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Wednesday 22 January 2014

The Ages of Conventional Medical Drugs

There is a regular pattern of 'new' drugs replacing 'old' drugs, always accompanied by strident claims about their miraculous capabilities for the new one - only for these new 'wonder' drugs to be withdrawn (as silently as possible) just a few years later. One of the recurring features of NHS-ConMed drugs is that each one appears to pass through a specific life cycle.
Birth. The new drug is announced as a 'medical breakthrough' that will transform the lives of patients who suffer from a particular disease. We are told that they have been 'scientifically' tested, and found to be both safe and effective.
Childhood. The drug is prescribed to patients, often in great anticipation. However, it is quickly discovered that the new wonder drug has 'side effects', or 'adverse reactions' (which should be known as Disease-Inducing-Effects, or DIEs). However, in these early, hopeful days these are usually considered to be unimportant. The argument is usually that the benefits of the drugs to patients greatly outweigh these ‘minor’ disadvantages.
Adulthood. As time goes on, evidence about the DIEs caused by the drug accumulates. The problems can no longer be entirely discounted, so it is reluctantly accepted by the ConMed Establishment that the use of the drug has to be restricted, that it can now be used only with caution, or even with severe limitations being imposed on its prescription.
Old Age. Patients begin to realise some of the problems being caused by the drug, and as a result their is increased resistance to taking them. Doctors are finally forced to accept that the drug does cause damage to patients. The use of the drug declines, and its profitability is severely reduced. By this stage, however, Big Pharma has often come up with a 'new' replacement drug.
Death. Finally, when the drug has been found to be either ineffective or unsafe (and has become less profitable too) it is removed from the market - as quietly and surreptitiously as possible. 
The old promises and claims for these former 'wonder' drugs, are also quietly forgotten. The drug is dismissed as 'old' technology. Patients are told that there are now new, more effective drugs available to take its place.
There is a long list of drugs / vaccinations / hormonal treatments and similar that have gone through this process - Melleril, Seroxat, Bextra, Tysabri, Vioxx, and HRT to name but a few. Even substances used in the general manufacture of drugs have had to be banned. For instance, in 2005, phenglpropalamine (PPA) was banned by the FDA. Amongst other uses, PPA was used in Alka-Seltzer products - so it is often to be found in popular, frequently used, over-the-counter medicines that have been found to be unsafe too.
A good example of the ageing process of drugs, that has happened to so many conventional medical drugs, are the ages of SSRI Antidepressant drugswhich include Prozac and Seroxat, and these can be used to demonstrate the typical life-cycle of Conventional Medical drugs.
Birth. SSRI drugs were introduced to replace a group of drugs that had reached ‘old age’, and coming under increasing scrutiny and criticism. These were the tranquilisers of the Benzodiazepine group, such as Valium and Ativan, which were found to have debilitating DIEs (and have left a hefty legacy of serious health problems behind them). The new SSRI drugs were supposed to be safer, non-addictive, and more effective. As usual, they were hailed as new 'wonder drugs' in the early 1990's, when they were popularly dubbed as 'happy pills'.
Childhood. Prozac and Seroxat, in particular, were prescribed on a major scale to many millions of patients worldwide, making enormous profits for their manufacturers.
Adulthood. A BBC Panarama programme in 2002 revealed 16 cases of suicide linked to Seroxat, 47 attempted suicides, and 92 patients who had thought about self-harming, and hurting others. Despite this the prescribing of SSRI drugs continued unabated. Manufacturers said they were happy that the drugs were 'well-tolerated'. And the drug regulators, the MHRA, were happy to allow the drugs to be prescribed. In 2003 a major enquiry was launched into these drugs following more reports of suicide, as well as nightmares, tremors, and feelings of violence, by patients taking them.
Old Age. Eventually, in 2005, Seroxat was banned in the UK for use with children. In 2006, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, who had hitherto denied there was a problem with the drug, sent a letter to all UK doctors warning of the potential risk to adult patients.
Death. This is still awaited!
This pattern is repeated frequently. It demonstrates that the Conventional Medical Establishment is quite incapable of protecting us as patients. It is important to understand that serious drug and vaccine DIEs are not usually predicted during the testing and licensing stage of drug regulation. Indeed, these are not usually discovered until the drug or vaccine has been marketed for many years, after millions of patients have suffered, or died as a result.
Each and every conventional drug or vaccine we might be taking at this moment is living its life somewhere along this spectrum, these ages. It means that any 'new' drug, in its infancy or childhood, in the midst of claims for the miracles it can produce, is in reality on a journey towards it death - its eventual withdrawal, or banning.