Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'll Take My Chances With Complementary Medicine

Over 700,000 Americans die each year from government sanctioned, FDA approved, AMA sponsored medicine.

Iatrogenic, or doctor induced, illnesses take the lives of 783,936 American each year. This makes conventional medicine the number one killer in the United States, ahead of heart disease and cancer. And, beware that as few as 5% of iatrogenic events are ever reported.
This implies that iatrogenic deaths are much higher and would be equivalent to six jumbo jets falling out of the sky each day. Now that’s news!

An October 2003 JAMA study from the US government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported 32,000, mostly surgery-related, deaths costing $9 billion and resulting in 2.4 million extra hospital days in 2000. Americans submit to over 600,000 bypass surgeries each year. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that up to 10% of bypass patients die from the surgery. Yet, the National Institutes of Health has estimated that 90% of Americans who undergo bypass surgery receive no benefits. Another study involving 14 major heart hospitals around the world showed that one-third of all heart bypass surgeries were unnecessary and actually increased the risk of death.

Americans using FDA sanctioned drugs, as directed, are dying at the rate of one every three to five minutes. In fact, the average American has a 26% chance of being hospitalized from a drug injury from the effects of a lifetime of drug taking. Of the 30 million people admitted to hospitals each year, approximately ten percent, or 3 million, are admitted specifically because of adverse drug reactions. In 1995, a JAMA report noted that, “…approximately 280,000 die annually as a result of these injuries.” And to top it off, hospital born infections kill another 26,000 (conservative estimate) patients each year. The General Accounting Office reports, “of the 198 drugs approved by the FDA between 1976 and 1985, 102 of them or 51% had serious post approval risks including heart failure, myocardial infarction, respiratory failure, seizures, and kidney failure.

The FDA estimates that NSAIDS cause 200,000 cases of gastric bleeding annually, leading to 10,000 to 20,000 deaths. Calcium channel blockers increase the risk of stroke by five-fold.
Americans take over 5 billion sleeping pills each year. And each year, 15,000 Americans die from these same sleeping pills. The heart drug Digoxin causes over 28,000 cases of life-threatening or fatal adverse reactions each year.

The very drugs that are being used to treat various illnesses are causing more American deaths in one year than occurred in the entire Vietnam War! Yet, in spite of the fact that these FDA approved drugs are killing over 100,000 Americans each year, people still believe health comes from a doctor prescribed pill bottle. Annual spending on drugs continues to grow by 12% or more each year. The public and the medical profession have been brain-washed into believing drug therapy is a safe and effective way to “cure” every ailment known to man. This starts at an early age as our kids become jaded and used  to the idea of lining up for the school nurse to dispense their Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs. To safeguard their stranglehold on public perception, the pharmaceutical industry makes sure doctors are thoroughly duped with half-truths and pseudo-science about the newest, greatest wonder drugs.

In 2001, drug companies paid for over 60% of the costs of all doctors’ continuing education classes. And over 80,000 drug reps give away $11 billion worth of samples each year. There is now one drug rep for every doctor in the United States.

However, today’s latest greatest drug is often tomorrows widow maker. Does Rezulin, Zelnorm, Baycol, Fen-Phen, Propulsid, Avandia, Vioxx, and Bextra ring any bells?

Vioxx alone has been linked to 27,000 cases of heart attack. The diabetes drug Avandia, increases heart attack risk by 43% and increases risk of death from heart disease by 64%. Dr. David Graham of the Food and Drug Administration estimates that Avandia may have caused 30,000 to 140,000 heart attacks or deaths since it was introduced in the U.S. in 1999.

Despite the periodic yellow journalism that warns us against the dangers of alternative medicine, given the risks associated with traditional medicine, I'm happy to take my chances with complementary medicine.

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