Thursday, April 22, 2010

How Scientific Is Modern Medicine Really?

 The Huffington Post 4/20/10

"Doctors today commonly assert that they practice "scientific medicine," and patients think that the medical treatments they receive are "scientifically proven." However, this ideal is a dream, not reality, and a clever and profitable marketing ruse, not fact."

"Today in America, every man, woman, and child is prescribed around 13 prescription drugs per year (and this doesn't count the many over-the-counter drugs that doctors prescribe and that patients take on their own) (Kaiser, 2006). Just 12 years earlier, Americans were on average prescribed less than eight drugs per person, a 62 percent increase! The fact of the matter is that drugs are not tested for approval in conjunction with other drugs, and the safety and efficacy of the use of multiple drugs together remains totally unknown."

"We all want drugs given to infants to be as safe as possible, but mothers and fathers will be surprised and perhaps shocked to know that very few drugs are ever tested on infants. A 2007 study of over 350,000 children found that a shocking 78.7 percent of children in hospitals are prescribed drugs that the FDA has not even approved for use in children (Shah, Hall, Goodman, et al, 2007). If this isn't shocking enough, a survey in England found that 90 percent of infants were prescribed drugs that were not tested for safety or efficacy in infants (Conroy, McIntyre, Choonara, 1999)."

"Although we are commonly told that we are living longer than ever now, this is simply a clever, even tricky, use of statistics. The fact of the matter is that there has been a considerable reduction in deaths during the first five years of life ... and this reduction in deaths has resulted primarily from a medicinal agent called "soap," not from the use of any specific conventional pharmaceutical agent."

"Physicians today rarely run drug companies. Instead, businessmen run them. It is, therefore, not surprising that Marcia Angell, MD, a Harvard professor of medicine and former editor of the famed New England Journal of Medicine, wrote:

Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs ... Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself. (Levi, 2006)."  

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Great article!!!