The Medicines Myth


medicine_mythsWhat are medicines for? What do medicines do? 
Your first instinct might be exactly wrong “Medicines cure disease“. Isn’t that what medicines do?

No, it is not.

I researched the top selling prescription medicines of 2011 (you can see the list below) and reached a simple conclusion.

None of the top ten best selling drugs in 2011 cures a disease. Some of them address symptoms  – but none address the cause of the disease they treat.

Most, if not all, are simply ‘preventatives’ applied after the fact, as the the old saying goes “shutting the barn door, after the horse has bolted“.

The statement: “medicines cure disease” is a myth.

You might have seen this common disclaimer on ‘alternative health products’: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The top ten patent medicines are used to ‘treat’ disease after it occurs. They could use a shortened disclaimer, removing only a single word: This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease and it would apply to all 20  of the top selling drugs of 2011 – and 19 of the top 20 in 2008. Although, it might be argued that they ‘prevent’ illness, take note: none prevents illness before it is diagnosed. They only claim to ‘prevent risk’ after a disease is diagnosed.

You don’t need to go far to find ‘conspiracy theories’ about drug companies putting profit over health, or even theories about governments trying to keep everyone sick or even dead. These theories are just noise.

Are the drug companies lying to us?  No.  They are simply telling us their truth, their whole truth, and nothing but their truth.  They are, after all, ‘selling’.

There are many truths worth knowing:

A drug that cures disease will not be a bestseller.

It is more economically motivating for drug companies to produce drugs that you ‘keep taking’.  Drugs that ‘cure disease’ don’t sell as much, because once the disease is gone – the need for the drug is gone. If drug companies only work to cure disease – they will be working to put themselves out of business.  There are, after all, only so many diseases. Sometimes I wonder if we have more drug companies than we have diseases.

Many drug prescriptions lead to death.  

Dr. Mercola reports: Fatal prescription drug overdoses surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in 2007, according to the Department of Health. 


We can cure many of the diseases the top 20 drugs treat.

This is important. The top 20 drugs treat the symptoms of some very common diseases.  In many cases, we can cure those diseases, but only with health, not with drugs.  Maybe not in every case, but in many cases. However, at present, we have no idea how many – because we prescribe drugs instead of cures.  All of these diseases are today, classified as “non communicable diseases” by the World Health Organization’s ICD10 – International Classification of Diseases.  And according to medical science today – there are no ‘cures’ for non-communicable diseases, with the exception of surgical cures.

Can we cure heart disease, respiratory diseases, and mental illness? These are three of the top diseases attacked by the 20 best selling drugs?  The other is cancer.  

Yes we can. But not with drugs, not with medicines.  First, we need to go back to the father of medicine, Hippocrates. Hippocrates said: “Nature itself is the best physician.” He was talking about healthing illness – treating illness by improving healthiness. He also said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” And lastly, he said: “If you are not your own doctor, you are a fool.

The top 20 (or more) selling medicines are not foods. You cannot buy them without a prescription.  They are not from nature – they are designed and marketed by corporations. And they do not allow you to be your own doctor – you MUST get a prescription to purchase them – even if you are a doctor. None of the top selling drugs of 2011 fit the recommendations of Hippocrates. 

Heart Disease – Cardiovascular disease – can we cure heart disease? yes.

We know how to cure cardiovascular disease. When I say ‘we’, I mean ‘there are people who know’. There are people who know how to cure cardiovascular disease .  Some of them are active, making a good living, curing cardiovascular disease.  Some are simply people who have learned how to cure their own heart disease – and are ‘being their own doctor’, curing themselves.

But.  Is anyone researching these cures? Is anyone working scientifically to study and improve them?  Are they being published in ‘medical journals’.  Nope.

Why?  I believe the main reason YOU can’t find a cure for heart disease is simply that it takes WORK to cure heart disease.  You want to take a pill.  Too bad. Your doctor can’t cure heart disease unless you give him absolute control over your diet and considerable control over your exercise regime.  A pill won’t work. Curing heart disease requires active, ongoing work and ‘healing’.

We know what works.  However – we don’t know ‘what works best’ because no-one is studying this scientifically. No one is studying the ‘healing’ of heart disease.

Now more bad news.  If a doctor, or you cure your heart disease – will the insurance company pay for it?  Nope.  The insurance company pays for treatments.  It pays for the treatments that are ‘on the list’.  If it’s not on the list, and you pay for a treatment that cures your heart disease – your medical insurance will not pay. Your medical insurance is not health insurance, it’s sick insurance. If your doctor recommended it – he might be reprimanded, even banished, for recommending a treatment that is not on the list. No matter if it cures you or not.

Respiratory diseases – can we cure asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory diseases? yes.

There are people who have cured asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases – but not with drugs.  Drugs do not even attempt to cure. It is important to recognize that these disease symptoms can arise from a wide variety of situations.

