The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved Truvada, a pharmaceutical treatment that can cost up to $14,000 per year, to be marketed and prescribed as a preventative measure to protect against HIV.
That means this expensive drug will be prescribed to hundreds of thousands of Americans in high-risk groups, such as homosexual men and intravenous drug users, not because they actually have HIV, but to prevent them from getting it.
As others have pointed out, at the very least these people will likely stop using other disease-preventing measures such as condoms which could cause them to catch and spread other sexually transmitted diseases, even though like everything else pretty much ever, the FDA says the benefits outweigh the risks.
But as I pointed out as a citizen journalist for Natural News back in the spring of 2012, if Big Pharma can legally start marketing drugs to people as a preventative option instead of just strictly for treatment, what’s to stop this decision from opening the door WIDE to start treating otherwise healthy people with expensive, risky medicines based on fear of the diseases they will potentially get instead of what they actually have?
We’re a fear-based culture here in America as it is; we sell insurance for our insurance here. We’re also the most medicated nation on the face of the globe by far. We buy and take more medicines than anyone anywhere else, spending nearly $330 billion on legal drugs last year alone. Have you watched a pharmaceutical commercial lately? Have you seen the side effects of some of these treatments? When these narrators say these pills can even cause death, they say that like it’s the same thing as a little dizziness or a headache.
We’ve lost touch with the fact that disease has an underlying root cause that actually needs to be determined and that is what needs to be cured. For many of our modern ailments, that cure requires work, as it lies in making lifestyle changes. This an include things like altering one’s diet to remove all the processed junk, chemical additives and excitotoxins, alkalizing the body, and ensuring a good balance of healthy gut bacteria so the body can properly absorb nutrients from food (which is what food is for).
But Big Pharma isn’t really in the “cure” business, now are they (that was rhetorical), and people don’t like to have to make lifestyle changes. Instead we are of a mindset that when something is wrong, we just pop a pill for whatever it is…even if the side effects are potentially life threatening and we know we aren’t really “getting better”. Then we might take another pill to mitigate the side effects that pill gave us, you know, if they bother us enough.
My concerns from that article I wrote two years ago about what the FDA was considering then and has now done still stand, so I’m posting it below for your consideration. Pharmaceutical companies are already raking it in hand-over-fist. What’s going to stop other companies from claiming they should be allowed to market their potentially life-threatening treatments to otherwise completely healthy people as preventative too?
What’s going to stop us from waking up in a near future where doctors can evaluate a patient’s lifestyle and medical and family history and determine that, even though they are fine at the time, they are at high risk for cancers, diabetes and more, and then just start preventatively prescribing them medicines and treatments for potential ailments as well?
Just how sick and medicated is this nation going to get?
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This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider allowing an anti-HIV drug to be promoted to otherwise healthy, HIV-free people as a purely preventative measure for the first time. If approved, Gilead Sciences will be able to market Truvada to anyone who might be considered “at risk” for contracting the disease based on lifestyle and other factors (such as sexual orientation). Normally, HIV-infected patients take Truvada to slow viral replication. Under the new guidelines, doctors would begin openly touting this therapy as a glorified prophylactic to people who do not have HIV based on fear they might contract it someday (and all at the low price of just $14,000 a year).
According to Truvada’s own website, treatment side-effects may include lactic acidosis, a serious medical condition that can lead to death. Truvada patients can suffer impaired kidney function and “serious liver problems” such as enlargement and hepatotoxicity. In lab tests, Truvada has also been shown to cause osteopenia or changes in bones that make them more susceptible to fractures.
One of the two studies used to back this new approval push was funded by none other than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates has also espoused the idea that money used to provide end-of-life care to the elderly could be better spent paying teacher salaries instead (Youtube.com).
So far, FDA response has been favorable. With the organization’s recent proposal to make many prescription drugs available over-the-counter (thus maximizing use and profits), it is hardly surprising. The problem with allowing medications to be marketed this way is that it opens the door for all pharmaceutical companies to start requesting allowances to market all kinds of drugs to otherwise healthy people purely under the guise of fear masked as prevention. Under this logic, should overweight people considered to have poor diet and exercise habits start taking insulin shots to prevent type 2 diabetes? Should someone with a family history of cancer take chemotherapy treatments just in case? Where does the line get drawn? If approved, this decision will be a slippery slope rife with so much potential for Big Pharma abuse, it is hard to even contemplate.
Though it may be stating the overly obvious, instead of pushing expensive and potentially dangerous medical treatments on otherwise healthy people, would it not make more sense to simply work harder to promote healthier lifestyle choices?
Sources for this article include:
Author: Melissa Melton is a researcher and writer on anything that will help people make better decisions regarding what they are putting in their bodies to get healthier in this toxic soup we’re all living in.