Friday, 30 November 2018

Losartan. Is this the silent end for this anti-hypertensive drug?

Losartan is a well known, and frequently prescribed antihypertensive drug. It is supposed to treat hypertension, high blood pressure, and we are told it can prevent illnesses such as stroke and myocardial infarction.

Yet over the years it has also been associated with causing cancer, although typically this has never been accepted by the conventional medical establishment.

In the USA, Losartan, and some similar drugs in the same class, have recently been recalled when it was discovered that the drug contained 'a cancer-causing agent'. It has been described as a 'voluntary' withdrawal, and all the reports I have seen suggest that this is a problem with a particular batch of Losartan, and not a general problem. The USA drug regulator, the FDA, has said:

               "Patients who are on Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide should continue taking their medication, as the risk of harm to a patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment."

               "Patients should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide."

I was first told about this by Jayney Goddard, President of the Complementary Medical Association, for which I am grateful. It has certainly not been covered by the national media, although there are many reports on the internet by independent websites. These reports all seem to indicate that the problems arose from a particular batch, but I don’t think this is correct - although pharmaceutical drug companies, and the FDA, might want this to be the message. Jayney does not agree, and she has explained her position forcefully to her members/

               "We STRONGLY disagree with this advice from the FDA, as it is hughly unlikely that a patient wil experience 'any problems related to taking or using Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide', given that if they are affected by the carcinogenic substance that these tablets contain, they are unlikely to experience any symptoms for some time!

So what is known about Losartan. The first thing to say is that it has long been associated with cancer, and also the usual, routine denials made by the conventional medical profession that there is any such connection. I looked at my own records, and found this link from May 2013.

Blood pressure drugs cause cancer. It reported that Losartan had come under attack by a senior regulator at the FDA, Thomas A. Marciniak, who sought stronger warnings about these 'angiotensin receptor blocker drugs', or ARBs. The article stated that the drug was taken by millions of people and generated $7.6 billion in USA sales in 2012. Dr Marciniak said that some doctors agreed that the drug "may be linked to higher cancer rates". But 'top' FDA officials said that the evidence did not support the link. One, Ellis Unger, then chief of the drug-evaluation division, called the complaints a "diversion" and is quoted as saying "We have no reason to tell the public anything new."

So I went further, and did a web-search on 'cancer' and 'Losartan' and it became clear that the suspicion about a link with cancer has been around for some time. For example this article, "Blood Pressure Drugs Linked to Cancer Risk, was published by WebMD in June 2010, and stated that

               "A study published online in The Lancet Oncology states that although there are no major safety concerns associated with ARBs, a previous trial had reported a significantly increased risk of fatal cancers in patients receiving the ARB candesartan compared with a placebo."

A similar article appeared on MedPage Today, also in 2010. It referred to a meta-analysis of nine published studies where angiotensin-receptor blockers (not just Losartan, but many more in its class) were associated with "a modest but statistically significant 8% increase in the relative risk of a new cancer." The article goes on to discount the seriousness of these findings by saying that "there was no increase in the risk of dying from cancer, perhaps because follow-up in the trials was too short, the researchers said online in The Lancet".

So, in both articles, as always when a drug is first linked to serious disease, there were the usual attempts to discount the evidence - "there are not major safety concerns" and "there was no increase in the risk of dying from cancer". And, as usual, there were other attempts to discount the link with cancer entirely, as is the case here, in 2011.

Angiotensin receptor blocker drugs have been known for about 120 years, but were developed mainly in the 1970's and 1980's. So these widely used, and highly profitable anti-hypertension drugs, have been given to patients for some 30 years or more. And for at least the last 10 years the conventional medical establishment has known that they were linked with cancer. So during this time how many patients have taken the drug and developed cancer?

And how many of these patients knew that the drug they were prescribed caused cancer? To find out I looked up the Patient Information Leaflet for Losartan potassium 100 mg film-coated tablets. The word cancer does not appear anywhere on the leaflet. So I looked at the website, often a good source of information (but recently taken over by a consortium owned by drug companies), and discovered that whilst a whole host of the most serious 'side effects' were listed, cancer was not mentioned.

