“As you sow so shall you reap” is a good old age. Speaking psychologically also “Love begets love” and “Contempt breeds contempt”. All this was not said in vain. But we living in the so called modern world have inculcated a sense of contempt for all that was good and useful in the good old past. We have become so much sophisticated that we wish to discard everything that we used to do in the past, so much so that most of us sneer and scoff at every thing that our forefathers used to do. Their way of living, their food, their dress, their manners, their sense of sincerity and truthfulness in their dealings of life, nay even their good and robust health and active habits of life do not appeal to us at all and most of us, if we could, would like to completely obliterate out past from our memory.
This is an achievement of our modern world and modern science. We are trying to reach the Mars and build our houses on the Moon. We are trying to destroy the whole world with a single bomb or with a single blast of “Death Rays”. We have created an “IRON LUNG” and we are trying to devise an artificial HEART and may be some day our scientists may be able to create all the spare parts of the human machine.
But have we ever thought for a moment why this human machine becomes impaired so prematurely and goes out of gear so often? Why does it need constant repairs and replacement of parts? Why majority of us are invariably sick and meet a premature death?
In obvious contrast to this we know that our forefathers were so healthy and long lived. Why was it so then and why is it so now, is the obvious question.
Scientists also realise and admit that inspite of the creation of a number of “WONDER DRUGS” one after the other, the incidence of disease is on the increase and a number of new diseases, hitherto unknown, are attacking mankind. Our medical wizards are baffled by this strange phenomenon.
Our answer to this query is simply this we have become DRUG ADDICTS we are being constantly doped by drugs, and every drug is a position and as such it creates its own disease “THE DRUG DISEASE.”
This is not a vain assertion on our part. We say it on the authority of recognised leaders of medical opinion.
Dr. Trall, the eminent physiologist, said “I would avoid drugs if there were no other remedical agents in the universe, because, if I cannot do good I shall cease to do evil. Every attempt to cure disease with drugs is nothing more nor less than a war on human constitution.
Dr. Sir William Osler, an authority highly esteemed on both sides of the Atlantic, declared “We put drugs, of which we know little, into bodies, of which we know less.”
Dr. Mason Good, the celebrated English author and physician in his contribution to the Medical Magazine writes “Medicine has destroyed more lives than war, pestilence and famine combined.”
Dr. Barker said “The drugs administered for Scarlet fever kills more than the disease does.”
Dr. Sir James Mackenzie in his book “Diseases of the Heart” wrote “He (Allopath) gives drugs, whose action he does not understand and conditions of which he is ignorant”.
Sir Almroth Wright declared “We have been practising quackery”.
Sir Morell Mackenzie wrote “If there were not a single drop of medicine in the world, the death rate would be lower than it is”.
Sir Fredricke Treves said “He looked forward to the time when people will leave off the extraordinary habit of taking medicine.”
Even Pandit Nehru, our Prime Minister, has denounced the use of drugs. He said in a meeting of students at Madras on 9th October, 1952. (PTI report in Hindusthan Times of 10th October, 1952).
“Mr. Nehru today warned the people not to have anything to do with drugs even if the doctors prescribe them.”
Denouncing the “Soft lives” lead by some people, he added “if the element of struggle goes out of life, then there is no life. If you have the power of resistance, you will live any how. There I warn you: DONT TAKE DRUGS”.
Mr. Nehru, narrated how a dozen doctors rushed to him “with all kinds of syringes” when he had a fall recently and prevailed upon him to take an Anti-tetanus injection.
This injection produced a most powerful reaction in my body which had been free from drugs for a number of years and after a few days I was blown up like a balloon.
When this remark produced peals of laughter, he said sharply: “You need not laugh. It was a disgusting sight.”
It will be easily deducible from the above that DRUGS DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD.
DRUG MANIA. A great muddle has been created in the public mind. While leading medical authorities are denouncing the use of drugs, the ordinary practitioners continue to prescribe more and more of them and the vested interest of big drug companies are flooding the drug market with their ever increasing products. The Government, controlled and bossed as it is by allopathic practitioners, sits mum, unmindful of the peoples sufferings.
Two centuries of British rule backed by the subtle propaganda of the vested interest of drug manufacturers has created a psychological belief in the public mind. Whenever we are ill we think only of DRUGS and injections as the surest and quickest way of cure. Right from our cradle we have been taught that the doctor would come and would give us some good medicine to make us well. Matters have gone so far that even an illiterate villager asks for an injection because he has been made to believe that an injection was sure cure for all human ills. Our minds have become so perverted by the constant use of palliatives and quick-relief- givers that few ever get rid of this idea, which gradually becomes a conviction.
