The following piece is taken from the introduction of a book entitled @The Cannabis Health Index’ by Uwe Blesching PhD.
You’re sick, with a chronic condition . In a world of cause and effect, the exact cause of most chronic illnesses escapes modern medicine. To make things worse, cures are few and far between. In many cases, the best you can hope for, is to be managed by pharmaceuticals… In other words, by the corporate world.
Should you manage to make it to the doctor’s office, what may make you even sicker is to find out the hard way that only about 15% of medical interventions are actually based on solid scientific evidence. Even if the actual evidence were double that estimate, it would still seem like a walk somewhere between a wish and a prayer.
How can that be? For instance when Vioxx entered the market it was approved (i.e., tested for) an immune deficiency disease called rheumatoid arthritis . However, once it was on the market, doctors quickly began prescribing it to patients with various conditions, a common practice called ‘off label use’. By the time the medical community caught up with the deadly reality, Vioxx had killed an estimated 55,000 to 500,000 patients by causing heart attacks and strokes. The company settled the resulting class-action lawsuit for a little less than $5 billion. Sounds tough, but they still made about $10 billion in revenue over the life of the drug.
Consider this: the food and drug administration (FDA) actually has very little power and in fact does not approve drugs or devices but only the marketing of them. Before the FDA approves the marketing of a drug, the pharmaceutical company has to prove that it is more or less safe and that it is more effective than a placebo. Once the company has done so (usually at significant expense) the drug or device enters the market.
Many of us make the mistake of assuming that because of the successes of some specialised fields within medicine – such as emergency medicine or reconstructive plastic surgery, which are predominantly evidence based – that all of medicine , especially those branches that treat chronic degenerative illness, follows the same ideals. Not true, as cases like the Vioxx scandal clearly show.
So what is one to do? Well don’t fret, change is in the air concerned doctor’s and patients advocates from 120 nations have been pushing for a different approach to medical decision-making. Providing and promoting evidence-informed health decisions by producing high quality, relevant, accessible, system,and reviews and other research evidence.
So there you have it. Up to now Big Pharma and the FDA have had it pretty much their own way with little or no recourse for patients affected but via the courts. The push for evidence based research before drugs go to market is in its infancy but hopefully it is coming. Fighting giant corporations who live for profit and are huge lobbyists with governments is not going to be easy
My next blog will demonstarte the power of Big Pharma to control the way you think!