So is the recent US recall of Losartan a problem with a particular batch? Or is this this another dangerous pharmaceutical drug that will be quietly withdrawn, forgotten, with as little publicity as possible. This is what has happened to so many drugs in the past. And this is certainly a possible, even a likely outcome for Losartan. This is what the conventional medical establishment do, routinely. They protect the safety reputation of their drugs until it is no longer possible to do so, and then they drop them - as quietly and as secretly as possible!

Pharmaceutical companies also try to ensure that the damage done to a profitable drug is as limited as possible. So although this recall has been done in the USA, Losartan has not been withdrawn in Canada, in Europe, Australasia, or indeed anywhere else, as far as I can see. It is likely, therefore, that drug companies will continue to sell it wherever in can, wherever it is allowed to, at least for a few years!

The precautionary principle?
First, do no harm?
Conventional medicine appears never to have heard of these concepts!

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free". But do we know the truth about health care? And do we want to know the truth? Or are we just looking for reassurance? Is it true that many people don't care about how dangerous and ineffective conventional medicine is?

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32

I listened to a BBC Radio 4 programme on 26 November 2018. It was part of a series called 'Thought Cages", an episode called "Be successful or be loved? The NHS Agenda". It's message was amazing. Rory Sutherland, the presenter, began by asking what I thought was a silly question.
  • Do people visit their doctor in order to get well?
  • Or do they go in order to check that someone cares about them?
The programme sought to answer this strange question. Basically, it said that we, as patients, were seeking re-assurance, that someone is listening to us, that someone cares enough to take our illness seriously, and to treat us.

This motivation, the programme said, is hidden, buried deep inside us - it was called the 'Elephant in the brain'. We do not care so much how we are treated, just that we are treated. We are not looking for the best medicine, the medicine that provides the best outcome, the best life expectancy. How we are treated, medically, is less important than how we are treated, socially. It is not the quality of the treatment we care about, more the process of receiving it.

To begin with I was sceptical about the whole idea. Perhaps I did not want to believe it. After all, I spend a lot of my time trying to convince people the conventional medicine provides us with poor patient outcomes, that pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are both ineffective and unsafe. But then, Sutherland gave this stunning example of the process at work.

Harold Shipman was a doctor convicted of killing 15 patients in 2000, and there seems little doubt that he killed many more. Yet his patients loved him. He treated them respectfully, he was friendly, and he was prepared to visit them at home. In the end it was not his patients that realised what he was doing, it was a taxi driver who noticed that he was losing a lot of patients. So he went to the police. Apparently, many of Shipman's patients did not change their doctor, they changed their taxi driver!

Is this why so many people are reluctant to abandon conventional medicine, despite the enormous harm it is doing, and has been doing to our health over the last 70 years and more? Aren't we looking for the best, most effective, and safest medicine. Are we unconcerned about the outcomes of the treatment we are given?

One contributor gave another example, a piece of research undertaken with patients who were about to undergo heart surgery. Would patients be prepared to pay a small amount of money to find out which surgeon had the lowest mortality rate. The study concluded that people were not interested in this. Very few agreed to pay. So the conclusion was that it is not medical competence we care about. The treatment we are given might kill us - but as long as we feel the doctor cares, and is doing the best he can, we are content.

People want to trust their doctor, and forget about everything else. We hand over responsibility. The outcome of the treatment is not important. There is research that shows most patients do not want to know about divergences in health care standards. Easy access to treatment, amenably offered, is more important. Do we like the doctor, do we warm to him or her.

It was, the programme suggested, better for the surgeon to be friendly than competent!

Unfriendly doctors lose patients, they will go elsewhere, presumably to other doctors where they receive a warmer welcome, a more positive response. The NHS is indeed measuring patient experience, and as a result producing league tables. These tables do not concern patient outcomes but the social experience of the patient. It is more about being treated courteously, a friendly staff, keeping waiting times as brief as possible.

In particular, research has demonstrated that people don't like waiting, they hate the uncertainty, the doubt whether anyone is ever going to see them. One strategy, adopted by airports apparently, is that we are now made to walk a couple of miles to the luggage carousel so that we do not have to wait! Hence the importance the NHS gives to waiting lists.

