I am not saying they aren't life saving in some situations, of course there are many modern inventions/medicines that are.. but in MOST cases people can get off things like blood pressure meds, thyroid meds, diabetic drugs, viagra, mood/psych drugs if the causes (of the problems) are found and corrected.
Alt med's point of view is most disease is a function of an allergy, or an excess of something the body doesn't want/need or the absence of something the body needs/wants and can be corrected by eliminating the allergy/toxin or replacing the missing substance (usually a mineral or vitamin)
This is alt-meds view and the more i see of it (been here 8 years now) the more i believe it to have sound principals. (there is nothing absolute or exclusive in my POV)
Homeopathy, holistic, osteopathic is all good stuff, practice some of the philosophy myself, and you'll see with the younger doctors these days some what of a blend in how the go about managing and caring for patients simular to the osteopathic method.
But, as an absolute as you pointed out not everything can be cured with vitamins, minerals etc.... and not all drugs mask the problem. In some case you're going to need some roecefen, interferon, azithromycin, etc..... and I hope a someone like yourself will recognize this and know when to advise a patient to seek the other alternative such as western medicine.