The Nation's Health + [Marketing]

Marketing: In search of truth

I am continually amazed at the amount of time and energy we all expend in the search for truth.

Rely on your hospital and you will be steered towards strategies that, at worst, aim to increase your use of hospital procedures. At best, they steer you towards physicians who are often under their employ.

How about your doctor? This is a source of immense frustration. Doctors remain interested in treating the catastrophic illness. They remain lukewarm towards prevention and self-empowerment. Thus, supplements are dangerous, everything requires a doctor's endorsement.

Drug companies? That's like relying on a used car salesman for truth. Exagerration, slick talk, and plain deception might be better descriptions of what you can count on from the drug manufacturers.

The internet? Perhaps, if you're selective. WebMD? An obvious voice-box for the drug industry. Just look at the proliferation of drugs ads that accompany each report. In fact, the majority (80%) of WebMD's revenues come from drug manufacturers.

The profit motive has created a mountain of good information. It has also created a sea of mis-information, all created to provide personal financial enrichment.

But I continue to be optimistic that the internet will also become a forum for truth, particularly through its capacity for networked interaction among participants. As our collective wisdom permits us to more effectively separate the wheat from the chaff in looking for the truth, I believe that we will zigzag towards a system of healthcare that is self-empowering, self-directed, and resorts to hospitals and procedures only in the most dire circumstances, saving billions of dollars every year.