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Thursday, 8 March 2012

BBC News: sales rep for Big Pharma drug companies? Alzheimers.

BBC News regularly provide their listeners and viewers with compelling reasons to use pharmaceutical drugs, and it would seem that they do so without question or reserve. The BBC seems content to comply fully with Big Pharma news releases, and the drug-dominated Conventional Medical Establishment. 

The BBC, like the rest of the mainstream media, is failing to provide patients with full and complete information.

In March 2012, on the Today programme, John Humphrys undertook not one, but two sets of interviews that focused on the availability, or non-availability of Alzheimer's drugs, such as Aricept, for patients with severe dementia. All the people he interviewed were from the ConMed Establishment. They all sang from the same hymn-sheet. 

So I can envisage many carers of people with dementia rushing to their GPs to demand Aricept, and similar Alzheimers drugs. The 'good news' is now on the BBC website, where the article displays a similar, slavish adherence to conventional medicine's view that 'we all need more drugs' for this, and any other condition.

So where is the balance, where is the impartiality? Where is the BBCs responsibility to report fully and fairly on health issues. As usual, it is entirely missing!

The central question here is about whether patients are entitled to know about the side-effects, adverse reactions, and the diseases-inducing-effects (DIEs) of Big Pharma drugs. The BBC, and John Humphrys, clearly think this is not necessary. So just out of interest, what are the DIEs of Aricept?

* Severe diarrhea
* Severe nausea, heartburn, stomach pain and vomiting
* Loss of appetite
* Insomnia and abnormal dreams
* Fainting
* Headache
* Generalised pain, chest pain
* Unexplained weight loss
* Swelling of hands, ankles, feet
* Unusual bruising
* Fatigue and tiredness
* Stomach pain
* Changes in vision or balance
* Dizziness and fainting spells
* Nervousness or agitation
* Muscle cramps
* Arthritis
* Uncontrollable movements; tremor
* Skin discolouration
* Mood and mental problems, including depression
* Slow and irregular heartbeat
* Difficulty in passing urine; or frequent urination
* Shortness of breath, worsening of Asthma
* Seizures
* Stomach ulcers or intestinal ulcers
* Signs of an allergic reaction, such as an unexplained rash, hives, itching, swelling of the mouth or throat, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.

Did the BBC mention any of this? No, they did not! Should it have mentioned this? Do patients, and their carers, have the right to know? 

Or is the BBC setting itself up as an official spokesman, and/or salesman, for the pharmaceutical drugs industry?

If you have a relative with dementia, would you not want to know? 

Would you not want all the information, in order to make an informed choice? 

Apparently, the BBC does not think so. Alongside the rest of the mainstream media they are content to run the evidence produced by the Conventional Medical Establishment uncritically, partially, as if there were no problems associated with Big Pharma drugs. Either they know about DIEs, and refuse to inform us about them. Or they are unaware of them; and they are poor journalists.

Either way, the BBC are doing a disservice to the health debate going on out here, where increasing numbers of people are looking for non-drug treatment for illnesses.