A look at our current economic model and how it is incompatible with authentic healthcare.
It seems arguments and fights abound in the last few years, usually about whether capitalism or socialism will fix our modern problems; why we hate/love the communists or the fascists; defending or deprecating political correctness or identity politics, etc. It starts to sound like a broken record, living and interacting in one of the most polarizing political atmospheres in the history of this country.
Family members, friends, lovers, all screaming and yelling trying to convince each other they are right, often ending relationships and giving silent treatments. Mainstream media organizations, social media networks, political parties, celebrities, etc, all seem to have lost credibility and popularity. But there is one institution that somehow remains untouched, unaffected, and unscrutinized by the modern “woke” crowd, and the so-called SJWs: the multinational corporations that make up the pharmaceutical industrial complex.
Recently, Goldman Sachs reportedly voiced their opinion about the future of healthcare, which they are heavily invested in, basically stating that safe and effective drugs are not good for business. In this case they were focusing on the prospects of “one shot cures” using a variety of genetic engineering and cell manipulation techniques.
As a holistic nutritionist, and someone who is very familiar with traditional methods of healing (what today is known as “alternative medicine”, in contrast with modern or allopathic medicine), I cringe when I hear transnational corporations discussing issues like “one shot cures” focusing solely on cellular genetic manipulation, something completely unsustainable in itself and just an excuse to further invest in biotech, instead of focusing on proven protocols like modifying unhealthy lifestyles and diets. But even worse is the blatantly heartless question of whether curing patients is a sustainable business model.
“Is curing patients a sustainable business model?”
That question was posed on page 38 of a Goldman Sachs research report on biotechnology called Profiles in Innovation: The Genome Revolution.
There is a giant pink elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. It is the fact that one-shot cures have existed for decades, if not centuries, or even millennia. But let me blow your mind even more: there has always been just ONE sure-shot cure for nearly all the chronic diseases that plague the modern human being. Yes, you guessed it: proper nutrition and lifestyle.
You want to cure type 2 diabetes? Change your diet and lifestyle. You want to cure hypertension (high blood pressure)? Change your diet and lifestyle. Autoimmune diseases (at least 80 of them)? Diet and lifestyle. Heart disease? Depression? Cancer? Diet and lifestyle! I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Note: When I say, “change your diet,” I don’t mean, “go on any specific diet”. What I mean is: change what you are currently doing because it is most likely the cause of the illness, and also includes changes in lifestyle, which must be tailored to each person’s specific needs.
I’m sure that as I am writing this all the multinational corporations that make up the pharmaceutical industrial complex are mobilizing to capitalize on this amazing one-shot cure-all. But what’s that? You cannot patent turmeric? You cannot patent green tea? Or vitamin C? Meditation? Fasting? Well, I’ll be darned.
The real question should be: How can we provide legitimate positive-outcome health care in a predatory profit-based economic system? This question, of course, will never be asked, much less answered.
Another concept to consider is that, just like planned or built-in obsolescence (a very common practice in all industries, and the reason we have to buy new gadgets every year or so), the current health care system is engineered to fail, to keep people sick and dependent on the pharmaceutical products that are created to make money instead of actually healing, with absolutely no regard for the public’s health or safety.
It is logical and reasonable that in our current for-profit system a successful drug business has the fiduciary obligation to keep customers dependent on their products, in this case drugs and procedures that do not cure or heal. Patients are barely alive and walking around like zombies, hooked on pharmaceuticals, always coming back for more. They do not outright kill their customers (though it is a slow death), but don’t cure them either. The patients remain in some sort of “health limbo”.
This type of economic activity makes it abundantly clear why health care in this country is a dismal failure. The system we currently have should be referred to as “illness management” instead of “health care”. There is absolutely no “health” or “care” anywhere in the equation.
The reason these massive pharmaceutical corporations and insurance companies make so much money is because they do exactly what the system mandates: focus on profit regardless of “externalities”, or the unforeseen consequences of economic activities. In this case, the economic activities are extremely predatory and exploitative, and the externalities are the adverse effects on people’s health and well-being.
Some may argue that these are just the unintended consequences of doing business. Others have realized that perhaps these consequences are not just “unintended”, and are actually built into the system in order to make it more profitable. In fact, pharmaceutical companies must include the extra expenses they incur due to the thousands of lawsuits they settle every year from adverse reactions to their products (the cost of doing business) into their exorbitant prices (i.e. most drugs cost only pennies to produce, but are usually marked up over 1000%).
By no means, however, am I exonerating any of the other industries that profit from the public’s ignorance and/or trust. Several come to mind, but probably the most powerful, along with big pharma, are the financial industry (Wall Street & big banks), the food industry (big agra), biotech (GMOs), and the military industrial complex (weapons galore and never-ending wars).
Also, I am not accusing ALL doctors of intentional or unintentional ignorance when it comes to diagnosing illness and prescribing drugs and treatments. There are those who have chosen stay out of the “big pharma club” (where allopathic practitioners are “wined and dined” by the drug manufacturers, as in “legal bribe” / “conflict of interest”), and remain on the fringe trying to help their patients by using the least toxic or invasive methods they can find. Unfortunately, as I have stated repeatedly, these are the minority and the exception to the rule.
