Why Do Doctors “Push” Drugs?
Why Don’t “Regular” Doctors Practice Root Cause Medicine?
It is an unfortunate reality that we live in a time where traditional medicine is driven by pharmaceuticals. When was the last time you weren’t recommended to take a medication for a health problem? The current model is a “drug for every symptom”, and the idea that one can do something to improve a symptom without a drug is far from mainstream.
When someone is completely wedded to the drug model, a model that gives no credit to the human body for its ability to heal itself, the beliefs associated with Root Cause Medicine are as foreign as speaking a forgotten language.
When patients come to see me and I introduce them to Root Cause Medicine, their response is not an only agreement of the concept, but relief that a doctor is finally going to tell them WHY their body is troubled by a particular symptom(s). Patients who see us here at Root Cause Medical Clinic are truly tired of being handed a pill that has side effects often requiring a different pill to counteract the effects of the first. They’ve been down the path of a drug for every ailment and they are truly sick of it, mostly because they realize their overall health is not improving, but rather declining as a result.
The other reaction we hear from patients is one of frustration. “Why don’t other doctors offer this type of care? It makes so much sense.” It does make sense but the reasons why it isn’t offered can be related to ignorance, greed, or both, and frankly, I don’t enjoy discussing it, especially the latter.
But I am asked the question so often I decided to answer it today because you deserve to know.
The truth of the matter is that the findings of the research are not always the pure, unbiased results you assume you should be getting. We trust scientists to be honest, fair, and state the findings of their research with no bias. Similarly, we assume that when our doctors recommend a certain therapy, drug, or medical device, their choice is completely based on the greatest good of their patient.
Would it surprise you to know that researchers are paid to slant results toward the company paying them?
Would it enrage you to learn doctors often choose drugs or medical devices (e.g. hip or knee replacement devices) based on the company that provides them the largest kickback?
I know it’s pretty terrible to think about. But it is true, sadly, and it’s not a rare occurrence.
There have been many reports disclosing researchers being paid stipends by pharmaceutical companies and food giants such as Coca-Cola, to publish studies showing the respective drug or food in a good light, omitting from the research findings, any negatives. In fact, a review was conducted covering 1,000 studies confirming research funded by a particular industry tends to make conclusions favorable to that industry.
Studies on second-hand smoke, as an example, tend to yield differing results. Looking broadly at the studies as a whole discovered the only factor favorable studies had in common was whether or not the author was affiliated with the tobacco industry. In other words, studies yielding the results second-hand smoke was not dangerous were funded by tobacco companies.
Is this new to you? Do you consider it normal or expected such dishonesty and corruption occurs in science by our researchers and doctors to whom we look to for pure and accurate science?
Over the past decade several pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer were fined millions for engaging in illegal kickback behavior. The companies were forced to “name names” of the doctors who had received the most money. Close to 400 doctors received $100,000 dollars or more between 2009 and 2010. What percentage of these doctors did not disclose their affiliation with the pharmaceutical company? – 69%.
In 2008, a nationally recognized psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Nemeroff, failed to disclose $500,000 worth of monies he received as kickbacks from GlaxoSmithKline for promoting their drugs through speaking at conferences for doctors nationwide. Despite signing a document with Emory University, his official employer, that he would not exceed $10,000 per year in payments, thereby satisfying the University’s conflict threshold limit, there were years he received close to twenty times that amount.
The same drug company, Glaxo, was recently fined $500 million by the Chinese government for bribing hospitals and doctors in China to prescribe its products.
Obviously such fines do not make a dent in their behavior, and requiring disclosure, too, is met with non-compliance. A fine of millions of dollars, actually billions in some cases, sounds hefty, but Big Pharma makes so much money that it’s not much more than a slap on the wrist – the cost of doing business, as I’ve heard it said.
Several months ago there was a flurry of “research” citing obesity had nothing to do with sugar, but rather it was the American sedentary lifestyle to blame, along with high-fat diets. I’m not going to argue being sedentary is a bad thing, as is bad fat, but these “studies” specifically found sugar to not contribute to overweight and obesity, and what ensued was a rash of Coke commercials sending out the message Coke was “part of a healthy, happy lifestyle”. It then was revealed the pro-sugar “studies” were funded by a shell company of Coca Cola’s.
Therein lies the way to obfuscate sources of funding. Instead of having your company name, i.e. Coca-Cola Company, on a study, found an organization and give it a name making it sound as if it has the health of the country as its best interest when actually it’s very existence relies on the funding from a parent corporation. The “healthy-sounding” organization, funded by the parent corporation, hires researchers to perform studies that whitewash (delete) any negative data about their product or drug, all unbeknownst to the American consumer.
It’s gross and misleading.
In the “old days,” it was quite a bit easier to determine if one had to utilize a more critical eye when judging the results of studies. Provided the researcher was honest about his or her affiliations, a study finding sugar “blameless” that was written by someone affiliated with the “confectionery institute” could be almost counted on to have whitewashed some data. Today, with the ability to “launder” data through organizations with no obvious tie-in to industry, unless someone discloses the link, it’s extremely difficult for anyone to discover the dishonest affiliation. I don’t have a team of researchers on my payroll therefore I’m thankful for such sites as nutritionfacts.org where volunteers of researchers cull through such research by the bucket load. Kudos to Dr. Michael Greger and his team!
Case in point: A study whose results downplayed cigarette’s influence on lung cancer was conducted by the Foundation for Lung Cancer – Early Detection, Prevention and Treatment. That certainly sounds like a trustworthy organization, but its faulty results should have been a clue that all was not “kosher”. It turns out the organization is funded, to the tune of millions, by Liggett Group, Liggett Group, formerly known as Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, which is the fourth largest tobacco company in the United States. The New York Times examined the tax records of Liggett Group to unearth the data – the Liggett Group funded the Foundation for Lung Cancer with a $3.6 million grant.
Again, pretty gross.
Perhaps, sadly, we are not surprised when Big Pharma “pays off researchers” to trash bad results, but what about doctors? We do take an oath after all. Are doctors less tempted in this regard?
In Denmark, they passed a law requiring doctors to apply for permission to be involved in a paid collaboration with a company. Some clever researchers gathered a hundred studies together to see how honest the doctors were in disclosing their affiliations. Despite the fact they knew they had disclosed their affiliation in order to receive payments, almost 50% of the time they failed to disclose their affiliations when asked to do so.
Here in the U.S., we don’t have such a law, but in 2007 hip and knee replacement companies were forced to pay millions of dollars in fines due to giving kickbacks to orthopedic surgeons. Due to the lawsuit, the companies had to disclose the list of doctors to whom they paid kickbacks for choosing their medical device over a competitor. Again this gave researchers a golden opportunity to observe if the doctors were disclosing their affiliations and again, around 50% were not honest.
Why do doctors “push” drugs?
Is it driven by personal profit and kickbacks? Sadly that is true a percentage of the time.
Is it because drug therapy is all they know? Yes, that is true as well.
There are plenty of traditional doctors who only want the best for their patients, are honest and ethical, but they recommend only drugs because they have never been exposed to Root Cause Medicine; drugs are all they know.
I want you to know you can improve your health with Root Cause Medicine, and in the main, it involves few to any medications. Through identifying and removing the root cause underlying a problem, the body can heal itself. It truly can; I’ve seen it for decades. Masking symptoms with drugs does nothing to get to the root cause, and in fact, tends to worsen the problem over time.
I’m sorry to share these truths with you. It is unfortunate such dishonesty is so rampant across our medical system.
Have you had experience with this problem? Are you surprised to learn about this corruption? I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.