Sure many of those meds do "work" however they are not a cure. Anti-anxiety meds work by artificially surpressing the nervous system. Basically the physical and mental sensations/effects one feels when they have an anxiety disorder is caused by an overstimulated central nervous system. When the CNS gets "out of whack" all sorts of sensations (both physical and mental) start kicking in because it controls all feelings both mental and physical.
The CNS gets that way due to the habit of overstress, overworrying, negative thinking, etc. Once that happens more stress, worry, fear, and negative thinking is added because the person starts freaking out over how he is feeling due to CNS overstimulation. That becomes an endless vicious cycle because anxiety just keeps feeding itself.
The only real way to fix the problem is to first teach the person what is biologically going on in their body so they stop fearing and worrying about how they are feeling. Then you have to figure out what stressors or bad habits in life caused them to get that way in the first place and address those.
Meds will artificially supress the nervous system and one might stop the stress, worry, fear, negative thinking cycle just because he is feeling better due to the meds. However remove the meds and most eventually go back to square one and end up having to deal with this issue for a lifetime because they never addressed the cause. This is why so many people go on and off those meds and a large percentage never come off.
Another thing is a lot of those meds are dangerous. I have had 3 friends commit suicide on anti-depressant meds. When I was at my worst I had those thoughts and who knows if I wouldn't have been pushed over the edge if I was medicated with the wrong thing.
I am living proof and a walking billboard that you don't need medication to overcome this issue. Sure, it was a lot of work and as you mentioned most people want the "quick fix" however the truth is there is no "quick fix" with this problem. They are only putting a bandaid on a gaping wound.
If you want a good read about this disorder go to www.anxietycentre.com
. They charge a small fee to join the site and get all the information however it's priceless information if you or someone you know is dealing with or ever dealt with this problem.