Monday, 30 March 2015

Meningitis B Vaccine: is it safe? Or an offer worth refusing?

This weekend (29th March 2015) the mainstream media announced proudly that all babies in Britain will soon have access to a vaccine against Meningitis B. We were told that the government, and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, had reached agreement with GlaxoSmith Kline on the cost of the deal, which had earlier been refused on the grounds of expense.

So is this good new? It is according to the government, which announced that it had obtained 'good value for money', and would now be implementing a recommendation made in 2014 that every child over 2 months should be given the vaccine. The vaccine will now be added to the national childhood vaccination scheme, the first dose being given at 2 months, followed by 2 further doses. Jeremy Hunt is reported as saying that he "was very proud that we will be the first country in the world to have a nationwide Meningitis B vaccination programme".

It is good news for the NHS, with all 4 national branches in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland announcing that they will be providing the vaccine. The Northern Ireland health minister, Jim Wells, welcome the outcome of the negotiations "to secure an effective, safe and cost-effective vaccine".

It is good news for the drug company, who are presumably content with the price for the vaccine negotiated by the government.

The charity 'Meningitis Now' believe that it is good new too, saying "To know that babies will be protected against MenB is fantastic and another great step forwards in our fight against meningitis", and the Meningitis Research Foundation also commented that "We are delighted that vaccinating all babies against this devastating disease is now within sight, cementing the UK's position as a world leader in meningitis prevention".

The BBC article, in which all these quotations of satisfaction were taken, were also good enough to report a case of one child who had lost her leg because of the illness. It also outline the seriousness of the illness, 1,800 per year, causing amputation, deafness, epilepsy and learning difficulties, with 1 in 10 cases being fatal.

So has this been good, accurate and full reporting by the BBC, and the mainstream media generally? Has it provided parents with all the information they need in order to make an informed choice about whether they should allow their babies to be vaccinated. Has the government, the NHS, the health charities, et al, been entirely honest an open in how they have presented the issue?

In July 2013, the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) concluded that the current evidence is insufficient "to support a recommendation for the introduction" of the vaccine. said the vaccine was not cost-effective, and did not offer enough protection. 

This 'Healthier Life' article, published in November 2014, questioned the need for the vaccine, and provides evidence that the health scare underlying this new vaccine was based on hysteria.

This Natural News article questions the benefits of the vaccine, and points to the very real issues of any vaccine that contain ingredients like mercury, formaldehyde, aluminium, and other poisons.

The Meningitis C vaccine is also known to cause serious long-term health problems, outline in this case.

The experience of the Meningitis B vaccine in the Far East has led to a number of deaths in India, Pakistan, Sri Landa, and Bhutan, and its withdrawal in Vietnam.

In Africa, at least 50 children have been left paralysed by the vaccine.

So, as usual, we are being presented with a vaccine whose purpose is to respond to need that is doubtful, a vaccine whose effectiveness is doubted, and where there is already evidence that it is doing harm to those who receive it.

And as usual, we are are being told by the government, the NHS, the mainstream media, and others, that it is needed, if is effective, and it is safe.

Even if none of the issues raised by the articles above are true, are we not entitled to be told about them by our 'Free Press'?

We have been given too many bland assurances in recent years about the safety and efficacy of conventional medical drugs and vaccines, only to find out many years later, after much harm and mayhem, that they are dangerous and ineffective! The Meningitis B vaccine appears to be yet another example of this.

It is about time for patients to begin to learn from past experience. The conventional medical establishment cannot be trusted. It is too powerful for governments to oppose. And the mainstream media is too much under their control and influence to question.

Our doctors in crisis

Our doctors are under severe pressure. So, of course, is the rest of the NHS in Britain. Hospital waiting lists are lengthening. Our Accident and Emergency (A&E) units are under severe pressure. And our GP's are now in crisis

A south London GP practice has published a note, entitled "Why you GP is facing a crisis" to its patients explaining why it is difficult to get an appointment to see a doctor. It provides a long list of issues facing them which is putting them under pressure. The GP magazine 'Pulse' says that it is in response to the BMA's campaign to help cut doctor's workloads.

