Vincent’s letter to Karl
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on March 23, 2009
Vincent Gammill wrote the following letter to Karl who was wondering why scientists and doctors don’t do more – especially as their own relatives are impacted by cancer:
There is no big conspiracy, no cabal, but there is an overarching
capitalist paradigm for healthcare. This makes as much sense as
making police and fire protection capitalism based: no protection
unless your credit card is on file along with an adequate credit ceiling.
Physicians are indoctrinated by the pharmaceutical
manufacturers. Physicians know that if they rock the boat they are
open to litigation and to having their licenses suspended. There is
no motive to becoming an outcaste within their own
guilds. Physicians have no idea how to cure any chronic
disease. This is why it is called chronic. Chronic disease is their
cash cow and there is no motivation to do anything but suppress
competition. It is a rare physician who can wrest himself/herself
away from their indoctrination to effectively treat a family member.
Scientists care about their next grant or their next contract. That
is what they do. Their research is extremely reductionist and they
would have no idea what to do to treat a family member. I have
participated in thousands of meetings, conferences, and dinners with
molecular biologists, biochemists, cell biologists, and
physician-researche rs. The conversations are mostly technical or
about stock value. If the topic of nutriceuticals comes up then
attitudes often become dismissive and antagonistic — the same as one
would get from an allopathic clinicians.
“Isaiah J. Fidler, a senior cancer researcher from M.D. Anderson in
Houston, warns that it is “biologically impossible” for any single
treatment, however successful, to have an impact on every kind of
tumor in every organ of the body.
“Don’t be depressed when you see a paper that says, ‘We cured
cancer,’ ” Fidler advised colleagues attending a medical meeting in
Philadelphia last month. “No, we didn’t. Everybody here will have a
job for years to come.”
“There’s no room in the market for a non-toxic cancer
therapy.” Quote from a V.P. in a MAJOR pharmaceutical company I’d
rather not name.
“Alex Hittle, a top biotech analyst at St. Louis,
indulges in a little gallows humor. “We sometimes joke that when
you’re doing a clinical trial, there are two possible disasters,”
Hittle said. “The first disaster is if you kill people. The second
disaster is if you cure them. The truly good drugs,” he continued,
“are the ones you can use chronically for a long, long time.”
–International Herald Tribune SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2003
Regulators make their living by going along with the program and
following the law to the nth degree. I have never met one with a
venturesome bone. Those at the top levels know that they can always
have a future as a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical manufacturers.
In 2005 there were 1274 registered pharmaceutical lobbyists in
Washington, D.C. — more than two for every member of Congress. In
2008 a record $189 million-plus was spent on federal lobbying. If
the industry was honest there would be no lobbying of congress and
the . Pharmaceutical manufactures would do their trials, submit
the results, and let the chips fall where they may.
If the pharmaceutical industry was honest there would be no need for
“direct-to-consumer ” advertising, but more is spent on marketing than
on research. It is very effective advertising. Why should the
physician say no to a patient when he already has a closet full of
samples and the drug rep will be more than happy to supply the
physician with more free samples of her wares.
Right now the US is in serious economic difficulty because of a total
lack of banking regulation, a lack of transparency, and a roll back
of progressive taxation that began in 1981. The pharmaceutical
industry has gone down a parallel track. Millions of people have no
healthcare. The industry as a whole does not want any cure for
anything — only more expensive treatments that are incrementally
better, and of course the industry wants more discomforts and social
problems that can be portrayed as problems in need of pharmaceutical attention.
Karl, the whole industry is money driven. If the Obama team worked
out a financial algorithm that was based on preventing and curing
chronic diseases for even greater profits for the industry, and
failure was punished with ignominy and fines, we would see the end of
virtually all chronic disease.
The whole medical industry makes its living by convincing their
potential customers that they just want to help. Are they all
crooks? Not at all. They are simply doing what is legal, or what
they can get away with, or what they are told to do. Of course the
morality of this is a very different matter.
Karl, I hope you study more and reflect more on these issues. As you
are an intelligent person you might help the country and the world
find a better paradigm.