But short of becoming full fledged holistic practitioners, which are becoming more common, there are those who have realized the error of their ways as allopathic practitioners, and have come to understand how the short sighted education they received in medical school was only meant to generate cash flow for a small minority instead of good health for the majority. Some are becoming activists and whistle-blowers trying to educate the public about the truth, exposing the business of modern medicine.
One of the leading voices in the last few years bringing the truth to light about the pharmaceutical industry has been Dr Peter Gøtzsche. He began as a biologist and chemist working for big pharma, and later became a doctor (MD) working in the hospitals of Copenhagen. It is safe to say that few whistle-blowers have had such deep knowledge and experience regarding the inner workings of the pharmaceutical and medical industry.
He has often referred to big pharma as organized crime. In one of his books titled “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime. How big pharma has corrupted healthcare”, he states, “The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don’t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs. This is what makes drugs so different from anything else in life…Virtually everything we know about drugs is what the companies have chosen to tell us and our doctors…the reason patients trust their medicine is that they extrapolate the trust they have in their doctors into the medicines they prescribe.” This kind of information should make anyone pause and think before putting so much trust in an industry that completely lacks the morality and benevolence that has been instilled in our minds since childhood.
Watch this video of Dr Peter Gøtzsche, where he gives a very clear and succinct description of how the medical industry actually operates as he “exposes big pharma as organized crime”.
The moment any of the elements of the pharmaceutical industrial complex begins to heal their customers then the business stops making money. And that would be bad for the economy. Right? What kind of society have we allowed, where doing the right thing goes against the interests of the most powerful?
Not to sound repetitive, but it is obvious that it has been the mainstream news and entertainment media, social media, Google and Wikipedia which have all acted as gatekeepers, preventing the truth from becoming common knowledge. As I have stated in previous posts, all you have to do is look at the amount of pharmaceutical industry advertising found in all the mainstream publications in order to understand who controls what.
And although there is a large group of people that have connected the dots and figured things out for themselves, they are still sadly referred to as “conspiracy theorists”, and thus the criminal behavior of these corporations continues unabated, and the guilty never face justice.
Of course, I am not against capitalism, or the idea of making money on a legitimate product or service. The problem is that we have allowed, somewhat inadvertently, the type of destructive predatory capitalism that we currently have, and completely ignored the possibility that we could still change the system to create a form of ethical capitalism that promotes true growth, health, and prosperity.
Ethical capitalism is about balance. Anyone is allowed to make money selling a product or service. But how do we know when it is too much? When the pursuit of profit undermines personal and social well-being there needs to be a limit.
The concept of ethical capitalism exists only in theory unfortunately, and if it had been applied in the last century or so, we would live in a completely different reality. It is the reality that most, if not all, original or classical medicine (be it alternative, holistic, integrative, etc.) practitioners, in contrast with allopathic ones, are looking to promote. A scenario where patients are completely healed of whatever ailments existed in their bodies using non-toxic, non-invasive, 100% safe procedures that involve basic nutrition and lifestyle changes.
The down side, and what is incompatible with our present economic system, is that once the patients are healed, they most likely will not come back as customers. They may return to share stories about how their allopathic practitioners were absolutely dumbfounded, and maybe even angry, that their former patients’ supposedly irreversible conditions have been completely reversed and cured.
Or the patients may have the good sense of recommending the services of their holistic practitioner to their friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, etc., so that at least the practitioner can continue his work and not be forced to give up his passion and get a desk job (probably at a pharmaceutical company).
Another related topic has to do with how AI is being touted as the new frontier in medicine, where you will not see your doctor, the human version that is, but rather a computerized version, which will analyze all your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and prescribe the appropriate drugs. There is already AI software being developed for doctors, social workers, and other caregivers that can scrutinize patients’ speech for biomarkers of depression and anxiety. Something that most of us thought only humans could do.
It remains to be seen whether natural lifestyle and nutrition changes will be part of the options available to the all-knowing AI doctors. Will the computer or robot be able to sit down with a patient and engage in cognitive behavioral therapy? Or listen to the patient vent about how stressed they are and how it is affecting their sleep and appetite? Or how a faint wisp of anxiety disorder or depression keeps nudging them into eating a whole bucket of ice cream or an entire large pizza by themselves? It remains to be seen.
The concept of AI is fascinating and vast, and truly urgent, as the advances seem to be increasing in speed as technology grows exponentially in various aspects, one of them being funding, not just processing and memory capabilities. There are already many articles, books, and documentaries on this topic, but they seem to miss the overarching point about where and how will humans really fit into this new reality. I will be doing at least one in-depth analysis on this topic very soon.
In conclusion, I believe it is possible that in the future, when classical natural medicine becomes the norm and everyone realizes that none of their chronic and deadly diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are actually a death sentence, but in fact can be cured at a fraction of the price of modern allopathic medicine and without any adverse side effects, the world will be a very different place full of vibrant individuals living long healthy lives.
The possibility also exists that most holistic nutritionists like me will no longer have anyone to help and heal, and we may be out of a job. But let us hope, however, that we are able to reach the point in our development as a society where money and jobs, doctors and insurance, politicians and corporations, are all obsolete and completely unnecessary.
Now that, would truly be a “Golden Age”.