Pulse says that it has published a number of articles of GP waiting time, GP retention and recruitment, observing that workload has increased by 20% without any increase in budget. It discussed the 'burnout' of doctors, and goes on to say that doctors are having to turn patients away, and that as a result of this, they are choosing to go straight to A&E departments - which are also unable to cope.

‘In conclusion: ‘Doctors have to see more people - they’re only going to get busier. They’re getting demoralised and leaving the profession. There’s no money to employ more of them; and even if the money was there, there’s a shortage of qualified people. The recruitment shortage is only making things worse for the GPs still remaining. A lack of GPs is costing the NHS money, because sending everyone to A&E is much more expensive.’

Everyone will, of course, have the greatest sympathy for doctors and other staff with the NHS. Yet it would be helpful if the conventional medical establishment began to recognise, and acknowledge the cause of the difficulties they face. 
  • The NHS is not underfunded (there has been no reduction in funding the NHS, indeed, there has been a steady, often a rapid increase, in spending on conventional medicine since 1947.
  • The NHS is not inefficient. There has been no shortage of NHS re-ogranisation and restructuring to ensure that the money is spent efficiently.

Yet, the real reason for the regular capacity crises in the history of the NHS has never been properly identified. 
The reason is the failure of conventional medicine to cope with illness.
  1. First, conventional drugs and vaccines have only limited effectiveness to cope with illness and disease.
  2. Second, conventional drugs and vaccines are themselves an important cause of the underlying increase in chronic diseases that have been seen over recent decades.
  3. The cost of conventional drugs and vaccines are, and always have been, exorbitant, and even £100 billion plus is sufficient.
This has been the regular constant message in this blog. 

It is not possible to have a medical system based on drugs and vaccines that actually increase illness, through side effects and adverse reactions, that are, in reality, new illnesses and diseases, and then expect the nation's  health to improve, or for the pressures on NHS spending to reduce. 

These pressures within the NHS are all part and parcel of the failure of the conventional medical system.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Shingles? For treatment, choose between conventional drugs and homeopathic remedies.

Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus, herpes zoster. The virus infects a nerve, and the area of skin supplied by that nerve, causing pain. Anyone who has had chickenpox in the pastcan develop shingles. It can affect any part of the body, usually just on one side, but commonly affects the chest or abdomin, or the upper face. The usual symptoms are pain, t ender skin, and a rash.

The pain which can vary from mild to severe is usually localised, and runs along the line of the infected nerve. It can be accompanied by sharp stabbing pains. The condition typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.

Conventional Medical Treatment of Shingles
NHS Choices says honestly that there is no conventional medical cure for shingles. The treatment it ofers "can help ease your symptoms until trhe condition improves. In many cases, shingles gets better within around two to four weeks". Even so, it says that although there is no treatment you should see a doctor "as early treatment may help reduce the severity of the condition and the risk of potential complications". For this it offers various self-care strategies, such as keeping the rash clean and dry, using topical antibiotics, and using calamine lotion.

There can be complications to the condition, including postherpetic neuralgia, where the nerve pain persists after the rash has gone.

Antiviral Drugs
Antiviral drugs, such as aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir, are sometimes prescribed, although these do not kill the virus, but stops it was multiplying, and so may reduce the severity of the condition, or reduce its longevity. However, they are not routinely prescribed as they are not considered necessary for milder forms of the condition. They are prescribed for older people, if it affects the eye or ear, or if the pain or rash are severe. It is also thought that might prevent postherpetic neuralgia, but NHS Choices admits that there is only 'uncertain' evidence for this.

NHS Choices also outline the side effects of antiviral medication, including:
• feeling sick
• vomiting
         • diarrhoea
         • abdominal pain
         • headaches
          • dizziness

Pregnant women are not usually presecribed antiviral drugs because of the possible side effects.

Children are also not usually prescribed antiviral drugs.

Painkilling drugs
NHS Choices says the painkillers might be prescribed to ease the pain caused by shingles, usually paracetamol, or NSAID drugs such as ibuprofen, or even Opoid painkillers, such as codeine. But the side effects of all these painmilling drugs are outlined as a precaution.

Antidepressant drugs
These are prescribed as it believed that they can be useful in relieving the nerve pain associated with shingles. The type usually used at tricyclic antidepressants, like amitriptyline, imipramine and nortriptyline. Yet there is, again, a warning about the side effects these drugs can include:
• constipation
• difficulty urinating
• blurred vision
dry mouth
• weight gain
• drowsiness

Anticonvulsant drugs
Although usually used control seizures and epilepsy, it is also thought that anticonvulsant drugs such as gabapentin and pregabalin can be useful in relieving nerve pain. However, NHS Choices warns about their side effects:
• dizziness
• drowsiness
• increased appetite
• weight gain
• feeling sick
• vomiting

There are no such problems with the use of Homeopathy for the treatment of shingles.

Homeopathic Treatment of Shingles
Note. Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats an individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important. Click here to read more about  Illness Diagnosis

Homeopathy works by matching the symptoms of illness with the known symptoms of remedies. These short remedy descriptions may guide you to a remedy that can work for you, but consulting with a qualified homeopath will enhance the chances of a good match. When a close match is found the remedy will work successfully, without any side effects, or adverse reactions.

Ranunculus bulbosus
This remedy is considered to be the most important homeopathic remedies for the treatment of shingles. It is is indicated for shingles when the rash is deeply inflamed, accompanied with stabbing pains, often on the ribcage. The eruptions are often bluish in colour.

Rhus tox
This is a common remedy used in the treatment of shingles. It can relieve the itching and pains associated with the condition. The rash consists of small, red fluid-filled vesicles, or blisters, that break when scratched, spreading the infection. The patient is often restless, changing positions often to seek relief. It is useful in Shingles that is predominantnly left sided, and hot baths and warm compresses can bring temporary relief.

Iris versicolor 
This remedy is indicated when the rash is right sided, on the abdomen, and under the right arm. The shingles is often accompanied by abdominal upset or problems with the pancreas.

Arsenicum album 
This remedy is indicated when the patient suffers terrible burning pains along the nerve pathway. Pains are often made better with the application of warm compresses. The patient may be restless, anxious, thirsty for cold drinks, and afraid to be alone.

Clematis erectu
This remedy alleviates shingles pains that are burning, with red blisters that become aggravated, especially at night time, and are ameliorated with the application of cold water. A common feature indicating the use of this remedy is when the shingles may be accompanied by urinary tract complaints.

Apis mellifica 
This remedy is indicated when the rash is bright pink, swollen, itchy and produces stinging pains made better by cool compresse, but aggravated by warmth.

This remedy is indicated for a shingles rash where the blisters are oozing, bright red, and made worse by hot applications. The rash is often accompanied by terrible itching made better with the application of cool compresses.

Randomised Controlled Tests (RCT)
Homeopathy has treated Shingles for over 220 years, but to my knowledge there have been no RCTs to confirm its effectiveness.

The information on this webpage represents the views and opinion of the author, based on his clinical experience, and the traditions of Homeopathy. This material is provided for information only, and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Always consult with a suitably qualified and registered Homeopath, or with a medical doctor for advice about the treatment they offer, especially in serious or life threatening medical conditions, or if you are already taking medical drugs. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Homeopathy skeptics fail to provide an arguable case

  The Canadian anti-Homeopathy organisation, 'Centre for Inquiry', (similar in aim and purpose to 'Sense about Science' in Britain), took out a class action against Boiron, the largest manufacturer of homeopathic remedies, in April 2012. After three years of legal wrangling, their case has been dismissed, thrown unceremoniously out of court!

Adanna Charles, of West Montreal, and her son, took does of Boiron's remeby, Oscillcochinnum, for influenza. She said there was no noticeable relief, so she decided to launch the suit. The Centre For Inquiry (CFI) was behind the action, sending out a press release encouraging people to join the class action, but later withdrawing it.

The purpose was clear. This was a legal attack on Boron, and the largest store selling homeopathic remedies, Shoppers Drug Mart). They wanted to make an example of them. They wanted to embarrass homeopathy. Iain Martell, then head of CFI's 'anti-homeopathy' said:

"If we win with this case, that sets an example for everyone else. A hefty fine against Boiron might lead other snake oil producers to be more careful in their labelling. And so on... until the next lawsuit." 

This was published in the Canadian Atheist, but again subsequently deleted.

The judgment of the Quebec Superior Court in January 2015 was damning.  Judge Louis Lacoursire completely rejected as evidence three opinion pieces by anti-homeopathy authors.

"...... the Court is reluctant to hold that there is an arguable case to be made that Oscillo products have no effect on the symptoms of flu sufferers strictly on the basis of these articles alone, notably because of the fact that Oscillo products have successfully met the requirements of Health Canada, have been approved for sale and, also, because these articles seem, at first glance, to be all out attacks on homeopathy."

The judge also criticised Adanna Charles, who he did not consider to be a suitable representative for other people who supposedly suffered damages from buying Oscillo products, because she did nothing about the supposed problem until she spotted the article about the American lawsuit about six months later.

As a result, Judge Lacoursire dismissed the suit and awarded Boiron costs. This means that Adanna Charles and her supporters in CFI may have to pay a substantial amount of Boiron's hefty legal bill.

This is a major victory for the homeopathic community against anti-homeopathic organisations, set up and funded (in part) by the pharmaceutical industry, in pursuit of solidifying their monopoly in most national health provision.

And, in the words of the judge, it shows once again the failure of the anti-homeopaths to come up with "an arguable case" in favour of their prejudice.

Cataracts, Homeopathy, and a Guinea Pig!

 This blog has been provided by Christina Villacorta, after she shared it with the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths. Many many thanks to her for allowing me to share the story, which is quite amazing.

 I would like to add a little anecdote to the cataract topic, I know it is a guinea pig, nevertheless I find it interesting!

Last year, I was treating Punky, my guinea pig, for some fat lumps under his belly. The only reason I did it was because they were big enough to bother him, one was close to his leg and it was very big. My daughters asked me several time to give him something but I have to say I do not feel comfortable prescribing for animals, they don't say much! 

Anyway, I gave him some therapeutic remedies with great success and the girls were happy and so was I.  

Now, soon after, my daughter held the guinea pig and she called me, very distressed, the poor thing had a white eye!!! It was quite thick and blue looking so I explained he had a cataract, he was old and it happens. 

Again they ask me to give something to this poor thing but I know cataracts can be tricky to treat and I have not heard of much success. I have never treated one myself but .... I had nothing to loose. So I went to old Clark prescriber and looked under cataracts: 

"........ later stages Silic, Calc fluorica 30-200 followed by Sulphur 200c 
one dose per week for 2 weeks and repeat....  Many cataracts will recede under this treatment." 

Having nothing better to go for, I put a Calc-fluor 30 in his drinking bottle and forgot about it. About a week after, I was called again by my daughter who was holding the guinea pig and she was shocked, but so was I!

The cataract was nearly gone, I would say 90%! 

I still gave him the Sulphur for a couple of weeks and the cataract never came back! This is nearly a year after.

I do not know what to think. It is one of this miracles that we see with homoeopathy and I wish it would have happened with a patient but I have never treated anyone for that. But Punky is happy and so my daughters. It was truly amazing to see what therapeutics can do even without treating the totality.

I share Christina's view. Homeopathy does sometimes work miracles. But of course it is not a miracle at all. When treatment is based on sound homeopathic principles, whether we treat humans, animals or plants, healing and cure take place. Why else are we all doing it?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Rienso. Another Big Pharma drug withdrawn

Another pharmacetical drug, Rienzo (Ferumoxytol), has been quietly withdrawn from the market. Have you heard about it? No?

Well, the withdrawal was quietly announced in MIMS, which describes itself as "one of the most up-to-date prescribing references for healthcare professionals", in an email published on 18th March 2018, and on its website on 16th March 2015 where the event was described as follows:

"The intravenous iron preparation Rienso (ferumoxytol) has been withdrawn for commercial reasons. Launched in 2012, it was licensed for the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease".

That's it! And we should perhaps note that the withdrawal was done "for commercial reasons". So nothing wrong with that, then.

Except, of course, the reason for the withdrawal was not quite as benign as that! 

In another MIMS article, published in September 2014, the reason for the 'withdrawal' for 'commercial reasons' may become a little clearer.

"Takeda has issued a letter to healthcare professionals about the risk of serious hypersensitivity reactions associated with the use of its injectable colloidal iron-carbohydrate complex, ferumoxytol (Rienso)".

So the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the British drug regulator, MHRA, provided restrictive prescribing information for Rienzo "to mitigate the risk of serious hypersensitive reactions". It was 'contraindicated in patients with any history of drug allergy". The drug had to be "administered by trained staff in an environment where resuscitation facilities are available", and patients receiving the drug were to be monitored for hypersensitivity reactions, "including blood pressure and pulse rate, during and for at least 30 minutes after completion of the infusion". And even after this, patients were to be advised to seek urgent medical attention if they start to feel unwell

Less than two years earlier, MIMS had heralded the new drug, and its safety and efficacy in clinical drug trials!

"The safety and efficacy of intravenous ferumoxytol were assessed in three open-label studies involving 837 patients with CKD and iron-deficiency anaemia".

It proceeded to outline and reference the studies.  The article went on to describe how 'well tolerated' the drug was, as demonstrated by three further RCTs (Randomised Controlled Tests).

Clearly 'evidence-based medicine' at its very best!

Yet this is a common tale. The conventional medical establishment heralds a new drug as being safe and effective. Then it is discovered the drug is neither safe or effective. Then, if there is no profit to be made in marketing the drug, it is quietly withdrawn "for commercial reasons".

And as far as Rienso is concerned, this all happened all in less than 3 years.

Perhaps my skeptic friends, who spend their time upholding the value of RCTs, who demand this evidence for homeopathy and other alternative medical therapies, who champion the benefits of 'evidence-based-medicine' would like to comment on this post. I would be interested to hear their views on the value of drug testing and drug regulation, and the safety of marketing drugs like this for patients.

Unfortunately, I don't think they will have anything to say!

Monday, 16 March 2015

The Precautionary Principle in Medicine, and Pharmaceutical Drug Regulation

Human life can be dangerous. So it is not surprising that mankind has come up with a number of broad, general ideas about making it as safe as possible.

The precautionary principle has been taken on as part of our 'risk management' procedures for a long time. The precautionary principle means is that if it is suspected that an action, or a new policy might risk causing harm to the public, or to the environment, it should not take place. In such a situation we require some proof of safety. Where there is no certainty that an action or policy is safe, the burden of proof that it is safe, and not harmful, is placed upon those who proposing to take the action, or pursue the policy.

Fail Safe Mechanisms are another response to safeguarding the public from harm. Most people driving in a car will wear a seatbelt although not expecting to crash. Similarly, people travelling on a boat will wear a life-belt, or have access to a life-belt, although not expecting the boat to sink. In other words, we will not endanger ourselves when something goes wrong, or fails, however unexpectedly. If a building catches fire a fail safe system would ensure that the doors are open rather than closed to allow exit. To protect us from sudden surges of electrical power, all our electrical devices are fused.

