Feeling good? You are? Here, take some drugs.
If the concept of feeding healthy people dangerous drugs is foreign to you, chances are you don’t work for any of the large pharmaceutical companies.
The latest trend in marketing lucrative prescription drugs is to market them to people without any signs of disease. Apparently there just aren’t enough sick people to feed the voracious money appetite of the drug company giants.
Recently, drugs such as cholesterol-lowering statins and amphetamine-like ADD/ADHD drugs (Ritalin) all being pushed as necessary for otherwise healthy people.
The rationale? Drug companies are funding studies in an attempt to prove that these dangerous drugs prevent disease, reduce medical costs and improve on-the-job performance.
It reminds me of saying, “If it’s not broken, let’s fix it anyway.” Yeah, right.
If you’re shocked by this concept, consider the following:
- In 2008 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children as young as 8 years old be given cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. The FDA has now approved this use for these drugs. This in spite of the fact that no studies have ever been done on the safety of treating children with them. The reasoning goes that statins will protect children from future cardiovascular problems.
- Other physicians have gone so far as to suggest that statin drugs should be added to the public water supply to save money treating heart disease. If you think these were some rogue MDs on the fringes of the medical world, consider that these recommendations were made at the November 9, 2008 conference of the American Medical Association.
(Also, the above 2 examples conveniently ignore the fact that statins haven’t been proven to reduce heart attacks or strokes, nor the fact that using them reduces levels of the heart-protective nutrient, Co-Q10, nor even that their list of side effects is long, including muscle wasting, pain and weakness.)
- The journal Nature recently published an article where 7 medical professionals argue the case for prescribing the same dangerous drugs given for treating ADD/ADHD to the general public. Their reasoning is that these can be considered “performance enhancing” drugs. The fact that Ritalin and Adderall (the two mentioned specifically in the article) are forms of amphetamines doesn’t seem to enter into the equation for these authors. Amphetamines have a long history of problems related to their use.
Did we learn nothing from the 1960s? By now I would have thought we’d learned the answer to feeling better, thinking better and having better health isn’t taking drugs!
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: pharmaceutical drugs have their place, but they don’t address the underlying, driving factors behind chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, etc.
The reason they don’t is that they are designed to only treat the end result of a long series of biochemical events in the body. These events are predisposed by genetics and environment and set in motion by lifestyle, diet, and aging. The only way to truly change them is to address them at their root cause, namely by changing diet and lifestyle. Otherwise we’re just sticking bandages on broken legs in a vain attempt to heal them.