So, although conventional medicine is ineffective and unsafe, this is not how most people are judging it. The programme discussed whether patients were looking for expensive medicine (a medicine that is effectively bankrupting the UK's NHS), or a surgery waiting room with snazzy colour schemes, up-to-date magazines, and comfortable sofa’s. One research study asked patients whether they thought that ALL drugs should be available to them, regardless of cost, and even if they did not work. They did!

So presumably many patients also wanted to be given pharmaceutical drugs even if they caused disease, even if they killed patients. Patients, the programme said, show little interest in patient outcomes, little interest in mortality.

Patients were looking for reassurance. This also struck a bell for me. Most people, when they feel unwell, want to get better, but most importantly they want to know what is wrong with them. They want a diagnosis. I have often noticed this. "I feel so much better now that I have a diagnosis, now I know what is wrong with me". When it is pointed out that a diagnosis does not make them better, they still need safe and effective treatment, that is NOT what is important. Even if the diagnosis is that the patient has only 6 months to live it is reassuring. At least they know!

So forget safe treatment. Forget the dangers of treatment. Forget the ineffectiveness of treatment. As long as the experience of accessing treatment is good, as long as there is a good explanation, as long as access treatment is easy - that is what matters.

The programme ended with a remark that while £billions were being spent on health there appears to be little or no improvement in patient outcomes, in life expectancy. One contributor said that if USA health spending (the highest in the world) could be halved, and it would make little real difference to the nation's health.

The programme explained for me a little more about the irrationality of how we provide health services, something I have written about in depth before. If homeopathy is superior to conventional, drug-based medicine in terms of effectiveness, safety, cost and patient outcome it makes little difference. We have to understand that this is not necessarily what many people are looking for.

Yet I am not sure that this is the whole story. We are tricked into thinking we do not have to worry about the safety and effectiveness of conventional medicine.

  • Governments promise us 'the best medicine available'. 
  • The conventional medical establishment tell us that they are winning the battle against disease.
  • Our doctors, in the main, are very friendly and kind, and we do believe that are trying to do the best for us, and certainly would not harm us. 
  • The mainstream media plays its role in reinforcing, and failing to question all these messages.
  • Television portrayals of conventional medicine frequently support these messages (something I will be blogging about very soon - have you noticed how many medical soap operas there are on television these days?)
So we trust our doctors and the medicine they give us. It is time for everyone to wise up. Yet to wise up means we have to start questioning everything we have been told about health throughout our lives. And that is not easy. But we need to do it before conventional medicine makes us sick, and sicker, and then kills us.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Medical Implants harm patients. Health Regulators fail to protect patients. Yet why is it that 'investigative journalists' refuse to admit the same applies to Pharmaceutical Drugs and Vaccines?

Perhaps investigative journalism is not entirely moribund! An International Consortium of Investigative Journalists from 58 media organisations around the world, including the BBC, the Guardian, and the British Medical Journal, has investigated the safety of a wide variety of medical implants and discovered that many thousands (more accurately many millions) have been fitted with inadequately tested, unsafe and faulty implants that cause patients severe pain, suffering, and death.


Are the journalists correct? As far as implants are concerned it would appear that they are. Even the UK's Royal College of Surgeons wants the law to be changed to keep patients safe. Their statement can be found on their website. These are the people who select the implants, and implant them into us, and they accept that there is a serious problem.

The investigation revealed some shocking stories about heart pacemakers, rods to correct spinal problems, artificial knees and hips.
  • implants to support and shape the spinal cord that have cracked and disintegrated
  • replacement knee and hip joins that are sold to hospitals without proper or adequate testing
  • implants that have never been tested on humans, but tested on baboons, or dead pigs!
  • contraceptive implants that cause serious internal damage and bleeding
  • implanted defibrillators that 'misfired'
  • vaginal mesh implants for incontinence that have never been tested, and which caused severe abdominal pain
  • breast implants that have caused cancer. The Daily Mail article recalled the 50,000 British women who had PIP implants, and in 2011 were warned they were a cancer risk
  • hernia mesh which, amongst other things, stopped one of Britain’s top athletes from competing for years.
The Guardian article has given these figures about the scale of the problem

               "In the UK alone, regulators received 62,000 “adverse incident” reports linked to medical devices between 2015 and 2018. A third of the incidents had serious repercussions for the patient, and 1,004 resulted in death."