In India there has practically been no opposition to the use of drugs. The medical journals, on the other hand, have always patronised every new “Nonsense” put on the list of drugs by manufacturers of proprietary medicines. The press forgets its noble ideals when it receives big amounts as advertisement revenues from pharmaceutical firms.
Some of the drugs are being so largely used that the whole practice of medicine has become confined to a few of them. In fact the whole materia medica has been reduced to few well known and commonly used drugs.
Whenever even complicated patient comes to a doctor he does not rack his brain for a medicine. After getting the usual pathological reports, of course at the expense of the patient, he simply prescribes the all omnipotent Penicillin injections, and some Vitamins and Sulpha Drugs. But when all these fail to help the poor patient, he throws up his cards and sends the patient to perdition his case having become still more complicated. The remedy proves worse than the disease.
THE LURE OF PROPRIETARY DRUGS.
Proprietary medicines have become the bone of medical science and at present the situation has become so intriguing that the one cannot exist without the other. Doctors are supposed to have blind faith in the efficacy of advertised drug when the producers proudly assert that it has been discovered after years of laborious research.
The poor doctor has got no alternative but to believe what the producer has advertised in most glowing terms in a beautifully illustrated brochure. The doctor has neither laboratory nor brain to test the veracity of the advertisers statement. So the matter ends there for most of them till an ugly situation arises and a halt is cried by some big guns of the profession. The ordinary practitioner falls in a quandry but has got to keep mum. He has neither guts nor moral courage to denounce the use of a particular drug for fear of losing practice and being denounced by his patients.
Drug prescribing has reached such heights that in 1951 the cost of such prescriptions under the National Health Service in England was L 50,000,000. Dr. John Watt, a medical Officer in England reported that in his area: “Headache tablets, dyspepsia tablets, and constipation pills are swallowed by tons and no one seems to question the propriety of it all.”
Most countries have passed various laws to check this nefarious trade in proprietary medicines because most of them are poisonous. Sir William Jones pointed out that most of the patient drugs should be placed on the POISON LIST”. It is a well known fact that most Sulpha drugs are marked “POISONS” on their labels and cartons. To stop this trade in secret medicines a law has now been passed in our country also whereby the manufacturer has to give the formula of the medicine on the label. This however, has in no way lessened the evil or eliminated the poisonous effects of the drugs. The Wonder Drugs of today are in no way less poisonous than the patient medicines of the past. Moreover the names of ingredients printed on the label are absolutely unintelligible to the layman. The writing on the label is all Greek even to an educated person.
Our doctors have never cared to assess the good or the bad effects of a newly imported drug. They straight off start experimenting on their unsuspecting patients unheedful of the results. Our Government too does not care to impose any restrictions on the import or use of any new drug. It is the duty of the Government not to allow the use of any new drug unless it had passed certain laboratory and clinical tests. But it is not so and we are left to the tender mercy of the manufacturer.
THE VICIOUS CIRCLE
Every drug has some poisonous effect and causes a disease of its own according to individual constitution which fact remains unknown to the patient and in most cases even to the doctor who continues to administer more and more poison to the patient as he develops new symptoms of drug poisoning.
It is a matter of common knowledge that if any chemical is applied to the skin for a number of days continuously nay even if a cheap soap is used invariably for any length of time, some kind of skin trouble is bound to develop. When human skin cannot resist the harmful effects of chemicals how can our internal tissues stand up against the use of such virulent chemicals.
People have became addicted to taking laxatives and fruit salts daily and feel wonderfully well for some time. The longer they continue to take it they become convinced of the efficacy of continual dosing of these drugs. What a perversion of mind! They do not realise that a medicine which has not been able to cure their constipation after years and years of continuous use cannot be said to be a curative but only a palliative.
Furthermore if during this long period of constant dosing and overdosing of laxatives and aperients he develops other digestive troubles or piles or even Cancer, he does not associate these troubles with his drug habit. He consults his family physician who adds more fuel to the fire by prescribing still another wonderful poisonous drug. This goes on indefinitely in a vicious circle. This slow poisoning of his system ultimately results in complete break down of his health.
