In the past several decades, more than 42% of Americans have begun using alternative psychological help as compared to that of traditional help. This has developed into an industry growth ranging from $2 million to $50 million in a six-year span, with estimates of alternative psychological medicine becoming a trillion dollar health-care industry over the next ten years. According to the "AlternativeMentalHealth.com" website, the public is the strongest and largest growing sector of those who are seeking alternative medical methods over standard psychiatric treatments.
Over the past 50 years in the health field, research has been a major factor in the increases in general life expectancy. Regardless, most of the diseases have been still labeled as incurable, even though patients have been offered promising insights into their diseases and highly-specific therapeutic agents. The mental health field, especially psychology, is no different with its many prominent psychologists leaving their field due to the amount of "quick fixes" and the alliances between the medical field and drug companies. Many of these psychiatric drugs have not been tested long or thoroughly enough to not warrant issues that will develop over time. As more and more controversial issues are coming to the forefront, the general masses are less apt to trust in the medical field, seeking alternative methods with less side-effects, less danger, and at a significantly less expense.
Easy on the mind and body, some ways that alternative health officials deal with mental health issues are (taken from "The Alternative Mental Health News"):
*Rest and quiet
*Full, searching medical exam for physical problems affecting behavior and
treatment for medical ailments.
*Allergy testing and treatment
*Toxic metals testing and treatment
When alternative choices for mental health issues came into existence, they developed into a serious threat to those involved in the traditional medical health field. At the head of it, leading the charge against the alternative methods of choice were the drug companies who have literally poured millions of dollars into medical clinics in all areas, especially the mental health field, to support their industries.
On April 25, 2007, a survey was released that showed approximately 94% of all medical doctors were financially involved with drug companies, otherwise known as bribes to purchase certain drugs and dispense them to the public. This financial involvement involved free drug samples, free food in the workplace, tickets to entertainment events, paid travel, and cash (board memberships, speeches, and consulting work). We all know that sales forces promote their company's products, and drug companies are no different. Large sales forces visit hospitals, clinics, and individual physician's offices, hoping to impact their relationships with gifts and financial relationships, according to this latest survey.
Yet, on the other side as an example, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America who does the pharmaceutical treatment information for traditional medicines, makes sure their salesmen are well-enforced about medicine and side-effects before heading out to their customers, while having a code of ethics which prevents them from taking perks-simply pushing them.
A recent journal study that was in the "PloS Medicine" online, discussed visits by the drug industry to medical practitioners, "influenced doctors to report their intent to boost their prescribing of an epilepsy drug in about half the doctors." Unfortunately, about 40% of these visits also focus on unapproved drug usages, which is against federal regulations. More and more alternatives medical choices are being practiced by the public due to such widespread practices of the traditional medical field.
Today, more and more medical institutions are limiting or banning such activity from pharmaceutical sales activity due to these developing issues, in particular when these practices will be targeted toward doctors-in-training or medical students. In fact, many of these young medical doctors and students have no idea there is such a relationship between physicians and drug companies. Certain groups are growing in our country, promoting legislature in certain states in order to require all companies to identify doctors who receive such gifts from drug companies. But as long as this legislature sits in the political wings, more and more power will be given to alternative medical and psychological methods by the general masses.
"We know for sure that these relationships benefit drug companies. And we know they benefit physicians. What we don't know is if they benefit patients and the care they receive. And that's really the issue", Campbell, a researcher at the Institute for Health Policy at Harvard Medical School, tells WebMD online.