Medicines don’t cure respiratory disease (with a few exceptions for antibiotics in specific situations). Medicines treat symptoms.

So, why don’t we know how to ‘cure’ respiratory disease?  Because it’s hard.  Each is an individual illness. Because curing respiratory diseases requires ‘healing’.

Experience has shown that in many cases, it is possible to cure respiratory disease – if you take the time and effort to focus on a cure, not on the symptoms.

Now more bad news.  If a doctor, or you cure your respiratory disease – will the insurance company pay for it?  Nope.  The insurance company pays for treatments.  It pays for the treatments that are ‘on the list’. It does not pay for cures.

Mental Illness – can we cure schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder?  Yes. 

There are people who have cured these mental illnesses.  Clearly they can be cured in some cases. But is anyone studying these cures? Nope.  They are considered ‘anecdotal evidence’ if they are noticed at all.  No-one is tracking them, much less studying them. If you are diagnosed with a mental illness, the diagnosis is counted in statistics.  But if you are cured – there are no statistics.

No one tracks ALL cures, of any disease, statistically. 

As with other common diseases – If a doctor, or you cure your mental illness – will the insurance company pay for it?  Nope.  The insurance company pays for treatments.  It pays for the treatments that are ‘on the list’.  Your insurance does not pay for cures.

What about cancer?  Cancer drugs have taken over many of the top spots in drug sales, but none of them cures cancer.  You might have, some time in your life, donated time or money to find a ‘cure for cancer’.  Rest assured – no-one is searching diligently for a cure.  Everyone is searching for a drug.  A medicine.  And medicines don’t cure illness. At least not the important ones. The medicines that are important are the ones that sell the most, not the ones that cure.

Can we cure cancer?  I believe we can.  I also believe we cannot cure cancer with drugs. Unfortunately, when you donate money to find a cure for cancer – it is spent looking for a drug to cure cancer – or just as likely – it is spent trying to get more people to donate to find a drug to cure cancer.

There are people out there, many people, who have ‘cured cancer’.  But our ‘drug driven system’ views them as ‘anecdotal evidence’ and ignores them.  There is no-one actively researching to see what actually happened when cancer was cured and to publish the information – certainly not any drug company.

But if a doctor, or you, cure your cancer – will the insurance company pay for it?  Nope.  The insurance company pays for treatments.  It pays for the treatments that are ‘on the list’.  It does not pay for cures. Not even cancer.

If you are healthy – your ‘heath insurance’ will not pay.  If your status changes from sick to healthy – your health insurance is not obligated to pay.  Health insurance only pays for specific, identified treatments, not for cures.

When will we (the big we, the ‘all of us’, the ‘conventional medical wisdom’ we) learn to cure these diseases?  When health becomes a verb. When we learn to health. When we study healthicine as thoroughly as we study medicine. When health insurance pays for cures, when researchers focus on health, not on symptoms, when medicines are not restricted to ‘patent medicines’, when we put ‘open source medicines‘ and ‘patent medicines’ to the same test – do they cure?  Do they heal?

Do any drugs cure disease? 

I don’t know if there are some drugs that actually cure disease – but I do know that they are not the top sellers.

Health Freedom? We will not achieve health freedom until we begin to pursue healthiness as diligently as we pursue illness.  

Here’s the top 10 selling medicines, from 2011.

  1. Plavix– the purpose of Plavix is to prevent blood clots in someone who has recently had a stroke or a heart attack.  Does it heal the damage caused by a heart attack or stroke?  No.  Does it heal the blocked arteries that might have caused the heart attach or stroke? Nope.  The expectation is that you will take Pavix, because it will suppress your natural, healthy, clotting tendencies – and thus, possibly, prevent another heart attack or stroke. Does your doctor prescribe Plavix to give you time for other, slower treatments that will cure your circulatory system, or heal the damage caused by disease? Nope. Your doctor signs your prescription, adding perhaps some dietary advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
  2. Lipitor– the purpose of lipitor is to lower cholesterol.  The purpose of lowering cholesterol is, in theory, to reduce heart disease. Does Lipitor cure? No. Does it ‘heal’ the damage of a heart attack or stroke?  No. Does it heal the damage that is caused in theory, by high cholesterol?  Nope. It is designed to lower your cholesterol, and hopefully your body will heal from the damage caused by high cholesterol.  Does your doctor prescribe Lipitor to give you time for other, slower treatments that will cure your heart disease or heal the damage from your heart disease? Nope. Your doctor signs your prescription to Lipitor and then signs off until your next checkup.
  3. Advair Diskus– contains two medicines; one that relaxes the muscles in the walls of the air passages in the lung, keeping them open and thus making it easier to breathe. The other reduces inflammation in the lungs and thus helps reduce swelling and irritation in the small air passages in the lungs  It is commonly prescribed for  asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Does it cure asthma or COPD? Nope. Does it heal the damage or inflammation in the lungs? No, it reduces the effect of inflammation, but does not address the cause. Does your doctor prescribe Adviar Diskus to give you time for other, slower treatments that will cure your asthma, COPD, to heal the damage it caused? Nope. Your doctor signs your prescription, adding perhaps some lifestyle advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
  4. HUMIRA– a TNF inhibitior. TNFα inactivation is used to lessen inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune diseases. As of 2008 adalimumab has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, moderate to severe chronic psoriasis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Does it cure any of the diseases it treats?  No. Is the expectation that your doctor will prescribe HIMURA while they work on another treatment to cure the illness, or search for the cause?  No. Your doctor is expected to sign your prescription, adding perhaps some lifestyle advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
  5. Enbrel acts as a TNF inhibitor. TNFα inactivation is used to lessen inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune diseases. It can be prescribed for is rheumatoid, juvenile rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis and ankylosing spondylitis. Does it cure any of the diseases it treats?  No. Is the expectation that your doctor will prescribe Enbrel while they work on another treatment to cure the illness, or search for the cause?  No. Your doctor is expected to sign your prescription, adding perhaps some lifestyle advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.

