Roy Scott

Writer - Photoghrapher - Entrepreneur

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Why No Cure For Cancer?

Posted by royscott0514 on November 11, 2016 at 3:15 PM

 

 

Canadians have a fascination with conspiracy theories, starting, it seems, with the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963.


Many of us have trouble with the official version of events regarding the deaths of Robert Kennedy and Diana, Princess of Wales. Some also wonder if men actually did walk on the moon, and if the American government could somehow have been involved in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.


Occasionally someone will say that there is a conspiracy preventing medical cures from being discovered… or at least publicized. On the surface it seems a preposterous theory, but consider two points. When was the last cure for any major disease announced, and second, how significant would the impact be on companies doing business providing medications, supplies, and services to those inflicted with serious illnesses?


My daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of twelve. At that time we were told to be positive since a cure was imminent. Thirty years later, researchers are working on the same strategy of transplanting pancreatic islets, and that a cure is “just around the corner".


The last significant treatment for diabetics was Dr Banting’s discovery that insulin from animals could be processed for use in the human body. That development occurred in 1921, nearly a century ago.


Penicillin was discovered in that era as well. Has there been a cure for any major disease since?


Tremendous amounts of money have been raised for every disease imaginable, including Aids, Alzheimer’s, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, and of course Cancer. Funds have been used to help patients with treatments, transportation, and medical equipment etc. But billions have gone into research, and not one major disease has been eradicated.


Technology has allowed scientists and medical practitioners to develop amazing diagnostic equipment and treatment devices, and many diseases are being combated with a variety of new drugs. Impressive, but don’t all of these advancements seem to play right into the hands of the companies that benefit from long term illnesses?


I am old enough to remember outdoor toilets, delivery men who came to the house with coal for the furnace and ice for the ice-box, telephones with party-lines, and black and white televisions with only one station.

Since then we have wireless phones that record photos, videos, and music; global positioning sensors that can find someone anywhere in the world; computers that allow surgeons to operate on someone in another country, yet not one cure.


Could anyone be so ruthless as to interfere with the development of lifesaving cures?


Criminals are devoid of morals or a conscience. They deal in human suffering to make money. Millions of lives have been lost due to ruthless political leaders thirsty for power. So are we naïve enough to think individuals who run multi-billion dollar companies can’t be motivated by power and greed?


For examples of corporate corruption just look at WorldCom, Tyco, and Adelphia Cable, executives from all of these companies are serving prison terms for fraudulent practices.


Let’s not forget Enron. A recent article in the National Post refers to Enron as the “poster child of corporate greed”. When Enron collapsed in bankruptcy, in 2001, it wiped out 5,000 jobs, $2 billion in employee retirement funds and $30 billion of investors money.


An announcement in early December that the world’s largest drug maker abandoned development of an important pill caused this company to lose, at one point, $31 billion of its market value. This company has annual sales of over $12 billion, and they had spent an estimated $800 million developing this pill before giving up due to too many apparently related deaths.


I have no proof of any wrongdoing by this particular company, nor am I suggesting they are anything but honest.


The facts simply cause one to wonder. If the loss of one pill by one company could have such an effect, what would a cure to a major disease do to the viability of most pharmaceutical organizations?


Crazy? Then consider this:Tobacco companies have been successfully sued in the United States because they knowingly hid the truth about the disastrous effects tobacco has on people’s health.


In 1998 tobacco companies in the U.S. reached a settlement with various states’ attorneys general to pay a whopping $246 billion.


In the three years following, tobacco companies shamelessly increased marketing expenditures by 66.6 percent to a record $11.2 billion. Much of that marketing was aimed at children, causing a California judge to fine R.J. Reynolds another $20 million in 2002 for this violation of the earlier agreement.


So, would one need to be overly cynical to even contemplate executives in other industries could be this callous?

 

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