The Drug Dilemma

In 2007, $286.5 billion was spent on prescription drugs. This is an increase of 72 percent over the past decade.

by Dr. Larry Wilson — 

Drug medicine or allopathy is the accepted method of treatment for most diseases. However, it is often not the best method. Most people are not aware of the serious problems associated with patented drugs, which include the high cost, ineffectiveness, toxic side effects and harm to the environment.

Brief history of medical care in America

The true history of medical care in America is rarely taught in school. Essentially, in 1776, the founding fathers rejected the “guild system” of England. Under this system of medical care, one had to inherit a license or pay a lot of money to join the medical community.

Benjamin Rush, M.D., a prominent physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, warned that if America ever allowed only one type of health care practitioner to dominate, it would be tragic for the nation. He was referring to the licensing system that he had fled in England.

As a result of this and similar warnings, the founders decided that there would be no medical licensing laws, so that anyone could offer health services. This would give American citizens many options and improve access to care. Plenty of competition would reward the best healing modalities and therapies.

In early America, many types of healers and methods of healing competed openly, such as nature cure, nutrition, herbalism, osteopathy, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, religious healing and allopathy (drug medicine). Some doctors were called eclectic, which means they offered several of these methods. (In fact, I was born in a formerly homeopathic hospital in New York City and have visited the building that once housed the Eclectic Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio.)

As a result of this diversity, the American population was well cared for. The most cost-effective and convenient methods tended to be the most popular. During this time (the 1800s), the health of the American people was the best of any developed nation on Earth, even though the nation was not particularly wealthy.

The cartel takes over. In 1847, a small group of doctors who called themselves allopaths (drug doctors) established the American Medical Association or AMA. In their meeting notes, they stated clearly that one of their goals was to increase the income of their members. At this time, no group of doctors made much money due to the competition in health care services.

The AMA’s solution, a time-tested method, was to lobby for licensing laws in each state that would effectively outlaw everyone except their members from practicing medicine. No one else would be granted a license, which would effectively eliminate the competition. With help from several progressive groups, such as the Carnegie Foundation for Education, along with the pharmaceutical industry, the lobbying effort finally became successful between 1900 and about 1920.

The drug industry’s role. Allopaths were doctors who used patented drugs and surgery. Thus, the makers of the patent drugs were natural allies of the allopaths. They also had plenty of money to lobby and bribe legislators because their products could be patented. Natural products such as vitamins and herbs prescribed by other types of medical professionals were not patented, so the companies that provided them earned less and were unable to match the lobbying efforts of the patent medicine lobby.

The AMA and their friends bribed, intimidated and lied to the state legislators and the public, claiming that: (1) licensing laws were needed to make medical care safe; (2) only drug doctors should be allowed to practice; and (3) this was all being done for the good of the people.

Each of these assertions was a fabrication, and they knew it. It was a ruse needed to pass laws to eliminate their competition. In fact the AMA of the early 20th century and their friends in the drug industry frequently resorted to extortion, murder and other crimes, if necessary, to pass their medical licensing laws.

By 1920, most states had licensing laws that forbade anyone except drug doctors from getting licenses and, therefore, practicing medicine. Soon almost all schools that taught other methods of healing closed down because their graduates could no longer work. The number of healing schools in America was literally cut in half between 1900 and 1940. All medical schools that taught women and blacks were also shut down, as the AMA and its friends considered these segments of the population undesirable.

The public was systematically taught that all methods of healing except drugs and/or surgery were “substandard” and to be avoided and rooted out. This is still taught today over the public airwaves and in most prominent medical journals that are supported by drug advertising.

Problems with drugs — Toxicity

All drugs are unnatural and foreign to the body, or they would not be classified as drugs. Many cause damage to the liver, kidneys, stomach, and other organs and glands. Many drugs also damage the mind, altering thinking, mood, mental clarity, judgment, memory and much more.

Even worse is the common practice of prescribing multiple drugs for people. No one can predict the harmful interactions of several drugs. Often one drug is prescribed to counteract the side effects of another prescribed drug.

According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 2000 July 26;284(4):483-5), modern medicine is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., just behind cancer, heart disease and strokes. This only accounts for deaths that occurred in hospitals.

Death by Medicine by Gary Null et al., describes approximately 78 studies of drug side effects. A survey by Nutrition Institute of America found that adverse drug effects and medical errors account for some 669,000 deaths annually, making it the leading cause of death in the U.S. (

Harming the enviroment

The U.S. government recently tested the water supplies of 44 major American cities and found that every water supply tested is now contaminated with residues of medical drugs. Similar reports have come from Europe, as well. This occurs because many patented drugs do not break down or biodegrade very well. They pass through people’s bodies and into the water supplies.

All water supplies tested contained traces of multiple drugs such as heart medication, blood pressure drugs, female hormones, antibiotics and many other classes of drugs. This is what you are drinking every time you reach for a glass of water or eat any product that has tap water in it.

Lack of effectiveness in too many cases

Kirsch et al. recently analyzed studies submitted to the FDA of the SSRI antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Luvox, Sarafem and others). They found that these drugs are no more effective than placebos, except in cases of severe depression. Another stunning example of ineffectiveness is the so-called statin drugs. These include Crestor, Lipitor, Mevacor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol and others. While they lower cholesterol, they have shown little or no reduction in mortality. In fact, among their side effects are heart attacks and other catastrophic occurrences.

