We know him for his monopoly on oil. Standard Oil was John D. Rockefeller’s main bread winner for years. But in 1900, petrochemicals were “discovered.” This meant that petroleum could be used to make everything from rubber to prescription drugs. And ole’ Rockefeller was quick to stake his claim. Welcome to the story of how Rockefeller became the Robber Baron of Big Pharma.
Historically and globally, natural remedies have been used, and quite successfully, for millennia. But you can’t patent a plant. No problem for John D., he figured out a way to get around that. For him, the almighty dollar was what being an American was all about. He had it in droves and wanted to ensure he could keep it coming long-term.
The problem-reaction-solution strategy
This is more popular than any of us would like to admit. If someone wants to ensure their own success in producing a product, all they have to do is create a need for that product. That is exactly what Rockefeller did.
Robber barons unite
So that it wouldn’t be blatantly obvious, he called on fellow Robber Baron, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie had made his fortune in steel. Both men had “Funds” that they used to “donate” to well-chosen organizations or projects, specifically to improve their already tainted reputations. (See the history channels, “The Men Who Made America” series for more details.) It was from the Andrew Carnegie Fund that this “project” was paid for.
They chose an educator who had previously written a critique of universities. Abraham Flexner was commissioned to visit every medical school in the United States and write a report. The Flexner Report took a year to execute. It proved successful.
His assessments were brutal. He tore nearly every school to shreds and instilled a fear amongst the American people of an inept medical system. Then John D. Rockefeller came in with his pre-planned solution. His already active General Education Board would expand its vast knowledge to medical schools and institutions. By implementing national standards for universities and their graduates, he could slip in the back door his new pharmaceutical drug formulas.
Bait and switch
Quality healthcare was never Rockefeller’s concern. His agenda was profit – plain and simple. Doctor’s who preferred to continue use of herbal remedies were jailed. Institutions who failed to comply with these new “standards” were shut down. John D. used his very deep pockets to fuel this process.
He went into complying universities and offered “grants” to aid in “research.” His research included finding out what worked in herbal remedies and duplicating them in synthetic form. Why? Because these formulas could be patented, and plants could not.
So, in the name of progress big pharma was born. Instead of Americans continuing to use natural options from plants, that were low cost and effective, they suddenly had to buy a pill. That pill may or may not have side effects. But that was of little concern to the man lining his own pockets. Wealth and power were his single motivation.
Big pharma, big money
For decades the Rockefeller family has owned 80 plus percent of the pharmaceutical industry in America. And it has been immensely profitable. As of 2018, in the United States alone, Big Pharma was a 482 billion-dollar industry. American citizens pay an average four times more for prescription drugs than other comparable countries.
Healthcare has long become an industry for big profits, instead of for Wellness/the betterment of mankind. And we have all suffered the consequences. Friends and family members who have died and shouldn’t have. Overdoses and drug mix-ups, even in hospitals, are more and more common.
In an effort to support society’s well-being, perhaps we should step away from Big Pharma – at least partially. I understand there isn’t a natural remedy for every ailment. But we have ventured off the path towards Wellness and ended up on the highway to hell. Let’s turn this train around while we still can.
It begins with educating ourselves on our options. What is available? What works? What causes side effects? We’ve realized that Big Pharma isn’t here to help us. Instead, they want to profit from our sickness. It is up to us to ensure that they don’t kill us in the process.
As scientists are now spending more time and money on the endocannabinoid system in our bodies, we are learning more about how we really function. This is a great time to be alive. We can find better solutions for quality healthcare. And it is up to us to do so.