A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society describes how older people taking multiple pharmaceutical drugs face a significantly greater risk of frailty, disability and death. Providing further shocking evidence of the dangers of “polypharmacy”, the researchers found that each additional medication added to a patient’s regimen was associated with a 22% increased risk of going from a state of robust health to dying during the period of the study.
Carried out in Australia, a country where half of people aged 65 and over now take at least five different types of drugs, the study followed 1,705 men aged 70 and older over a nine-year period. Significantly, even for men who were considered to be in robust health at the start of the study, the prescribing of additional drugs was clearly demonstrated to result in an increased risk of mortality.
Interestingly, it is sometimes claimed to be paradoxical that, as they age, people supposedly need multiple drugs to keep them alive, and yet the more drugs they take the more health problems they develop. Over the years, the mass media and other pro-pharma stakeholders have offered all manner of absurd explanations to account for this.
However, the real explanation is a very simple one. Pharmaceutical drugs don’t treat the root cause of diseases, they only treat the symptoms. Not only does this therefore result in the patient’s health problem simply being masked rather than properly treated, the problem is compounded by the fact that all drugs inevitably cause side-effects. To make matters worse, the emergence of side-effects results in the patient then being prescribed still further drugs as a means of controlling them. And so it goes on. The inescapable consequence is a vicious circle where the more drugs that are taken, the worse the patient’s health becomes. In developed countries, most of us probably know one or more elderly people whose health has deteriorated as a direct result of their becoming trapped in this situation.
It would be bad enough if this all happened by accident. But in fact, the deliberate causing of new diseases with drugs is one of the key strategies used by pharmaceutical companies to expand their markets. Far from being the ‘Mother Teresa’ industry that it tries to portray itself as, the modus operandi of drug makers is built on a deeply cynical combination of fraud and lies. Seen by some pharma industry observers as perhaps one of the most infamous illustrations of this, the former CEO of Pfizer, Hank McKinnell, admitted in his book “A Call to Action” that even he didn’t always believe in what he was saying.
As negative as all this might sound, the key message of our Foundation remains as clear and positive today as it has always been. Dr. Rath’s research has proven that an optimum daily intake of vitamins and other essential micronutrients is essential for the health of the body’s cells. But while healthy cells make for a healthy body, an insufficient supply of micronutrients starves the cells and eventually results in the development of diseases. The sooner this simple principle reaches and is understood in all corners of the globe, the sooner that the pharmaceutical ‘business with disease’ will be brought to an end. By sharing this important information as widely as possible, and committing ourselves to a world where optimum health is freely available to everyone, we can all play an active role in determining how soon it will become a reality.