Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Why are natural remedies considered "alternative medicine," while chemicals created in a laboratory are considered "conventional medicine?" The March 23 issue of the Journal of Natural Products reports that around 70 percent of all new drugs introduced in the United States in the past 25 years have been derived from natural products. Researchers say, "Half of all anti-cancer drugs introduced since the 1940s are either natural products or medicines derived directly from natural products." Their findings reveal that despite advances in technology, Mother Nature is still the best drug designer.
In a telephone interview with Reuters, David Newman of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's natural products branch stated that "Wyeth and Merck are the only two U.S. manufacturers of that size that still use natural products as one of their sources to look for drugs." So, why aren't more American firms examining natural products for drug sources?
Why are we bombarded with commercials that advertise potentially fatal drugs while natural remedies are quick to be taken off the market? When you search the internet for natural remedies, you will usually find a statement at the end of the page that informs the reader that there's not enough evidence to support these claims, and these remedies are not intended to treat or cure. Of course there isn't enough information, and they don't want to do more research that would allow people to be free from prescription drugs. The pharmaceutical industry is a billion dollar industry, so why do research that would enable people to regain their health for little to no money. This is not profitable, and therefore not worth the time.
The following figures are from 1999, and profits continue to rise.
U.S. Pharmaceutical Market
1998 - 1999
Total pharmaceutical prescription sales: $107.1 billion:_ up 15.6% _(1998)
Promotional Spending:_$5.9 billion_(1998)
Prilosec $4.19 billion (99)
Prozac $2.57 billion (99)
Augmentin $1.16 billion (99)
Cipro $921 million (99)
Rocephin $517 million (99)
Combivir $465 million (99)
Viracept $448 million (99)
Crixivan $223 million (99)