High costs

In 2007, $286.5 billion was spent on prescription drugs. This is an increase of 72 percent over the past decade. Markups on medical drugs run into the thousands of percent. Drug companies say they must do this to pay for their research and to comply with FDA rules. However, according to their own data, the drug industry also spent $27.7 billion on advertising in 2004 alone. In other words, you are paying for a lot of advertising in the price of drugs.

Americans also pay four to 10 times more than what Canadians and Europeans pay for the identical drug, which is often made in the same factory. Mr. Obama’s new health care law does nothing to change this sad situation. It appears to have been one of his backroom deals with the drug industry.

Abuse of pharmaceutical products

Addiction, abuse and misuse of medical drugs is a growing problem in our world. Many studies have shown that it is easy to obtain multiple prescriptions of painkillers, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, ADD drugs that are really amphetamines, and so on.

The public learns via TV ads that the answer to whatever problem one has is to be found in a drug. While drugs can help in some cases, the idea that a patented, toxic product is the answer to one’s problems is far from reality and can cause many other problems.


The drug industry spends about $11,000 per doctor per year on advertising, free vacations, honoraria and other perks. A recent study found that more than half the FDA “scientists” were on the take from the pharmaceutical industry that they are charged with regulating. The drug industry also spends millions of dollars each year to influence legislators and regulators at all levels of the government to ensure that only drugs are allowed in government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Corruption is also rampant in medical research. The New England Journal of Medicine has run editorials lamenting the low level of integrity of many so-called objective, peer-reviewed studies.

Suppression of natural healing methods

The medical cartel regularly engages in discouraging people from using natural healing methods, although these are thousands of times safer and often more effective than drug-based medical care. This year’s report from the American Poison Control Centers, for example, found not a single death due to nutritional supplement use. This is in stark contrast to the thousands of deaths reported each year from prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

The lie that drugs are better than natural methods is perhaps the most pernicious problem. This idea keeps people in fear, and it keeps them coming back for more drugs, even when they are costly, dangerous and ineffective.

I have worked with a method of healing called nutritional balancing science for almost 30 years. Based on a healthful diet and lifestyle, it is effective for about 90 percent of all acute and chronic illnesses, in my experience. Nutritional balancing relies on harmless nutritional supplements, and rarely are any patented drugs needed. Yet this method, along with chiropractic, osteopathy, homeopathy and other safe healing methods, are regarded as quackery, when the truth is they would save the U.S. trillions of dollars and greatly improve the health of the population.

When pharmaceutical drugs appear to be best

Instances when medical drugs are the best line of treatment may include:

1. For rapid symptomatic effects. For example, drugs can lower one’s blood pressure quickly and effectively. Nutritional balancing methods are usually slower, though they are often effective, more permanent and nontoxic.

2. For some trauma, emergency and surgical care. These are situations in which short-term, immediate effects are all that matter. This is where drug medicine has made the biggest difference in saving lives through anesthesia, trauma medication and the like.

3. For those in whom deeper correction is neither possible nor elected. Some people cannot or will not follow a health-building diet, lifestyle and supplement program. Although drugs are not necessarily better, they may extend these people’s lives or permit them to be more comfortable.

For example, if one prefers not to reduce carbohydrates and sugars in the diet, does not drink enough pure water and will not take a few supplements to correct a diabetic condition, then insulin has a place because it will keep one alive. Insulin is rarely needed, in my experience, if one follows a properly designed nutritional balancing program.

4. Other rare conditions. This might include when health is so poor that natural methods may not take effect quickly or forcefully enough. Also, drugs can help with some genetic and other less common health conditions.

The problem is that medical care systems in developed nations around the world too often use drugs as the first line of therapy for most everything, when they should only be used as the last resort. Natural methods should always be tried first, as they are far safer, less costly and much less toxic in almost all cases.


  1. Goodman, J.C. and Musgrave, G.L., Patient Power: Solving America’s Health Care Crisis, Cato Institute, Washington, DC, 1992.
  2. Health, U.S, 2006. Table 120, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD, 2006.
  3. Drug Company Advertising to Doctors, JAMA, 2000;373-380 and 391-393.
  4. Johnson, J.A., et al., Drug-related Morbidity and Mortality, A Cost-of-Illness Model, Arch. Intern. Med., Oct. 9, 1995;155(18)1949-1956.
  5. Kirsch, I., et al., Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, PLos Med, Feb, 2008.
  6. Null, Gary, et al., Death by Medicine, 2009, Life Extension Foundation.
  7. Olarsch, I.G., and Stockton, S., Why Are Kids Killing …The Nutrition-Mind Connection, Townsend Letter for Doctors, April 2000;201,108-111.
  8. O’Meara, K.P., “Doping Kids,” Insight Magazine, June 28, 1999, available at
  9. Rappaport, John, Why Did They Do It?: An Inquiry Into the School Shootings in America, (available at
  10. Wasley, T., What Has Government Done to Our Health Care, Cato Institute, Washington, DC, 1992.
  11. Wiley, H., The History of a Crime Against the Food Law: The Story of the National Food and Drugs Law Intended to Protect the Health of the People, Perverted to Protect Adulteration of Foods and Drugs, Harvey Wiley, Washington, D.C, 1929, 1955.


Dr. Lawrence Wilson has a medical degree, has been in the health field for more than 25 years and is the author of several books. or 928-445-7690.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 2, Apr/May 2010.

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