Legal Status

The Perspective of One Physician

It is all about the money

“FDA chief Scott Gottlieb states that people struggling with opiate addiction should rely on approved drugs such as methadone and Suboxone.

Methadone and Suboxone are expensive, and finding a doctor willing to prescribe them is very difficult for much of the population. Having spent years practicing emergency medicine, I can tell you that for many people, finding a doctor of any sort is difficult, but finding one who will prescribed addiction medications is far more difficult. Many people still have no insurance as well. People with drug dependance problems are frequently self-medicating for depression and other psychological issues, and are generally not the most resourceful and well-connected members of the populace. Telling them that they need to treat their addiction by finding an expensive specialist and taking an expensive drug is simply not going to work.

It seems that people like Gottlieb believe that all healing needs to happen through the prescribing process. Yet this demonstrates a very schizophrenic trend in the medical/pharmaceutical establishment, since they have been busily making innumerable prescription drugs available over-the-counter. The drugs which have been made over-the-counter in the last few decades are far from harmless.

Ibuprofen, which was once a prescription drug, has undoubtedly caused far more deaths than kratom. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, of which ibuprofen is one, cause over 100,000 hospitalizations per year for gastrointestinal bleeding, and more than 16,500 deaths. Many of the adverse effects of ibuprofen are not figured into the statistics, as it causes significant kidney damage and contributes to chronic renal failure in vast numbers of patients. It also significantly increases risk of heart attack and stroke as well as atrial fibrillation.

Intranasal steroids have been unleashed on the population as if they were harmless, yet many studies have shown that they cause irreversible thinning of the nasal membranes if used for  extended periods, the same way that oral steroids such as prednisone cause thinning of the skin. Is anybody bothering to make this known to the populace?

I have personally seen hundreds of patients who take proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium on a daily basis, year in and year out, and no one seems to feel any urgency to tell them that this increases their risk of stomach cancer and possibly dementia, among other things.

So on the one hand, the FDA would like us to get a prescription to solve our problem and stay away from herbal medicines, and instead drive to the grocery store and pick up some of the poisons being produced by the pharmaceutical industry.

There are definitely conditions for which prescription drugs are the best treatment, but it is clear that the decision-making process at the FDA and DEA is not motivated by the best interest of the populace.  It’s all about the money, and the growing use of herbal medicines directly threatens the interests of the big pharmaceutical companies.”