The situation is no better in the USA.

               "In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has collected 5.4 million 'adverse event' reports over the past decade, some from manufacturers reporting problems in other parts of the world. These included 1.7 million reports of injuries and almost 83,000 deaths. Nearly 500,000 mentioned an explant - surgery to remove a device."

BBC Panorama, in a programme broadcast on 26th November 2018, focused on the story of Maureen (it is written up here). She was the first UK patient to be fitted with a 'Nanostim' pacemaker. A traditional pacemaker has leads from a battery to the heart that delivers the electrical pulse, but the cables can break. The Nanostim was the first lead-less pacemaker to sit independently inside the heart. But the battery failed within 3 years, and surgeons then discovered that they could not remove it. So she now has a traditional pacemaker, with the useless Nanostim remaining inside her heart. The BBC said Maureen was not alone, that a number of batteries have failed, and parts have fallen off inside patients.

The Nanostim pacemaker was withdrawn, but not before it had killed at least two people died, and another ninety incidents recorded of serious patient harm.

And it remains true that there was only one clinical study before Nanostim was approved for use on the public, paid for by the company, and it followed just 33 patients for just 90 days.

So why have surgeons fitted millions of faulty medical implants into their patients? They may want a law change now, but they fitted them, and it is their patients who are now suffering, some in chronic pain, others at risk of serious disease, and many of them dying.

The investigation points its finger at what is described as a 'lax' system of regulation in Europe (it is no different America, and throughout the world). We are told that Europe does not have a governmental body that checks medical devices before they are put into patients. Instead a series of companies, called 'notified bodies', issue CE marks - the same mark of approval given to devices like toasters and kettles. Apparently there are 58 of them in Europe, and approval by any one of them means a product can be used anywhere in Europe. The report says that companies 'shop around' these so-called safety organisations - until finally one of them agrees to approve the product.

The Nanostim heart pacemaker, for instance, was turned down by safety bodies in Germany because of a lack of evidence. Yet it was approved by the British Standards Institute in the UK, and thereafter approved everywhere!

It also states that health regulators, like the European Medicines Agency, and MHRA in the UK are failing in their duty to protect patients, that they seem keener to support manufacturers, and their profitability, than their main duty - to protect patients from harm. The report raises concerns about the level of scrutiny medical devices undergo both before and after they go on the market, and whether regulators detect and act upon negative findings quickly enough.

The report also criticises the secrecy and lack of transparency in which all this is being done. It claims that even surgeons, who implant the devices, do not always see the evidence upon which a device has been approved for safety and effectiveness. Even when the BBC Panorama programme asked questions of HMRA,  the UK regulator, the spokesman was reluctant to answer - because of issues of 'confidentiality'. There were no doubt many other reasons for not being straightforward with the public, but he said that he was "bound by confidentiality when it comes to some of the actions that we've taken around individual devices".

And drug regulators are routinely allowed to get away with this failure to protect patients with a wide variety of platitudes. Indeed, the platitudes are usually supported, even by these 'investigative journalists', who seem always eager to 'pull their punches' whenever they can. For instance the BBC told us the the implant industry "says that it has transformed millions of lives for the better". Maybe, but the figures also show clearly that they have transformed the lives of millions of other people for the worse.

I have not written much on medical implants before. Yet much of what this investigation has revealed is similar, if not exactly the same, as what happens in the dubious world of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. Although the evidence of this investigation is damning about medical implant manufactures, it failed completely to recognise that the same can be said of the pharmaceutical industry, and the drug patients are routinely given. For instance, the BBC had this to say about the problem.

               "And it’s all because medical devices don’t undergo the same checks as drugs before they’re given out widely to patients."

Really! Regular readers of this blog will know that this is nonsense, the sort of nonsense regularly committed by our 'public service' broadcaster which will have nothing to do with any criticism of the drugs industry! The history of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines is IDENTICAL to what is being described here. I have outlined the gross problems and failures of drug regulation here, in chapter 14 of my ebook, "The Failure of Conventional Medicine".

The criticism of the testing and regulation of medical implants is no different to the criticism of the testing and regulation of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. It is the same system.

