Alternatives to Conventional Medical Options
Are you looking for an alternative to conventional Western pharmaceutical medicine? Do you feel like your health care options are dictated by insurance companies and the wealthy? They are. Read on to learn the answers to your concerns related to what is now often referred to as complimentary alternative medicine or CAM. For many of us, these ancient approaches to healthcare have become increasingly important. Although these have in the past been sold to the public as substandard care, today we know that they carry incredible potential, due in part to research that has come forward on their benefits, research that has been backed up with credible evidence, often completed in countries outside the United States. Why, because insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical doctors and the billionaire establishment, i.e. “big money” have contributed heavily towards getting rid of CAM and emphasizing pharmaceutical and laboratory based medicine.
But, there’s still hope that we can bring back these choices when it comes to our healthcare solutions – read on here in this blog post!
Overview of the effects of Big Pharma and Insurance Companies in Medicine
The presence of conventional western medicine has helped us solve many issues related to trauma, viral and bacterial health conditions. It has allowed for the development of innovative new pharmaceutical treatments and medications that have saved countless lives. However, the influx of big pharmaceutical and insurance dollars have pushed out other options that are not provided to patients. The motives of pharma and insurance companies has been profiting over patient care, which has led to skyrocketing costs and potential conflicts of interest. As consumers and patients, it is crucial to be informed about the effects of these entities, their drugs, and other options available in order to make the best decisions for our health and well-being.
However, funding by Big Pharma and insurance companies that are embedded in our healthcare system, including the American Medical Association, medical colleges and universities has certainly had a lasting impact on our health, wellness, and equity in healthcare. For example, former president Trump, a self ascribed millionaire, submitted his second nominee to serve as the head of the US Department of Health and Human Services. His name Alex Azar, was the immediate past president of Lilly USA. During his tenure at Lilly, the company dramatically raised the price of insulin in the United States—by 20.8 percent in 2014, 16.9 percent the following year, and 7.5 percent the year after that. At present insulin in the US is the highest cost in the world. In fact, the global average cost of insulin is $13 per vial. In the US it is close to $100 per vial, the next highest is Chile at $28 per vile. US citizens pay 10 times the global average for the same product.
Big Money Affecting Availability of Nature-based Healthcare
Big money has made a significant impact on healthcare, and the results have been overwhelmingly impactful, and not always in a positive way. Did you know that before 1910 it was the most common practice to teach doctors about herbal, chiropractic and other forms of, what we now call, Complimentary Alternative Medicine. John D. Rockefeller commissioned a report on the use and importance of scientific-based medicine, rather than experiential practices, such as massage therapy and chiropractor practices for the relief of pain. John D Rockefeller, was America’s first billionaire, an oil baron (owning 90% of American Oil Companies); he was also primary investor in Bristol Myers Squib and Roche and Hoechst. He was influenced by Textbook of Medicine, by Osler. It also influenced Frederick Gates, a Baptist minister and trusted adviser to John D. Rockefeller, who was recruited to “help improve the scientific and therapeutic store of medical knowledge.” Unfortunately, this would be to the detriment of ethnic minorities and all other types of therapies. The resulting Flexner Report downplayed the ancient art of healing to the point of claiming it as pseudoscience. This was replaced with measurable synthetic drugs, which we now know offers much in terms of healing for viral and bacterial infections. However, we also know this comes at a high price, economically, in terms of equality of services, as well as the added side effects accompanying such methods.
Positive Side of Increased Funding Today
On the other side of the coin, thanks to funding, medical professionals have gained access to cutting-edge technology and advanced treatment options that were once unimaginable. Research and development have also benefited, allowing for groundbreaking discoveries and new medical solutions for trauma and bacterial and viral illnesses like polio and influenza. As a result, the quality of life improved over the years virtually eradicating some diseases like Polio and diphtheria. However, as previously mentioned there is still a considerable divide and continued inequality in providing services and quality of care for minorities and the uninsured.
