The Best Years In Life

Mainstream Drugs Are Neither Safe Nor Effective, Part I

by: Tony Isaacs

(NaturalNews) For generations we have been told by mainstream medicine that their drugs are safer and more effective than natural alternatives such as those man has used for healing for thousands of years. Similarly, we have been told that herbs and other natural alternatives are unproven, usually of little or no value and often may be dangerous. History tells us an entirely different story.

Proponents of mainstream drugs and critics of natural healing usually cite the lack of scientific studies proving the effectiveness or safety of herbs and natural alternatives. Likewise, mainstream drug advocates point to the wealth of studies which prove the effectiveness and safety of patented mainstream drugs. However, relatively few comprehensive studies have been conducted on herbs other than to find a compound that can be synthesized or uniquely isolated so it can be patented and profited from by the drug companies. Drug companies are by far the largest source of funding for medical studies and the cost of such studies is a huge barrier for natural alternatives. The FDA trial process costs hundreds of millions of dollars, and no one can afford to get a natural item approved that they cannot control. Whole herbs and extracts of herbs that contain multiple compounds found in nature cannot be patented.

Despite the complicated, expensive and time consuming process of getting FDA approval, many point to all the harmful drugs that have been approved as an indication that the system is deeply flawed and rigged in favor of those who have the money. It has been shown that studies tend to return positive results for the funders up to eight times more often than independent studies on the same item.

The FDA approval process did not prevent us from having rigged studies on Vioxx. Nor did it prevent rigged studies for decades on the safety – and even claimed health benefits – of smoking cigarettes. Those are just two examples in a very long list of drugs and other items mainstream science told us were safe but weren`t. For example: thalidomide, heroin, opium, cocaine, Avandia, Fosamax, Prozac, Paxil, Aleve, Bextra, Aspartame . . the list goes on and on.

Another problem with mainstream medical studies is the apparent lack of quality standards employed by pharmaceutical companies in selecting doctors who oversee drug testing. A New York Times investigation in 2007 found that in Minnesota alone at least 103 doctors who had been disciplined or criticized by the state medical board received a total of $1.7 million from drug makers between 1997 to 2005. The median payment over that period was $1,250; the largest was $479,000.

One such doctor was Dr. Faruk Abuzzahab, whom the Minnesota Medical board accused of a "reckless, if not willful, disregard" for the welfare of 46 patients, 5 of whom died in his care or shortly afterward. The board suspended his license for seven months and restricted it for two years after that. One of Dr. Abuzzahab`s patients was David Olson, whom the psychiatrist tried repeatedly to recruit for clinical trials. Drug makers paid Dr. Abuzzahab thousands of dollars for every patient he recruited. In July 1997, when Mr. Olson again refused to be a test subject, Dr. Abuzzahab discharged him from the hospital even though he was suicidal, records show. Mr. Olson committed suicide two weeks later.

To be continued . . .

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