The only difference, perhaps, is that the implant industry is smaller, individual manufacturers are smaller, and so less influential, less powerful. They do not support, fund and control the mainstream media.

So anyone who is disturbed about what this investigation has revealed should now consider further. If medical implants are dangerous to human health, how much more dangerous are pharmaceutical drugs? If we wish to avail ourselves of a medicine that "first does no harm" we must look not just at medical implants, but all the drugs and vaccines that are also causing patient harm.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Spanish Flu in 1918. What have we learnt about it during the last 100 years? The success of Homeopathy. The failure of conventional medicine.

BBC television does good documentary films. It broadcast one on the Spanish Flu Epidemic from March 1918 to January 1919 entitled "Spanish Flue. The forgotten fallen" on Monday 24th September 2018. It was excellent, except for one exception. I watched the film intently to see if they would bother to mention two known facts about that epidemic - the the failure of conventional medical treatment, and the success of homeopathic treatment.

Perhaps there should be no great surprise - it did the former (it could hardly avoid doing so) - but it neglected the latter.

The film did outline some stunning medical facts. If focused on the number of deaths the epidemic is thought to have caused. The figure of 100 million was mentioned. And it explained what the conventional medical establishment tried to do in response to the carnage it caused. The film admitted  there was no treatment for flu beyond the most basic.
  • drinking hot drinks, like bovril
  • bed rest
  • the use of Opium (for the cough)
So the medicine cupboard was quite bare in 1918! Beyond this there was quarantine, isolating the victims so that other people did not come into contact, and infect them. Australia, apparently, virtually closed its borders to prevent infection. The film focused on the story of Dr James Niven, Manchester's medical health officer, and his efforts to combat a second wave of fatal influenza as it spread across the UK.
  • So the film's main story was about an 'Heroic' doctor, struggling against the conventional medical 'wisdom' of the time, which failed to not understand the benefits of quarantine.
So out of this abject medical failure came a heart-warming story about one man's insight and 'success'. Moreover, the film's message was that now, 100 years on, conventional medicine would do much better if there was a similar epidemic. 
So the cupboard, 100 years on, would appear to be equally bare! Little has changed. However, there was one comment made in the film's commentary about the difficulty conventional doctors faced at the time.

               "Without knowing the true cause of the killer epidemic' doctors could not develop effective drugs or vaccines".

Homeopathy also did not know 'the true cause of the killer epidemic' in 1918, but this did not prevent homeopathic doctors from coming up with remedies that were infinitely more successful

But the history of homeopathic treatment during the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918 was not mentioned in the film.

It might have been a more interesting film if it had mentioned the evidence. But it would not be a film that the BBC (alongside other media organisations, bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical companies) would have wanted to publish! So, let's have a look at the evidence for homeopathic success here. This is what one homeopathic doctor, Arthur B Hawes, reported in 1918.

               "I have been so busy fighting "Spanish Flu" that I have found time for nothing else for several weeks. I want to tell you my experience with the disease, for I am proud of my record; proud of what homoeopathy was able to do out here in this small city in South Dakota. In all, I treated 188 cases of Spanish Influenza. Of the above number I treated 169 cases from the initial fever and 19 cases who had been unable to get a physician during the early stage, or who thought they could carry it through alone and called me only when the disease got the best of them. Of the 169 initial cases I lost not one, neither did I have a relapse; but I am sorry to say that one lost his mind, which I hope is only temporary. All of the others recovered without relapse. Of the 19 late cases all but three recovered. All of the three were pneumonic. One lived but eight hours after pneumonia set in; one, two days; the third had endocarditis which ended the scene five days after a relapse.... I commenced every case with Gelsemium and Bryonia, which seemed to rob the case of its tendency toward pneumonia. Other remedies I used in my cases were Phosphorus, Tartar Emetic, Hepar sulphur and Pulsatilla. In not one case did I find it necessary to use any of the old-school remedies. In one or two cases I found it necessary to resort to Passiflora and Cratoegus.

It is interesting to note that homeopaths, today, are still be using the same remedies. They work, so there is no reason to change them, and they are, of course, entirely safe. 

Doctor Hawes experience was not just a one off. The general figures seem to suggest that patients treated by homeopaths during the epidemic fared dramatically better than those treated by conventional doctors. Mortality rates for flu patients using homeopathy averaged less than 1%, compared to 6% of conventionally treated patients. For patients whose illness was complicated by pneumonia the average death rate with homeopathy was under 4% whilst the mortality rate for the patients treated conventionally was between 25% and 30%.

Julian Wilson, a leading a homeopath, investigated the treatment of Spanish Flu all over the world. A short synopsis of what he found can he found on this Homeopathy World Community website. One source he used was was an article entitled "Homeopathy In Influenza- A Chorus Of Fifty In Harmony" by W. A. Dewey, MD., published in the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1920.

  • Dean W. A. Pearson of Philadelphia collected 26,795 cases of influenza treated by homeopathic physicians with a mortality of 1.05%, while the average old school mortality is 30%.
  • Thirty physicians in Connecticut responded to my request for data. They reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%. In the transport service I had 81 cases on the way over. All recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment. One ship lost 31 on the way. H. A. Roberts, MD, Derby, Connecticut.
  • 1,500 cases were reported at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the District of Columbia with but fifteen deaths. Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital were 100%. E. F. Sappington, M. D., Philadelphia.
  • "I have treated 1,000 cases of influenza. I have the records to show my work. I have no losses. Please give all credit to homeopathy and none to the Scotch-Irish-American! T. A. McCann, MD, Dayton, Ohio.

These reports have never been disputed, and since 1918, year by year, homeopaths have continued to treat flu with the same remedies, and in doing so, they have confirmed the same success.

Yet there were other contemporaneious reports about pharmaceutical drugs that were used, and which we implicated at the time for contributing to the high mortality of patients treated by conventional doctors.
  • In a plant of 8,000 workers we had only one death. The patients were not drugged to death. Gelsemium was practically the only remedy used. We used no aspirin and no vaccines. Frank Wieland, MD, Chicago. 
  • I did not lose a single case of influenza; my death rate in the pneumonias was 2.1%. The salycilates, including aspirin and quinine, were almost the sole standbys of the old school and it was a common thing to hear them speaking of losing 60% of their pneumonias. Dudley A. Williams, MD, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • One physician in a Pittsburgh hospital asked a nurse if she knew anything better than what he was doing, because he was losing many cases. "Yes, Doctor, stop aspirin and go down to a homeopathic pharmacy, and get homeopathic remedies." The Doctor replied: "But that is homeopathy." "I know it, but the homeopathic doctors for whom I have nursed have not lost a single case." W. F. Edmundson, MD, Pittsburgh.
So the BBC film, interesting as it was, continues the medical cover-up. If there is ever again a killer epidemic of influenza conventional medicine will have learnt nothing. It is difficult for anyone to learn anything about the 'true cause' of an illness, and conventional medicine, protected by the mainstream media, knows little more about the treatment of flu now than it did 100 years ago!

So you should ask yourself - how will you go about protecting yourself? If, or when, there is another epidemic, it will be the thoughtful, the open-minded, the more inquisitive, and more intelligent who will choose homeopathy. Conventional medicine, supported by the mainstream media, will ensure that no-one else will get to know about it. Homeopathy is the wise choose, based on the evidence of 1918. So what everyone needs to do is to compare the conventional and homeopathic treatment of influenza, and to make their own, informed choice about what treatment they want for themselves.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

More antibiotic drugs have been banned. They have been used since the 1960's! How many patients have been damaged by them? Do doctors know? Do they care? Have you been damaged by them?

Quinolone and Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been suspended by the EMA (The European Drug's Agency). They were first introduced in the 1960's. In June 2018, after over 50 years, conventional medicine has discovered that they cause "disabling and potentially permanent side effects". On 16th November 2018, the EMA suspended them. Their findings will now be forwarded to the European Commission "which will issue a final legally binding decision applicable in all EU countries".

The machinations of the conventional medical establishment are long and convoluted. 
The suffering and patient harm they have caused are lengthy and enduring.
Yesterday patients were told that these drugs were safe.
Tomorrow they will be told that they are unsafe.

