Tag Archives: overuse of drugs. misleading drug advertisment

Gonorrhea Among Drug-Resisting Germs Sickening Millions

By Elizabeth Lopatto – Sep 17, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

medicine_2111168bMore than 2 million people in the U.S. are sickened by antibiotic-resistant germs each year, and at least 23,000 die, according to the first report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rank the threats.

Three bacteria, including drug-resistant gonorrhea, are classified as urgent threats with the potential to become widespread. Another 11 bacteria and a fungus are referred to as serious perils by the CDC report.

Bacterial resistance was identified shortly after antibiotics were first used in the 1940s, said Steve Solomon, acting director for the epidemiology and analysis program office at the Atlanta-based CDC. In the past, there were always more antibiotics in development. Now, the antibiotic pipeline has largely dried up, leaving doctors without new weapons against the illnesses — a “nightmare,” Solomon said.

“The cushion of new antibiotics is gone,” Solomon, a report author, said by telephone. “We’re right at the edge of this cliff where we’re approaching the post-antibiotic era.”

The three most serious threats are C. difficile, which causes life-threatening diarrhea, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, which includes E.coli and affects mostly people in health-care settings, and gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted infection, according to the report

These three bacteria have the biggest clinical and economic impact, and the greatest current and projected incidence, according to the report. They are also among the easiest to transmit and have few treatment options. C. difficile alone causes 250,000 infections and 14,000 deaths at a cost of $1 billion each year, according to the report.

Antibiotic Overuse

“The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world,” the researchers wrote in the report. That includes use by humans, for whom about 50 percent of prescribed drugs aren’t needed or aren’t effective, as well as use by animals.

In the past, “there was a sense that resistance wasn’t a huge problem because there would always be another antibiotic coming down the pipe, and for 50 to 60 years, that was kind of true,” the CDC’s Solomon said. No more.

Some of the best ways to protect against antibiotic-resistant bugs are preventive, said Daniel McQuillen, a member of the Infectious Disease Society of America and a senior staff physician in infectious diseases at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts.

MRSA Decline

That includes encouraging hand-washing and in-hospital programs to evaluate whether the antibiotics being prescribed are appropriate, he said.

These kinds of interventions were probably what caused a decline in the incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA infections, according to separate study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Cases of invasive MRSA from health-care settings dropped by a third in 2011, compared with 2005. Hospital infections dropped by 50 percent, the report found.

The decrease in community-acquired infections was only 5 percent, according to the authors, led by Raymund Dantes, a researcher at the CDC. MRSA is one of the organisms deemed to be a “serious” risk, according to the larger CDC report.

Antibiotics-for-agricultureAnimal Antibiotics

Many farmers routinely use antibiotics for healthy livestock, in order to promote growth and prevent illness. That practice means germs are given widespread exposure to antibiotics, making it more likely that the microbes will mutate in the animals, spreading into meat.

When the meat is eaten, the resistant bacteria may sicken humans, or swap DNA with the flora in the human gut, a recipe for transferring resistance. It’s difficult to compare human and animal use, though “ there is evidence that more antibiotics are used in food production,” the report said.

The CDC report says that the use of antibiotics in animals for promoting growth isn’t necessary and the practice should be “phased out.”

There have been previous reports of antibiotic resistance in specific species, though this is the first that unites them all, Solomon said.

“We’re reporting the results of infections and deaths as a group because we’re trying to make a case that there’s a big-picture problem,” he said.

Development Incentives

Large pharmaceutical companies don’t make enough return on investment by making antibiotics to support developing more, McQuillen said. A proposal called Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now that created incentives for drug companies and researchers to develop antibiotics was included in the FDA reauthorization legislation passed last year by Congress.

“That’s probably not enough,” McQuillen said in a telephone interview. The Infectious Disease Society of America, an advocacy group of infectious disease specialists based in Arlington, Virginia, is also supporting other measures to expand the antibiotic pipeline, McQuillen said.

The group is pushing for a research and development tax credit for companies working on antibiotics, as well as the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance Act. That would boost resources to development of antibiotics, intensify efforts to track resistant germs, and encourage more-appropriate use of antibiotics.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in San Francisco at elopatto@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

Advertisements

Marty Makary. A cancer surgeon and researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the School of Public Health.

 

“…1 in 4 hospital patients are harmed by a mistake.”

“A cardiologist in Wisconsin was fired for pointing out that EKGs were misread more than 25% of the time.”

“We [doctors] are also evaluated by the number of ‘value units’ at the end of each fiscal quarter. Our management will sit down with us and say your work units are down or up and in order for you to receive a large bonus you need to increase the number of operations you do…”

“There is New England Journal of Medicine-level data that suggests that almost half of [health] care is not compliant with evidence.” [In other words, almost 50% of all health care in America isn’t even based on published mainstream studies…and, I should add, there is conclusive evidence that half of these studies are untrustworthy in the first place. Therefore, to say that conventional doctors are winging it is a vast understatement. JR]

“…up to 30% of health care in unnecessary…”

“I saw cases where a patient was not told about a minimally invasive way of doing a particular surgery because of physician preference or training, and the doctor would just hope the that he [the patient] wouldn’t find out.”

“Medical mistakes are fifth-or-sixth-most common cause of death in the United States, depending on the measure.”

“…The desire and reflex of docs to offer something to patients, even when there’s not much more else they can offer. There’s a strong financial incentive. Doctor groups pay for new equipment that they purchase on borrowed money.” [In other words, ‘we have this expensive equipment, we have to use it to pay for it.’

