To the OP - I know what you mean. My mom is an immigrant to the US from a Western European country, and I went to live there as an adult for a decent while, and you definitely get grilled at the pharmacy there for anything you might want to buy, even OTC legal stuff, as all of it is behind the counter, and the "drugstores" there only have toiletries and such 'cause the drugs of any kind by law are at the pharmacy. And my parents were poor for the duration of my childhood (most of it in the US) so we did not go to the doctor even when we truly ought to have. I know we got saved from a lot of big pharma badness that way.
That being said, I myself now keep one foot in holistic medicine, and one foot in allopathic medicine. I will not demonize either - I try to go the holistic route, and usually get pretty far with it, but there are times when a good doc is sweet. I wholeheartedly admit to loving my scrip for a bigass painkiller the one time I had an attack of kidney stones, and my scrip for a huge whack of antidepressant back when I was in post-partum depression free-fall, and even my scrip once for antibiotic when I was pissing blood from a bladder infection. But then I stepped back and took the message my body was sending me (that something was -duh- amiss) and went the better-food-better-lifestyle route and got off stuff/never got it again so far. I have a special-needs kid as well, so I really get the tensions between the two systems.
Drug ads - I hate them. Even the OTC ones.
I am almost 46 now, and I am currently stunned when the intake nurses do not really believe me when I tell them that I am on nothing on the occasion I might need medical help. That is too young, IMHO, to be chronically on stuff. They tell me I am in a serious minority. Wow.
I really look forward to the day when, hopefully, the two systems work together better. And when more Americans give up the drugs-first/drugs-only habit. But we are not allllll like that.
I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC