The scientific method is such a cool human creation.
As a species we try to understand the world around us using science, and what an unbelievable boon it has been to the entire world.
But when it comes to medicine, I think we are in danger of undoing much of the good we have done.
Think about this for a moment:
If a new aviation technology is created, it will invariable go through several iterations before being perfected and used commercially. Many separate research groups will reproduce the concept and report back to the world if it worked just as the originator said it did. Reproducibility is cornerstone of scientific advancement.
But in medicine this ides is broken!
A drug is created to cure a condition, it goes through a monstrously expensive process to get approval, along the way it must show that it works – or at least works to some degree.
Once it is approved as the primary intervention for some condition then it becomes near impossible to override it with a new drug for that condition. Why? Because any clinical trial done to test the new drug must use the existing drug in the trial – because it is unethical to not give the accepted treatment to people with that condition.
If this resulted in continually new and improved drugs it would be one thing, but it rarely does, and what’s worse many of the big expensive trials done to approve the drug turn out to have major flaws that only come to light a good time later.
So we have drugs for all sorts of chronic conditions, that are based on flaky research, that can’t be set aside in the search for new drugs – so we are forced to limp along as a society with drugs that only work for some, not for many and even damage many too.
You can’t change this, and I can’t change this – the only option we have is to set our sights on staying healthy. The only successful way to do this is to empower yourself with knowledge, and then use the scientific method to your advantage and test test test yourself whilst being honestly open to feedback to see if you are going in the right direction.
The real power is in our own hands. If you’ve left it too late to prevent your issue – well, you can use the drugs and hope for the best!