Originally published May 23 2006
Did you know that many drugs are used legally in the United States today for diseases and conditions they were never approved for? It's called off-label drug use, and it's a common practice that promotes the sale of prescription drugs and circumvents the so-called "gold standard" drug safety procedures the FDA claims to enforce.
Here's how it works: once a drug gets approved for any condition, whether it's a skin disorder, a mental disorder, or a cardiovascular problem, it can then be legally prescribed by doctors for everything. In other words, a drug approved for heart disease can be prescribed for diabetes, even though there's absolutely no testing done whatsoever with the drug on diabetes patients. It sounds surprising or even downright astonishing to those who don't know how the medical industry really operates, but it's absolutely true, and it demonstrates why the so-called "scientific evidence" behind conventional medicine is nonsense.
It isn't science; it's just marketing. What science is there that would allow a drug tested on one condition to be used for everything? That doesn't require any real science at all, it just requires clever marketing by the drug companies who routinely and cleverly promote the off-label use of drugs for conditions they were never tested against. Thus, when you hear drug companies and the FDA talk about their rigorous safety testing, think again. All a drug company has to do is rig a clinical trial in a way that gets the drug approved for one simple condition, and then the drug can be prescribed to treat any health condition or complaint under the sun.
We see this with statin drugs, which were initially approved for treating high cholesterol but are now being promoted as miracle cures for things like cancer. The drug's use for cancer is based on nothing but utter scientific nonsense, of course, but it doesn't stop the industry from promoting it and certainly doesn't stop the mainstream media from printing articles heralding this distorted logic.
Overall, the FDA’s off-label use rules make a complete mockery of the drug safety approval process in the United States, and they demonstrate how safety approval is really just a rubber-stamping exercise that allows the most profitable and influential corporations in America to push their products onto people who not only don't need them, but who are very likely to be harmed by them.
It also makes a mockery of conventional medicine's criticism of natural therapy. Such critics claim natural therapies aren't safe because they've never been proven to treat certain conditions, and yet their own favorite drugs are routinely used to treat untested, unapproved health conditions. It's classic doublespeak from drug promoters, and it's indicative of the kind of double standard routinely practiced in organized medicine today.
Think about it: A synthetic prescription drug with harmful side effects is perfectly legal to be prescribed as a treatment for anything -- and I do mean anything. Yet it is illegal for a nutritional supplement manufacturer to tell the truth about how its products might benefit your health. Cherry extract manufacturers, for example, cannot state that cherries reduce arthritis pain and joint inflammation (unless they wish to have their entire product inventory confiscated and their business shut down).
If that's not medical madness, I don't know what is. Drugs are legal to prescribe for everything, but foods, herbs and nutritional supplements are approved for absolutely nothing. That's how twisted the Food and Drug Administration has really become. It all comes down to a simple three-step formula: 1) Push the drugs. 2) Discredit (or outlaw) the herbs. 3) Repeat.