I took my daughter to her primary care physician yesterday, a kind, gentle man who loves his dogs and grandchildren. His many years of clinical experience give him a calm confidence in the brand of medicine he practices. He is by all modern standards a competent medical professional and by social standards a “good guy”. It would never occur to him that any of the accepted medical dogma or training he has bought into might not actually be in the best interests of his patients.
Past experiences have revealed that when questioned, the quiet confidence he exudes can quickly turn to arrogance. Ignorance and arrogance always seem to be running mates, no matter the intelligence of the subject. Being the son of a renowned physician, I have always overlooked this occasional behavior; even enjoyed prodding it a few times if the truth be known.
But I couldn’t hide my disappointment and frustration when out of his mouth came “It’s going to be hard to sell flu vaccines this year”. He was talking to his young physician-in- training and explaining how incredibly few cases of influenza he treated last year. That comment demonstrated to me that even if he is convinced that flu vaccines actually provide any clinical value (and I am sure he is), he obviously understands that the hype for the flu vaccine last year was unfounded… just as it will be this year.
The thought that physicians are willing to “sell” useless flu vaccines to their patients is unsettling enough, even if they were harmless. But the sad fact is they are not harmless, and sometimes they are deadly. Somewhere along the way, Big Pharma succeeded in desensitizing the government and the medical community to the concept of “acceptable risk” in their drugs.
As a manufacturer of natural medicines, the only acceptable risk in our products is zero. But if you have deep enough pockets, you can buy your own version of reality… and you can – with government subsidy and protection – manufacture and market (useless at best and life threatening at worst) products to an unsuspecting public. And “good guys” like my daughter’s PCP will continue to line their pockets at the tragic expense of the patients they have sworn to serve.