These antibiotic drugs are the latest of a long line of pharmaceutical drugs doctors have given to patients over the years - safe, wonder drugs - that have eventually had to be banned. Over the years I have constructed a long, but probably incomplete list of banned pharmaceutical drugs and published them in my ebook, "The Failure of Conventional Medicine". They are all drugs that have been

  • 'scientifically' tested
  • approved by drug regulators as safe and effective
  • given to patients
  • caused patient harm over many years
  • and were all, rather belatedly, banned

Even so, not all fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been suspended - their use has just been restricted, and will no longer be used:

  • to treat infections that might get better without treatment or are not severe (such as throat infections);
  • to treat non-bacterial infections, e.g. non-bacterial (chronic) prostatitis;
  • for preventing traveller’s diarrhoea or recurring lower urinary tract infections (urine infections that do not extend beyond the bladder);
  • to treat mild or moderate bacterial infections unless other antibacterial medicines commonly recommended for these infections cannot be used.

And the EMA says that they should be used only "with special caution" in the elderly, patients with kidney disease and those who have had an organ transplantation because these patients are at a higher risk of tendon injury.

I suggest that patients, all patients, might want to take even greater precautions, and say NO, not only to these drugs, but to all pharmaceutical drugs. This situation demonstrates that the conventional medical establishment is prepared to continue prescribing drugs long after they are known to be dangerous for patients.

The side-effects website has said this about these antibiotics - long before this rather belated suspension.

               "The newer Quinolone Antibiotics are considered 'safe' in most studies.... But this can be deceiving and the incidence of problems are often MUCH higher than the industry-sponsored drug trials say. Quinolone antibiotics have an VERY DARK history, and many of the problems people experience are disabling, long-term effects- and even death from these 'safe' drugs."

They went on to make the point I have now been making for many years, emphasising that all the serious and dangerous side effects of these (and other) drugs, were found 'post-marketing'.

               "What this means that these reactions occur AFTER the drug is on the market and is being taken by YOU. What this says is that they KNOW that quinolone antibiotics are dangerous and have side effects that could be disabling or deadly and yet they keep developing new ones in the hope that THIS one won't have those problems."

They went on to say that Quinolone Antibiotics were too dangerous to use, something that European drug regulators are only now prepared to accept. They said that medical science have shown them to be safe enough for FDA approval. I have no information yet about whether the FDA believe they are still safe enough for Americans to take. At this very moment, in the USA, a doctor may be telling one of his patients.

               "Take these antibiotics. They have been proven to be safe. They won't hurt you"

And that is the way with conventional medicine. Doctors are prepared to give their patients anything, harmful as the drug might be. They might change their mind in 50 years time. They might not. But even if they do they will give you another drugs that medical science has proven to be 'entirely safe'.

Anyone for natural medical therapies which actually believe in "first do no harm"?

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

NHS prevention plan aims to boost life expectancy

The NHS has announced a new strategy for health care in the UK. It is to move away from its current 'treatment' based approach to a more 'preventative' approach. The new Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is developing his long-term plans for the NHS and it will focus on the prevention rather than the treatment of illness (5th November 2018).

Well, something certainly has to happen. The NHS is not coping with the demands being made on it by growing number of sick patients who seem to get progressively sick the more treatment they receive, and so requiring more a more treatment. Hancock says that 10 times more money is now being spent on treatment than prevention, and this, he says, "does not stack up". He says that there needs to be a shift in culture of the NHS, and in the way resources are balanced.

Hancock wants people to have 5 more years of healthy, independent life by 2035. To achieve this he is encouraging people to take more responsibility for their own health - to look after themselves better, staying acting longer, quitting smoking, making better life choices by limiting their consumption of alcohol, sugar, salt and fat."

               "For too long the NHS has seen itself as essentially the National Hospital Service, with primary care and GPs round the side."

So has the Health Secretary discovered the root cause of NHS failure, or more importantly, the failure of conventional medicine to make us better? My major doubt about his plan is that before illness can be PREVENTED, the CAUSE of illness has first to be correctly identified.

What Hancock seems to be proposing is that patients begin to do the things the NHS has been asking us to do for a very long time! There is nothing new about asking people to change their life style habits for healthier ones. Doctors have been doing it for decades - usually either just before or after handing out a prescription for pharmaceutical drugs. Clearly, there is nothing wrong with a better diet, more exercise, less smoking, et al. But just how exactly is this going to be achieved when it has never been achieved before?

