Top Chemo Drug Dropped Due to ‘Lack of Profits’
Cancer specialists have regularly relied on Fluorouracil (5-FU) – a cancer treatment drug – for 40 years to treat bowel and breast cancer, but Big Pharma has other concerns than saving lives—like making money. Because the drug isn’t as profitable as drug companies would like it to be, they are snubbing it in favor of more profitable therapies, making the drug difficult for specialists to acquire. Where at one time, six companies supplied German cancer clinics with Fluorouracil, there is now only one.
“The production of 5-FU is not profitable for us,” confessed one German-based former producer. The drug is also known as Adrucil, Carac, Efudix, Efudex, and Fluoroplex.
The unavailability is making cancer specialists in Germany anxious, although the antimetabolite drug has long been the established form of chemotherapy in the UK and worldwide. “It is only a question of time until we run into serious problems.”
Big Pharma Cares About Money, Not Patients
It isn’t likely Big Pharma can be convinced to accept smaller paychecks for the greater good. As such, 5-FU will likely be phased out in favor of pricier options that have undergone fewer clinical trials. These new pharmaceuticals will likely arrive on specialists’ desktops along with conspicuous six-figure checks and long lists of potentially deadly side effects which can only be addressed with a cabinet full of overpriced medication.
Why such a grim outlook? It’s already happened. Last year, Pfizer announced plans to put a new drug on the market for a specific type of lung cancer. Because the cancer is a rare type, however, Pfizer announced plans to charge $115,200 per year of the treatment. Meanwhile, celebrity doctors with large followings and mass appeal are regularly paid to push drugs and even make off-label claims, as did Dr. Drew Pinskey (known usually as Dr. Drew) and James Pradko for GlaxoSmithKline’s Wellbutrin.
Forget 5-FU: Natural Ways to Avoid and Slow Cancer
Although the issue here is Big Pharma’s callous response to cancer specialists and their patients, even Fluorouracil has a modest list of side effects ranging from infection to gastrointestinal difficulties. Big Pharma will rarely—if ever—provide a so-called cure for cancer or any illness that nature and respect for the body can’t best. A healthy diet, regular and moderate exercise (or at least refraining from sitting for six straight hours), and positive outlooks can do more for the body than drugs alone.
An anti-cancer diet might include turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory spice used by many to overcome cancer naturally; garlic, ginger, or numerous other natural foods. Research of turmeric and curcumin (the herb’s key component) as therapeutic agents are still young, but “prove to be…promising,” according to Dr. Karen Knudsen, author of a study published in Cancer Research.
To add more turmeric to your diet:
- Add the spice to any legume dish (especially curries), couscous, or even deviled eggs for extra color and flavor.
- Use it with other spices—like cumin, coriander, and paprika—as a barbecue rub to lessen the amount of potential carcinogens released when meat is cooked at high temperatures.
- Brew turmeric tea and enjoy it with a dollop of locally-sourced honey and coconut milk for a delicious and healthy afternoon treat.