Monday, April 12, 2010

Is Medical School a Big Pharma Infomercial?

Some years ago, I mentioned chiropractic to a friend of mine, and she said, “I’m a nurse; I don’t believe in chiropractic.” The way she said it—semicolon and all—indicated, “I don’t believe in chiropractic because I’m a nurse.” That was my first inkling that nursing school and medical school was one long infomercial for the drug companies.
That’s not to say that doctors and nurses don’t learn anything useful. That’s the info part of the word infomercial. People watch infomercials because they expect to learn something useful. The –mercial part of infomercial—as in commercial is the part where they try to steer people toward certain products and away from the competition.
The competition includes chiropractors, aroma therapists, and such traditional healers as herbal doctors, shamans, and acupuncturists. Before the Renaissance, university-trained (allopathic) doctors had no competition from traditional (naturopathic) healers (naturopaths). The former made a living treating the rich; the latter, the poor. It was a fine arrangement until so many universities sprang up that, for the first time in history, there weren’t enough rich sick people for all the allopathic doctors.
Fortunately, the rise of the nation state (and the need to assert newfound political muscle) and the decline of the church’s temporal power (and the need to reassert theirs) occurred at about the same time. Accusing the naturopathic healers of being in league with the devil seemed a reasonable solution for all three groups—hence, the witchcraft hysteria of that began in 1639.
The allopathic monopolists can no longer burn traditional healers at the stake; but they—meaning Big Pharma, not the doctors—still collude with government and, when they can, the church. Virtually every college and university in America depends on grants from government and contributions from private donors. Big Pharma practices the “other” Golden Rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules.”
Big Pharma has a big say in what is taught in medical schools. Around 20 years ago, only four medical schools in America required a course in nutrition, and most medical schools didn’t even offer them. The record has improved somewhat, but Big Pharma still has the edge. Thus, all medical doctors know how to prescribe drugs for illnesses, but many of them know very little about how to keep healthy.
Thomas Edison once forecast that, in the future, there would be less and less distinction between medicine and food. On the other side of the world, there’s a Chinese proverb, “Food is medicine, and medicine is food.” Not with Big Pharma in charge of the flow of information. Today, Big Pharma learns the secrets of traditional healers, makes an artificial version of it through chemistry, and puts a patent on it. Thus, the real thing is called “alternative” medicine if not “superstition,” and a poor imitation is called “enlightened, modern” medicine.
(To their credit, many doctors have the wisdom to look beyond the infomercials and have become more holistic in their approach to health and healing. Unfortunately, many others still wear the blinders for which they were fitted in medical school.)
What about Big Pharma’s collusion with government, and what does this have to do with whether your congressman is representing you—or Big Pharma? There’s not a month that goes by that I don’t hear of some new attempt to use their prostitutes in congress to squeeze out the competition.
Their latest attempt is called the Dietary Supplement Safety Act. The DSSA would effectively reclassify food supplements (vitamins) as drugs and give the FDA control over them. The excuse they give for taking away Americans’ freedom of choice is that some baseball players were known to have taken illegal steroids. Can anyone tell me what illegal steroids have to do with vitamins?
For more info on the Big Pharma bill sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Bryan Dorgan (D-ND), click here.
Click here to write a polite letter to your congressman to ask him to vote against this violation of our rights.


  1. Very well said!
    I wholeheartedly agree that pushing pills so much is a little messed up, but I wouldn't be able to back up my thoughts.

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