Have New-Age Meds "Triumphed" Over Prescription Drugs?

The Atlantic, one of the oldest and most respected magazines around, has just come out with an article titled, "The Triumph of New-Age Medicine." In it, author David Freedman takes issue with those who would call new-age or alternative medicine "cleverly marketed, dangerous quackery."

But Freedman goes much further, asserting that the success and proliferation of new-age medicine (accupuncture, herbal medications, etc.) is not only due to their own efficacy, but also due to the decided lack of efficacy and usefulness of modern prescription drugs in treating heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and other scourges.

Freedman writes: "Unfortunately, the drugs we’ve thrown at these complex illnesses are by and large inadequate or worse, as has been thoroughly documented in the medical literature. The list of much-hyped and in some cases heavily prescribed drugs that have failed to do much to combat complex diseases, while presenting a real risk of horrific side effects, is a long one,including Avastin for cancer (blood clots, heart failure, and bowel perforation), Avandia for diabetes (heart attacks), and torcetrapib for heart disease (death). In many cases, the drugs used to treat the most-serious cancers add mere months to patients’ lives, often at significant cost to quality of life. No drug has proved safe and effective against Alzheimer’s, nor in combating obesity, which significantly raises the risk of all complex diseases. Even cholesterol-lowering statins, which once seemed one of the few nearly unqualified successes against complex disease, are now regarded as of questionable benefit in lowering the risk of a first heart attack, the use for which they are most widely prescribed."

In his blog, Forbes' Matthew Herper takes Freedman to task for these claims, citing them as simplistic and "horse microbiome." He writes: "I’m the first to argue that Avastin has not lived up to its promise, but it is a great drug in colorectal cancer, extending median survival by five months, and a good one in some types of lung cancer. Pfizer's torcetrapib proved deadly, but that was caught long before it would reach patients outside clinical trials. It’s not news that experimental drugs fail. Merck and Roche are working on similar medicines that may prove to be life-savers. Avandia is basically gone, but partly because there was an alternative to take its place. Yes, the battle against heart disease and cancer is slow, grinding trench warfare, but that’s because these our diseases written by evolution into our genetic code. And we’re still winning."

Herper himself then goes further and takes on alternative medicine and its claims of widespread success.

The Atlantic's blanket statement that "alternative medicine often seems to do a better job of making patients well," as Herper rightly points out, is highly debatable. Where Freedman does score some points is in maintaining that new-age medicine operates "at a much lower cost," and this is a challenge (in addition to further improving drug efficacy and safety) that manufacturers of prescription drugs must continue to confront.

--Paul Thomas

Show Comments
Hide Comments

Join the discussion

We welcome your thoughtful comments.
All comments will display your user name.

Want to participate in the discussion?

Register for free

Log in for complete access.

Comments

  • <p>We don`t know for sure this is an overall triumph, yet the ones who believe in innovation will always be a step ahead in finding a cure for any traditional health issue that has been bothering for ages. Also, in the innovations category, I have read a couple of studies on the beneficial use of <a href="http://www.cannabis-seeds.co.uk/">cannabis seeds</a> on chemo patients. They have proven results in suppressing nausea and dizziness sensations caused by traditional chemo procedures. </p>

    Reply

  • <p>He writes: "I’m the first to argue that Avastin has not lived up to its promise, but it is a great drug in colorectal cancer, extending median survival by five months,<a href="http://www.testinsides.com/70-681.html">70-681</a> and a good one in some types of lung cancer. Pfizer's torcetrapib proved deadly, but that was caught long before it would reach patients outside clinical trials. It’s not news that experimental drugs fail. Merck and Roche are working on similar medicines that may prove to be life-savers.<a href="http://www.testinsides.com/70-685.html">70-685</a> Avandia is basically gone, but partly because there was an alternative to take its place. Yes, the battle against heart disease and cancer is slow, grinding trench warfare, but that’s because <a href="http://www.testinsides.com/70-686.html">70-686</a> these our diseases written by evolution into our genetic code. And we’re still winning."</p>

    Reply

  • <p>One of the most important things when preparing for a new baby is to set up a nursery. Today, considerably more choices are available and it may seem like a daunting task with so many selection of baby cribs, baby accessories, and baby boy crib bedding to choose from. If you are lost as to where to start, follow me for a quick rundown of some of the most popular and trendy designs for <a href="http://www.babyboybeddingsets.org">baby boy bedding</a> sets. <a href="http://www.babyboybeddingsets.org">baby boy bedding sets</a> | <a href="http://www.babyboybeddingsets.org/baby-boy-sports-bedding/">Baby Boy Sports Bedding</a> | <a href="http://www.babyboybeddingsets.org/baby-boy-nursery-bedding-2/">Baby Boy Nursery Bedding</a></p>

    Reply

  • <p>Ever since Descartes we have treated the human body as if it were a machine; that's the model. The FDA mandates predictability in our drugs; we need to know that they work. That means they have to use placebos to control for our ability to adapt and therein is the crux of the problem: every living organism can read and adapt to its environment in some way--that's what happens with the placebo. Rather than making it unethical we ought to recognize the power we all have and use placebos for all they are worth. Any alternative that may have an effect on the appropriate system would be open for use. </p> <p>We need to see the body as adaptable rather than trying to analyze it. The same goes for our health care system.imarion@<a href="http://www.btscene.eu/">BTscene torrents</a></p>

    Reply

  • <p>Though many of the wealthy lean toward the Republican Party, in interviews, 1 percenters expressed a broad range of views on how to fix the economy. The New York Times reports. <a href="http://www.bargainstunguns.com">stun guns</a></p>

    Reply

  • <p>In pharmacology, a drug is a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well being. Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders. Thanks a lot. Regards, <a href="http://www.klinkhoff.com/canadian-artist/Clarence-Gagnon">Clarence Gagnon</a> </p>

    Reply

  • <p>Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. <a href="http://www.kroatisches-kuestenpatent.at/">Küstenpatent,</a> </p>

    Reply

  • <p>I used to be more than happy to seek out this internet-site.I wanted to thanks in your time for this glorious read!! I positively enjoying each little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post. <a href="http://www.brain-dump.biz/N10-004-exam.html">N10-004 dumps</a> <a href="http://www.brain-dump.biz/70-642-exam.html">70-642 dumps</a> <a href="http://www.brain-dump.biz/640-801-exam.html">640-801 dumps</a> <a href="http://www.brain-dump.biz/640-822-exam.html">640-822 dumps</a> <a href="http://www.brain-dump.biz/350-001-exam.html">350-001 dumps</a> <a href="http://www.brain-dump.biz/70-647-exam.html">70-647 dumps</a> <a href="http://www.brain-dump.biz/PMI-001-exam.html">PMI-001 dumps</a> <a href="http://www.brain-dump.biz/220-701-exam.html">220-701 dumps</a> </p>

    Reply

  • <p>It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics that plenty are interested on <a href="http://www.actualtests.mobi/PW0-100.html">PW0-100 exam</a> <a href="http://www.actualtests.mobi/70-299.html">70-299 exam</a> <a href="http://www.actualtests.mobi/TK0-201.html">TK0-201 exam</a> <a href="http://www.actualtests.mobi/LX0-102.html">LX0-102 exam</a> <a href="http://www.actualtests.mobi/PK0-003.html">PK0-003 exam</a> <a href="http://www.actualtests.mobi/DC0-200.html">DC0-200 exam</a> <a href="http://www.actualtests.mobi/642-982.html">642-982 exam</a> <a href="http://www.actualtests.mobi/642-457.html">642-457 exam</a> </p>

    Reply

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments