#1) If mainstream medicine really worked, then drug companies wouldn’t have to commit scientific fraud to fake their clinical trials, would they?
While there is unquestionably poor and possibly fraudulent research, this is by no means representative of pharmaceutical research as a whole. Another, more important point, is that he is conflating the practise of medicine with Big Pharma. Conventional medicine, aka known as evidence-based-medicine (EBM) is based on the not-outrageous notion that there should be evidence supporting the efficacy of a remedy before it is used. Organisations such as the Cochrane Collaboration, which is independent of the pharmaceutical companies, perform meta-analyses of large numbers of trial and have often uncovered the dodgy research and ineffective drugs that Adams is so upset about.
#2) If mainstream medicine really worked, then doctors, drugs companies and the FDA wouldn’t be afraid of competition from nutritional supplements and natural remedies, and they wouldn’t keep trying to censor or outlaw those natural remedies.
As far as I can tell, the FDA is not routinely outlawing nutritional supplements, merely demanding that since medical claims are made for them, evidence should be produced to support such claims. Some “natural remedies” are downright dangerous. Apricot kernals to cure cancer are a quack favourite. Unfortunately, they contain cyanide. Take too many and you won’t die of cancer but…
#3) If mainstream medicine really worked, drug companies would gladly test their drugs side-by-side with nutritional remedies to see what works best.
Again, he is conflating EBM with Big Pharma. I could also say that this point could equally be directed at the supplement sellers. If they are so sure their nostrums are superior, why do they not do the tests? When you come down to it, the tactics of Big Pharma and Big Quacka are very similar.
#4) If mainstream medicine really worked, health insurance costs would be extremely low. The only reason health insurance costs so much is because mainstream medicine doesn’t cure anybody, and patients stay sick, which costs more money to keep treating!
Health insurance costs so much because the insurance companies want to make nice big fat profits. He might want to think about that before letting his site carry links to a private company trying to entice British patients away from the NHS because this problem does not occur in countries which have state health services.
#5) If mainstream medicine really worked, then all the other countries in the world would be looking at the U.S. health care system and saying, “Wow, we want THAT!”
Again, Adams is conflating EBM with profit-motivated, insurance-company-dominated private medicine. Medics in the European state-run health care services mostly use mainstream medicine.
#6) If mainstream medicine really worked, drug companies would be out of business because virtually everybody would be healthy and therefore not need drugs on an ongoing basis.
First of all, EBM does not claim to have a cure for all diseases and infirmities. That is left to the alties. Second, even if everything was curable, the cures would still have to be manufactured.
#7) If mainstream medicine really worked, doctors would largely put themselves out of business by teaching patients how to take care of their own health.
One could say exactly the same thing about vitamin sellers.
#8) If mainstream medicine really worked, drug companies like Johnson & Johnson wouldn’t have to pay kickbacks (bribes) to nursing homes to entice them to push more of their drugs onto helpless senior citizens.
Again, this would appear to be a problem caused by introducing the profit motive into the care of the elderly. The fact that bribes have been paid is not proof that the meds do not work: it proves that one particular company was prepared to use illegal methods to get its product chosen over a rival.
#9) If mainstream medicine really worked, the treatment of teenagers with chemotherapy wouldn’t have to be enforced by court order with the threat of arrest and imprisonment of the parents (as happens in the U.S. today).
The parents were refusing treatment for a teenage-child. If adults refuse treatment for themselves, the courts are not involved.
#10) If mainstream medicine really worked, drug companies wouldn’t need to advertise on television to persuade people to take drugs they don’t need.
Many companies produce their own treatments for the same conditions. They advertise because they want their products chosen rather than those of their rivals.
It is clear that many of the problems that so trouble Adams are a result of the profit motive being introduced into patient care. If he really wanted to mount the barricades to defend patients from profiteering at the expense of their health, he would be campaigning for socialised medicine. He won’t of course. It is even harder for quacks to insinuate themselves in a state run system, as British homeopaths are discovering, now that homeopathic hospitals are being closed and the money spent on remedies that have some evidence that they actually work.