Fatal Side Effects of Prescription Drugs on the Rise

Fatal Side Effects of Prescription Drugs on the Rise

by Lawyers.com on 6/19/2012  Aaron Kase]

Reports of adverse reactions to prescription drugs rose 9.4 percent in 2011, according to a nonprofit that monitors safe medication practices. The Quarterwatch reportfound 179,855 drug reactions classified as serious or fatal, an increase of over 15,000 from 2010.

  • Manufacturers must report adverse effects that they learn about to the FDA
  • Only one to 10 percent of adverse effects are reported
  • Drug companies liable if they do not properly warn of potential side effects

Adverse Reactions

Heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke and death – it’s dangerous out there in the world of prescription medicine. Every year millions of people face side effects from the cutting-edge pills and therapies they take to address various health problems.

By law, drug manufacturers must report to the FDA any adverse reactions to their drugs that come to their attention, be it from a patient complaint, a lawsuit or even just a mention on Twitter. Consumers and doctors may also report adverse effects to the FDA. Using those numbers, Quaterwatch compiled its report on all the reports of serious negative side effects that made it to the FDA in 2011, finding that reports have risen nearly 10 percent in the past year.

The top ten drugs with adverse effects were Pradaxa, Coumadin, Levaquin, Carboplatin, Zestril, Cisplatin, Zocor, Cymbalta, Cipro and Bactrim. If you’re taking any of the above and experiencing serious side effects, rest assured that you aren’t alone. In fact, drug experts contend that only one to 10 percent of adverse effects are ever reported to the FDA, meaning negative side effects are much more widespread than the Quaterwatch report would indicate. “We’re missing anywhere from 99 percent to 90 percent” of the adverse effects, saysThomas Lamb, an attorney in North Carolina who maintains a blog on prescription drug news.

Seven Year Rule

Unfortunately, side effects are an inevitable tradeoff, the price you pay for taking advantage of the benefits offered by modern pharmaceuticals. However, there are ways that consumers can protect themselves and try to shield themselves from the worst consequences. The advocacy group Public Citizen suggests only using drugs that have been on the market for more than seven years, unless there is no alternative.

“Unless the new drug is a groundbreaking or novel therapy, stay with tried drugs, on the market for seven years, the reason being that clinical trials prior to FDA approval may detect certain side effects but not all of them,” Lamb says. “The common-sense advice is to stay away from new drugs while you figure out what other safety issues may emerge.”

Another way patients can protect themselves is to use drug interaction checkers commonly found online to make sure that their various prescriptions aren’t in conflict with one another or causing problems that a single drug wouldn’t create on its own. When consumers use multiple doctors and specialists and might use a mail order pharmacy or acquire drugs from a number of locations, contraindicated combinations of medication might slip through without a medical professional catching the problem.

“In the past, people said if there’s an issue the doctor would pick up on it, or the pharmacy might let me know,” says Lamb. “Now there’s often not just one source where people are getting medications from. It’s prudent for them to take safety measures into their own hands.”

Call the Lawyers

So if you’re injured by a prescription drug, can you sue? Not necessarily. For one thing, generic drugs are protected from lawsuits. And name-brand drugs are protected to some extent as long as they provide adequate warning of their potential side effects. Drug companies are required to warn of injury their drug might cause on the label and supplementary packaging, as well as inform the FDA of any side effects that come to light after the drug is already approved and shipped out to the market.

On the other hand, scores of drugs are facing lawsuits for not disclosing or under reporting potentially disastrous side effects. If you are facing serious side effects from a drug that you weren’t properly warned about, it’s time to consult a lawyer. “The allegation is that the drug company didn’t include sufficient warnings in their prescribing information or label about a serious side effect risk they had knowledge about,” Lamb explains. “It may be buried in the label as opposed to put in warnings in the precautions section, or put most prominently in black box warning.” A simple Google search can reveal if other people are having similar problems, and are finding success seeking restitution in court

Who is to blame for the decline of Homoeopathy?

When asked the question, who is to blame for the decline of homoeopathy? one immediate response is: ” The scientists. The scientists because they dare to use science to try to explain homeopathy”. One other response is “The Pharmaceutical industry, and the reason they are against Homoeopathy is because homoeopathic treatment and remedies are cheaper than allopathic drugs”. The final general response is “The Government. They do not believe Homoeopathy is safe”.

While all of these statements contain elements of truth, and truth is what we are searching for, we must examine each and every criticism and see what is valid and what is not factual.

The most common arguments that the profession of Homoeopathy uses in protection of itself, is that:

Allopaths and scientists

Allopaths or scientists cannot fathom the hidden essences of homeopathic remedies because the effects of the remedies are so infinite and subtle that they cannot be measured in conventional testing or be subject to current evaluation methods. The reality and sad truth is, that homeopathy cannot be understood by science simply because homoeopathy, as taught and promoted today by modern teachers is a dysfunctional, subjective and unscientific collection of nonsense. All traces of science have been carefully eliminated and replaced by quasi spiritual and bad psychological evaluation that have no basis for inclusion in the practice of Homoeopathic medicine. Because of this, homoeopathic remedies no longer follows a scientifically repeatable method of application due to unscientific prescriptions that will deliver objective results, even when compared and tested against placebo.

 The Pharmaceutical industry.

While it is a very obvious truth, that pharmaceutical industry is a profit-oriented business, (just like homeopathic teachers have their own profit-oriented business of delivering expensive, captivating, yet completely useless lectures – Rajan Sankaran’s seminars being a shining example), The pharmaceutical industry is subject to some form of accountability in production of a drug. Recent news reports show a shocking trend for circumventing these ‘safeguards’ in the pursuit of profit, and in some cases, apparent government collusion is involved. Be that as it may, each and every drug is sold with a long list of effects produced by taking that product. The prescribing physician is responsible for knowing the tested results and expected outcome of a patient using the drug.  (we can argue about side-effects, long-term efficiency, etc.), but truth be told if you talk to most homeopaths today, even they will usually recommend allopathy for a life threatening condition.

Homoeopathy, the Therapy, under the influence of modern teachers, has become a useless tool that can “heal” you if you believe in it, or if your condition is a psychosomatic problem. What we usually hear from people studying under these teachers is a recommendation to take the allopathics and once the patient is healthy, they give some homeopathic medicine to “clean up” after the allopathics. That’s right, homeopathy has been degraded to a position of a “complementary” treatment that does not work if the patient is actually sick.

 Governments

Governments have assumed the right and obligation to be seen to regulate the pharmaceutical and medicinal field to ensure that sick people get modern scientifically validated drugs according to the protocol of accepted science. Given that this is their stance, (albeit an increasingly corrupt one) it is no surprise that they are on a path to ban the modern practice of homoeopathy as taught today.

Why is this? There is no longer a scientific and repeatable and uniform method of practice in the Therapy. Every current Guru teaches something completely different. The only thing in common they share is the dismissal of the input and research of the founder of the therapy.

Can you blame the governments for attempting to ban this travesty of a therapy trading under the guise of Homoeopathy?
Some examples are Rajan Sankaran teaching meditation techniques, in order to take a case. Years ago, a colleague attending a clinic of Rajan Sankaran, watched him fall asleep during a case taking. It would appear that he has found a method of being able to do so now with no attendant criticism!

The teachers of modern Homoeopathy. have collectively turned the medical practice of Homoeopathy into a dangerous therapy, under the guise of it being a safe alternative in the face of conventional medicine. In not following the guidelines and modus operandi, Homoeopathy fails the patient during an actual sickness

Who is to blame?

We could say, that it is the modern teachers, the modern gurus, that are responsible. This would not be the complete truth. Although they are responsible for the non medical, non scientific, non rational quasi spiritual nonsense that they produce, they can only exist through the support of the community. There has been no concerted effort to study the Therapy or methodology for years. The credibility that these gurus appear to have, would easily be dismissed if people actually studied homoeopathy and not accept the false methodologies that is destroying the profession. Who is then to blame? If you were aware of this problem even before you read this article, simply look into the mirror and you will see the guilty party straight away. The rise of the modern teachers was made possible because of complacency of existing homeopathic teachers and homeopathic community. It was possible because not enough people were willing to stand in a direct opposition and persevere regardless of how popular the modern teachings were. Most of the homeopathic community either ignored the nonsense of modern teachings or simply adopted them because it brought profit. There are only a handful of teachers and homeopaths who actively point out the discrepancy between scientific homeopathy as taught by Hahnemann and “homeopathy-like” teachings of modern teachers.

So, when you see the next wave of seminars taught by the “modern masters”, spend a moment thinking about the effects this is going to have on all of us. Especially think about the patient who is not going to benefit in anyway from attending a homoeopathic consultation. And also reflect on the fact that a lack of application to studying real homoeopathy, will allow the removal of homoeopathy as a therapy in every country.

Francis Bacon “neither man nor his style should be the primary object of the audience’s concentration because ‘doctrines should be such as should make men fall in love with the lesson and not with the teacher’…”

Polony and Weaver. info@homeopathyonline.org

Merck Sued for False Vaccine testing by Chatom Primary Care

PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Merck has known for a decade that its mumps vaccine is “far less effective” than it tells the government, and it falsified test results and sold millions of doses of “questionable efficacy,” flooding and monopolizing the market, a primary caregiver claims in a federal antitrust class action.
Alabama-based Chatom Primary Care sued Merck on Monday, the week after the unsealing of a False Claims Act complaint two relators filed in 2010.

Those relators, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, were Merck virologists who claim in their unsealed complaint that they “witnessed firsthand the improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged to artificially inflate the vaccine’s efficacy findings.”

Krahling and Wlochowski claimed Merck’s scheme caused the United States to pay “hundreds of millions of dollars for a vaccine that does not provide adequate immunization.”

“As the largest single purchaser of childhood vaccines (accounting for more than 50 percent of all vaccine purchases), the United States is by far the largest financial victim of Merck’s fraud,” according to the 2010 False Claims Act complaint. “But the ultimate victims here are the millions of children who every year are being injected with a mumps vaccine that is not providing them with an adequate level of protection. And while this is a disease that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (‘CDC’), was supposed to be eradicated by now, the failure in Merck’s vaccine has allowed this disease to linger, with significant outbreaks continuing to occur.”

The United States told a federal judge in April that it did not want to intervenein the False Claims case, but reserved the right to do so later.

Chatom says in its antitrust complaint that Merck falsely claims its mumps vaccine is 95 percent effective.

That claim “deterred and excluded competing manufacturers,” who would enter the risky and expensive vaccine market only if they believed they could craft a better product, Chatom says in its complaint.
Merck is the only manufacturer licensed by the FDA to sell the mumps vaccine in United States, and if it could not show that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, it risked losing its lucrative monopoly, according to the complaint.

That’s why Merck found it critically important to keep claiming such a high efficacy rate, the complaint states.

And, Chatom claims, that’s why Merck went to great lengths, including “manipulating its test procedures and falsifying the test results,” to prop up the bogus figure, though it knew that the attenuated virus from which it created the vaccine had been altered over the years during the manufacturing process, and that the quality of the vaccine had degraded as a result.
Starting in the late 1990s, Merck set out on its sham testing program with the objective of “report[ing] efficacy of 95 percent or higher regardless of the vaccine’s true efficacy,” the complaint states.
Chatom says Merck initially called its testing program Protocol 007.

Under Protocol 007, Merck did not test the vaccine’s ability to protect children against a “wild-type” mumps virus, which is “the type of real-life virus against which vaccines are generally tested,” the complaint states.
Instead, Chatom says, Merck tested children’s blood using its own attenuated strain of the virus.
“This was the same mumps strain with which the children were vaccinated,” the complaint states.
That “subverted” the purpose of the testing regime, “which was to measure the vaccine’s ability to provide protection against a disease-causing mumps virus that a child would actually face in real life. The end result of this deviation … was that Merck’s test overstated the vaccine’s effectiveness,” Chatom claims.
Merck also added animal antibodies to blood samples to achieve more favorable test results, though it knew that the human immune system would never produce such antibodies, and that the antibodies created a laboratory testing scenario that “did not in any way correspond to, correlate with, or represent real life … virus neutralization in vaccinated people,” according to the complaint.
Chatom claims that the falsification of test results occurred “with the knowledge, authority and approval of Merck’s senior management.”
And as Merck’s vaccine is the only game in town, the vaccine’s “significantly degraded” quality means “there has remained a significant risk of a resurgence of mumps outbreaks,” Chatom says in its complaint.
It claims that the degraded quality of the Merck vaccine played a role in a 2006 mumps outbreak in the Midwest, and in another outbreak in 2009.
Those outbreaks caused the Centers for Disease Control to push back its target date for eradicating the disease from 2010 to no earlier than 2020, the complaint states.
“But no amount of extra time or dosages will be enough to eliminate the disease when the vaccine does not work as represented in the labeling,” the complaint states. “It will merely allow Merck to continue to misrepresent the vaccine’s efficacy and thereby maintain its exclusive hold on the relevant market with an inadequate vaccine.”
Merck spokesman Ron Rogers told Courthouse News in a statement that the False Claims lawsuit “is completely without merit,” and that Chatom’s lawsuit is merely derivative of that case.
“Merck has presented information that demonstrated to the United States Department of Justice that these allegations are factually false, and after the Department conducted its own two-year investigation, it decided not to pursue this lawsuit,” Rogers said.
In addition, he said, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “previously examined the issues raised in the lawsuit, and they were resolved to the agency’s satisfaction.”
Chatom seeks to represent the class of all those who bought Merck’s mumps vaccine from Jan. 1, 1999 to today.
It seeks damages for monopolization under the Sherman Act, violation of state consumer protection laws, unjust enrichment and breach of warranty.
Chatom is represented by Richard Golomb of Golomb & Honik, in Philadelphia.

Prescription painkillers overtake car crashes as leading cause of accidental death in America

  • Follows celebrity deaths from painkillers including Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger
  • Non-medical prescription painkillers cost the U.S. economy $72.5billion a year

By EMILY ALLEN

Prescription painkillers have topped car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., according to a new report.

Research by the National Center for Health Statistics show that drug poisoning is now a more common way to go than being killed on the road.

It follows recent celebrity deaths from painkillers, including Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith.

Michael Jackson
Heath Ledger

Pills: Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, and Heath Ledger, who died in 2008, both took prescription painkillers which have become very popular in America

Prescription painkillers are now so popular in the U.S. that there has been a spike in armed robberies at pharmacies and some chemists are refusing to stock them.

The number of robberies has surged by 82 per cent since 2006, from 385 to 701 last year, with 3,500 pharmacies targeted by those desperate to get their hands on the drugs, according to Digg.com.

Doctors are also struggling to keep up with the demand for the pills. One third of all Americans take two or more prescription drugs, most commonly narcotics.

Drug deathsOn the up: This graph shows how poisoning from prescription drugs has increased significantly, especially in the last decade

Without painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, minor aches and pains feel considerably worse for people addicted and withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, and lethargy.

RACIAL LIFE EXPECTANCY GAP IS LOWEST EVER

The gap in life expectancy between whites and blacks in America is now the smallest ever, according to researchers in Canada.

White men can now expect to live to 76.2 years, and black men 70.8 years. White women can expect to live to 81.2 years and black women 77.5 years.

Researchers found that HIV and heart disease contributed to the narrowing of the gap alongside an increase in the number of deaths among white people from prescription drug abuse.

Researchers at Montreal’s McGill’s University used data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources.

They found heart disease, diabetes, homicide, HIV and infant mortality were the main reasons for the differences in life expectancy.

After studying the data, they said more and more white people were dying ‘unintentionally’ from fatal drug poisoning, largely from opiates and other painkillers

Painkillers overtook car accidents as the leading cause of death back in 2008 but a report detailing the information has only just come out this month.

It shows that the number of people dying from the pills has tripled since 1980, while the number of car accidents has dropped by one-and-a-half times since that year.

In 2008, 41,000 Americans died from drug poisoning – 77 per cent of which were not intentional – compared to 38,000 road deaths.

Between 1999 and 2008, the poisoning death rate increased by 90 per cent, while the road deaths decreased by 15 per cent.

Meanwhile, emergency department visits for prescription painkiller abuse or misuse have doubled in the last five years to nearly 500,000 and about 12 million American teenagers and adults use prescription painkillers to get ‘high’.

Nonmedical prescription painkillers costs the U.S. economy more than $72.5billion each year.

The problem with prescription painkillers is worse in the U.S. due to a lack of regulation and a thriving black market.

Experts said there is a lack of education surrounding the drugs and misconceptions over their use and how they should be managed.

They also say pharmaceutical industry have introduced some ‘questionable practices’ in how the drugs are marketed.

Some insurers say doctors have to explain why they have prescribed certain pills that exceed a 30-day supply, according to the website, while 40 states have systems to monitor who the drugs are supplied, although many of these are voluntary.

