Friday, 23 June 2017

The NHS, Pfizer and Lyrica. Corporate Profit and Patient Harm

Conventional medicine treats neuropathic pain with a drug called pregabalin, conditions such as fibromyalgia, shingles, diabetic nerve problems, spinal cord injury, and many others. It is an anticonvulsant and neuropathic pain agent - and a dispute over patenting rights with drug companies has cost the English NHS, and the British taxpayer, an estimated additional £54 million.

Pregabalin is a nasty little drug, with lots of nasty side effects. The website lists these, and they include infection, ataxia, blurred vision, constipation, diplopia, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, peripheral edema, tremor, weight gain, visual field loss, accidental injury, xerostomia, abnormal gait, abnormality in thinking, amnesia, arthralgia, asthenia, cognitive dysfunction, confusion (dementia), edema, neuropathy, sinusitis, speech disturbance, vertigo, visual disturbance, myasthenia, amblyopia, and so on.

Yet the harm it is known to cause patients has not been the issue, as usual. The problem has been money and profits - as usual! From July 2014 to March 2015 most prescriptions for pregabalin were for the 'generic' (the cheaper but identical) versions of the drug. However, the manufacturers of the branded (the expensive) version, Pfizer and Warner-Lambert, did not like this. When their UK patent for Lyrica expired in July 2014 they claimed they still held a ‘second medical use’ patent for when it is prescribed for 'neuropathic pain'. So they took the matter to court. An interim judgment found in favour of Pfizer, so in March 2015 NHS England backed down and issued guidance forcing doctors to switch thousands of patients’ prescriptions for generic pregabalin back to Lyrica.

In September 2015 the High Court threw out Pfizer's patent claim as 'invalid', and the Judge stated that Pfizer had made ‘groundless threats’ to pharmacists about dispensing the generic drug. They, too, backed down, and the GP magazine Pulse says that "some pharmacies even triggered a significant event alert every time a GP prescribed so as not to fall foul of Pfizer’s ‘threats’."

So now, after two years, and an appeal, the English NHS is directing doctors to switch thousands of patients back to generic pregabalin. Well, all is fair in love (the love affair between the NHS and drug companies) and war (the battle for profit)!

Pulse analysed the cost of this decision, estimating that prescribing Lyrica instead of generic pregabalin had cost the NHS an extra £54m between February and September 2015 - less than a year! It stated a BMA spokesman, Dr Andrew Green, told them that patients had lost out.

               "Pfizer, by threatening legal action against pharmacists and doctors if they prescribed generically, have boosted their profits and denied patients effective treatments that otherwise could have been provided with that money."

Financially, this is certainly true. The NHS has been screwed by Pfizer, but by now it should be used to this, pharmaceutical companies have been screwing the NHS for nearly 70 years! Green added,

               "They now have a moral duty to pay that money back to the NHS."

Maybe. But there seems precious little 'moral duty' around within the NHS, and certainly not within the pharmaceutical industry! They are both locked together in a medical monopoly, together with most patients who depend on the NHS, and therefore depend on pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.

What nobody has been spared, or even discussed, during all this time, have been the dangerous side effects of taking this awful drug.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Patients are 'confused' when told about the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs!

A new study has found that only 37% of the public trust evidence from medical research. This means that two-thirds do not, and prefer to trust the experiences of friends and family! This was reported in the Academy of Medical Sciences website on 19th June 2017, and reports on "the significant difficulties patients and some healthcare professionals face in using evidence from research to judge the benefits and harms of medicines". It calls for "concerted action to improve the information patients receive".

The confusion faced by patients needs to be unwrapped a little in order to understand what is happening. Although the news media refuses to tell patients about the serious side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, drug companies are obliged to provide a 'patient information leaflet' with each prescription, and these PILS contain the known (or rather the accepted) side effects of the drug. The study was instigated following public debate about the benefits and harms of treatments such as statins, hormone replacement therapy and Tamiflu. The debate (quiet as it has been in most of the news media) has apparently led patients to reject these treatments, which is, of course, a problem for the conventional medical establishment!

The study calls for "a range of actions including significant improvements to patient information leaflets, better use of medical appointments and a bigger role for NHS Choices as the ‘go to’ source of trusted information online for patients and carers, as well as healthcare professionals".

 In other words, the information patients are being given is becoming a problem. It is creating doubt in the mind of patients, who are beginning to question the value, effectiveness and safety of what doctors are offering them! The study's leader. Professor Sir John Tooke, FMedSci, is reported as saying:

               “It is startling to hear that only about a third of the public trust medical research, and that patients are struggling to make sense of the information they receive from their doctor, the TV, the internet and their friends and family about medicines."

Clearly, information is a bad thing when it comes to patients understanding more about the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines! Making an 'informed choice' is not what is required by the conventional medical establishment! Our doctors know best.

               “With our ageing population and ever more sophisticated treatments being made available, we need to act now to give patients clearer and more useful information about the medicines they take.”

PILS were described as being ‘impenetrable’ and ‘unreadable’ (which they are) and the report calls for substantial changes to the leaflets at a national and EU level.

               "The report calls on the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to work with national regulatory authorities, pharmaceutical companies and patients to reform patient information leaflets to give a clearer and more balanced summary of both the potential benefits and harms of medicines. At present, patient information leaflets detail all of the possible side effects but are particularly poor at outlining the potential benefits of treatments, hindering informed decisions about medicines.  

What we seem to be facing here, amidst the 'clearer' and 'more balanced' information', is an attempt to prevent patients being 'confused' by censoring our access to negative information! These are the same arguments used for mandatory vaccinations in other parts of the world, the USA, Italy, Australia and elsewhere. The doctor knows best. As far as patients are concerned, a little information is a dangerous thing! The role of the doctor is to give us drugs on the basis of their understanding of their value to our health. Our role is to take them, and anything that contributes to us making our own decision is not to be tolerated. Nothing about "No decision about me without me" here!

The study decries "the ever-increasing volume of information available online", recommending that the NHS Choices website should be built into "a trusted ‘go to’ source of online information for patients and health professionals, providing clear, accurate, up-to-date, evidence-based information about medicines". Any cursory examination of this official website (as I have undertaken in my website, "Why Homeopath?", which compares conventional and homeopathic treatment of a variety of illnesses, will demonstrate the NHS Choices does not always give an honest account of drug side effects, and rarely a full account of their known dangers!

The agenda of the study was made clear with this statement - it is the rehabilitation of discredited treatments such statins, HRT, and Tamiflu.

               "Implementing the changes recommended in the report could help avoid future confusion about the benefits and harms of medicines, such as arose in the past around statins to prevent cardiovascular disease, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat the symptoms of the menopause and Tamiflu to treat flu."

The dangers of these drug treatments have been well documented, and I have written about them many times in this blog. Do a search on each at the top of the page. Instead, we are provide with the usual propaganda.

               "... for example, questions raised about the risk-benefit balance for statins was associated with a greater number of people stopping treatment causing an estimated 2,000 excess cardiovascular disease events, such as heart attacks and strokes, over the next ten years in the UK.

Not a word about the side effects of Statin drugs, and the damage and disease that they are now known to cause! The problem is that the conventional medical establishment is losing control of the health debate. It might have bought-off any significant criticism by the press. The BBC covered this story this morning, uncritically. But what 'friends' and 'relatives' are tell patients is that the drugs and vaccines doctors are giving us are neither effective or safe.

Statins drugs going out of favour?

BBC News is today promoting yet another vaccine. It is part of its role as the 'echo chamber' for the pharmaceutical industry, an unofficial, unpaid position that our 'public service broadcaster' has accepted for many years now.

Michelle Roberts, the Health Editor, has produced this article on the BBC website, "Cholesterol-lowering jab to help prevent heart disease". The article informs us that human trials of a "cholesterol-lowering vaccine" is being produced to help prevent heart disease. As usual, it sounds like another amazing medical breakthrough, but before popping off to see you doctor for the jab, hold on! There have been "successful studies in mice" to date, according to researchers at the Medical University of Vienna, and they are testing the safety of the vaccine on 72 volunteers!

               "It will take years more of testing to know if the treatment will be safe and effective enough for human use.... Even if it does become available, in six years' time, it should not be seen as an excuse for people to avoid exercise and eat lots of high-fat food".

So we have another 6 years to wait before this wonder-vaccine will begin to have an impact on the epidemic levels of heart disease we are currently experiencing, allegedly caused by 'fatty deposits clogging up our arteries!'

The BBC does this all the time, giving us the 'good news' about pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, which is always about the good news that will  happen in the years to come! Years which never seem to arrive!

At the same time as hearing BBC News promoting the pharmaceutical industry this morning (20th June 2017) I received an email of WDDTY (What Doctor's Don't Tell You). They reported two items. The first was Aspirin is a bigger killer among the over 75's than everyone thought! I wrote about this in my recent blog, "Aspirin causes gastrointestinal bleeding, so the solution is to take PPI drugs which cause .... and so it goes on!" Did the BBC pick up this important piece of news? Of course not!

The other WDDTY article was about the deaths caused by pharmaceutical drugs in the USA, estimated to be nearly 500,000 annually. Did the BBC pick up this important (and regular) piece of news? Of course not!

The BBC tells us about the 'good' news, that may (or may not) happen in 6 years time. But it refuses to cover the news about what is happening to patients right now (and for decades past)!

Yet there is another, more interesting news story here. I ought to mention it as the BBC is unlikely to do so! For decades patients have been told that Statin drugs prevented 'fatty deposits clogging up our arteries'. Moreover, these drugs were entirely safe, so safe in fact that everyone should be taking them. The BBC have been part of this media hype about the benefits and safety of Statin drugs for a long time. It was the 'good news' story of yester-year! The question is, why is there a need to develop a vaccine to do what Statins have been doing, apparently so successfully and safely, for decades? The BBC has the answer, probably straight from the news release of the pharmaceutical industry!

               "It would offer patients an alternative to taking daily pills to cut their risk of stroke, angina and heart attacks."

Or, alternatively, is it more to do with the fact (unmentioned by the BBC of course) that Statin drugs are now implicated in having serious side effects, including liver dysfunction, kidney failure, muscle weakness, cataracts, and more recently, memory loss, confusion and dementia?

So maybe this is the first indication that conventional doctors are now beginning to realise that the drugs they have been giving to patients for years are causing more harm to patients then they realised, or were told. They are certainly doing more harm than the BBC has ever informed us about!

And this is, of course, what happens regularly in the world of the pharmaceutical drugs. Dangerous drugs and vaccines are marketed, they cause harm to patients, and when the harm becomes to great to hide (and profitability is reduced because patents run out) they are quietly withdrawn. And this process seems to happen more quickly when Big Pharma has a replacement!

The new vaccine would also appear to be a profitable venture too. As the BBC article suggests, booster jabs will be required, "the researchers envisage that patients could have a yearly booster shot to top up their immunity."

And conventional medicine presents this as medical progress!

Can anyone trust the BBC and its coverage of health issues? Absolutely not. Or mainstream newspapers (who similarly peddle pharmaceutical propaganda)? Absolutely not. The newspapers wonder why their circulations are declining! The BBC are beginning to understand (in non-health areas anyway) the reason why people are turning to 'alternative' news sources, and are rejecting the 'establishment' view on many social issues, including health. The reason is simple.

It is because the public is beginning to realise that the mainstream media has consistently refused to tell us the truth! 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A Sociological assessment of the 'benefits' of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines

An eminent American sociologist, Donald Light, has weighed in on the debate about pharmaceutical drugs. In fact, he did so in June 2013, four years ago, when his research was published in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics was published (Vol 14, No 3: 590-610), entitled "Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs". This is what he said summarising his devastating findings:

               "Over the past 35 years, patients have suffered from a largely hidden epidemic of side effects from drugs that usually have few offsetting benefits. The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the practice of medicine through its influence over what drugs are developed, how they are tested, and how medical knowledge is created. Since 1906, heavy commercial influence has compromised Congressional legislation to protect the public from unsafe drugs. The authorization of user fees in 1992 has turned drug companies into the FDA’s prime clients, deepening the regulatory and cultural capture of the agency. Industry has demanded shorter average review times and, with less time to thoroughly review evidence, increased hospitalizations and deaths have resulted. Meeting the needs of the drug companies has taken priority over meeting the needs of patients. Unless this corruption of regulatory intent is reversed, the situation will continue to deteriorate. We offer practical suggestions including: separating the funding of clinical trials from their conduct, analysis, and publication: independent FDA leadership; full public funding for all FDA activities; measures to discourage R&D on drugs with few if any new clinical benefits; and the creation of a National Drug Safety Board."

In the journal 'Footnotes' journal of the American Sociological Association, Light was described as the 2013 recipient of ASA’s Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology, and he said this in his article, 'The Epidemic of Sickness and Death from Prescription Drugs' he had more to say, and it is sufficient here to repeat his words in a series of hard-hitting statements:

               "At the intersection of medical and economic sociology sits prescription drugs. Economically, the strange, government-protected markets for drugs lead to prices largely unrelated to either value or cost, though companies claim they reflect one or the other, or both at the same time." 

               "Epidemiologically, appropriately prescribed, prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death, tied with stroke at about 2,460 deaths each week in the United States. About 330,000 patients die each year from prescription drugs in the United States and Europe. They cause an epidemic of about 20 times more hospitalizations, as well as falls, road accidents, and about 80 million medically minor problems such as pains, discomforts, and dysfunctions that hobble productivity or the ability to care for others. Deaths and adverse effects from overmedication, errors, and self-medication would increase these figures."

               "The Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard is devoted to researching “institutional corruption” in a range of domains, including Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Institutional corruption refers to legal ways in which an institution’s social mission and basic values get distorted, usually by big money. For example, the FDA, developed around a series of drug disasters to protect the public from unsafe and ineffective drugs, devotes only 10 percent of its budget to monitoring for harmful side effects. Further, evidence of serious risks is reviewed by the same committee that approved the drug in the first place as 'safe and effective'. This builds on another institutionally corrupt arrangement - companies testing their own products. They use well-documented techniques to produce evidence that new drugs appear safer and less harmful than they are in actual practice. These practices include randomly sampling from a preselected biased population, using substitute outcome measures, and using a high dose to hasten evidence of benefit while running trials too short to record the resulting adverse side effects.

Light states there hitherto there has been a lack of sociological research into the prevalence of mild and serious harms from prescription drugs.

               "Medical sociologists often concentrate their research on diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease rather than on prescription drugs as major cause of illness and death. Drugs as a major health risk, especially given that few new ones have offsetting advantages compared to their higher risks, unites the two sides of medical sociology because physicians prescribe them to help patients. It’s a field waiting for graduate students and faculty to explore."

The articles goes into detail about the operation of large pharmaceutical companies, which Light studied, and led his to realise that a far worse problem existed.... "the epidemic of harmful side effects from drugs that usually offer few or no new clinical advantages over existing drugs to offset their risks."

Light and his colleague went into many other medically related sociological issues, including evidence that new drugs were no better than old ones, questioning how much benefit drugs conferred, how inadequate testing regularly produced disasters such as those associated with Vioxx, that drug pricing was unjustified, and that American federal law required that Medicare payoff any FDA approved drug at the prices drug companies set. His conclusion was clear.

               "What, then, is going on? We concluded that companies charge unaffordable, impoverishing prices because legal protections in the United States encourage them. Further, we found in the large data set on prescription prices .... that companies keep raising these prices in subsequent years, doubling every five years. Thus the pricing of cancer, cardiovascular, and other specialty drugs can be characterized as 'market spiral pricing'.” 

The other factor spiralling out of control is the damage pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are doing to patients throughout the world.

Aspirin causes gastrointestinal bleeding, so the solution is to take PPI drugs which cause .... and so it goes on!

Medical Research scientists at Oxford University have studied over 3,000 patients over 75 years taking anti-platelet drugs, notably aspirin, over a 10-year period. More than 300, that is, 10%, were taken to hospital for gastrointestinal bleeding. They concluded that the overall risk of developing serious bleeding was 10 times higher, which they concluded was "at least as likely to be disabling or fatal" as another stroke. The research was published in the Lancet yesterday, 13th June 2017, "Age-specific risks, severity, time course, and outcome of bleeding on long-term antiplatelet treatment after vascular events: a population-based cohort study".

The research estimated that between 40–66% of adults aged 75 years or older in the USA and Europe take daily aspirin, or another anti platelet drug. Aspirin is known to increase the risk of major gastrointestinal bleeding. Indeed conventional medicine has known this for decades, and this is not the first time medical science has proved it! So what is new? Nothing really. This research proves that aspirin causes more bleeding in more older people than was previously thought!

What this demonstrates is that it takes the conventional medical establishment a long time to work out the damage caused by pharmaceutical drugs! Aspirin was first patented as a drug in 1889, nearly 130 years ago, so it might have been hoped, even expected, that by now they might by now realise the full extent of the damage it is causing to patients. Clearly they do not!

It is proof, if proof is really needed, that conventional medicine is happy to provide patients with dangerous drugs, for a century and more, without fully realising just how dangerous they are to human health!

Worse is the conclusion that the researchers drew from this new evidence. Aspirin may be dangerous, but the solution is not to stop taking it, but to take another pharmaceutical drug instead, PPI's or Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs. So are these drugs safe? Of course not. As my 'Why Homeopathy?' webpage outlines, PPI's are known to cause a host of serious problems - the superbug C.Diff, Pneumonia, Osteoporosis, Heart Attacks, Kidney damage, and dementia. And, of course, all these diseases are suffered particularly by older people!

So, out of the frying pan into the fire? Well, not really. Patients take them together. So they are both in the frying pan and the fire!

It must also be remembered that conventional medicine has been using Aspirin and PPI's together for many years. It is not new advice.  This is how the doctor's e-magazine, Pulse, puts it.

               "Current NICE guidance on NSAID prescribing already recommends co-prescription of PPIs in patients at increased risk of adverse GI effects, which includes those aged 65 or above. Despite this, such treatment is not routine and among the study participants just one third of patients were prescribed a PPI. Experts are now calling for guidance to be updated so that patients aged 75 or above on long-term anti-platelet therapy are routinely co-prescribed a PPI."

So this is another piece of medical science that clearly demonstrates harm but does absolutely nothing about it. Yet there is a further problem. If patients taking Aspirin need to take another drug to stop gastrointestinal bleeding, do they also need to take further drugs to prevent its other known side effects? This is not mentioned! But Aspirin is known to cause a whole host of other serious side effects. My blog "Aspirin. That nice, harmless painkiller, outlines the following information:

  • Although used to prevent heart attacks and strokes Aspirin is known that aspirin actually doubles the risk.
  • Aspirin is known to cause a variety of eyesight problems, from macular degeneration to blindness.
  • Although aspirin is sometimes used to prevent cancer, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that it is actually linked to "a significantly increased risk of developing cancer".
  • And one study, undertaken at the University of Florida and reported in the magazine WDDTY (What Doctor's Don't Tell You), showed that patients taking regular doses of aspirin increased their risk of dying by 47%.

So do patients need to guard against these side effects? There is silence on this! And so the conventional medical circus rolls on, apparently learning lots, but understanding little. Conventional medicine is a game of pretence - pretending to care about whether pharmaceutical drugs cause harm to patients, but when they discover that they do, doing little or nothing about it. The charade just carries on.

  • "The drugs do more good than harm!" - but with precious little evidence of what good they actually do.
  • "All medical treatment has side effects!" - a nonsense statement for anyone who knows about homeopathy, acupuncture and most every other forms of traditional or alternative medicine.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Antidepressant Drugs and Depression. Another sign of the failure of conventional medicine

A doctor, writing in the GP's magazine 'Pulse' has said that doctors "need to stop prescribing antidepressants".  These medications, he says, are overprescribed and prescribed for too long. He is, of course, talking against the perceived wisdom of the conventional medical establishment, that has been stating for several years that mental health, and depression in particular, has been under-diagnosed and under-treated, and more drug treatment is needed. Dr Des Spence, a GP in Glasgow, and a tutor at the University of Glasgow, says this:

               "The ‘Defeat Depression’ campaign in adults in the 1990s was an unmitigated disaster for society. It led to vast numbers of prescriptions, lifelong treatment and side effects. Antidepressant prescribing rates have since doubled in a decade, to an eye watering 61 million prescriptions in 2015."

This campaign was orchestrated by the pharmaceutical industry, to promote and sell its antidepressant drugs which were based on the 'chemical imbalance' theory of depression. Drug companies believed (or at least they wanted us to believe) that antidepressant drugs could rectify this imbalance. But, as Spence states, the chemical imbalance theory "has limited science to support it", and cites this study, Lacasse JR, Leo J. Serotonin and depression: a disconnect between the advertisements and the scientific literature. PLoS Med 2005; 12: e392, to support this. Certainly, the use of antidepressant like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) antidepressants that were designed to increase Serotonin levels in the brain, have been spectacularly unsuccessful!

Spence mentions that there is "much evidence suggesting antidepressants are completely ineffective". He quotes two studies to support his statement,

               Fournier JC et al. Antidepressant drug effects and depression severity: a patient-level meta-analysis. JAMA 2010; 303: 47-53

               Kirsch I et al. Initial severity and antidepressant benefits: a meta-analysis of data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. PLoS Med 2008; 5:e45 

He also mentioned studies that I have already mentioned in my blogs, namely "that even by the most optimistic calculations 85% of patients get no benefit from medication at all".

               Arroll B et al. Antidepressants versus placebo for depression in primary care. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009; 3: CD007954

               Haddad PM, Anderson IM. Recognising and managing antidepressant discontinuation symptoms. Adv Psychiatr Treat 2007; 13: 447–57

Spence also mention the withdrawal symptoms when patients have to stop taking the drugs, causing agitation, insomnia and mood swings "which many construe as a return of their low mood".

Yet he does not mention how spectacularly dangerous antidepressant drugs have been. I have written about this extensively on this page of my 'Why Homeopathy? website. There is now convincing evidence that these drugs have become a major cause of violence and suicide. The dangers of antidepressants is well-enough This does not prevent the conventional medical establishment promoting such drugs. It never has! And Spence himself knows that amongst his peers he is a voice in the wilderness.

               "Most people in primary care have reactive depression or adjustment disorders. But challenging this prevailing wisdom of course means I am stigmatising and dismissing mental illness and should be shouted down. But we all suffer mental illness at times, be it anxiety or depression, I know that I certainly have. The issue is how we manage mental illness."

                "Clearly psychological pain, just like physical pain, has a purpose - it is an evolutionary response. Psychological pain is the catalyst of change, acceptance and moving on. Talking it through, addressing social stresses, changing lifestyle and perhaps ending unhappy relationships is the solution. Antidepressants are not the answer for the vast, vast majority of people. We should aim to normalise, not medicalise."

                "Of course this will be dismissed as simplistic drivel, as life ‘is more complex than this’. But in my view it isn't, it really is as simple as that." 

Presumably Spence realises that his colleagues will prescribe antidepressant drugs quite regardless of how ineffective they are, or how dangerous they can be. This is what happens within the NHS. He calls for more use of, and improved access to counselling as a top priority. But he probably realises that 'talking therapies' are not profitable to the pharmaceutical industry, and so are unlikely to be promoted as he wants.

Yet Spence's article does indicate that there are doctors out there, no doubt too few, who are beginning to realise that conventional, drug-based medicine, is failing. So far (at the time of writing) there have been 43 responses to his article. I have looked through these, and perhaps 5 are critical of his article. Most responses seem resigned in hopelessness - doctors have to respond somehow - prescribing antibiotic drugs is 'pragmatic' -  they may not work, but they are effective as 'placebo'. A few responses suggest that if this is true of the prescription of antidepressant drugs, it is also true of antibiotics, and many other areas of conventional medical practice.

Sadly, few doctors seem to be aware of the serious side effects of antidepressant drugs. But the realisation that conventional medicine is failing is slowly progressing, and this article, and the responses, show that even the soldiers, the ground troops of conventional medicine, are realising that the game is up.

A case of Phlebitis, cured with Homeopathy, but then denied by conventional doctors

This is a story of homeopathy successfully treating an illness, Phlebitis, which had been formally diagnosed by conventional medical staff, but who were not treating is successfully. Once the condition had improved with homeopathy, a doctor and a specialist refused to accept that homeopathy could have any affect on the condition, so the answer must be that she never had the condition - it had been wrong diagnosed! Such is the denial of the conventional medical establishment.

It was July 2004 when Catherine (not her real name) came to see me. She was 79 years old. The condition she wanted me to treat had been diagnosed as Phlebitis, and her doctor was treating it, but she said without much success. She was going to see the practice nurse after our appointment. She was having her leg bandaged.

Catherine showed me her problem left leg. It had a thick dark mark running down it from several inches below her knee to her ankle. She complained of shooting pains, upwards from her ankle to her calf, which led to an aching pain. Her ankles were swollen ankles. Although in the morning she could be free of pain the shooting pain could happen any time, and the aching gets worse as day goes by. By the evening they became unbearable, and she had to sit with her feet up, which she did dislike as she  enjoys being active. She also complained of itching. Her leg generated heat. There was no ulceration. Walking was painful, but the pain tended to ease with exercise. Her other leg was not painful, although she had varicose veins in both legs for 25-30 years.

Catherine was also on conventional drugs, Losatin (for high blood pressure) and Pesentin (for a mini-stroke she had 2-3 years earlier). She also took aspirin for the arthritis in her right knee, and had regular flu vaccinations. But it was the pain that she wanted me to treat. It was becoming unbearable.

I saw Catherine again on 5th August 2004. The condition had not improved but she said that she was beginning to feel better "within herself". One thing that homeopathy teaches you is that feeling better, or stronger, or having more energy is often a precursor to the body getting stronger, and so getting more able to cope with physical conditions like phlebitis. So I decided to stick with the remedy I had been giving her - Hamamelis (made from Witch Hazel). I also looked at the side effects of one of the drug she was taking, Losartan, and wondered whether this might be causing or aggravating the condition. I decided to make a potentized remedy from the drug to see if this helped.

On 17th August 2004 Cathering phone me to say she had been given new drug, Arthrotec. She had taken a few of these, but had stopped as they gave her indigestion. But she was unsure whether this was making her leg better, or whether it was the homeopathic remedies. She said that the leg was looking better, and there was less pain. I asked her to continue taking the remedies as I had asked.

On 16th September 2004 we met again. Her leg was feeling much better, there was only a slight residual pain now. She also said her arthritis was a little better too, and wondered whether I had treated this too. I told her that I was treating her, and not any specific condition.

Ten days later, on 26th September 2004, Catherine phoned again. She has been to her hospital appointment, but the specialist told her that it could not have been Phlebitis, it had been something else. She had also told them that I had given her a homeopathic Losartin, but they said that this had no connection with her conditionHe had given it a name, but she could not remember what it was. Her leg, she said, was "not too bad, not much pain, but she still knows it is there".

Our next meeting was on 18th November 2004, Catherine confirmed that both her doctor, and her specialist had told  her that it was not Phlebitis that she had! She reflected that she had always been well, until she turned 75, when she started taking pharmaceutical drugs for high blood pressure. It was shortly after this that she had a mini-stroke. And then she began to suffer from a series of conditions.

Catherine had no pain at all, except for an occasional twinge. She wondered what the condition was that had caused so much pain. I asked her whether it mattered. Her doctor had called it phlebitis. Her specialist had contradicted the diagnosis. But the real point was, surely, that she was now free of pain, however the pain was diagnosed. I told her that the main remedy she had used, Hamamelis, was a well known, and often used remedy for Phlebitis, but if conventional medicine wanted to diagnose it with some other name, it made little difference.

Driving home I smiled, and shook my head. Conventional medicine had proved ineffective. Homeopathy had worked. So, faced with this, two doctors had preferred to admit that their diagnosis had been wrong rather than to acknowledge that homeopathy had worked.

Protelos. Another Big Pharma drug bites the dust! Osteopathy sufferers beware!

The doctor's E-Magazine, Pulse, announced yesterday (5th June 2017) that GP's will have to review any osteoporisis patients treated with the drug Protelos, or Strontium Ranelate, as it "ceases to be available in the UK from August".

     Why is this?

The pharmaceutical company, Servier, said it was due to "decreasing numbers of prescriptions".

     Why the decrease in prescriptions?

Pulse says that this is due to evidence of a "heightened risk of cardiovascular events in 2014" so that it is now "only prescribed to patients who cannot use other approved treatments for the condition, and under careful monitoring."

In other words, Protelos is yet another drug that medical science, and drug regulators has passed as effective and safe has proven to be neither - certainly not safe!

The Pulse article says that Strontium ranelate has been used to treat severe osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and adult men, who were unable to tolerate other osteoporosis drugs. Yet the history of the drug is more interesting than this!

First, reviewing the clinical trials that led to the drug's use, the evidence appears to show the most marginal improvement in bone fracture. Read about the two main trials on this website.

               "When looking at results of the two studies taken together, fewer women in the Protelos group developed breaks at any site outside the spine (including the hip) than in the placebo group (331 out of 3,295 with Protelos compared with 389 out of 3,256 for placebo). This showed that the risk of breaking a bone is reduced."

For this marginal benefit, the article goes on to outline the side effects - ischaemic heart disease (such as angina or a heart attack), peripheral arterial disease (obstruction of the blood flow in the arteries, usually in the legs), cerebrovascular disease (diseases affecting the blood vessels in the brain, such as stroke). Actually, there are many more serious side effects, see this NetDoctor website. But despite the (at best) marginal benefits, and the serious potential side effects, this conclusion was reached.

               "The CHMP (Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use) decided that Protelos’s benefits are greater than its risks and recommended that it be given marketing authorisation."

Clearly they were wrong! Yet this is not unusual in the history of pharmaceutical drugs. Risks are measured in grams, benefits in kilograms! It is more profitable for the drug companies that way!

Second, whilst the drug has been approved in Europe, it was not approved by the FDA in the USA! Clearly, conventional medicine concluded, as it often does, that the was 'safe' for Europeans, but not safe for Americans! I have no explanation for why this should be - but it happens quite frequently, one way or another!

So now patients on this unsafe drug have to be called in, and the Pulse article makes it clear that doctors do not have too many alternative treatments for them. So perhaps osteoporosis patients need to look seriously to alternative therapies for a solution to their condition!

Yet the most serious feature of this news is the conventional medicine has used an unsafe drug for osteoporosis patients for over a decade, on the basis that it was safe. Again, this is not unusual for the pharmaceutical industry, and the supine drug regulatory agencies.

  • Protelos was approved in Europe in 2004 for the treatment of osteoporosis.
  • In 2012, this approval was extended to men with an increased fracture risk.
  • In April 2013 there was a recommendation to restrict the use of Protelos because of the risk of serious heart problems (including heart attacks), blood clots, and a range of other conditions such as serious skin reactions, disturbances in consciousness, seizures, liver inflammation and reduced number of blood cells.
  • In January 2014 the EDA, the European drug regulator, 'following an in-depth review' decided that that Protelos should no longer be used to treat osteoporosis. The European Medicines Agency's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee should not be available anymore as "the drug's risks outweigh its benefits".
So over three years have elapsed before Pulse has given this information to the doctor's who have been prescribing it.
  • How many osteoporosis patients have been taking this dangerous pharmaceutical drug since 2004 on the basis of wrong information?
  • How many osteoporosis patients have been taking this dangerous pharmaceutical drug since the EMA decided that the drug should be withdrawn?
  • How many patients of conventional medicine are taking other dangerous pharmaceutical drugs that have not been banned AT THIS VERY MOMENT?
These appear to be unanswered questions. Indeed, they are questions that are never asked! The pharmaceutical industry cannot be trusted. The conventional medical establishment cannot be trusted to regulate the powerful drugs industry. 

What needs to be learnt from this situation is that patients who accept conventional medical treatment are just not safe. And remember, patients on Protelos still do not know about the risks they face, and have been facing, courtesy of this drug, for many years.

Monday, 5 June 2017

The failure of pharmaceutical drugs, but patients are kept in the dark.

The failure of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines should have been quite apparent to everyone now: except, of course, for the equally disgraceful failure of the conventional news media to report on the evidence for it! Evidence about the ineffectiveness of drugs, and their dangers, emerge regularly. Doctors and the conventional medical establishment does not tell us. And they are rarely publicised in the national media.

Three recent studies demonstrate how patients are being kept in the dark. All three point to the ineffectiveness and dangerousness of prescription drugs, all three have largely been published without patients being given to opportunity to know about them.

Useless Medicine
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published an article that discussed the issue of 'useless' conventional medical treatment. It is called "Choosing Wisely in the UK: the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ initiative to reduce the harms of too much medicine". BMJ 2015;350:h2308.

The article indicates that it is not just the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs that is being discussed, but also the cost and the value to patients of the treatment, and its dangers. However, the conclusion it reaches is, to say the least, a mild one, merely that we are being offered too much of it! The article says that dozens of common medical treatments and procedures, routinely given to patients by doctors, are effectively pointless". The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC) says that "scores of treatments which can be given to patients for various ailments ranging from grazes to cancer frequently do little more or the same as doing nothing at all, while also potentially incurring side effects".

It has been estimated that in Britain alone, the NHS is spending £2 billion on what are, in effect, "useless or harmful treatment”.

Harmful Medicine
Another study, published in May 2017 by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 2017; doi: 10.1001, has been reported by WDDTY. It looked at what has happened to FDA approved drugs since their approval. Remarkably, it found that one third of all FDA approved drugs subsequently turned out to have serious safety problems!

               "The dangers of the new drugs often don't come to light until four years after they have been licensed, which means that many thousands of patients may have been affected. But in every case, doctors and patients believed the drugs were safe because they had passed all the usual tests for safety and effectiveness."

So much for the ability of drug regulators to keep us all free from unsafe and dangerous medical drugs and vaccines!

NSAID Painkillers
Yet the situation is actually far worse even than this! It can take much more than 4 years for the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs to become known, and then accepted - a a lot longer for patients to be told!

For instance, conventional medicine has been feeding us painkilling drugs, in huge quantities, for over 100 years now. Ibuprofen is one of the 'younger' ones, and has become one of the stawlwarts of conventional medicine. It has been known about since the 1950's, its history summarised here and taken from the Prezi website.

     1958 First clinical trial of ibupeofen - it was found to be no better than aspirin!

     1961 A patent is filed for ibuprofen, and in 1964 Ibuprofen is selected for further development.

     1966 Clinical trials of ibuprofen take place at the Northern General Hospital in Edinburgh and show its anti-inflammatory effect in patients.

     1969 Ibuprofen launched in the UK on prescription only.

     1983 Because of its safety record, ibuprofen is made available without prescription.

So after such a long period of time, it might have been expected the conventional medicine were fully aware of the dangers of this type of painkiller. But this is not so!

A recent analysis, by a team at Bern University, evaluated 31 studies, involving over 116,000 patient,s who had taken the painkillers regularly, mostly for arthritis pain. Its findings were published in the British Medical Journal. As well as ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, celecoxib, etoricoxib, rofecoxib or Vioxx, and lumiracoxib were also implicated in the findings.

               "It was found that compared with placebo, rofecoxib and lumiracoxib were associated with twice the risk of heart attack, while ibuprofen was associated with more than three times the risk of stroke. Etoricoxib and diclofenac were associated a fourfold risk of death from a heart attack or stroke."

Indeed, the study found that these painkillers could significantly increase the chances of having a heart attack within a week or a month, especially if high doses were taken. The research team found that more than 90% of all painkillers assessed were tied to a significant increased risk of heart attack.

Will Patients be told?
Yet it is unlikely that patients will be told about any of this, either by their doctors, or by the mainstream media. The ineffectiveness and dangers of conventional drugs have been frequently discovered in studies, but the information never seems to reach anyone outside a small group of academics. Certainly, the dangers of painkillers has been known about for decades. There are considerable constraints placed on doctors prescribing painkillers because of their known dangers. But patients are not told.

If doctors told patients about these dangers, if the mainstream media were prepared to publicise the dangers, patients would make their own decisions, an informed choice, about taking them and risking the serious dangers.

But patients are not told. Studies about the ineffectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines come and go without any impact on what doctors prescribe to to. Ask people about painkillers, and what they know about the dangers, and most would declare that they are fairly safe! After all, their doctors can prescribe them; anyone can buy them, openly, over-the-counter, without a doctor's prescription. And taking painkillers is something they, and their parents and grand-parents have done for years.

Medical science is a game without outcome, without consequence. Pharmaceutical drugs may be useless. They may be dangerous. If might not even be known how useless or dangerous they are! But patients are told only about the 'positive' science: the new 'wonder' drugs. The negative stuff remains an insiders secret, something doctors dare not tell us, and the mainstream will not tell us!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Pets? We love them. We do our best for them. And vets? Do they take advantage of our compassion?

It is difficult being ill! It is even more difficult when we see someone else is ill. We want to help. So we go to the doctor. And readers of this blog will know that doctors often give us drugs, vaccines, and other treatments that do not make us better, and too often make us worse. We think we are consulting experts when actually we are consulting representatives of an industry devoted to a highly profitable, and often a highly devious and dishonest business.

How much worse is this when it is our animals, our pets, who are ill?

They cannot speak. They cannot tell us what is wrong. We often fear the worst, so we consult with an expert, a vet, who we believe will tell us what is wrong, and give us something to make it right. We assume this is what they do. Most animal owners rely on their vet to give impartial, ethical and evidence-based advise for the animals we care for. Yet, is this so?

               "Vets4InformedChoice has been set up to raise awareness of the evidence base (or lack of) for many current veterinary practices, enabling animal owners and guardians to make considered responsible choices without undue pressure from the Veterinary Industry."

All animal owners, whether pets or farm animals, should look at this new website if they want to make an 'informed choice'. Click here to join up, and get regular updates from them. This is what they say.

               "Vets have always had conflicts of interest that they have to try and resolve while at the same time earning enough to provide for themselves, their staff, and maintaining the ever more demanding level of service provision clients expect in this information fuelled age."

               "The vets governing body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, requires them to be open, transparent in their business practices, and that they must give clients all the options available to them for treatment. This engagement should result in  fully informed consent with understanding from the Animal Owner as to risks, benefits, and actual need for any intervention."

However, 'Vets4informed choice' are telling us that this is not the situation, that the veterinary profession, like the medical profession, is being taken over by corporate interests.

               "..... its business models are based on practices which many now question, and its information sources and evidence are often provided by the pharmaceutical industry. Its societies, academic institutions, much of its ongoing clinical development are sponsored by and linked with major companies such that it is hard to find a truly independent source of advice and assistance."

               "Concerns over frequent and unnecessary re-vaccination, pressure selling of products and services etc. are widespread and growing."

Vets4informedchoice believes this to be a problem, and that the veterinary profession is rapidly losing the trust of the public. As far as I am concerned, a pet owner with an 8-year old Labrador who has never seen a vet, and is fit and healthy, this is certainly so. Moreover, vets themselves (at least those with animal health rather than corporate profit as their primary motivation) are facing serious problems.

                "Anyone who puts their head above the parapet within the profession risks their career, with just one example being the current campaign to ban Vets from prescribing Homeopathy, and to restrict Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM). How much of this, I wonder, is the result of these Vets being right; that there is no need to annually revaccinate pets for life, the scientific evidence is there for this practice to be stopped now. Why hasn't it been? It has been noted in the Veterinary media that "the profession gives close consideration in the debate to the importance of total practice income and the significance of driving other product sales" (Helps J. Extending DOI for Canine and Feline Vaccines. Veterinary Review March 2006)

I would urge anyone who reads this to sign up to the group via their vets4informedchoice website. The group states that it has been created "to independently examine these concerns and put the case - both for and against - many current practices". This is something that all animal lovers need, if we are to protect our loved-ones from illness, from unnecessary medication, and from corporate profit.

And please tell everyone you know, who loves animals, about this new group

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Big Business and the use of Social Media Trolls

The Natural News website has recently run an article about Monsanto being caught running a 'troll farm' in order "to smear ..... anyone questioning the fake science behind GMO's". They dislike the safety of their 'Roundup' herbicide being questioned, and apparently, new court documents (arising from 50 lawsuits against the company) have revealed that "... Monsanto has a troop of trolls at its disposal who are paid to scour the internet for those speaking ill of its toxic wares and then counter their warnings with false studies that support their products."

The lawsuits are being taken by people who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of their exposure to Roundup, and the Monsanto has hidden the risks of the herbicide. One document is quoted in the material revealed.

               "Monsanto even started the aptly-named ‘Let Nothing Go’ program to leave nothing, not even Facebook comments, unanswered; through a series of third parties, it employs individuals who appear to have no connection to the industry, who in turn post positive comments on news articles and Facebook posts, defending Monsanto, its chemicals, and GMOs." (My emphasis).

It is good that this has been revealed. Perhaps it will lead to a recognition that many large industrial and commercial conglomerates hire trolls in the same way. The pharmaceutical industry certainly does so, and also supports organisations such as 'Sense about Science', the 'Good Thinking Society' to defend their products, and to attack any medical therapy that might compromise their business, their monopoly within most national health services, and their profits. Indeed, much of what the Natural Health article says about Monsanto is applicable to the efforts of Big Pharma.

               "... internal emails showed that the evil firm enlisted staffers to ghost write studies that falsely portray its products as safe, even going so far as to pay experts like scientists to sign their names at the end to lend a false air of authenticity."

Apparently, Monsanto has an entire department devoted to discrediting scientists, and smearing journalists who dare suggest that its products are dangerous, and are causing harm to users. When, in 2015, the World Health Organizstion’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) stated that glyphosate probably causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, one of the firm's executives admitted that it had a whole department devoted to “debunking” legitimate science that made its products look bad!

Eventually, this will discredit the companies, and the industries who engage in such activity. But worse, it will also damage the reputation and credibility of science itself. Many troll organisations, like those I have mentioned above, actually claim to support science!

It indicates that large corporate bodies, that dominate the political and commercial establishments, are aware that their products cause harm to its users, but are prepared to misinform, lie, and deceive to maintain their business and their profits.

And it would appear that the trolls we hear from on social media are on their payroll!

Patient Support Charities. Not all they seem?

Learning that we have contracted a serious illness can be a testing time, a time when we look for support and guidance. This is the basis of the growth of patient support and health charities: if there is a serious illness, there is now almost certainly a health charity that focuses on it. What could be better at such a difficult time?

  • People who have gone through similar experiences, to help them cope? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What treatments work? What treatments do not work?
Yet this simple equation is not as easy or as straightforward as it might appear. The Pharmaceutical companies understand their importance, and they have decided that they are a good way of investing money to promote their business interests.

I wrote about the issue in July 2013. There has now been further research into the scale of the problem.

               "Everyone's in the pay of Big Pharma, it seems, as new surveys reveal that doctors and patient advocacy group are getting payouts every year - and the only one in the dark is you, the patient".

This is the conclusion of a WDDTY article (May 2017), which refers to J Gen Intern Med, 2017; doi: 10.1007/s11606-017-4012-3, and N Engl J Med, 2017, 376: 880-5. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the finances of 104 patient support charities, and found that
  • 85% admitted to getting funding from drug companies
  • Of the remaining 15%, only 1 group did not receive funding from the health industry - the rest did not reveal their pharmaceutical connections!
The lead researcher, Genevieve Pham-Kanter, of Dexel university, came to this conclusion:

               "Drug companies have long known that even small gifts to physicians can be influential, and research validates the notion that they tend to induce feelings of reciprocity. But the more generous payouts are made to patient advocacy groups. Some receive up to $7.5 million in donations from Big Pharma, and a $1 million donation is not unusual".

WDDTY concluded, quite correctly, this such financial support creates a conflict of interest as many of these group advocate the use of specific drugs, or lobby regulators to get a new drug approved, whilst maintaining the fiction that it is "all for the benefit of the patient".

Of course, it is not for the benefit of patients, it is for the benefit of the drug companies, who do not spend their money unless and until they know it is a good investment! It raises an important question. How much can we trust patient support groups and health charities? The answer must be - not very much at all!

This is not new news. Nor is it news about which the mainstream media is unaware. For instance, BBC News, via the Victoria Derbyshire programme, looked into the activities of one such charity, the Hepatitis C Trust, in March 2017. It stated:

               "A charity that tried to force the NHS to buy more of an expensive hepatitis C treatment received large amounts of money from the drug's manufacturer. The Hepatitis C Trust has taken £200,000 in grant funding from US drugs giant Gilead since 2014. Last year, it unsuccessfully took NHS England to court for restricting access to the medicine on cost grounds."

Of course, the charity denied being influenced by the drugs industry, and said that it had always acted in the interests of patients.

The background to the story began in 2015 when NICE ruled it was cost-effective compared with older medicines, and NHS England set aside an extra £200m a year to pay for the drug, Sovaldi. This drug was manufactured by Gilead. It had a list price of £34,983 for a 12-week course! So the donation the drug company was making to the Hepatitis C Trust was well worth the money! 

And in addition, as far as the public was concerned, the court case had nothing to do with the pharmaceutical industry, who played no part in it. It was that 'mean' NHS, being challenged by a nice, well-intentioned charity, who only had the best interests of their patients at heart!

In such ways does the pharmaceutical industry work to generate its profits!

So what is this drug, Sovaldi. The BBC article, as usual, outlines how effective it is, straight from the drug manufacturer's publicity! It is "95% effective at curing the disease within eight weeks" we are told. If it was as effective as this the £35,000 seems a good deal! It is strange that Hepatitis C still exists, given such effectiveness! So perhaps NICE were aware of the side effects of the drug. They can be found here.

The public are being seriously misinformed about health, and the treatment of health. The conventional medical establishment is certainly not telling us the truth. The mainstream media is not telling us the whole truth. And it would appear that most patient support charities are speaking to us according to the donations they receive from the pharmaceutical industry.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Nosebo Effect. The nonsense of medical science?

Pharmaceutical drugs do NOT cause side effects! It's just that patients think they will cause them, so they experience them!

This is the new wisdom from the conventional medical establishment, as reported in the Lancet today (3rd May 2017). Researchers at Imperial College London, undertaking research funded by several pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, found that "patients on statins are more likely to suffer side effects as a result of the ‘expectation of harm’ rather than the drugs themselves". The study follows up a 2014 review that suggested that "very few" of the side effects reported in statin users are down to the drug itself.

This is called the 'nocebo' effect - the expectation of side effects makes patients more likely to report them. The leader of the study, Professor Peter Sever, from the National Heart and Lung Institute, is quoted as saying that the nosebo effect can be very strong.

               "This is not a case of people making up symptoms, or that the symptoms are 'all in their heads'. Patients can experience very real pain as a result of the nocebo effect and the expectation that drugs will cause harm. What our study shows is that it’s precisely the expectation of harm that is likely causing the increase in muscle pain and weakness, rather than the drugs themselves causing them."

As the GP magazine, Pulse, says, this comes after one recent study found that stroke survivors were quitting their statins due to intolerable side effects. THEY ARE, OF COURSE, WRONG! They experienced 'intolerable side effects' only because they expected to experience them! Nothing to do with the drug! More to do with the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with the drug. One doctor has already asked the obvious question:

               "Should patient information inserts be removed for causing increased side effects??"

Indeed, the researchers have said that many people will have died because they stopped taking them. Statin drugs prevent strokes and heart disease by lowering cholesterol, but no mentioned was made of another recent study that has found that when the records of patients dying from strokes and heart disease were examined, it made no difference whether they were on statins or not!

There are several benefits for the conventional medical establishment arising from this research, and the idea of the nosebo effect:

  • Doctors will now be able to tell patients that side effects are not caused by the drug, but by their expectations. It has been estimated that only 10% of drug side effects are reported now! After this study reporting will no doubt fall even lower, resulting in even less evidence that pharmaceutical drugs cause harm to patients.
  • There will be a strong case made not to tell patients the possible side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, because this is likely to cause the reporting of side effects! There will be even less information for patients, and 'informed choice' will take a back seat!
  • The pharmaceutical companies will be able to sell more drugs, and doctors will be able to prescribe more of them because they will know now that they don't cause side effects, it is all part of patient expectation!
Discovering drug side effects is slow enough now. Drugs are tested, approved to be safe by drug regulators, and given to patients for many years before they are round. It will become slower now!

Yet there is another problem. Statin drugs have been found to cause a wide variety of serious side effects. Many other studies have found that they cause not only muscle pain and weakness, but Parkinsons disease, diabetes, liver dysfunction, kidney failure, and cataracts. Were these diseases also caused by the nosebo effect? So are there patients masquerading around out there with Parkinsons because they expected to contract Parkinsons? Is the diabetes epidemic caused by Statin users who just feel they should have diabetes?

In addition, what has been wrong with the many 'scientific' studies that have previously linked Statins with muscle pain over recent decades? Why have they been accepted for so many years? Did they get it wrong? Why can these studies suddenly be overturned by a single (drug company financed) study? If they can be overturned so easily does this conflicting science (yet again) bring into question the validity of medical science, and in particular of randomised controlled testing?

When difficult questions arise within the conventional medical establishment we always need to follow the money! The pharmaceutical companies are in a bad way. Their credibility is at stake, and many of their most profitable drugs failing. 
Indeed, many other pharmaceutical drugs are now being seriously questioned, either for their effectiveness or safety. And few new blockbusting drugs are coming through to replace them. Statins are one of the most profitable pharmaceutical drugs remaining. They could not allow patients to stop taking them because of the nasty side effects. They could not deny the side effects. So pharmaceutical money has paid for the promotion of the 'nosebo effect. It is a useful concept!

So, homeopathy works because of the 'placebo' effect. Patients think they will get better, so they do. And conventional medicine does not cause side effects, it is just the 'nosebo' effect.

We patients seem to be getting everything wrong! We need to listen more carefully to what 'medical science' is telling us, although only when it is funded by the pharmaceutical companies. They know best. We not only know nothing, what we think we know is wrong! 

Just shut up, all of you, and keep taking the tablets.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Vaccine - Autism Cover-up

Science has settled the issue! There is no connection between vaccines and the rising plague of autism, a disease once unknown, but now sweeping the world since mass vaccination programmes began. Studies have proven that there is no link. So parents can go ahead and vaccinate their children without fear.

I have written several times about Dr William Thompson since he admitted, in 2014, that his 2004 study (that proved there was no connection between vaccines and autism) was actually fraudulent. (See "the MMR-Autism Controversy, and the dishonesty of Medical 'Science'")

But did you know that another 'scientific' study, that again proved there was no connection between vaccines and autism, has been found to be fraudulant.

The scientist in question, Poul Thorsen, is a fugitive from the U.S. Justice Department, living openly in Denmark. He is is a psychiatrist, who was asked by the CDC to undertake what is now known as the “Danish Study.” It was published in 2003 by the journal Pediatrics. It asserted that autism rates in Denmark rose dramatically after mercury was removed from childhood vaccines in the Netherlands, so proving that there is no association with thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines to autism!

The Danish Study became one of several major studies used by the conventional medical establishment to deny any association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. Along with Thompson's study, it was part of the evidence used to silence the mainstream media. The Vaccine Insight website has explained the 'frantic efforts' by the CDC to cover up what happened.

               "Poul Thorsen was not indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta for his fraudulent study that 'disproves' any connection with thimerosal in vaccines to autism. That will probably never happen in our vaccine propaganda saturated culture. Thorsen, a psychiatrist, was indicted on 13 counts of wire fraud and 9 counts of money laundering involved with embezzling around $2 million of federal money, our tax dollars, while he was involved with misrepresenting studies that are offered as the final 'proof' that vaccines containing thimerasol don’t cause autism. This statement was easily blurred to include all vaccines, by the media, the public, and all governmental agencies including the WHO (World Health Organization)."

Yet even though this happened in 2012 Poul Thorsen continues to live in Amsterdam, openly carrying on his medical research. He has not been extradited, even though there is an extradition treaty between the United States and Denmark. Vaccine Insight considers many reasons why this should be, outlining a dark network of self-interest and vested interests with the USA Department of Justice, Pharmaceutical Companies, and the mainstream media.
  • The pharmaceutical industry is a heavy political donor.
  • The mainstream media depends heavily on advertising money from the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Many top media executives have major stock holdings in the pharmaceutical industry. 
  • The CDC actually owns several patents wholly or partially.
As Vaccine Insight says, "if any public criminal hearings were to occur with Poul Thorsen, that could become the one card to collapse the whole house. That’s why it won’t happen".

Vaccine Insight goes on to talk about the secret Simpsonwood meeting in 2000 of several key CDC members, some WHO members, and representatives from major vaccine makers to discuss how to deal with the frightening findings discovered by Dr. Tom Verstraeten, a CDC epidemiologist. He had used the CDC’s internal and vast 'Vaccine Safety Datalink database' that contains virtually all medical records involving vaccinated children. Dr. Verstraeten discovered a lot of statistical inconvenient facts implicating thimerosal (mercury) induced neurological damage, including autism. So those at the meeting hatched a plan to tweak his studies, and Dr. Verstraeten went along with it, to make it seem inconclusive and demand the usual “further studies” clause. Dr. Verstraeten, apparently, was rewarded with a lucrative position at vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

This is how the conventional medical establishment works. It is an intrigue, a conspiracy, based on a profitable industry that sells dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines that cause serious harm to patients. 

  • It has little interest in medical safety (that is, your safety and mine). 
  • If it sells a drug or vaccine that is unsafe it can hide this from us, and even (perhaps) from the doctors who prescribe them to us. 
  • It has little interest in science. Medical science is something that it can buy with its enormous profits. 
  • Any scientist who stands by their science, like Andrew Wakefield, can have their careers destroyed. 
  • Any scientist caught lying, like Thomson, Thorsen and Verstraeten can be protected from, and even richly rewarded for, their lies and deceit. 
  • It has little to fear from the mainstream media organisations, which can be infiltrated, taken over and bought by pharmaceutical advertising budgets. 
  • It does not have to worry about patient safety as it has effectively taken over all the drug regulatory agencies throughout the western world that have been tasked with ensuring patient safety.
The vaccine-autism link is the fraud that receives the most attention. Yet, as this blog regularly outlines, it is by no means the only one. Conventional medicine is a lie, a deceit, it masquerades as a safe and effective medical discipline, but it is nothing of the sort. It is built on a house of cards, which at any time can fall down. As I said in a blog published last month, "Medical Failure and Denial. Who will be first to break cover?", it is a question of which card, which holds up all the others, will fall first, and we witness the destruction of the entire edifice. The sooner the better!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Sinusitis. A painful weekend!

My Easter weekend was rather ruined by a bout of Sinusitus. I am not ill often, but initially I sensed that I was showing cold or flu symptoms. I took the remedy 'Aconite', always a good suggestion if anyone is feeling they are 'going down' with something. It usually works, warding off the symptoms, but I was probably tardy in taking the first remedy. I am always better treating other people. After all, I never get ill!

But then I began to realise it was more than just a cold. I was feeling some facial pain, and I felt congested. I took a combination remedy, AGE, a mixture of Arsenicum, Gelsemium and Euphrasia, that would usually ward off flu, but I really would have to take this more seriously in the morning.

Yet by the morning, after not sleeping much, I was in no frame of mind for 'intellectual' activity - being the homeopath, working on the symptoms, doing a repertory (linking symptoms with remedies), and narrowing down the best remedy for me. I had no energy. My eyes were sore, and they were running. Ahh! I knew a remedy for that one, Euphrasia. I will take a stronger Euphrasia! But as with the Aconite and the AGE it did little good. The condition, whatever it was, was gaining a hold over me.

               "You've got Sinusitis" said Carole, my wife. I am not a good patient, to say the least. I was annoyed about being ill. I hate being ill. "Will you take a painkiller?"

               "No, I will not take a damned painkiller!"

I knew that wasn't a kind thing to say, but I was bad-tempered, I felt bearish. So perhaps the remedy I needed was the one that had cured my heart palpitations, alongside them my regular migraines. So I took Bryonia. It's the remedy for bad tempered, bearish people who hated being ill, and weren't very nice to their nurses! At least it seemed to fit my increasing mental state. But Bryonia did nothing. The condition got worse, much worse.

               "Damn it", I thought, "I wish those damnable medical fundamentalists, the homeopathy deniers, were right, that homeopathy was a placebo, that all I had to do was to believe the remedy would work! If only it was that easy!"

At one point during the evening the pain in my right temple became unbearable. I did not know what to do with the pain. I paced the house, from one room to another. Carole got out her favourite homeopathy text, 'The Prescriber' by John H Clarke. She looked up 'pain', 'right temple'. It suggested Cuprum. So I took Cuprum. Within 5 minutes the excruciating pain had gone. So I was left now just with the constant gnawing pain around the eyes and face.

               "You've got Sinusitis". I should have listened to what Carole said several hours earlier. Of course it was sinusitis! Normally, a few remedies might have come to mind, but not to my mind, not in that constant pain. So I checked my 'Sinusitis' page on my "Why Homeopathy?" website.

Kali Bich? I did not have that much mucous.
Mercurius. Not really my remedy.

Several more followed, none of them registering with what was happening to me, until I got to Hepar Sulph:

               "Sinusitis with obstructive and thick nasal and post-nasal discharge after every exposure to cold or uncovering the head. Offensive discharges, odour like old cheese. Exquisitely painful inflammation of the sinuses."

So for the next 12 hours, during the night, I dosed myself with Hepar Sulph. I could feel the pain lifting after 10 to 15 minutes. I got no sleep, but by the morning I was feeling over the worse. By the afternoon I thought I had cracked it. But during late evening the symptoms returned, less painful now. So I started taking the remedy again. So not much sleep again, but by the morning I was okay. Well, perhaps as okay as someone who'd just spent 15 rounds with Mohammed Ali! But okay.

So after another couple of days doing not very much, today I have spent some time looking at my Sinusitis page, and I have rewritten it. The homeopathy section has stayed the same (homeopathy works so it never needs to change), but the conventional medical treatment section had to be changed because they no longer use some of the drugs they used when I first wrote the page. The usual thing - either they didn't work, or they were too dangerous.

I am glad I rewrote the page. It made me pleased that I knew about homeopathy. I was even more delighted that I did not have to rely on conventional medicine for treatment. These are some of the phrases used on the current NHS Choices website about the treatment of Sinusitis.

               "Most people with sinusitis don't need to see their GP. The condition is normally caused by a viral infection that clears up on its own. Your symptoms will usually pass within two or three weeks (acute sinusitis) and you can look after yourself at home."

Well, that's okay then, I would only have the best part of two weeks to carry on suffering by this time! During that time, NHS Choices say, I could have looked after myself at home!

          "If your symptoms are mild and have lasted less than a week or so, you can usually take care of yourself without seeing your GP. The following tips may help you feel better until you recover:

                    "Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve a high temperature and pain – check the leaflet that comes with your medication first to check it's suitable, and never give aspirin to children under 16 years of age."

Painkillers? These do not treat sinusitis, they don't even to pretend to treat the condition! And the dangerous of painkillers are well known. What else?

                    "Use over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays or drops to help unblock your nose and allow you to breathe more easily – these shouldn't be used for more than a week at a time. 

Again, these drugs don't treat the condition! Doesn't conventional medicine have ANYTHING to offer people suffering from sinusitis?

                    "Apply warm packs to your face to soothe your pain and help mucus drain from your sinuses."

                    "Regularly clean the inside of your nose with a salt water solution to help unblock your nose and reduce nasal discharge."

Obviously not! If were not for Hepar Sulph (and Carole) I would still be in pain, incapacitated, and being horribly bearish and irritable towards anyone who dared come near me, and for several weeks more, too! Or perhaps even longer than that!

          "If the condition is severe, gets worse, or doesn't improve (chronic sinusitis), you may need additional treatment from your GP or a hospital specialist. This can be difficult to treat and it may be several months before you're feeling better."

So thanks, homeopathy. I have had a bad few days, but not "several months" of pain. So I hope my experience is a lesson for everyone. We all need alternatives to conventional medicine and not just for sinusitis! We all need to have access to a medicine that actually works, that has something to offer when we need it most.

And please do note, the NHS Choices website, whilst not having much to offer itself, fails to offer any 'alternative' treatment - no mention of homeopathy certainly.

So over the next few days I will be writing some more chapters on my "Why Homeopathy?" website - just in case anyone needs to have them by their side!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

BBC News. A statement on vaccine policy.

BBC News covered the Vaccine-Autism link this morning (11th April) on 'its Today' programme, and no doubt thereafter on news bulletins for the rest of the day. It started this morning by an unequivocal statement from Nick Robinson.

               "Doctors in the US say they are worried about the number of families in some communities who are choosing not to vaccinate their children. The World Health Organisation has already warned that measles is spreading through parts of Europe because of falling immunisation rates."

Nothing wrong with that, Robinson was merely informing us about the views of conventional doctors, and the WHO view about falling immunisation rates. But then a 'Global Health Correspondent', Tulip Mazumdar was introduced, and she gave us her views in no uncertain terms, presumably views reflecting the views of the BBC. I am repeating her words in full, but the emphasis highlight the opinions she was allowed to enunciate, completely unchallenged.

               "When Donald Trump was a candidate in the US presidential campaign he wrongly suggested that there was a link between vaccines and autism, a theory that has long been debunked. The American Society of Paediatrics said it is alarmed by suggestions that President Trump is to set up a vaccine safety committee headed by a prominent vaccine skeptic. Vaccination rates across the US are high but there are pockets where rates are well below the 95% recommended to best protect communities against potentially deadly viruses. There are currently large measles outbreaks in Europe (Italy and Rumania) mainly because immunisation coverage there has dropped".

