The medical industry of today has become the subsidiary of the pharmaceutical industry, now the wealthiest industry in the world. Doctors of all ranks are today puppets controlled by financial strings. The pharmaceutical companies make such astronomical profits from their position of monopoly that all they have to do to maintain that position is to devote as much money as necessary in influencing the right people--which is all of US. The pharmaceutical companies provide or control most of the money for medical research (providing the research meets their approval); they provide large sums to the various medical journals in which they advertise lavishly; they fund lavish holidays for doctors disguised as medical conferences; and they hand out to doctors all sorts of lavish gifts.

A Sydney newspaper recently disclosed some of the methods by which doctors are encouraged by drug companies to prescribe their products. The companies make gifts of computers, briefcases, golf balls, calculators, hotel dinners, conferences at exotic resorts, calenders, beepers, and other give-aways. The companies devoted fifteen per cent of their total sales income to promoting their products, and this amounted to an average of $10,000 for every general medical practitioner in the country.

The drug companies. don't have to influence doctors to prescribe drugs--they are already trained to do this; the companies' main concern is that the doctor prescribes the right ones, ie, the ones which are most profitable. So to influence a doctor's decision in this regard the companies have what they call "detail men" (salesmen) who call in on doctors regularly and bring them up-to-date with the new lines available, and it is upon this sort of "know-how" that you, the patient, must depend for relief from your next twinge of arthritis or whatever.

This is the modern practice of medicine, and when organs within the body pack up and fail, scientific medicine steps in and conducts a transplant for you--if you have the money. Such is the system proudly called "health care" by politicians, "scientific medicine" by the chemists and surgeons, and "sound business" by the pharmaceutical companies.

To complete their stranglehold on the medical profession the drug companies maintain a powerful influence within the upper echelons of health and drug administration agencies, which influence is reflected in the agencies' uncompromising opposition of natural health practitioners and anyone else who disagrees with the official allopathic* line. It cannot be coincidental that upon retirement, many of the former heads of government agencies find themselves in highly paid jobs in the hierarchies of the drug companies.

*Allopathy is the practise of medicine in which drugs are used to alleviate pain and other symptoms.

Thus is explained the banning of laetrile, the herbal extract demonstrated in the US Food and Drug Administration's own tests to be helpful in the treatment of cancer, and the outlawing of any cancer therapy that does not conform to official medical guidelines, such as therapies based on herbs, vitamins, diet and so on. The thalidomide scandal of the 1960s is a good example of the ethics of the drug trade, and to read the book Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies would chill even Jack the Ripper to the bone. Even when thalidomide was publicly exposed as the cause of the dreadful infant deformities happening at the time, the Distillers Company of Germany continued to market the drug in countries where it had not been banned. In the USA the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was prepared to okay the drug in the face of warnings from one of its own doctors, a lady, and it was only because of this lady's stubborn insistence that thalidomide was not unleashed on the pregnant women of America. How many adult Americans today can thank this courageous woman for their intact bodies will always be unknown, but they certainly don't owe any thanks to the top brass of the FDA.