient continues to have to take the drug: Until someone creates a CURE for hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol problems, all we have available are ways of CONTROLLING the problem. Sure, I can give you Penicillin to cure your strep throat. That's easy. We don't have a treatment as effective as Penicillin for Herpes, because the technology for such a cure does not yet exist. And so we can CONTROL herpes outbreaks with a medication that you take daily or when you have outbreaks; sadly, we cannot yet cure or eliminate the problem.

    Regarding the statement that Medicine is focused on treating the symptom and not the underlying problem is, again, simplistic. If you presented to me with a headache, I would not tell you to take an aspirin for it, because by the time you have come to see a doctor (taken time off work, counted the cost of an office visit, etc), you have already tried aspirin and Tylenol and Advil and who knows what else, to solve the problem yourself. You are seeing me because those treatments aren't working. It is correct that the headache may be a symptom of something else (sinus infection, brain tumor, elevated blood pressure, etc), but sometimes the headache is the symptom AND the disease. Ask anyone who has had to deal with migraine headaches. The migraine is the problem; if it is a symptom of another problem, it is not a migraine, it is something else.

    A proper workup for a headache involves a lot more than just giving you a pill; it involves trying to identify who needs the million dollar workup to find the brain tumor (and therefore save your life), and who just needs to be told how to manage their sinus headaches when the weather changes.

    Me? I would absolutely LOVE it if I could give you something that would just eliminate your illness or medical problem. I have more people coming to my office than I have time to see, and being able to CURE you would be the happiest day of my life. I want to GET you healthy, and KEEP you healthy, so I don't have to see you in the hospital after some calamity caused by a disease. Nothing would make me happier. If we cure everybody, I'd be perfectly happy to find a new career doing something else, because I fulfilled my goal of getting all the sick people well.

    Until the day comes when such a thing is possible, I have to use what tools I have to help you with your problem when you come in to see me. And unfortunately, not all of the people I treat respond to the treatment; they may have side effects to the medication and be unable to treat it, or the drug may just not work for them, or something else may happen that prevents things from getting better. So we either try something else, or I find a specialist who may be able to do a better job.

    What a wind bag. I've probably written more words than the original article. Sorry Vladimir.

  13. Jan 7th, 2009 12:11 AM

    Great post. I couldn't agree more. The solution to every problem now is to medicate it.

    Too hyper, pop a pill. Don't even think about getting off the couch and moving. :)

    Too fat, must be you need some weight-loss pills. Exercise doesn't fit with our "modern" lifestyles.

    Granted there are some illnesses that require medication but the knee-jerk reaction shouldn't be to prescribe a new Rx.