Big money has facilitated the growth of pharmaceutical-based healthcare industries, creating new jobs and stimulating economic growth. Despite challenges and controversies, the benefits of big money in healthcare to those who can afford it cannot be denied, and it continues to push the industry forward towards progress and innovation. However, as alluded to, the downside of all this innovation has been to put limits on who can actually access care due to affordability and access to primary care physicians. Let me explain.
How Complimentary Alternative Medicine has been Sidelined
Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) has been an increasingly popular form of healthcare in recent years. Despite its growing trend, why has it been overlooked and sidelined by conventional Western medicine for so long? Did you know that before 1910 there were 121 medical colleges serving the entire population. It was the most common practice to teach doctors about herbal, chiropractic and other forms of, what we now call CAM. So what happened?
As a follower of German sciences, America’s first billionaire and pharmaceutical and oil magnet, John D. Rockefeller after reading Dr Osler’s Textbook of Medicine, commissioned a report on the use and importance of scientific-based medicine, which argued that it was better than experiential medical practices, such as massage therapy and chiropractic practices. This report would result in the detriment of all natural therapies, regardless of their efficacy. The resulting Flexner Report downplayed the ancient art of healing. This report recommended replacing all medical education with measurable synthetic drug responses to illness. Furthermore, the Rockefellers made substantial contributions to the American Medical Association which they leveraged to remove CAM from medical school teaching. Although we now known pharmaceuticals offer much in terms of healing of bacterial and viral infections, we also know the results have come at a high price, economically, in terms of equality of services, as well as the added side effects accompanying such methods.
The Benefits of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
CAM practitioners provide patients with a variety of approaches to achieve physical and mental wellness without pharmaceutical drugs and their side effects, including acupuncture, ayeuvedic medicine, herbal medicine, chiropractic and yoga. Most of these health and wellness methods have been used for thousands of years.
While many conventional doctors dismiss CAM, patients are seeking alternatives that offer a more personal approach to their care. CAM emphasizes a whole-body approach and recognizes the connection between physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Furthermore, it focuses on preventative care and aims to get to the root cause of illness rather than solely treating symptoms. Though CAM may not be embraced by traditional medicine, it undoubtedly plays a crucial role in providing care to individuals seeking to improve their overall well-being.
Examining the Reasons Behind Why Big Money is so Dominant in Medicine
The dominance of big money in medicine is a well-known fact, but the reasons behind this phenomenon are not always evident on the surface. There are several factors that have contributed to the overwhelming influence of money in healthcare, and it’s important to examine them to better understand the system. For one, the cost of medical education is incredibly high, which we discussed earlier. This is why African Americans medical schools were reduced from 70 to two, Meharry and Howard Universities. This change forced doctors to take on significant debt in order to receive training that would be approved by the American Medical Association. The AMA was influenced by large donations from the Rockefellers who were invested in two pharmaceutical companies (see article “how the How Rockefeller Founded Big Pharma And Waged War On Natural Cures” in the Bibliography below). Furthermore, they are provided with an education that promotes the pharmaceutical industries dominance in the industry. Their education does not include CAM. The pharma companies provide free samples to use on their patients and press them to subscribe to this method of treatment. And, of course the takeover of the healthcare field by big insurance companies, forcing doctors to make up their income from people with insurance.
As a result, doctors may prioritize high-paying specialties and procedures over others to offset their own financial burden. Additionally, the profit-driven nature of the healthcare industry, in particular insurance companies, incentivize doctors to order laboratory tests and procedures for diagnostics and tracking of patient care using laboratory results instead of clinical diagnoses. This drives up costs for patients and insurance companies, who further pass the cost increases on to patients and sometimes dictate what doctors can prescribe and in what order. By understanding the reasons behind big money’s dominance and advocating for change, we can work towards a more equitable and patient-centered healthcare system.
The Benefits of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
CAM practitioners provide patients with a variety of approaches to achieve physical and mental wellness without pharmaceutical drugs and their side effects, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic and yoga. While many conventional doctors dismiss CAM, patients are seeking alternatives that offer a more personal approach to their care. CAM emphasizes a whole-body approach and recognizes the connection between physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Furthermore, it focuses on preventative care and aims to get to the root cause of illness rather than solely treating symptoms. Though CAM may not be embraced by traditional medicine, it undoubtedly plays a crucial role in providing care to individuals seeking to improve their overall well-being.
