Some people misquote the Bible by saying “money is the root of all evil.” Actually, the Bible doesn’t say that…. it says “THE LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil.” But no matter your religion (or lack thereof), trust me: it’s the gospel truth.
In capitalist society, human greed is the motivating force that keeps the wheels spinning. Other social and economic systems try to ignore the human tendency toward personal gain or smother it under a blanket of altruism driven by nationalism, humanism, or some other compelling force. But that seldom works as well as harnessing human self-interest in pursuit of a mutual productive goal. That’s capitalism in a nutshell, and when it comes to economic systems, capitalism is still king.
But if left unchecked, raw capitalism invariably spawns a culture of corporate greed that is precisely the “love of money” so roundly denounced by the good book. When a society glorifies wealth above all (and society ALWAYS devolves to plutocracy eventually, no matter the overlying social system) eventually that brand of organized corporatism leeches its way into other areas of endeavor.
When it seeps into the medical field, the “profit-over-all” mindset causes serious problems. Drugs become product to be moved; patients are consumers to be bilked. With billions of dollars of profit at stake, the medical and pharmaceutical industries eventually resort to bribing safety agencies and funding bogus pseudo-scientific studies supporting products that don’t work as advertised or aren’t safe. Recently it’s come to light that the ubiquitous mental health syndrome ADHD may actually not even exist; the doctor whose research formally classified ADHD as an actual treatable disorder has now recanted and denounces the whole thing as nonsense. Is it any wonder that recent scientific studies— these NOT funded by profit-hungry drug companies— now reveal that the widely-touted drugs Ritalin and Adderall essentially do nothing to help the children to whom they are prescribed (apart from getting them stoned)?
This may be one of the worst examples of the “invent an ailment, then invent drugs to treat it” syndrome, but it’s certainly not the only one. The latest DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) used by psychiatric professionals to diagnose treatable mental illness now classifies so many common behaviors as mental illnesses that it throws wide the floodgate to psychotropic prescription drugs. Many respected psychiatric and medical professionals express concern that the DSM has become ridiculous, classifying normal human behaviors (grief at the death of a loved one, for instance) as “mental health disorders.” The new psychiatric order seems intent that everyone must be artificially happy all the time, and seem completely gung-ho to sell drugs to make that happen… except no such perfect happiness drugs actually exist outside of science fiction.
With big pharmaceutical companies infiltrating the FDA and planting phony scientific articles, attacking individual scientists who dispute their bogus studies, and enacting entire campaigns of subterfuge and corporate dirty tricks to replace legitimate research with profit-driven counterfeit science, it’s no surprise there has been a recent rash of high-profile lawsuits that have blown the lid off corporate schemes to deliberately plant misinformation about the safety of profitable drugs at the expense of consumer health.
Similar disinformation campaigns are constantly being waged by Big Oil, Big Ag, and Big Tobacco. But when Big Pharm starts tampering with scientific fact to sell useless (and dangerous) drugs to the unsuspecting public, there’s no place to hide. We’re ALL at risk every time we have a headache and swallow a capsule full of some patented remedy.
The Snake Oil Business lives on.