Okay, let me first preface this by saying, I'm not against pharmaceutical and/or insurance companies, but I am against their outright defiance of exercise and nutrition as viable treatments for non-communicable illnesses and their egregious profiteering on the health status of people.
As an example, according to yearly statistical information the pharmaceutical industry makes over 1.05 trillion dollars, (yes, trillion with a T) worldwide each year. Over half of that revenue (over 500 million) comes from the United States and Canada, even though we only make up roughly 10% of the world's population. We pay more on pharmaceutical drugs than the rest of the entire world. So we can safely say, North America is a drug-addicted continent. We believe a pill, a shot or an inhalant will cure all our medical concerns. The problem is that they don't.
We see our medicine, as we like to call it, as a convenient option - a perceived solution to our health obstacle. We believe this so deeply, we are willing to take pharmaceuticals which have more drastic side effects than the initial health concern. We are willing to take ingest chemicals that can cause various forms of cancer to alleviate non-life threatening skin conditions like psoriasis. We, as a society, are willing to take psychotropic drugs to reduce our depressive thoughts that could possibly give us suicidal ones.
Pharmaceutical companies have used our society's past history of trust with doctors to perpetuate their profitability. Doctors are not bio-chemists, nor do they have to study certain curriculum, such as molecular bio-chemistry, exercise physiology or advanced nutrition principles, so doctors rely on the information given to them by Pharmaceutical representatives - sales people who have no more advanced knowledge on the subjects than does the physician. So the physician defers to the pharmaceutical representatives perceived knowledge of those subjects.
The Hippocratic oath requires all medical professionals to follow a specific ethical code. One of those long standing ethical codes is to do no harm to their patients. The quote from the original Hippocratic version is "I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect." While the modern version states "I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures required, avoiding those twin traps of over-treatment and therapeutic nihilism (extreme measures)...I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure."
So how many deadly chronic illnesses, like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease has pharmacology helped to cure - ZERO. That's right, zero. There is no pharmaceutical product that has ever cured a chronic illness. They work fantastically on acute illnesses - a bacterial infection or an inflammatory response, but for a chronic illness - not one has been cured by pharmacology.
So why would we use so many pharmaceuticals to help us with chronic illnesses that are perpetuated through our personal behavioral practices? Because of the PIT theory of behavioral motivation. We want to solve our critical health concern, but do not have the skills or mastery to do so, therefore we rely on the doctors to help inform us. Since the doctors are not specialists in nutrition, or exercise physiology they can't speak about those subjects other than saying "Exercise and eat better". They do, however, have information from their pharmacological representatives and use that information rather than to say "You need a fitness and dietary specialist to assist you". (Which I might add is also one of the Hippocratic tenements - "I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.")
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not chastising physicians because they are working with the knowledge they have been given in their educational studies. The fields of macro / micro nutrition and exercise physiology has never been a required part of their learning curriculum. So to chastise the physicians is like blaming an algebra student for not knowing trigonometry. However it is incumbent on our physicians to start referring clients to recognized qualified exercise specialists and nutritionists to assist them with the recovery of their chronic patients. But how do the clients pay for those services when the health insurance industry won't pay for or reimburse their customers for those services.
The answer lies in the billions of dollars. And if you thought the pharmaceutical industry was cleaning up in revenue, the health insurance industry has an even greater bulge in their pockets. In 2018, one health insurance company's revenue was over the 200 billion dollar mark (that's BILLION with a B), yet their listing of Health Care program that include Exercise Prescription and Nutritional Services coverage are virtually non-existent. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the total revenue from Health insurance companies in the United States (just the United States) toppled the 600 billion dollars (more than the entire gross income from pharmaceuticals in the United States and Canada combined). The Health Insurance and the Pharmaceutical industries are two of the biggest conglomerates in the United States. These two groups, combined, dictate the health status of our country, which is in extremely severe trouble. This combined monopoly may be one of the reasons why you so many pharmaceutical and health insurance advertisements in all forms of our media. You might say that Health Insurance companies and the Pharmaceutical industry are in bed with each other - one supporting the others financial advances, neither truly concerned over the actual health status of the world community.
NEXT MONTH - WHY BOTH INDUSTRIES WON'T SUPPORT THE EXERCISE SCIENCE AND THE WELLNESS COMMUNITY?