Medicine pays lip service to the precautionary principle. The Hippocratic Oath states that doctors and medical practitioners should "first, do no harm..."

One doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, at the end of the 18th Century, was so worried by the harm he was causing that he stopped practicing, and took time to develop a medical system that would be safe for his patients. This is how the gentle science of Homeopathy started.

Yet conventional medicine has never truly embraced the precautionary principle. It has failed to develop a system of medicine that ensures that its patients are safe from harm. This is demonstrated by statistics produced by Jon Rappoport, in his blog "The Starfield Revelation: medically caused death in America". Here is what he said.

On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a titanic shock, when one of its most respected public-health experts, Dr. Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America. Starfield was associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The Starfield study, "Is US health really the best in the world?", published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, came to the following conclusions - that every year in the US there are:

  • 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries
  • 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals
  • 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals
  • 80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals
  • 106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines
  • The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000
  • That's 2.25 MILLION deaths per decade

As Rappoport concludes,

"This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer".

So where are the 'fail safe' mechanisms in medicine, what status does the 'precautionary principle' have, within the conventional medical establishment? Where, for example, does Drug Regulation stand in relation to these principles?

As patients we are led to believe that no Pharmaceutical drug is ever allowed to be given to the public without rigorous testing through our Drug Regulations, which seek to ensure that it they are known to be safe before we are given them to take.

Unfortunately, drug regulators throughout the world, whether the FDA in America, the MHRA in Britain, or the EMA  in Europe, consistently and routinely fail to do so.

Indeed, one of the oft-cited principles of conventional medicine is that "no effective drug or vaccine can be entirely safe". Therefore, when a doctor gives us a drug or vaccine, they give no guarantee of safety, and an indication that they can do us harm! 

Of course, the idea that medicine cannot be safe for patients is entirely wrong, as homeopaths, acupuncturists, reflexologists, and other alternative medical practitioners prove every day! 

And it is a principle that no other industry would dare espouse. Consider what might happen to a car manufacturer who told us that no car could ever be safe to drive (even with proper, safe driving). Or a builder who told us that every building might fall down (even given proper maintenance). They would never sell another car, or build another building. They would be pilloried by the media. They would be barrred from selling their wares to the public.

So what about drug regulation? Pharmaceutical drugs are tested, on animals, on people, before they are marketed. Yet, the history of conventional drugs and vaccines has consistently been that, in the fullness of time, they have all proven to unsafe, harmful, dangerous, and as Rappoport's statistics demonstrated, lethal. So what happens to them?
  1. The evidence of harm from initial drug testing is discounted, sometimes kept from the drug regulator, and the drugs are approved.
  2. As more reports of harm are reported, these are also discounted, by doctors, by drug regulators, by the media, and the drug continues to be used. This can sometime continue for several years without any action being taken.
  3. As reports become more widespread, and even more serious, the warnings can no longer be entirely discounted. But rather than the drugs being withdrawn, or banned by Drug Regulators, doctors are given 'guidelines' about when, and to whom they can be prescribed, and/or warnings are printed on drug information leaflets, and/or 'black box' warnings are given on drug packaging.
Yet throughout this process the conventional medical establishment continues to give us with drugs and vaccines they know to be dangerous to our health!

There is no precautionary principle applied - stop prescribing the drug until we are certain they are safe. There is no fail safe mechanism applied - the car can crash without warning - the building can fall down! 

The patient can continue taking the drug or vaccine, regardless of any risk to his/her health, or his/her life.

Day in, day out, patients throughout the world are being prescribed dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, and the conventional medical establishment does little or nothing to protect us. It acts as if the 'precautionary principle', and 'fail safe mechanisms' are unnecessary in their sphere of activity. Yet, take another look at Rappoport's statistics, and then agree with them that we don't need protection from them!