Business With Disease

There is obviously a contradiction between disease prevention and disease causation in the therapeutic application of calcium channel blockers: At first glance, due to their capacity to alleviate symptoms, calcium blockers seem to improve or even cure the heart disease. In the long run, however, these drugs accelerate the underlying disease, suggesting that a worsening of the condition is willingly accepted.

In what way is this a strategic approach? Every medical text book promotes the use of calcium antagonists in the three largest areas of cardiovascular disease: high blood pressure, arrhythmia and heart failure. There is no doctor who has not prescribed tons of calcium channel blockers throughout his life.

Apart from calcium channel blockers, there are further known examples that illustrate the principle of the pharmaceutical business with disease: cancer patients receive chemotherapy, even though its most common side effect is the development of new cancers.

Patients suffering from the immunodeficiency disease AIDS receive anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, even though they attack the immune system, thus causing an aggravation of the disease. The problem is always the same: symptoms are removed for a short time, new disease markets are created in the long term.

To ensure the survival of the pharmaceutical investment business, the market for patented drugs, in other words today’s widespread diseases, must be maintained at any cost. This explains the fact that, among the many thousands of pharmaceuticals worldwide, only a handful of drugs actually manage to control a disease, instead of just simulating its improvement.