In recent weeks, we have been proud to feature excerpts from the article “Side-FX: The Drug Industry’s Influence on Health Care” by Keith Wassung. These articles focus on the impact prescription drug companies have on American health care and our society as a whole.  Last week’s article asked the question: Why are drugs a big part of our society? This entry looks at what some medical doctors have to say about drugs. 

Part 4: Medical Doctors Speak Out on Drugs

“The cause of most disease is in the poisonous drugs physicians superstitiously give in order to effect a cure.”
Charles E. Paige, M.D.


“Every drug increases and complicates the patient’s condition.”
Robert Henderson, M.D.


“Drugs never cure disease. They merely hush the voice of nature’s protest, and pull down the danger signals she erects along the pathway of transgression. Any poison taken into the system has to be reckoned with later on even though it palliates present symptoms. Pain may disappear, but the patient is left in a worse condition, though unconscious of it at the time”
Daniel H. Kress, M.D.


“The greatest part of all chronic disease is created by the suppression of acute disease by drug poisioning”
Henry Lindlahr


“Every educated physician knows that most diseases are not appreciably helped by medicine”
Richard C. Cabot, M.D.


“The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine”
William Osler, M.D.


“Why would a patient swallow a poison because he is ill, or take that which would make a well man sick.”
L.F. Kebler, M.D.


“What hope is there for medical science to ever become a true science when the entire structure of medical knowledge is built around the idea that there is an entity called disease which can be expelled when the right drug is found?.”
John H. Tilden, M.D.


“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”
Dr. Arnold Seymour Relman,
Harvard Professor emeritus of Medicine,
Former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine


“Drug medications consists in employing, as remedies for disease, those things which produce disease in well persons. It is simply a lot of drugs or chemicals or dye-stuffs, in a word – poisons. All are incompatible with vital matter; all produce disease when brought in contact in any matter with the living; all are poisons.”
R.T. Trall, M.D.
Testimony to U.S. Congress


“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly over my last two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”
Dr. Marcia Angell,
Former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine


“Most over-the-counter and almost all prescribed drug treatments merely mask symptoms or control health problems or in some way alter the way organs or systems such as the circulatory system work. Drugs almost never deal with the reasons why these problems exist, while they frequently create new health problems as side effects of their activities.”
John R. Lee, M.D.