Trump, the media and pharmaceutical ads—an integrative health view

Warning: no matter how you feel about our President you will likely not like this blog. Such is the fate of any article that seeks a middle ground in our polarized society.

It is disturbing to have a President so contemptuous of the media. His pronouncements makes many of us fear an escalation of rhetoric that may edge dangerously close to censorship. Even Fox News agrees with this. But, no news outlet—and especially not Democrat-leaning CNN—has been courageous enough to admit at least a modicum of truth in the President’s assertions that the media is corrupt, a statement the media ridicules as a “conspiracy theory.” But, lets’ look at some facts that should cause us to ponder the possibility that something is rotten in Denmark.

From my perspective as an Integrative Health specialist I see a glaring problem with the media; it is not as squeaky clean as they would like us to believe. Hear me out: approximately half of commercials during National News programs on TV are about pharmaceutical drugs, and about one eighth of total commercials during regular programming, a practice that only the USA and New Zealand allow. The networks heavily depend on Big Pharma’s money to operate, especially their reporting of the news. This explains why they seldom comment on the health problems caused by the excessive prescribing of expensive medications that only address symptoms. Remember the movie The Insider? Check it out. It is about how 60 Minutes caved in to pressure from the tobacco industry—then heavily advertising on all the networks—and failed to initially report on how addicting tobacco is.

Excessive advertisement of pharmaceutical drugs entices both patients and doctors to overuse them; the result is the cavalier use of them in rushed visits that often fail to discuss the drugs’ side effects and their failure to address the breakdown of homeostasis at the cellular level. Last week I saw an 85 year old woman barely able to function. She needed a walker to slowly follow her family into my office. Her mind was just as sluggish. They asked me to evaluate the 22 prescription medicines she was on, most of them prescribed during rushed ten minute appointments with doctors who abruptly end the consult when it becomes clear to them which drug will treat the symptom she described. Together we reduced her “polypharmacy”[1] to eight drugs, half of which could also be stopped if she were fed better food at her Assisted Living facility. Today I called her family to see how she was coming along. They were happy to report she was moving better, had more energy, and was able to speak and cogitate more clearly.

Is the media influenced by those who buy their commercial slots? Could the media’s judgment be compromised? Is it biased when reporting on issues that impact its clients, the advertisers? Is the media also failing to report embarrassing facts when it comes to other industries, like the Industrial Complex and Energy Production? Could this color our view of international affairs?

One thing is for sure. “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

  1. “Reducing adverse drug events-the need to rethink outpatient prescribing,” JAMA 2016;316:2092
Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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