VHeadline.com’s roving commentarist Fred Cederholm writes: I’ve been thinking about cures … medical research, words, marketing, money, prevention, and stem cells. If you search the word cure within the National Institute of Health (NIH — the US’ primary medical research agency) web site, you get 5,650 references. Most of what I reviewed used the word in the context of: “There is no known cure for…” The second most common usage appeared to be in the context of outside organization/foundations “SEEKING money (or fund-raising) to cure…” We have separate Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) … but like the NIH, neither functions as the “Center for Disease Cures.”

You see, I have real doubts that the American medical establishment — public or private — wants to cure anything.

What malady has been cured in the past 50 years despite the mega-mega BILLIONS spent by Uncle $ugar, medical think tanks, and/or the pharmaceutical giants? (Just name one!)

Semantic word games boggle the mind. If you are not well/ healthy/ normal, do you have a disease, an -ism, an illness, a syndrome, or a dysfunction? Whatever your abnormality, does your medical professional really talk of curing/healing, or do you get told of “controlling your non-wellness” via a therapy/treatment of medications for the rest of your life? The ongoing medication requires ongoing lab work to verify that the therapy/treatment isn’t killing you!

In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of direct medical marketing to the consumer — excuse me, the patient. The nightly newscasts are primarily brought to us by ads for the latest super pharmaceuticals. We are instructed to ask (or tell) our doctors about this wonder drug de jure, and also to tell them if we have any problems with our liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines, and/or allergic reactions.

I’m sorry, but shouldn’t our doctors be making those recommendations to us because they are aware of pre-existing/ personal conditions before writing the prescription?

  • Plus, how many of these highly-marketed miracle drugs have been yanked in the past year?

Most recently, we’ve seen a rise of half-hour infomercials pushing self-medication via vitamins, supplements, exercises, and books. Given that America pops more pills — over the counter medications, prescriptions, and supplements — than any other nation on the planet, it amazes me that there are not more negative pharmacological interactions than there are.

Health care is big business in the USA.

National health expenditures (all health services and supplies and health related research and construction activities consumed in the United States) in calendar 2005 will exceed $1.9 TRILLION (or almost one-sixth of our total GDP). Federal outlays for “health” will exceed $ 252.6 BILLION. The NIH budget is currently $27.9 BILLION — 80% of that is distributed as research grants. CDC received a total funding level of $7.7 BILLION for FY 2005, which equals about $30 MILLION each workday.

Medicine in the United States is now collectively dubbed “health care.” This shift in the collective terminology reflects a much-needed shift — putting the horse BEFORE the cart.

There is a growing impetus on prevention and preemption. While this shift was supposedly made to reduce costs, I wonder if there aren’t other money motives behind this as well. You see, while so much prevention/preemption could result from lifestyle changes; the easier route of preference in America seems to be adding more pills and medications to the daily diet of “dolls.”

Health care in the US is really a massive conglomerate of industries (with lobbyists). There is the hospital/HMO industry, the medical professional industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the diabetes industry, the cancer industry, the obesity industry, and the geriatric industry —  to name a few. What incentives do THEY have to cure anyone, when there is more money to be made by approaching each disease, -ism, illness, syndrome, or dysfunction as a chronic condition — controlled by an ongoing intake of meds until the day you die?

If you search the Internet for where the cure action should be, you will find the most references to stem cell research.

Yet, it’s stem cell research, that now has the most legislated roadblocks. Humm!?

Fred Cederholm