Painkillers Problem: Experts say there’s a lack of education surrounding the drugs and misconceptions over their use and how they should be managed

Last month, it emerged that where there has been a crackdown in prescription painkillers people are turning to heroin instead.

The deadly drug is now being found in areas where previously, it hadn’t presented a problem.

New York, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Illinois and Missouri have all been affected by the surge in abuse according to 2011 Justice Department statistics.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2162050/Prescription-painkillers-beat-car-crashes-leading-cause-accidental-death-America.html#ixzz1yPnkWdiL

Vaccine Safety

Worse than a Disease Diagnosis – This Mistake Can Land You in the E.R.

In 1776, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, foretold a grim scenario that has now taken shape right before our eyes. He said:by Dr. Mercola

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic.”

Now, in 2012, we are very much facing this reality, as we live in an era where our medical freedom is increasingly under attack, and “healing” has been replaced with “treating” disease, most often with toxic chemicals and surgery. This drug-driven medical paradigm not only depends on the sacrifice and, some might say, torture, of animals in medical research, but also in many ways uses humans as sacrificial lambs.

Modern Medical Care is a Leading Cause of Death

There were nearly 4.6 million drug-related visits to emergency roomsi in the United States in 2009, with more than half due to adverse reactions to prescription medications – most of which were being taken exactly as prescribedii. The fact of the matter is, as echoed by a study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)iii, it is a mistake to assume there’s no risk in prescribed medicines! As Sayer Ji writes on GreenMedInfo.comiv:

“The “medicines” themselves are often devoid of intrinsic value, being nothing more than rebranded and re-purposed chemicals, intended (though all too often failing) to be administered in sub-lethal concentrations. Indeed, many of these chemicals are too toxic to be legally released into the environment, and should never be administered intentionally to a human who is already sick. You need look no farther than a typical drug package insert to find proof that the side effects of most drugs far outnumber their purported beneficial effects.

These chemicals, in fact, are so highly leveraged against their true value (or lack thereof), that they can sell for as much as 500,000% percent from cost! Only medical/pharmaceutical and financial institutions (e.g. Federal Reserve) are legally empowered to generate the illusion that they are creating something of value out of nothing of value, on this scale.”

Medical care is actually one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., with medical errors, adverse drug reactions, and hospital-acquired infectionsv killing an unacceptable number of Americans each and every day! Drug-related ER visits jumped by more than half between 2004 and 2008vi, stirring health officials to look for ways to stop what has become a near-epidemic that often ends in deathvii.

And when you consider that 2.7 million of those visitsviii involved prescriptions for largely preventable health issues, you can’t help but wonder why we have strayed so far from true health care in lieu of health treatments.

You may be tempted to point your finger at your physician. After all, he or she is on the “front lines” doing most of the prescribing and advising. But whether or not doctors succeed in upholding the Hippocratic Oath — the promise to Do No Harm — is not always entirely in their own hands.

The conventional medical system is simply not designed to give them that freedom. It’s VITAL that you understand that regardless of their personal opinions, many times they’re simply not allowed to offer you any other alternatives than what the “standard protocol” demands. As written on GreenMedInfo.comix:

“Within our present dominant medical system, healing has not simply been forgotten but intentionally exorcized as it represents the antithesis of perpetual profitability which requires the incurability of the human body. Were the truth be told, and the body’s self-regenerative capabilities acknowledged, the entire superstructure of drug-based medicine and hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue it generates annually, would crumble overnight.”

Are You Intentionally Being Misled about Your Body’s Innate Healing Abilities?

This issue runs much deeper than your physician’s office. The entire medical system as it currently stands has been quite carefully orchestrated to make you believe that drugs, vaccinations, screening tests, and surgery are what is required to be well, while an assault has been launched against natural strategies and supplements that have proven vital to well-being for centuries.

For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a full-fledged war against the sale of raw milk, a substance that provides many natural beneficial and healing properties, even though between 1999 and 2010 there was an average of only 42 cases of illness per year attributed to raw milk, and that includes both “confirmed” and “presumed” cases. Meanwhile, they have allowed livestock producers to continue to add low doses of antibiotics to animal feed for growth promotion, even though this practice is undeniably linked to the spread of deadly antibiotic-resistant disease!

They have also issued new Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients that threatens to remove some of your most commonly usedsupplements from the market, all while approving drugs, prescribed by doctors every day, that kill over 125,000 Americans a year.

They are but one government agency that is so thoroughly enmeshed in the drug-medical paradigm that they are utterly unable to protect you. The American Medical Association (AMA) has maintained a decades-long battle against “alternative” healing traditions, dating back to the 1920s and arguably even earlier. The courts eventually ruled in favor of the chiropractors in 1987, finding the AMA guilty of a conspiracy to take down the chiropractic profession, but their battle has continued on anyway.

According to Naturopathy Digest, the AMA and other medical groups justify their opposition to natural medicine, a primary principle of which is supporting your body’s own innate healing potential, on the basis of three areas of concernx:

  • Quality of patient care
  • Patient safety
  • Quality of education of medical practitioners

As the article so eloquently points out, none of these arguments hold up, and most are based on medical and pharmaceutical industry propaganda. If they were TRULY concerned about patient care and safety, they would not be targeting natural medicine, which has an incredibly low incidence of adverse consequences and proven successes, but instead going after their own allopathic medical practices that are leaving a trail of death and destruction.