It is a pity that manufacturers of proprietary medicines have lost all sense of humanity. Even children of tender age are not spared and are being made victims of these domestic drugs. What are called “BABY SOOTHING POWDERS” contain mercury which is undoubtedly a highly poisonous chemical. It admittedly produces conditions very much similar to advanced syphilis. It can very well be imagined how parents would feel when their innocent child develops such hideous symptoms as a result of mercury poisoning.
Professor E.A. Farrington has given the picture of mercury poisoning in the following words: “Finally the patient becomes paralysed, cannot move his limbs and he presents a perfect picture of imbecility”.
What are called sleeping tablets usually contain Barbiturates, which inspite of its condemnation is still holding the field as one of the best sleeping draught. Dr. Thomas Parian has condemned Barbiturates in the following words: “They can force a person to sleep, but induce evil habits, and even cause criminal propensities such as lying and stealing.”
A sleeping dose does not produce natural sleep. It only benumbs his nerves for the time being and the patient has an induced sleep, but he must take that dose every night and probably a bigger one than usual to soothe down the over irritated nerves. It becomes a habit and the patient can never sleep without it. A prolonged use leads to a complete nervous break down of the patient.
Amongst the “PAIN – KILLERS” Aspirin tops the list in household medicines. This snow-white innocent looking powder acts as a miracle in stopping ones headache but the ill fated person does not know that its continuous use will also stop his heart beat much earlier. It is a natural consequence of easy and quick relief from pain that the patient should come to have faith in the efficacy of the drug which had given him such quick results. But the after effects of such quick work are far from being known to him.
Stomach acidity is relieved by an Anti-acid chemical such as soda or magnesia but the more one takes it the acidity becomes more and more persistent leading to chronic dyspepsia.
THE CRAZE FOR SULPHA DRUGS
Man is credulous by nature and a sick person becomes more and more gullible with the advancing disease. He is prepared to listen to any one and act up to his advice if he can be convinced that he would be cured of his malady.
This is the psychological basis for publicity of a number of “WONDER DRUGS” discovered during the last few decades. They take advantage of this human weakness and flourish at the cost of a diseased population.
Many “WONDER DRUGS” have come and gone but disease goes on for ever. When a new “WONDER DRUG” is put on the market its virtues are extolled to the skies. It is said to be a panacea for all human ills. It is said to be capable of curing a number of ailments which were hitherto said to be incurable. It is further said to act as a preventive for certain other diseases. It is said to bring new hope for the suffering humanity.
To add a pinch of salt to this fast propaganda and publicity it is said to be the result of laborious research in most up-to-date laboratories by expert scientists. It pretends to be something absolutely new and perfectly harmless unlike its predecessors which are decried as being very injurious, and have been discarded therefore. There is an upheaval in the medical world and manufacturers office is virtually flooded with enquiries and orders for supply soliciting top priority.
A ray of hope dawns upon the poor patient who anxiously waits for the supplies to reach his shores.
Black marketeers also get ready to reap a rich harvest and all is well for some time until a new “WONDER DRUG” is born and the old one becomes absolute and is burried alive never to be heard of any more.
The first “MIRACLE DRUG” from the Sulpha group of drugs was “Sulphanilamide” which was boosted as “A NEW ELIXIR OF LIFE.” It soon became the rage in the drug people. Doctors began to prescribe it indiscriminately and people took it simply because it was prescribed by the doctor little realising that it was a highly TOXIC drug. The medical profession and the public were taken by the storm of praise for this miracle drug raised in the press by vested interests.
The “World Digest” (July 1939) published a long article eulogising the merits and the wonderful curative properties of “A NEW ELIXIR OF LIFE”. Among other things it said: “All things considered, Sulphanilamide has no competitor for the position of the countrys greatest medical discovery. For years the more critically minded of the profession have cast cold scientific eyes on hundreds of cure-alls that had their day and then passed into oblivion, but a white powder extracted from Coal-Tar and whose healing possibilities were only found by accident, has roused many of them to a rare state of enthusiasm.”
It further said: “Two thousand mothers are saved from child-bed fever each year by this “MIRACLE DRUG”. It was also said to be a sure cure for Erysipelas.
Sulphanilamide was also believed to be a definite cure for Gonorrhoea. And apparently it was so. Although the discharge stopped after 15 days treatment but the person was still capable of infecting and passing on the disease to others. That clearly meant that the disease was not cured but was only suppressed. And there were relapses very often. It also produced Peripheral Meningitis.
But disillusionment came soon. A leading German Medical Magazine (published in Br. Med. Jour. of 17-6-39) contradicted the claims made by the British Press and said that Prontosil (German name fore Sulphanilamide) had no curative action in the treatment of Erysipelas and other disease. But the controversy remained confined to the Medical Press and the people were no wiser for it. The truth, however, soon began to dawn from the darkness of murky propaganda as a result of several fatalities and an unknown number of chronic complications arising out of the extensive use of the “Wonder Drugs.”
The result was that a mad search started for a similar but less toxic drug. And it was not long before a number of them were put on the market under different names by various manufacturing units. Some of them were: Sulphacetanide, Sulphapyridine, Sulphadiazine. Sulphathiazol, Sulphathiophene and Sulphaguanidine.
Several other diseases such as Cerebro-Spinal fever and Pneumonia were also said to be cured by these drugs in addition to what Sulphanilamide claimed to cure.
But so far as Pneumonia was concerned the British Medical Journal (20-7-40) wrote that all the patients treated by it died.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (1940) published an article by Dr. P. S. Pelouse, M.D. saying: “At least two of the other Sulphanilamides now being used for the treatment of Gonorrhoea have shown an unfortunate tendency to produce Peripheral Meningitis. No dissertation on any Sulphanilamide derivative used so far would be complete without the warning that these preparations bear toxic properties.”
The British Medical Journal (27-7-42) reported the case of a woman who died of Tetanus after Sulphanilamide was used in an operation of her pelvic region.
Dr. (Brig.) T.E. Osmond, M.B., consulting Venereologist to the Army, wrote in British Medical Journal (17-7-43):-
“Headache, lassitude, Pyrexia (above 100 degree F) Insomnia, Nausea, Vomiting, Epigastric discomfort. Agranulocytosis, Haemolytic Anaemia, Toxic Hepatitis are all common side effects of Sulphanilamide treatment.”
With this long list of poisonous after effects of Sulpha Drugs it hardly stands to reason why they are still being used so extensively.
Streptomycin: This is a “WONDER DRUG” from the Antibiotic group after Penicillin.
Much has been said about the harmful nature of this drug but Streptomycin still enjoys the privilege of being called a “WONDER DRUG”.
In January 1947, the British Ministry of Health issued a warning against the issue of this drug on the basis of its having proved very dangerous to human health.
Dr. Beddow Bayly, M.R.C.P., L.R.C.P., said: “The basis for the Ministrys warning was contained in the alarming statement that “in the very small number of patients with Tuberculous Meningitis, whose life had been prolonged by the treatment, there has nearly always been permanent serious mental derangement, blindness, or deafness.” Truly a Wonder Drug.”
Again on the 11th November 1949 a PTI message from London said: “The British Medical Journal warned last night that the use of the WONDER DRUGS Streptomycin may have to be abandoned because it is too dangerous.
The Journal said the drug can have serious poisonous effect on the eighth Nerve causing giddiness and deafness and may even upset a patients sense of balance permanently.
The leading article in the Journal said Streptomycin is much more harmful and also less potent than Penicillin and would find no place in therapeutics but for the fact that it acts on many bacteria against which Penicillin is powerless.
The drug is used frequently to combat T.B. but in the majority of cases the Journal stated, patients became resistant to the drug and remained so indefinitely.”
A report published in Revue Medicale of December, 1952, Vol. 4. No. 3. at page 27 says: FATAL ACUTE CEREBRO-PATHY FOLLOWING TREATMENT WITH STREPTOMYCIN. Description is given of a case of Encephalitis ending fatally in the course of treatment with Streptomycin intramuscularly administered. The patient had previously received Penicillin and Auromycin.
The authors review the literature concerning the accidents of neurolgic order subsequent to administration Streptomycin and they point out that, even though such accidents are rarely encountered, they cannot be explained only by a neurotropic depressive action of the antibiotic on the Central Nervous System, but likely by some severe allergic manifestation as may appear in subjects rendered particularly sensitive by a previous treatment with Penicillin and Sulphonamides.
In the present case the encephalopathy had been characterised by fever, obnubilaton of the sensorium, psycho-motor agitation, Cheyne-Stokes respiration and tachycardia. This clinical picture appeared and attained a highly severe pitch at the end of the second day of Streptomycin treatment.”