The Paw Print
A research study by the Mayo clinic showed that 70% of Americans are currently using prescription medication. This same study showed that more than half of Americans are on 2 or more prescription drugs and that 20% are on 5 or more! Also, 26% of the population are on either an antidepressant or opioid(synthetic opium) painkiller.
More than twice as many people die each year from prescription drugs than those that die in car accidents. These are not overdoses or cases of people taking the wrong pill. These are deaths of people who took the correct dose. The number of deaths per year from prescription drugs equals over 100,000 per year, or 270+ per day!
The drug industry in America is supported by a regulatory system which considers patented medicine as the only legitimate and thus the only legal form of medicine. Because of this, if a doctor knows that there is a natural plant or herb which can treat an illness, he is forbidden by law to prescribe it to his patient, except in the few places in America which allow licensing of naturopathic doctors.
Companies which sell natural supplements cannot state the beneficial effects upon disease without a disclaimer. Even with a disclaimer they can be shut down by the FDA for selling illegal medicine. For example, a company which sold calcium supplements was raided by DEA officers with machine guns just for quoting studies which showed the benefits of calcium. It does not matter if research shows that a natural substance cures a disease, unless it is synthesized, patented, and put through FDA testing, then it cannot be used to treat disease.
When drug companies test new medications, they are legally allowed to cover up studies which show harmfull effects of their drug. For example, if a study shows that a drug causes liver damage, the drug company can just create another test and change the parameters of the study to minimise the harmful results of the previous study. The pharmaceutical company is not required to disclose results from the unpublished study. Nearly 50% of clinical trial results go unpublished. This is only a part of the dangerous practices going on.
It is legal for employees of pharmaceutical companies to ghost-write studies which are then published by supposedly independent 3rd parties! The drug companies are also allowed to give to the doctors of these studies by paying for furthering their education. There have even been cases of doctors completely fabricating results. There was the case with a doctor who faked 21 drug studies. These faked studies included Vioxx and Bextra, 2 drugs which were so dangerous they were pulled off of the market. Viox led to the deaths of over 27,000 people before it was pulled from the market.
This brings me to a profound question. Is the FDA’s real purpose to protect the American public by making sure that medicines are safe? If not, what is their real purpose? Do we need the FDA? I believe that because the pharmaceutical companies contribute so much money to the government, to doctors, and research laboratories, it is impossible for the FDA to be impartial. Because of this, they are actually doing more harm than good because they slow down the process of drug testing and they restrict competition greatly in the market of medicine. Only patented medicines are allowed and only large corporations can afford to pay for all the fees and testing required by the FDA.
A free market solution would work much better. One, get rid of all drug regulatory agencies and the regulation laws themselves. Two, make pharmaceutical company owners personally liable for harm caused by their drugs. Under this system companies would want to make sure that their drugs are safe to avoid lawsuits and criminal prosecutions. Prices of drugs would dramatically fall due to increased supply and competition between the greatly increased number of companies that would pop up without the regulation. Safer all natural remedies would become available and people could then go to naturopathic doctors.
These fixes I suggested would not only fix the drug industry, but would make health care much more affordable, something which the Affordable Care Act is failing to do and which cannot do. You don’t make something affordable by increasing the demand and cutting the supply. That is basic economics.