So, 5 of 5 so far.  Not one of the five top selling medicines actually cures anything. What’s up with this?  Let’s continue.

  1. Rituxan– destroys B cells, and is used to treat diseases characterized by excessive numbers of B cells, overactive B cells, or dysfunctional B cells. This includes many lymphomas, leukemias, transplant rejection, and some autoimmune disorders. Put simply, Rituxan lowers your level of healthiness (killing cells that are normally a healthy part of your body), while attempting to lessen the effects of disease. Does it cure any of the diseases it treats?  No. Is the expectation that your doctor will prescribe Rituxan while they work on another treatment to cure the illness, or search for the cause?  No. Your doctor is expected to sign your prescription, adding perhaps some lifestyle advice, and then signs off until your next checkup.
  2. Remicade– is a monoclonal antibody against tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) used to treat autoimmune diseases.  Just try to say that with a straight face – and then try to explain what it means.  Remicade is a relatively new immunosuppressant, so new in fact that, according to Wikipedia, its actions are not yet clearly understood. It can be prescribed to treat psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.  Does it cure any of them? No. Does your doctor prescribe Remicade as a temporary measure and then try to find the cause of, or a cure for your illness? Nope.  But like Embrel and HUMIRA, you are warned that these drugs can have serious, even fatal side effects.
  3. Crestor– is a statin, used to treat high cholesterol and similar conditions, to prevent cardiovascular disease. Does it cure cardiovascular disease? Nope.  Does it cure high cholesterol?  Nope. As with all statins, there are risks of diabetes, kidney toxicity and other ‘side effects’ that your doctor needs to monitor.
  4. AVASTIN– an angiogenesis inhibitor, it slows the growth of new blood vessels. It is used to treat cancers, because cancers stimulate the growth of new blood vessels.  Does it cure the cancer? No. It only attempts to slow it down.
  5. HERCEPTIN– is an antibody that interferes with the HER2/neu receptor. It is primarily used to treat slow the growth of certain breast cancers.  Does it cure breast cancer? Nope.  Studies showed that it increased the life of late stage cancer patients from about 20 to about 25 months. 5 extra months – for a cost approaching $100,000 per year according to Wikipedia.

Do the top selling drugs ‘cure disease’?  Nope. Ten for ten.

I could carry on, the next ten best selling drugs in 2011: Seroquel, Diovan, Singulair, Lantus, Atacand, Gleevec, Zyprexa, NEXIUM, Spiriva, and Cymbalta.   Not one of them cures the illness they are prescribed to treat.  They may treat symptoms, or suppress some aspects of the illness.  But none cures.

I did a similar survey of the top 20 drugs sold in 2008 and only 1 could be said to cure disease in any sense – it’s no longer in the top 20 sales. All of the rest, 19 of the top 20 medicines sold in 2008 did not cure anything – and were not designed, nor marketed, not prescribed, to cure anything. They are designed to ‘treat’ illness, not to cure it.

Here’s the top 10 selling medicines, from 2008.  As in 2011 – not one of them ‘cures’ the disease they are designed to treat.

