A medical paradox that will blow your mind
Last time, I talked about veterinarians and doctors and the fact that in the current medical system, it is hard for these professions to create a financially sustainable practice model based on disease prevention.
Today, my intention is to touch on the topic of drug companies and their role in the current healthcare system. Rarely do I look at a situation from their point of view. But today I decided to do exactly that. For some of you, it may even look like I am supporting them, but this is not exactly my goal either.
Similar to the previous issue, I have also created a video on the same topic. If you enjoy watching videos, rather than reading, all you need to do is to click on the video below. Otherwise, keep on reading :-)
Most drugs are made with the intention to help people and animals, save lives, and decrease suffering. For example, emergency drugs, anesthetics, pain control medication, and hormone replacements such as insulin or thyroid hormone. However, when it comes to drug companies and their public relations, many people are frustrated and disappointed with their business practices.
In fact, when you look at who supports them, most drug companies are public corporations owned by shareholders, people who sometimes do not even know that their financial adviser put Big Pharma in their retirement portfolios. Some of these shareholders are dog lovers, and they may even be members of our holistically minded community.
Naturally, the more shareholders that buy a Big Pharma stock, the higher it's value. Stockholders have a logical interest in having their investments grow, and this is one of the reasons why Big Pharma grew to be such a powerful force. People consider healthcare a safe investment.
Ethically, the primary purpose of drug companies is to improve their customers’ health; however, more often than not, that goal gets overshadowed by ensuring the highest profits for the company and the shareholders.
(By the way, this is how some airlines got bad, too. Some of them just focus on how little they can get away with while still filling up their flights.)
Drug companies develop and sell patented and highly profitable drugs. Logically, they have cast simple, inexpensive natural treatments aside because they can’t patent them and make them as profitable as drugs. In order for them to be profitable, they must continue to research artificial substances, patent them, and sell them for high profits.
Are you aware of this medical research paradox?
For example, in Canada, companies are encouraged to conduct research and receive tax credits to recover some of their expenses; however, because they can’t license natural substances and treatments, they are “forced” to develop more profitable drugs and conduct one-sided research.
Paradoxically, they operate within the laws created by democratically elected governments and indirectly by us! I suspect this is typical to other countries, such as the US, the EU, and others. The healthcare system is broken.
This is the first time that I am actually speaking in drug companies’ defence. We must look at the “cause of this malady” as opposed to blaming the symptom. If we want to create change, we first need to diagnose this problem and then repeat the message so the majority of people understand what is really going on.
Once the general public understands, we need to elect politicians who will understand the need for changing regulations, laws and the way medical research is conducted. If we were able to create a model where natural treatments would be endorsed and economically viable, I am certain drug companies and their shareholders (the public) would be happy to comply.
We must start seeing prescription drugs as the last resort in treating disease. In fact, it is possible to reduce the use of drugs by 80–90%, especially when it comes to chronic disease. I have seen this in my practice. This is no utopia; it is quite easy.
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Did you know that the best medical approach to healing costs nothing?
You may think I've lost my mind, but this is actually true. The best medicine is free, and it is called the “placebo effect.”
The word "placebo" is derived from the word "placere," which means "to please." Placebos are given to patients to compare the effect of a tested drug with a pill containing no active ingredients. However, in some cases, people respond positively to placebos, which clearly suggests that the mind can influence the body to the point that it can recover from a disease.
The placebo effect has been studied extensively, but it has generally been looked down upon. Perhaps one of the reasons it has not been used extensively is the moral aspect of giving someone “nothing.” The other reason may be that the use of placebos is not commercially viable.
Our society has gone too far down the rabbit hole of making healthcare “a business.” In my opinion, healthcare should be a right, not a privilege, which is still a hard concept to grasp in some countries.
It would be easy to blame someone else, such as drug companies, but real change can only happen if we all humbly acknowledge that we are in some way responsible for the current situation. We are the only ones who can change it.
At first, such tasks may seem overwhelming, but if we take one step at a time, I strongly believe that change can happen. It is reasonable to expect a degree of resistance, and some drug companies will be “kicking and screaming” opposing the change.
Seeing the situation from their point of view, independent research and inexpensive treatment methods could threaten their very existence. Just imagine what would happen to them if the use of drugs dropped by 80 percent.
Health is indeed everyone's most valuable asset, and we need to protect it. Thank you for reading this message. If you have not yet joined me and our community, click here for more updates.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM