Beecher just didn’t see the handwriting on the wall nor foresee, the explosive growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The blockbuster success of mood enhancing drugs in the ’80s and ’90s beefed up Big Pharma’s resolve to promote pharmaceutical drugs for a growing cache of mental disorders. One might also ask, which comes first the drug or the new disease or the condition to match it? Even Dr. Oz asked this question on National TV. The question however was not answered to anyones satisfaction when his show aired even though he pitted the Big Pharma ‘rep’ against his expert adversary. One can only ask, “whom shall guard the guardians” especially if they have the power to create the disease first and then the drug or vaccine to market as a treatment for it?
By attempting to dominate the central nervous system, Big Pharma gambled its future on treating ailments that have turned out to be particularly susceptible to the placebo effect. I’m so worried about their financial future, aren’t you? Pardon my sarcasm but when I see the millions of dollars spent on television commercials of epic proportion designed to make us ask our own doctors to give us the drugs we see advertised as if they are the latest ‘must have’ designer footwear, I get a little upset! But just let us dare to walk into our doctors with a new supplement and see how fast they will shoot that idea down in favor of the drug tested against a placebo. I really have to commend their creativity with the creation and marketing of Lovaza which is really just plain old fish oil with a twist and a huge price tag which medicare covers even for the greedy doctors who seem to be too cheap to buy their own supplements and instead take advantage of the system to get it for free!
What about all those clinical trials they wave around, you ask? Remember they don’t have to use the studies that don’t support their drugs, they can use just the ones that do and throw out all the others. It has been said that $100,000 can buy you any outcome ‘they’ want to get from a clinical trial because ‘they’ control whom the drug is tested on and who the placebo is tested on. Since when are any of us the same in a control study group? My cold or flu virus may be a lot different from yours. I might cough and you might have sinus congestion but yet we’d both get the same drug during the test period! And then we might ask, do drugs ever really cure anything or just palliate the symptoms? Remember the days of having a bladder infection and taking the drugs only to have the yeast infection two weeks later and then require another drug for that? We end up chasing symptoms around our body with multiple drugs, which interfere with each other causing more symptoms and so the cycle begins. We just keep palliating these symptoms until something much more catastrophic rears its ugly head..and then we wonder “why me?”
Why on Earth could it be that the Big Pharma boys are now so worried about placebo’s? Why is it that these inert sugar pills are suddenly overwhelming what they refer to as promising new drugs (promising only if you don’t listen to or read the side effects) and already established drugs alike? The reasons are only just beginning to be understood. A group of independent research experts have been for some time actually delving into this phenomena and uncovering the inner workings—and potential therapeutic applications—of the placebo effect. Can they patent a sugar pill with a special delivery system? I wonder!
You can bet on the fact that some drug makers are realizing they need to fully understand the mechanisms behind it so they can design specific trials that differentiate between any positive effects of their products (if indeed there are any) and our body’s precious ability to heal itself. A special task force was even initiated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, by the time Silberman had written his article, which began seeking to stem this placebo vs. drug crisis by quietly undertaking one of the most ambitious data-sharing efforts in the history of the drug industry. After decades in the jungles of fringe science, the placebo effect has become, as Silberman states, “the elephant in the boardroom.”
Now a new term has been coined and that is known as ‘the placebo response,’ instead of ‘placebo effect.’ By definition, inert sugar pills have no effect, but under the right conditions they can act as a catalyst for the body’s ‘endogenous health care system.’ Like any other internal network, the ‘placebo response’ has limits. It can ease the discomfort of say chemotherapy, but can it stop the growth of a tumor? It also works in reverse to produce the placebo’s evil twin, the ‘nocebo effect.’ What on Earth is a ‘nocebo?” A nocebo works like this; men taking a commonly prescribed prostate drug who were informed that the medication may cause sexual dysfunction were twice as likely to become impotent.
There’s more to this tale; everything also depends on the messenger! If a particular doctor was optimistic that something would work it had a better chance of working. No wonder the phrase ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ was coined. Could the diagnosis/prognosis actually be the killer instead of the disease as the body processes its own death sentence?
These very same Newtonian (materialistic) scientists we’ve surrendered so much control to, are seeking ways to suppress and keep this information regarding the ‘placebo response’ quiet and unknown to the ‘pill popping’ public who are constantly told that anything outside the mainstream, such as alternative or natural medicine, is bogus. Please do note that they do seem always to be the first to use the argument of the ‘placebo effect’ to take down homeopathy, or even acupuncture and every other form of energy medicine or natural healing that calls upon the body to heal itself or even to nourish it…well of course they would, it’s so simple…homeopathic and/or acupuncture and other natural remedies, even whole food supplements cannot be patented and only that which can be patented makes Big Pharma their fortunes.
Western medical doctors and pharmaceutical makers take the approach that the living thing is the victim of its circumstances because it is just a collection of body parts and organ systems which are subject to mechanical breakdowns, like a car, due to circumstances outside the individuals control, maybe with the exception of obesity. Obese patients are always given a load of guilt even though ‘they pushed the so-called ‘pyramid’ diet for far too many years, which in turn pushed empty cereals and grains to the bottom and quality protein and healthy fat to the top! Remember how to fatten cattle? Just feed them lot’s of low fat grain! Turn the food pyramid upside down and actually lose weight in a healthy way because if you don’t they will try to sell you the lap band surgery!
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be consciously empowered with the knowledge that if we can get ourselves into a particular state of health we also can have the power to get ourselves out of it? If a sugar pill can work just because the Big Pharma folks in white coats tell people to take it and they will feel better and or get well, AND THEY DO, just think, what we could do for ourselves armed with access to just the right technique or belief system or even the perfect placebo or sugar pill, might we be able in the foreseeable future to heal ourselves? Now that is a healthy thought to ponder!
Artwork courtesy of http://www.NazimArtist.com