  1. Lipitor – the purpose of lipitor is to lower cholesterol. The purpose of lowering cholesterol is, in theory, to reduce heart disease. Does Lipitor cure? No. Does it ‘heal’ the damage of a heart attack or stroke? No. Does it heal the damage that is caused in theory, by high cholesterol? Nope. It is designed to lower your cholesterol, and hopefully your body will heal from the damage caused by high cholesterol. Does your doctor prescribe Lipitor to give himself time for other, perhaps slower treatments that will cure your heart disease or heal the damage? Nope. Your doctor signs your prescription to Lipitor, and gives perhaps a bit of dietary advice and then signs off until your next checkup.
  2. Nexium – the purpose of Nexium is to lower gastric acid secretion and thus to prevent the damage caused by GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Does Nexium cure GERD? No. Does it heal the damage caused by GERD? Nope. The expectation is that you will take Nexium until you die from something else, and hopefully your body will heal itself of the effects of GERD. Does your doctor prescribe Nexium to give himself time for other, perhaps slower treatments that will cure your GERD, or heal the damage? Nope. Your doctor signs your prescription to Nexium, and gives perhaps a bit of dietary advice and then signs off until your next checkup.

Note: Nexium is no longer in the top ten as of 2011. In 2010 The FDA cautioned against high doses or prolonged use of PPIs, because they’ve been shown to increase the risk of infection, bone fractures and dementia.

  1. Plavix – the purpose of Plavix is to prevent blood clots in someone who has recently had a stroke or a heart attack. Does it heal the damage caused by a heart attack or stroke? No. Does it heal the blocked arteries that might have caused the heart attach or stroke? Nope. The expectation is that you will take Pavix, because it will damage your natural clotting tendencies – and thus, possibly, prevent another heart attack or stroke.
  2. Advair Diskus – contains two medicines; one that relaxes the muscles in the walls of the air passages in the lung, keeping them open and thus making it easier to breathe. The other reduces inflammation in the lungs and thus helps reduce swelling and irritation in the small air passages in the lungs It is commonly prescribed for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Does it cure asthma or COPD? Nope. Does it heal the damage or inflammation in the lungs? No, it reduces the effect of inflammation, but does not address the cause.
  3. Prevacid – Lansoprazole is used to treat gastric ulcers caused by a family of pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is, a drug designed to treat the damage caused by another drug. It works by slowing or preventing the production of stomach acid. Does it cure anything? Nope. It doesn’t even cure the damage cased by NSAIDs, it just attempts to reduce the damage, perhaps so that, hopefully your body can heal.

Note: Prevacid is no longer a top seller – the patent expired in November 2009.

So, 5 of 5 so far. Not one of the five top selling medicines actually cures anything. What’s up with this? Let’s continue.

  1. Seroquel – is an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and also to treat depression. The most common ‘side effect’? It makes you sleepy. I guess if you are sleepy, you aren’t so schizophrenic, bipolar or even depressed. Does it cure schiophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression? Nope. Does it help heal the damage that might have been caused by extended periods of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression? Nope.

Note: Seroquel is still for sale, but the FDA drug safety guide says “Read this Medication Guide before you start taking SEROQUEL and each time you get a refill.  These serious side effects are described below: Risk of death in the elderly with dementia… Risk of suicidal thoughts or actions…”

  1. Singulair – for maintenance treatment of asthma and also to relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies. Does it cure asthma? Nope. Does it cure seasonal allergies? Nope. Does it heal the damage caused by asthma or seasonal allergies? No. It is designed to relieve symptoms – so that your body can recover from the damage.
  2. Effexor – used to treat depression, general anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and symptoms of menopause. Does it cure depression? Anxiety disorder? Social phobia? Panic disorder? Menopuase. Nope on all counts. It treats the symptoms – but does not attempt to identify nor address the cause. Does it heal the damage that might be caused by depression, anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder? Nope.
  3. Oxycontin – a pain reliever. Designed to be an improvement on morphine, heroin and codeine. Does it address the cause of the pain? Nope. Does it cure anything? Nope. If the cause of the pain continues – you will need more Oxycontin.
  4. Lexapro – is used to treat anxiety and also major depression. Does it cure the anxiety or the depression? Nope. There is no attempt made to find the cause of the anxiety or depression. Lexapro simply attempts to ‘lessen’ it.

Ten for ten.

Of the top ten best selling drugs in 2008 – not one of them cures disease.

I could carry on, the next ten best selling drugs in 2008: ACTOS, Protonix, Vytorin, Topamax, Risperdal, Abilify, Cymbalta, Lamictal, Zyprexa, Levaquin, Celebrex, used to ‘treat’ conditions from heartburn and migraines to epilipsy and arthritis. Do any of them ‘cure disease’? One. Levaquin is an antibiotic that is used to treat – and cure – bacterial infections of the skin, bladder, etc. All of the rest, 19 of the top 20 medicines sold in 2008 did not cure anything – and were not designed, nor marketed, to cure anything.

This post was originally published on the site PersonalHealthFreeedom.com in October 2012 and it has also been published by:

Wakeup-World: 

UnhealthyEarth.Com:

LBA Enterprise

It has also been translated into Spanish by http://editorial-streicher.blogspot.com/ , and published as: El Mito de Las Medicinas

Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine:

About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Healthicine.org. Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine
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