Regular readers of this bulletin won't be surprised to hear that modern medicine is governed by the pharmaceutical industry, and that doctors have been reduced to being drugs deliverymen.
Doctors have been so brow-beaten by medical school that their immediate reaction is to always reach for the prescription pad (and, indeed, that is also often the expectation of the patient, too).
But what would happen if doctors used skills beyond the prescription pad? One study has posed this very question, and has come up with very interesting results.
The research team from Bristol University looked at just one condition - depression - and discovered that the money spent on antidepressants between 1991 and 2002 in the UK alone was enough to employ 7,700 cognitive behaviour therapists, who could have provided six treatment sessions each year for more than 1.5 million patients.
Several studies have already established that therapy is far more effective than drugs in the treatment of depression, and without the range of side effects and reactions that endanger the health of the patient.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2005; 330: 999-1000).