Other medical associations whose claims that they exist for the betterment of public health are entirely questionable include the following:

  • American Dental Association (ADA): Continues to support the use of mercury fillings and demonizes biological dentists who oppose the use of mercury in dentistry; continues to support fluoridation, in spite of the evidence it does more harm than good.
  • American Cancer Society (ACS): This charity has close ties to the mammography industry, the cancer drug industry, and the pesticide industry; has rampant conflicts of interest; consistently promotes drugs and screening procedures while ignoring environmental causes of cancer.
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI): Has spent billions of taxpayer dollars promoting treatments while ignoring strategies for preventing cancer; abundant ties to the cancer drug industry (for more information, read Samuel Epstein’s new book, National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest)xi
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Claiming to be protecting your children, the AAP is largely funded by vaccine manufacturers but refuses to disclose just how much money it gets from them; partners with Congress to protect pediatricians and drug companies from liability for vaccine injuries, while preventing you from getting truthful vaccine information.

However, even the government is not at the top of the totem pole when it comes to this attack on your ability to access natural therapies and obtain optimal health. GreenMedInfo.com continuesxii:

“Although the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) behave as if they are at the top of this pyramid of power relations, they serve far lower on the hierarchy. While the government of the United States and American corporate lobbying groups may appear to be behind the FDA’s shameless pandering to the interests of the drug companies, transnational corporations and organizations — and a hand full of elite governing them — are in fact pulling the strings.”

Natural Therapies are Increasingly Under Attack, or Intentionally Suppressed

Did you know a cream containing eggplant extract, known as BEC and BEC5, appears to eliminate most non-melanoma skin cancersin several weeks time? Or that studies conducted so far show significant potential for the use of cannabis in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of health conditions, including cancer?

Have you heard about Dr. Nick Gonzalez, who has had remarkable success treating patients with some of the most lethal forms of cancer that conventional medicine cannot effectively address using a three-pronged nutritional approach?

There’s a good chance you answered “no” to these questions, and that’s not a coincidence. Information like this is not easy to come by in the mainstream press or from most conventional health care authorities, which is one of the primary reasons why I started this site.Alternatives to drugs and surgery are out there, but unless there is a profit to be had, you aren’t likely to hear about them. In fact, the system is set up to make sure that you don’t.

One of the prime examples of this is vitamin D.

Over 800 studies already show that vitamin D could have cancer-prevention and/or treatment possibilities. But the problem is that it’s a natural substance that can’t be patented as a simple supplement, meaning there’s no real revenue in it, compared to a prescription brand drug. That’s why many drug studies involving vitamins of any kind hinge on how the FDA defines drugs and supplements.

A drug is defined as a product meant for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of a diseasexiii. A supplement is defined as a product that is meant to simply “supplement” or “enhance” a normal diet within the daily allowances recommended by the FDAxiv. Retailers who sell supplements are not allowed to tell you that vitamin D can possibly “prevent, mitigate or cure” cancer without having the FDA accuse them of selling a drug that hasn’t been approved through the proper FDA process.

That process of getting a drug to market costs an average $359 millionxv and takes nearly 10 years – with a good portion of the money going directly to the FDA through user feesxvi. Over the years these fees have become a major funding source for the FDA. What drug companies get in return is faster FDA reviews and drug approvals.

As a result, a kind of you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours scenario has ensued, with drug companies maintaining major leverage over the FDA when it comes to protecting their revenue sources, including making sure the $60 billion-a-year supplement business doesn’t get in the way of drug salesxvii. The history of FDA laws and regulations on file at Harvard Law School, explains how years ago an FDA task force long ago established this policy…

“… to ensure that the presence of dietary supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive to drug development.”

What Can You do to Support Real Health and Healing?

For starters, recognize that health does not come from a pill … and no disease is caused by a “drug or vaccine deficiency.” As written on GreenMedInfo.comxviii:

” … is there any greater absurdity than a medical model that treats the symptoms of disease with sub-lethal dosages of toxic chemicals and in which there is no attempt to uncover, understand or remove the causes of those imbalances?

After all, what disease has ever been found to be caused by a lack of a drug?

Is acid reflux caused by a lack of proton-pump inhibitors?

Is heart disease caused by a lack of statin drugs?

Is osteoporosis caused by a lack of Fosamax?

Is cancer caused by a lack of chemotherapy?

Is depression caused by a lack of Paxil?

Absolutely not! Then why would anyone consider it sound practice to use potentially toxic chemicals as a first-line treatment for conditions that are not caused by a lack of a chemical? To the contrary many diseases are caused exactly by culminative exposures to chemicals that not unlike drugs are biologically alien to the body, i.e we are treating poisoning with poisons! Can we dignify this approach by calling it medicine? Or, is it more accurately described as a form of sorcery?”

Until real systemic change takes place, your best health strategy is quite simply to employ and maintain a naturally healthy lifestyle that will optimize your body’s innate healing abilities and minimize your need for the drug companies’ latest concoctions. We are, however, working hard to change the system and help protect your health freedoms from corrupt influences like the drug industry; you can learn more about our newest initiative toward this end, Health Liberty, now.

It is, of course, of paramount importance to take control of your health so you can stay well naturally, without the use of drugs or even frequent conventional medical care. If you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will not need medications in the first place. This encompasses several principles, including:

  • Proper Food Choices

For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, unprocessed foods (vegetables, meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as a small organic farm not far from your home.

For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to have raw food as a good portion of your diet. Personally, I aim to eat about 80-85 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and humanely raised organic animal products that have not been raised on a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation).

Nearly as important as knowing which foods to eat more of is knowing which foods to avoid, and topping the list is fructose.Sugar, and fructose in particular, contributes to multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of accelerated aging.

  • Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness

Even if you’re eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including not only core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching but also high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity, interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I’ve discussed the importance of Peak Fitness for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information please review this previous article.

  • Stress Reduction and Positive Thinking

You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Effective coping mechanisms are a major longevity-promoting factor in part because stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.

  • Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D

We have long known that it is best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure, and if at all possible, I strongly urge you to make sure you’re getting out in the sun on a daily basis or if this is not an option use a safe tanning bed.

Just keep in mind that it’s really best to get ALL your vitamin D from the sun. It appears that vitamin D plays a crucial role in sulfur metabolismxix and when you swallow it orally it may not have the same benefit as getting it from the sun.

  • Take High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats

Animal-based omega-3 fat is a strong factor in helping people live longer, and many experts believe that it is likely the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest lived people on the planet.

  • Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible

This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.

References:


  • i InfoFacts: Drug-Related Hospital Emergency Room Visits, National Institute on Drug Abuse, May 2011.
  • ii Highlights of the 2009 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Findings on Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits, The DAWN Report, December 28, 2010.
  • iii Emergency Department Visits Involving Adverse Reactions to Medications among Older Adults, The Dawn Report, February 24, 2011. (PDF)
  • iv Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, GreenMedInfo.com, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
  • v New Study Shows Sepsis and Pneumonia Caused by Hospital-acquired Infections Kill 48,000 Patients, EurekAlert, February 22, 2010. (Press release)
  • vi Rx Side Effects Causing More Hospitalizations, American Medical News, May 2, 2011: Kevin B. O’Reilly.
  • vii Prescription Drugs More Overdoses in U.S. Than Heroin and Cocaine, Bloomberg, July 8, 2011: Oliver Renick.
  • viii Rx Side Effects Causing More Hospitalizations, American Medical News, May 2, 2011: Kevin B. O’Reilly.
  • ix Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, GreenMedInfo.com, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
  • x AMA Declares War on Naturopathic Medicine, Patient Safety and Freedom of Choice in Health Care, Naturopathy Digest, 2006: Alex Vasquez.
  • xi National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest, Amazon.com, May 17, 2011: Samuel S. Epstein, MD.
  • xii Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, GreenMedInfo.com, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
  • xiii Cosmetics, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, July 8, 2002.
  • xiv Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • xv What Does It Cost to Bring a New Drug to Market?, Answers Encyclopedia.
  • xvi How Long Does Drug Development Take?, PharmTech.com, January 15, 2009.
  • xvii Dietary Supplement Industry Contributes Billion to National Economy, Natural Products Foundation, April 5, 2010.
  • xviii Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, GreenMedInfo.com, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
  • xix Critical Role of Vitamin D in Sulfate Homeostasis: Regulation of the Sodium-Sulfate Cotransporter by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, October 2004: 287(4); E744-E749, Merry J.G. Bolt, et al.

Confessions of a Frustrated Pharmacist

 

May 17, 2012 Jan 30, 2012

 

Stuart Lindsey, PharmD

January 30, 2012

(OMNS, Jan 30, 2012) When an insider breaks ranks with pharmaceutical orthodoxy, it is time to take notice. “Whistleblower” may be an overused term, but the article that follows might be well worth readers’ consideration before standing in line for their next prescription refill. – Andrew W. Saul, OMNS Editor

I’m a registered pharmacist. I am having a difficult time with my job. I sell people drugs that are supposed to correct their various health complaints. Some medicines work like they’re supposed to, but many don’t. Some categories of drugs work better than others. My concern is that the outcomes of treatment I observe are so unpredictable that I would often call the entire treatment a failure in too many situations.

How It Started

In 1993, I graduated with a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of New Mexico. I became pharmacy manager for a small independent neighborhood drug store. Starting in the year 2000, nutrition became an integral part of our business. The anecdotal feedback from the customers who started vitamin regimens was phenomenal. That same year, my PharmD clinical rotations began with my propensity for nutritional alternatives firmly in place in my mind. On the second day of my adult medicine rotation, my preceptor at a nearby hospital informed me that he had every intention of beating this vitamin stuff out of me. I informed him that probably wouldn’t happen. Three weeks later I was terminated from my rotations. The preceptor told my supervisor at UNM that there were acute intellectual differences that couldn’t be accommodated in their program. What had I done? I was pressuring my preceptor to read an article written by an MD at a hospital in Washington state that showed if a person comes into the emergency room with a yet to be diagnosed problem and is given a 3,000-4,000 mg bolus of vitamin C, that person’s chance of dying over the next ten days in ICU dropped by 57%! [1]

One would think that someone who is an active part of the emergency room staff might find that an interesting statistic. His solution to my attempting to force him to read that article was having me removed from the program.

Pecking Order

The traditional role of the pharmacist in mainstream medicine is subordinate to the doctor. The doctor is responsible for most of the information that is received from and given to the patient. The pharmacist’s responsibility is to reinforce the doctor’s directions. The doctor and the pharmacist both want to have a positive treatment outcome, but there is a legally defined ‘standard of care’ looking over their shoulder.

The training that I received to become a PharmD motivated me to become more interested in these treatment outcomes. After refilling a patient’s prescriptions a few times, it becomes obvious that the expected positive outcomes often simply don’t happen. It’s easy to take the low road and blame it on “poor compliance by the patient.” I’m sure this can explain some treatment failure outcomes, but not all. Many (indeed most) drugs such as blood pressure regulators can require several adjustments of dose or combination with alternative medicines before a positive outcome is obtained.

Wrong Drug; Wrong Disease

One drug misadventure is turning drugs that were originally designed for a rare (0.3% of the population) condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome into big pharma’s treatment for occasional indigestion. These drugs are called proton-pump inhibitors (PPI). [2] After prolonged exposure to PPIs, the body’s true issues of achlorhydria start to surface. [3]

These drugs are likely to cause magnesium deficiency, among other problems. Even the FDA thinks their long-term use is unwise. [4]

The original instructions for these drugs were for a maximum use of six weeks . . . until somebody in marketing figured out people could be on the drugs for years. Drug usage gets even more complicated when you understand excessive use of antibiotics could be the cause of the initial indigestion complaints. What you get from inserting proton pump inhibitors into this situation is a gastrointestinal nightmare. A better course of medicine in this type of case might well be a bottle of probiotic supplements (or yogurt) and a few quarts of aloe-vera juice.

