Mostly because I have a stake in such matters, my thoughts not infrequently turn to the idea of why diseases such as (and since it's my blog, I'll be appropriately selfish) diabetes remain uncured. I'm not a medically trained person (many would say that I'm barely even house trained) and neither do I have a background in chemistry or biology, but I have been fortunate to receive a good education, and I've kept my eyes and ears open for the last forty something years.
The western world is increasingly steered and partially controlled by enormous multinational commercial interests, and some of the largest of those commercial interesats happen to be...drug companies.
Before I continue, I'm not a conspiracy theorist by nature, but I'm also not averse to disbelieving the propaganda that the public is fed by politicians and vested interest groups. I say this because I know that my thoughts on this subject may sound a little out there but in my defence I'm not making assertions, merely repeating the thoughts that occur to me as I ponder my own medical situation.
Some observations I have made:
- Medicines for chronic conditions tend (coincidentally?) to be among the most expensive to purchase at the customer level. I know this from my inside knowledge of the pharmaceutical retail sector.
- Drug manufacturers exist and thrive within a multi-multi billion dollar industry with a seemingly endless demand for their existing products - what motivation do they have to fund CURES? It would be like producing the everlasting car which never needs repairing - a product which makes itself redundant.
- By definition, chronic diseases are a consistent source of demand for the drug manufacturer's supply. Sounds creepy, but in business terms it's a simple truth.
- Despite decades of (often charitably funded or subsidized) research, chronic terminal or debilitating diseases seem to remain incurable.
- Regular stories of 'breakthroughs' in clinical research seem to mysteriously fade away with time and rarely, if ever, lead to the promised results.
- Watching USA cable channels (which, unlike Canadian channels, are allowed to show medical product commercials), the lists of potential side effects (many of which are fatal) is so mind-boggling as to utterly defy the common sense notion that the drugs have been deemed safe for use. But they clearly have.
The truth, or so it seems to me, is that death is good for business - the drug business anyway. Death provides the fear factor, the motivation for people to seek out chemical remedies for their symptoms - to seek instant fixes for issues which may not be fixable, to keep at bay the grim reaper while maintaining every other element of a lifestyle which in all probability is connected in some way to the cause of their symptoms. We are not encouraged by western culture (which is so influenced by massive commercial interests in every facet of our lives) to seek out reasons or causes; au contraire, we are instead told to deal merely with the symptoms and stay on the hook for never-ending courses of pharmaceuticals.
The brutal truth is that the companies who provide drugs have no economic reason to push research into cures for the modern scourges, but a great deal of incentive to keep customers needing medication. Millions of us are born each day; the supply of illnesses for which to supply moderating medication is, in economic terms, unending. In short, the gravy train never stops running.
What this means is that sickness and suffering is the cost of doing business - our cost, their business.