The Difference Between Traditional Medicine and Big Pharma

Alternative medicine?

Take a healing plant.  Let’s say Cinchona for the sake of argument.

cinchona barkYou learn that people with malaria who chew cinchona bark seem to experience a reduction in their symptoms.  You then discover that indigenous people in Peru and Bolivia knew this many centuries ago.

You decide to sell extract of Cinchona.

Congratulations.  You are an alternative healer.

You then decide to find out more about this marvellous plant.

You discover that the active ingredient in Cinchona bark is Quinine,  a crystalline alkaloid which, if taken in excessive amounts, can cause death.

You find out precisely how much of the crystalline alkaloid is appropriate to each patient in order to ensure that it doesn’t kill them.

You refine the Cinchona bark to make sure that the only thing your patients get is Quinine, the crystalline alkaloid that alleviates the symptoms of malaria and not any other toxin that might happen to exist in the bark at the same time.

You have achieved this by finding out precisely how Cinchona bark helps people with malaria.

Unfortunately, this means you are now no longer an alternative healer.

You are now a tool of Big Pharma.  You have no ethics, no principles and your only motive is profit.

You should have stuck to selling bark.



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