A shocking 81 percent of Americans take at least one medication a day. But just because something's common, that doesn't mean it's normal. Prescription drugs now kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined. According to JAMA, more than 100,000 people die each year from the proper use of prescription drugs, not from overdosing or taking the wrong drug, but from the side effects of the "right drug." Meanwhile, the drug industry is funding most of the scientific research we read today.
According to the World Health Organization, the global pharmaceuticals market is worth $300 billion—a figure that is expected to rise to $400 billion dollars within three years. The WHO agrees that the current pharmaceutical system has "an inherent conflict of interest between the legitimate business goals of manufacturers and the social, medical and economic needs of providers and the public to select and use drugs in the most rational way." Because of this conflict of interest, when it comes to chronic and autoimmune disease, mainstream medicine is trained to diagnose a disease and match it with a corresponding medication. This medicinal matching game leaves many frustrated when nothing changes with their health but a growing prescription list.
In functional medicine, we're not anti-medication. We recognize that many people are alive because of these medications and advancements in modern medicine have brought us lifesaving procedures, especially in emergency care. We just ask the question: What is our most effective option that causes the least amount of side effects? For some, a medication may fit this criteria. But a lot of the time, pharmaceuticals are not the best choice.