So here we have a BBC correspondent who is not reporting 'news', but giving us her opinion and presenting it as news.
  • Trump was 'wrong' to suggest a link between vaccines and autism? It is not something that should be discussed an debated? The vaccine skeptics are just wrong?
  • The 'theory' linking vaccines and autism has been 'debunked'. Really? Where? And is the BBC not forgetting that they themselves are ignoring key evidence in this debate?
  • Clearly Tulip and the BBC also supports the (absurd?) theory of 'herd immunity', where the vaccinated are not protected by the vaccine - unless 95% of other people are also vaccinated.
  • And they also support the theory that vaccines protect us from 'potentially deadly viruses' when most of them in the modern world are no longer 'deadly'!
None of this was up for discussion. Nor was it discussed in a later piece, where the issues could have been discussed, but instead continued to outline the BBC's full and uncompromising support for the conventional medical establishment. Tulip Mazumdar visited a part of the US, Baffin Island, near Seattle, where vaccination rates "were at their lowest". Two mums were allowed to mention that their objections to vaccination were that, too often, 'profit' is put before health, that it was about 'listening to mums experiences', and that 'there was a huge amount of evidence that vaccines were harmful, even if we weren't able to scientifically prove it'. Tulip immediately sprang to the defence of vaccines.

               "The concerns you raise ..... these things have been looked into, and we know vaccines save lives, not just your own children, but children in the community" (again, my emphasis).

The mum was allowed one more comment, that she did not know whether anyone can trust what has been put into vaccines. This was the end of any discussion, as far as Tulip was concerned.

               "The scientific consensus is clear. They are safe, effective and saved lives. Like any medication they can cause mild, and in a very few cases, serious side effects, but before big vaccination campaigns, measles, for example, killed hundreds of people a year in the US, and unvaccinated communities are still as risk of deadly outbreaks".

Several points to mention about this sentence. The 'scientific consensus' is clear only if evidence to the contrary is ignored. The parents who say that they had normal children until a vaccination... The $millions paid out in compensation to parents of vaccine damaged children by the US Vaccine courts... The fact that science has produced little of no evidence that vaccines are safe...

Tulip's statement stands only if the statistics show that measles has killed any more than a handful of children in the US in recent decades, and that where measles outbreaks have occurred, vaccinated children have been found to  be more at risk of serious infection than unvaccinated children.

The assertion that it was 'big vaccination programmes' that reduced the incidence of measles, or any other infection, can only be made if the evidence is ignored that these infections were reducing, rapidly, long before vaccines were introduced, and that after their introduction, the graph of reduced incidence shows little or no change!

The evidence that Tulip presented this morning as 'fact' exactly mirrors the evidence of the conventional medical establishment, and the propaganda of the pharmaceutical industry. The BBC shows itself regularly to be entirely happy with doing so, to the extent that it will allow no debate on the vaccine-autism issue, or indeed the vaccine-paralysis argument, and every other argument about that harm that vaccines are known to cause. Big Pharma policy is BBC policy!

Immediately, the discussion was moved to two children, twins, receiving their vaccinations, and talking to the children's mother. Nothing wrong with this - balance even! Then a doctor was asked to give his views on 'vaccine hesitancy', which of course, he did in favour of vaccines, emphasising 'the great dangers' we faced without them. Tulip then repeated her charges against those who are skeptical, or opposed to vaccines.

               "Donald Trump has WRONGLY suggested a link between immunisation and autism in the past...."

               "The DEBUNKED THEORY came from a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, who was struck off after HIS FRAUDULENT STUDY linking the MMR vaccine with autism...."

Yet another conventional doctor was brought in to offer more support for vaccines, and to oppose Donald Trump's proposal to investigate the safety of vaccine. The investigation seemed to be a matter of concern for the BBC, not least because a 'vaccine skeptic' had been asked to lead it. For some reason, this skeptic was not named. It is Robert Kennedy, Jn!

Tulip continued, talking about the "well established science of vaccines", and the threat of "deterring family's from accepting vaccines", all of which is, of course, a statement of opinion not news, and a statement that failed to present the debate about vaccine safety in a fair, balanced and unbiased way. She finishes with an emotionally-charged statement.

               "Communities are best protected against outbreaks of diseases if everyone who can be vaccinated is vaccinated. So, despite their sore arms, the twins have done their bit to keep themselves,  and their communities, from potentially damaging viruses".

Yet the BBC were not finished there. Nick Robinson introduced Professor Adam Finn, Consultant in Paediatric Immunology, to comment on what he had heard. It is what the BBC always does when dealing with health issues. If there is an issue, like vaccine safety, bring in someone from the conventional medical establishment to provide their expertise. Is this, Robinson asked him, the same period of anxiety in the US that Britain went through in the late 1990's? An open invitation for Finn to talk about the 'complacency' and 'misinformation' that existed about vaccines,  and 'more and more vulnerable children', and 'getting to a place when there might be serious outbreaks!

Robinson then presented evidence that 1 in 10 people in the USA felt that vaccines were unsafe. This was not an issue he raised about why so many people felt like this, but whether more attention should not be paid to how the message (that vaccines were effective and safe) was communicated, and "how parents trust was gained"! No chance, then, that the concerns of 10% of the population were genuine, the result of an informed decision or choice. No possibility that the views of the minority, the 10%, might be fairly and impartially presented to us by the BBC!

Finn is then allowed to talk about 'false news' and 'false information' about vaccines, and how to combat it, the implication being that this 'false' information consists of anything that is not being put forward by the conventional medical establishment! Robinson was quite happy about this, and sought to feed him another open goal.

               "You get this anacdotalism, don't you (sic), Donald Trump was quoted on Fox News in 2012, about a child getting a 'monster shot', did you ever see the size of it, he said, its like they are pumping it in, its terrible, he says, and goes on... Somehow you have to counter that with hard facts, don't you, but with an equal emotional appeal to keeping children alive".

Clearly, this is not so much an 'interview' as a party political broadcast on behalf of the conventional medical establishment! Robinson clearly had no questions for Finn that in any way represented the views of the 10%. And certainly, there was no-one, no expert, to put forward the case against vaccines. There was no balance, and no attempt at balance, whatsoever!

I am disappointed with Robinson. I expected better of him, As the former BBC's Economics Editor I always felt he showed good balance in putting forward the views of different sides of an economic issue. Clearly, he is unable or unwilling to provide the same measure of balance to the important vaccine-autism debate - which is alive and growing, and will not go away, regardless of the BBC lack of balance and objectivity.

In 2016 I complained to the BBC about their failure to share the important news that the 2004 'scientific' study (that had 'proven' there was no link between vaccines and autism) was a fraudulent study. I have written about it here.

               Autism IS caused by MMR vaccine. Evidence of 'no connection' was fraudulent medical science

               The MMR Vaccine, Autism, and the silence and culpability of the Political, Medical and Media Establishment

The BBC has continued to ignore this important news story, made by one of the study's lead scientists, namely, that vital evidence, that would have proven the vaccine-autism link, was destroyed. To this day it remains a censored news story. Yet this is fraudulent 'science'. It is the very science that allowed the BBC to say, today, that there is no proven link between vaccines and autism! So let me try to help Robinson, and the BBC!

Perhaps the 10% are aware of the fraudulent activity of the CDC in respect of this vaccine-autism link. Perhaps the 10% are aware of the regular revelations that drug companies have provided false information, or withheld important information, about their drugs and vaccines.  Perhaps the 10% are aware of the heavy fines that pharmaceutical companies have paid in US courts as a result of this. Perhaps the 10% know children who have been damaged by vaccines. Perhaps the 10% even know families who have been compensated by vaccine courts for the damage caused to their children by vaccines.

So there you have it, a clear indication that the BBC is fully supportive of the conventional medical establishment, in everything it does and says, supportive to the extent that it will not even discuss health issues in a way that is fair to the growing number of people who have concerns about the damage done to our health by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. If anyone wants to know what conventional medicine thinks, just tune into the BBC.!If anyone wants to hear a balanced debate, one in which the opposing views of an important and growing number of people are represented, we have to look outside our 'public service' broadcaster, and certainly look outside our mainstream media, financed as it is by the pharmaceutical companies. They no longer tell us the whole truth.

There is a bigger problem here. Robinson talked about 'trust' in relation to convincing patients to accept vaccines. Yet surely trust arises from honesty, from fairness in how issues are covered, from informed discussions that involve both sides of an argument. The conventional medical establishment has been proven to be, time and time again, dishonest if not fraudulent, not least in the vaccine-autism controversy. Yet by attaching itself so firmly to conventional medicine the BBC is now associating with their dishonesty and fraud. It is presenting partial, biased news about health. As a result, I no longer believe anything the BBC says about health issues. Lots of my friends and colleagues feel the same way.

And if the BBC cannot tell the truth, or the whole truth about health issues, can it tell the truth about politics, about economics, and about other social issues.