" Prescription drugs invade the markets today only to mask the symptoms of disease instead of preventing disease from happening. In this back-end approach to fighting disease instead of preventing it from occurring in the first place, pharmaceutical companies have profited at the expense of society." (Karel M.)
There is therefore also the feelings and the growing suspicion that prescription drugs are controlled by large pharmaceutical corporations and these influence practitioners and the health care industry. Modern medical practitioners are also "... subject to persuasion from drug manufacturers and rely on them for their information, despite their obvious bias to use their drugs." (Karel M.) This is an area that has been severely critiqued in allotropic health care; namely the fact that modern medicine is dominated by large drug companies which to a large extent are more concerned with their profit margins than with the quality and the ultimate effectives of their products. "...data relating to the reduction in rates of chronic illnesses and reduction in the risk of the drugs are misrepresented to physicians who then use the distorted data to persuade patients to accept drug regimens. Drug companies will strenuously attempt to sell their drug to its public, the prescribing physicians. "(Karel M.)
There are also accusations that many drugs are in fact designed to simply relieve the symptoms rather then dealing with the disease or ailment.
Additionally, drugs are designed by chemists to quickly relieve symptoms by blocking processes of chronic disease. "...people with high blood pressure may ingest medicine day in and day out, but all this medicine does is artificially keep blood pressure down. The patient still has high blood pressure; it is just masked with prescription drugs. "(Karel M.) cardinal risk factor relating to allopathic medicine that is repeatedly referred to in the literature is the toxic nature of many prescribed drugs. Again this factor refers back to the general reductionist view that pervades allopathic medicine; in that only the area of the ailment is considered and not the other related parts or aspects, and especially not the body-mind complex. For example, there are studies which state categorically that," Most of the allopathic drugs are toxic or cytotoxic and generate free radicals in the body. As a result many of them have the so called side effects and can lead to complications arising from oxidative stress." (Hasslberger S.)
This refers to the fact that while the benefits of many types of allopathic medication are obvious, yet it is often the case that the more negative effects as well as potential toxicity are ignored. In recent years there has also been concern about the number of prescribed and accepted drugs that are responsible for the dangerous reality of free radical generation.
One of the most glaring examples of the way that allopathic medicine is related to the reductionist and dualistic view human health and healing is chemotherapy. In this procedure drugs extremely high in toxicity are used to destroy cancer cells. However, at the same time these drugs do not discriminate between infected and healthy cells and the healthy cells are destroyed as well. This has been compared to dropping an atomic bomb on a large city to destroy a single terrorist cell. Furthermore, '...Chemo-drugs generate large amounts of free radicals that are cytotoxic and exert oxidative stress that can suppress the immune system." (Hasslberger S.) it is somewhat ironic that the immune system is essential in the combating and surveillance of abnormal cell growth it is the immune system that conducts the surveillance of abnormal cells in the body and is part of the body's natural defense system along with the antioxidant defense mechanism that is effectively destroyed by the excess free radicals generated by chemo-drugs but no doctor is required by law to declare or inform the patient of such devastating effects of their drugs.
Chemotherapy and cancer treatment provides an insight into the extreme risk factors in the use of allopathic medicines. It also illustrates the way that allopathic medicine functions; the benefit is weighed against the risk and if the benefits are deemed to be more then the drug or medication is prescribed by the practitioner. However, even this process is not always subscribed to and there are many cases where "...the risks outweigh the benefits and over time the use of such drugs show that the free radicals generated by them eventually caused oxidative stress and oxidative injury to the cells and produced complications." (Hasslberger S.) This was clearly seen in the withdrawal, after a long period of use, of drugs like seen in the celebrex, vioxx, and others. Over time these drugs were shown conclusively to have severely negative effect but were nevertheless prescribed and ascertained to be acceptable forms of medication. This leads to the following critique of many accepted forms of allopathic medication. "So, how do we know for sure that a cancer patient died from the disease and not from oxidative stress in the brain or liver caused by the excess free radicals generated by chemo-drugs? Where are these studies?" (Hasslberger S.) similar criticism of the risk facets of allopathic medications have been levels at the treatment of HIV / AIDS and the use of AZT. AZT is a highly toxic and classified poison. This drug was initially only prescribed for severe AIDS patients who had "...a history of cytologically confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) or an absolute CD4 (T4 helper/inducer) lymphocyte count of less than 200/mm3 in the peripheral blood before therapy is begun..." (Hasslberger S.) However the use of AZT was extended to include those who had only mild symptoms of damage to the immune systems and even to those HIV patients who had in fact not developed any symptoms at all.
This has led to worldwide debate and even resistance to the acceptance of AZT in many developing countries that are hardest hit by HIV / AIDS, such as Southern Africa.
There are numerous examples of the extreme risk factor in many accepted and prescribed allopathic medicines and drugs. Another example is HRT. Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT was seen to be a wonder treatment by Allopathic practitioners. However, what is less well-known is that various trials have shown that the "...incidence of cancers in the HRT group is significantly higher than in those who do no resort to HRT." (Hasslberger S.)
2.2.1. Disease and antibiotics
There are many other aspects that have been shown to impact on the question of risk and the effectiveness of allopathic medicine. In fact some studies state that modern medicine is in crisis and has not understood the progress and process of disease. While medicine has become more sophisticated it has underestimated the spread and nature of disease. As one study puts it, modern medicine has failed ".... To deal with more complex systems." (Levins, 2000, p. 8) This refers to "... The growing gap between rich and poor (which) make many technical advances irrelevant to most of the world's people. Public health authorities were caught by surprise by the emergence of new diseases and the reappearance of diseases believed to be eradicated." (Levins, 2000, p. 8)
While the allopathic health community thought that they had dealt a severe blow to most diseases, they were in fact surprised by new diseases and strains in many parts of the world. " in the 1970s, it was common to hear that infectious disease as an area of research was dying. In principle, infection had been licked; the health problems of the future would be degenerative diseases, problems of aging and chronic diseases. We now know this was a monumental error." (Levins, 2000, p. 8) There are many references in the literature to the failure of modern allopathic medicine to deal with emergent and new strains of disease. "We need to recognize that the historical mindset in medicine and related sciences was dangerously -- and ideologically -- limited. Nearly all who engaged in public health prediction took too narrow a view, both geographically and temporally. "(Levins, 2000, p. 8) Levins and others state that modern medicine has not been fully aware of the ways that diseases and viruses mutate. The well-known fact of more and more resistance to antibiotics is a case in point.
Central to this lack of awareness in allopathic medicine is the inability to understand the relationships and the interrelationships between different factors, such as population growth and change as well as changing social facets that have influenced the spread and transmission of disease. Once again this refers to the underlying flaw in modern medicine; namely the lack of understanding of the holistic and interconnected nature of human health.
2.3. Appearances, economics and discriminatory practices
One of the central criticisms of modern allopathic medicine is that it subscribes to the modern cult of appearance and fashion and expends too much research and energy on the more frivolous side of healthcare. There is more…