Many doctors are recognizing there are problems with overusing PPI’s, but many still don’t get it. An example of this is my school in NM had a lot of students going onto a nearby-impoverished area for rotations. They have blue laws in this area with no alcohol sales on Sunday. The students saw the pattern of the patients going into the clinics on Monday after abusing solvents, even gasoline vapors, and having the doctors put them on omeprazole (eg. Prilosec), long term, because their stomachs are upset. This is medicine in the real world.

Reliability or Bias?

Mainstream medicine and pharmacy instill into their practitioners from the beginning to be careful about where you get your information. Medical journals boast of their peer review process. When you discuss with other health professionals, invariably they will ask from which medical journal did you get your information. I actually took an elective course in pharmacy on how to evaluate a particular article for its truthfulness. The class was structured on a backbone of caution about making sure, as one read an article, that we understand that real truthfulness only comes from a few approved sources.

I was never comfortable with this concept. Once you realized that many of these “truthfulness bastions” actually have a hidden agenda, the whole premise of this course became suspect. One of my preceptors for my doctoral program insisted that I become familiar with a particular medical journal. If I did, she said, I would be on my way to understanding the “big picture.” When I expressed being a little skeptical of this journal, the teacher told me I could trust it as the journal was non-profit, and there were no editorial strings attached.

Weirdly enough, what had started our exchange over credibility was a warm can of a diet soft drink on the teacher’s desk. She drank the stuff all day. I was kidding around with her, and asked her if she had seen some controversial articles about the dangers of consuming quantities of aspartame. She scoffed at my conspiracy-theory laden point of view and I thought the subject was closed. The beginning of the next day, the teacher gave me an assignment: to hustle over to the medical library and make sure I read a paper she assured me would set me straight about my aspartame suspicions, while simultaneously demonstrating the value of getting my information from a nonprofit medical journal. It turned out that the article she wanted me to read, in the “nonprofit medical journal,” was funded in its entirety by the Drug Manufacturers Association.

Flashy Pharma Ads

As I read the literature, I discovered that there is very decided barrier between two blocks of information: substances that can be patented vs. those substances that can’t be. The can-be-patented group gets a professional discussion in eye-pleasing, four-color-print, art-like magazines. This attention to aesthetics tricks some people into interpreting, from the flashy presentation method, that the information is intrinsically truthful.

The world’s drug manufacturers do an incredibly good job using all kinds of media penetration to get the word out about their products. The drug industry’s audience used to be confined to readers of medical journals and trade publications. Then, in 1997, direct-to-consumer marketing was made legal. [5]

Personally, I don’t think this kind of presentation should be allowed. I have doctor friends that say they frequently have patients that self-diagnose from TV commercials and demand the doctor write them a prescription for the advertised product. The patients then threaten the doctor, if s/he refuses their request, that they will change doctors to get the medication. One of my doctor friends says he feels like a trained seal.

Negative Reporting on Vitamins

A vitamin article usually doesn’t get the same glossy presentation. Frequently, questionable vitamin research will be published and get blown out of proportion. A prime example of this was the clamor in the press in 2008 that vitamin E somehow caused lung cancer. [6]

I studied this 2008 experiment [7] and found glaring errors in its execution. These errors were so obvious that the experiment shouldn’t have gotten any attention, yet this article ended up virtually everywhere. Anti-vitamin spin requires this kind of research to be widely disseminated to show how “ineffectual” and even “dangerous” vitamins are. I tracked down one of the article’s original authors and questioned him about the failure to define what kind of vitamin E had been studied. A simple literature hunt shows considerable difference between natural and synthetic vitamin E. This is an important distinction because most of the negative articles and subsequent treatment failures have used the synthetic form for the experiment, often because it is cheap. Natural vitamin E with mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols costs two or three times more than the synthetic form.

Before I even got the question out of my mouth, the researcher started up, “I know, I know what you’re going to say.” He ended up admitting that they hadn’t even considered the vitamin E type when they did the experiment. This failure to define the vitamin E type made it impossible to draw a meaningful conclusion. I asked the researcher if he realized how much damage this highly quoted article had done to vitamin credibility. If there has been anything like a retraction, I have yet to see it.

Illness is Not Caused by Drug Deficiency

If you’ve made it this far in reading this article you have discerned that I’m sympathetic to vitamin arguments. I think most diseases are some form of malnutrition. Taking the position that nutrition is the foundation to disease doesn’t make medicine any simpler. You still have to figure out who has what and why. There are many disease states that are difficult to pin down using the “pharmaceutical solution to disease.” A drug solution is a nice idea, in theory. It makes the assumption that the cause of a disease is so well understood that a man-made chemical commonly called ‘medicine’ is administered, very efficiently solving the health problem. The reality though, is medicine doesn’t understand most health problems very well. A person with a heart rhythm disturbance is not low on digoxin. A child who is diagnosed with ADHD does not act that way because the child is low on Ritalin. By the same logic, a person with type II diabetes doesn’t have a deficit of metformin. The flaw of medicine is the concept of managing (but not curing) a particular disease state. I’m hard pressed to name any disease state that mainstream medicine is in control of.

Voltaire allegedly said, “Doctors are men who pour drugs of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, into human beings of whom they know nothing.” Maybe he overstated the problem. Maybe he didn’t.