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Will the Down Economy Herald the Use of Natural Medicine?

economy, finances, natural medicine, drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, prescription drugs, recession, depressionFor the first time in a decade or more, U.S. consumers are trying to get by on fewer prescription drugs. As people around the country respond to financial hard times, drugs are sometimes having to wait.

The drug giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor, the world’s top-selling prescription medicine, said U.S. sales of that drug were down 13 percent in the third quarter of this year. And although the overall decline in total prescriptions was less than 1 percent, it represents the first downturn after more than a decade of steady increases in prescriptions. From 1997 to 2007, the number of prescriptions filled increased 72 percent.

In some cases, the cutbacks might not hurt. According to Gerard F. Anderson, a health policy expert at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “A lot of people think there’s probably over-prescribing in the United States.”

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The American health care system is more than twice as expensive as the health care system of any other industrial country, yet premature deaths caused by its inappropriate, and overpriced, interventions are increasing at an exponential rate.

Despite the fact that Americans pay $7,600 a year per person for healthcare -- 16 percent of the GDP – it produces remarkably poor results. We actually rank LAST out of 19 countries for unnecessary deaths, despite the vastly increased use of a wide variety of “wonder drugs” and vaccines.

How can this be?

Because Americans have been successfully brainwashed into believing the fairytale that prescription drugs can prevent and cure disease.

But as I reported earlier this week, fatalities now account for 23 percent of all reported adverse effects of prescription drugs! And overall reports of side effects increased a whopping 38 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the previous four quarters.

There is no doubt in my mind that a vast majority of the population is severely overmedicated with expensive and nearly always unnecessary drugs, considering the multitude of natural therapeutic options.

The only way to turn this devastating situation around is to remind the public of the basic truths that nearly all their ancestors knew:

Health has nothing to do with pills, and everything to do with sensible lifestyles that include a healthy diet, stress relief, and exercise.

What’s Missing in Talks About Health Care Reform?

What’s missing in all of the debates about health care reform for the United States is a holistic approach.

The reason the U.S. ranks so poorly is because our system focuses on disease mongering and sickness care, whereas the health care systems in most other countries rely heavier on prevention. As a result, the people in those countries live longer, healthier lives.

Whether or not to provide universal health care or health insurance to every American is not the question that needs to be answered. What we need to ask is how to give Americans more time to relax, exercise, cook healthy meals, and get enough sleep and healthy doses of sunshine.

Rather than subsidizing agribusiness that produces mostly junk food and permitting direct-to-consumer drug advertising, it would be far wiser to focus on providing Americans access to healthy foods, and opportunity to exercise and rest.

Escalating Drug Sales Have Plunged Americans’ Health Into State of Sickness and Premature Death 

Just 50 years ago, according to IMS Health (a company that tracks the pharmaceutical industry), the two biggest sellers were over-the-counter drugs Bufferin and Geritol. At that time the prescription drug business was microscopic.

In 1954, Johnson & Johnson had $204 million in revenue. By 2004 it had grown to about $36 billion. Merck’s drug sales in 1954 were a minuscule $1.5 million; by 2002, that figure was $52 billion. 

The New York Times states,

“If enough people try to save money by forgoing drugs, controllable conditions could escalate into major medical problems. That could eventually raise the nation’s total health care bill and lower the nation’s standard of living.”

I disagree, and if you don’t, I suspect you haven’t viewed the Town of Allopath Video

If enough people realize that they don’t need many of the drugs they’re on, that would eventually lower the nation’s health care bill and increase the nation’s standard of living. 

Last year, 3.8 billion prescriptions were filled. That’s a 72 percent increase in prescriptions in just ten years, from 1997 to 2007. 

In that same period, the average number of prescriptions filled by each person in the U.S. increased from about 9 a year in 1997, to almost 11 in 2006, and 13 in 2007!

The average annual prescription rate for seniors is 28 prescriptions per person.

Please understand that there is no possible way to preserve or improve your health by taking a dozen or more prescription drugs. That is a misconception; a fairytale complete with a story-book happy ending, concocted by shrewd marketing professionals acting in the best interest of the industry that signs their paychecks.  

It’s a myth that simply must be dispelled.

Curing Disease Means Finding Health 

If you make drugs a last option, not a first choice, you will have taken a major step in the right direction.  

For example, if you suffer from any of the conditions listed below, please understand that you can treat or prevent all of them with relatively simple, inexpensive LIFESTYLE CHANGES.

Most people who are prescribed drugs for these conditions are spending their dwindling cash reserves on drugs they don’t really need to be well:

I realize that it takes a massive shift in thinking to realize that your body can heal itself, and that often drugs only hinder the process. But I can’t stress enough the importance of the most basic principle of HOW to resolve an illness: finding the underlying cause of the problem. Masking it with a drug that lessens your symptoms does not fix anything.

Taking Control of Your Health

More government involvement doesn’t hold the answer to the health care crisis. What is needed is more personal involvement -- your personal involvement -- in the form of a commitment to your own health.

If you carefully follow some basic health principles -- simple things like exercising, eating whole foods, sleeping enough, getting sun exposure, reducing stress in your life, and nurturing personal relationships -- you will drastically reduce your need for conventional medical care.

You could also carefully analyze newer health insurance options such as HRAs and HSAs if you live in the United States. The basic concept here is to provide protection against medical catastrophes, but to have a high deductible to lower your costs. If you stay healthy, the premium savings would more than pay for the higher deductible -- IF you ever need it.

And that is really the bottom line.

As drug sales are now dwindling due to a depressed economy, you and your children are likely to be bombarded with increasingly aggressive pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer advertising, and lobbying for more forced drugging and mandatory vaccinations

Don’t fall for the scare tactics and disease mongering! And don’t believe the fairy tale that taking a pill with a laundry list of side effects will somehow make you feel as glowing and wonderful as the well-paid actors in the commercial.

The more you take responsibility for your own health -- in the form of nurturing your body to prevent disease -- the less you need to rely on the “disease care” that passes for health care in the United States in the first place.

+ Sources and References