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Looking at How We Can Work Together to Increase Awareness about CAM
With the growing interest in alternative medicine, it is important to increase awareness of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and its benefits. By working together, we can educate others about the different CAM modalities that can complement traditional medical treatments. These include acupuncture, herbal medicine, yoga, and chiropractic care. CAM offers natural, holistic approaches to health that can improve overall well-being and quality of life. By sharing information, resources, and personal experiences, we can empower ourselves and others to make informed decisions about their health care. Let’s come together to spread the word about CAM and its potential to enhance our lives.
In conclusion, big money has had a heavy hand in homogenizing the entire healthcare system against ultimate patient care and interests. Big Pharma and Insurance Companies have been dominating this space for long enough and it is time we stand up against their vested interests so that Complimentary Alternative Medicine can receive the recognition, appreciation and equality its deserved. Building awareness around CAM’s true benefits should be our priority as its success relies heavily on both scientific research and public education. All of us, from the legislative system to medical professionals to the general public, have our own role in advancing CAM’s cause. We all need to work together to create a healthier future for all of us by making room for healthy, natural alternatives like complimentary alternative medicine in healthcare system.
Cost of Insulin By Country Table retrieved from https://wisevoter.com/country-rankings/cost-of-insulin-by-country/
How Rockefeller Founded Big Pharma And Waged War On Natural Cures (paste this link into your browser) https://dta0yqvfnusiq.cloudfront.net/allnaturalhealingsrq/2019/04/How-Rockefeller-Founded-Big-Pharma-and-Waged-War-on-Natural-Cures-5cb3d7374f337.pdf
Ryskina, K., & Haidari, L. A. (2019). The impact of medical education debt on America’s physicians: An ethical consideration. The American journal of medicine, 132(4), 421-424.
This article provides insights into the impact of medical education debt on physicians and how it may affect their practice and decision-making.
Craft JA 3rd, Craft TP. Rising medical education debt a mounting concern. Graduates also face less favorable repayment terms, shortage of training positions. Mo Med. 2012 Jul-Aug;109(4):266-70. PMID: 22953586; PMCID: PMC6179784.
Herper, M. (2018). Drug prices keep rising despite Trump’s rhetoric. Stat News.
This article sheds light on the profit-driven nature of the healthcare industry and how it affects drug prices.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2021). Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name? Retrieved August 17, 2021, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/complementary-alternative-or-integrative-health-whats-in-a-name
This resource provides a comprehensive overview of Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) and its different modalities, as well as their potential benefits.
Boon HS, Cherkin DC, Erro J, Sherman KJ, Milliman B, Booker J, Cramer EH, Smith MJ, Deyo RA, Eisenberg DM. Practice patterns of naturopathic physicians: results from a random survey of licensed practitioners in two US States. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2004 Oct 20;4:14. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-4-14. PMID: 15496231; PMCID: PMC529271.
This resource provides an in-depth explanation of what CAM is and the different practices, approaches, and treatments it includes.
Boon, H. S., Cherkin, D. C., Erro, J., Sherman, K. J., Milliman, B., Booker, J., … & Deyo, R. A. (2002). Practice patterns of naturopathic physicians: results from a random survey of licensed practitioners in two US States. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 2(1), 1-18.
This article provides insights into CAM practitioners’ practice patterns and the popularity of different CAM modalities.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2018). Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What Do These Terms Mean?. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/complementary-alternative-or-integrative-health-what-do-these-terms-mean
This resource provides an overview of the different terms used to describe CAM and their meanings, as well as the different CAM modalities and their potential benefits.
Wong, J., & Gohil, K. (2021). Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM). In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
This resource provides a comprehensive overview of CAM and its different modalities, as well as their potential benefits and risks.
This article provides the background of the Flexner Report after 100 years of implementation
from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, one of the National Institutes of Health: Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name? https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/complementary-alternative-or-integrative-health-whats-in-a-name