Disease and Profits

Blog - Joyful Curmudgeon - Blog

Disease and Profits - 15 Apr 2006

The other day, I received a newsletter promoting the sale of pharmaceutical industry stocks.

Before I write any more on this subject, I think you’ll agree with me that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, as scriptures teach. Therefore it follows that to gleefully anticipate getting rich on other people’s preventable diseases is unethical and un-Christian. I should mention that the word “prevention” is often misused. For example, diagnostic procedures such as mammograms and colonoscopies do not prevent cancer; they are used in diagnosing. Yet I often see such procedures referred to as “prevention.”

Those who earn their salaries from the “health care” industries (“disease care” is more accurate) pay lip service to “eating right” and “exercise.” They probably feel safe in assuming that the average person is confused by contradictory advice on health, isn’t very motivated to dig for the truth, and tends to believe the very people who have the most to gain from their staying confused and vulnerable to “magic bullet” hype. And of course, if the “V” word (vegetarian or vegan) is brought up, it is dismissed as being “too difficult” or mentioned in a disparaging way.

As I mentioned in a previous Blog, there is a lot of money to be made by keeping people with diseases alive as long as possible so they can be dependent on expensive medications. There is no financial gain in having people not succumb to disease, because then they would not need to buy medications for the rest of their lives.

Now back to the newsletter about pharmaceutical stocks:

After some hypocritical words of concern about the epidemic of diabetes and heart disease, and equally hypocritical advice about disease prevention through eating less and exercising more, the newsletter gets to the point: become wealthy by investing in pharmaceuticals soon to be approved by the FDA.

Here and there, amidst hype and promises of “spectacular returns,” “immense wealth,” etc. achievable through the purchase of these stocks, are a few interesting quotations, obviously chosen to convince the reader that the enormous growth potential of these diseases promises the proverbial gold mine of opportunity for smart investors!

A few examples:

“The pharmaceutical industry served up more than $250 billion worth of sales last year, the vast majority in prescriptions.”

And how about this quote attributed to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “About 130 million Americans swallow, inject, inhale, infuse, spray, and apply prescribed medication every month. Americans buy much more medicine per person than any other country.” Gee! I wonder why?! Now – it wouldn’t be because we are inundated by pharmaceutical ads every way we turn, would it?

“A life is lost in the United States to CV [cardiovascular] disease every 34 seconds. …over 70 million Americans currently have one or more diseases of the cardiovascular system…”

“7.8 million Americans per year suffer a heart attack.”

And under the banner of “Get ready for worldwide profits” we are informed that heart disease is an international health issue, and the number one cause of death in developed countries of the world, except for Japan where stroke is the leading cause of death.

Frank and I take no medications, not even aspirin. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is quoted as having said, “Let food be your medicine.” We say, “Vegan food is our medicine.”

For more on health (real health!) see:
http://all-creatures.org/health.html 
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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