So what about more primary medical care, using GP's rather than hospitals? Certainly it is important to know exactly what Hancock believes to be 'preventative' medicine. For instance, many of the drugs currently prescribed by doctors in massive quantities are already prescribed on the basis that they can prevent illness and disease.

Statin drugs, are perhaps a case in point. They have been, and continue to be prescribed to prevent heart attacks and strokes. So is this the kind of 'preventative medicine' Hancock is talking about? Two things if it is...
  1. Since Statins have been given to patients there has been no decrease, but rather a massive increase in the number of heart attacks and strokes. Indeed, all chronic disease is now running at epidemic levels.
  2. And Statins are now known to cause serious health side effects - muscle weakness, cataracts, liver dysfunction, kidney disease, diabetes, dementia et al. So this is one 'preventative' drug that is almost certainly adding to number of cases having to be treated by the NHS.
Vaccines are also widely used by the NHS with the express purpose of 'preventing' disease. Children are subject to a plethora of vaccines for a wide number of (quite minor) illnesses, and although this will be vehemently denied, there is little doubt that they cause (more serious) illness. Swopping measles for autism, or diphtheria for seizures, is not a good deal for patients, or the NHS. Similarly, older people are asked every year to swop influenza for dementia

So as far as prevention is concerned, vaccines are not a good deal for the NHS either. And before anyone accuses me of being 'anti-vaccine' let me suggest another description for my vaccine stance. I am pro-Hippocrates. FIRST, DO NO HARM!

Yet herein lies the problem at the very heart of the NHS, which is now completely dominated by the conventional medical establishment, and by the pharmaceutical industry.

It means that the NHS is unable to identify one of the main problems that underlays rising health demand, and rising NHS costs. It refuses to identify one important cause for increased levels of demand that is threatening to bankrupt the NHS. Let me explain why this is.
  • Doctors prescribe pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines (often to prevent disease).
  • These all cause side effects, often very serious side effects, which are, in effect, new and serious illnesses in their own right.
  • And because it is conventional medicine that has caused the problem it is unable to admit it. This is one major consequence conventional medicine - it is, itself, creating disease.
So I suspect it is not possible for conventional medicine to do anything about it. I have been writing my DIE's website now for several years, describing how specific pharmaceutical drugs are known to cause specific diseases. One discovery I have made it that when the NHS describes the causes of each illness, the role played by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are rarely mentioned as a possible cause. Yet medical literature demonstrates that the NHS DOES know that their drugs cause disease. The NHS Choices website, for example, frequently states that the cause of a disease is 'unknown' rather than admit that it can be caused by pharmaceuticals!

The point is that it is difficult to prevent illness if one of the major causes is routinely denied. Put in another way, preventative medicine is only possible if we can identify, openly and honestly, all the factors that cause illness. And conventional medicine refuses to do this.

Preventative medicine is a good idea. Homeopathy does it all the time, as do other natural therapies, all of which treat patients without causing harm. Conventional medicine causes a large amount of additional sickness, and by doing so (as I blogged recently), this produces enormous secondary costs for society.

These secondary costs are certainly preventable. But first there has to be an honest admission - that conventional medicine, even when it is claiming to be preventing illness, is actually creating more illness and disease. Then the prevention of large amounts of illness and disease becomes eminently possible - through one simple process.


Friday, 2 November 2018

The MMR Vaccine. Less parents are getting their children vaccinated. And this is a problem both for conventional medicine, and our national media!

Professor Dame Sally Davis is an expert on health, Britain's 'top doctor', and the government appointed Chief Medical Officer. Or more accurately, perhaps, she is an expert in conventional medicine.
  • There is an important distinction!
On 1st November 2018 her statement about the MMR vaccine made all the mainstream media. Her comments came, apparently, on the 30th anniversary of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine being introduced in the UK. The vaccine is given, free of charge, on the NHS, as a single injection to babies, within a month of their first birthday. They then have a second injection before starting school, aged three years.

The expert professor was bemoaning the fact that less people are now taking up the vaccine - only 87% in England when the target is 95%.

So let's see what she had to say, and how the media (and particularly BBC News) reported it.

               "The MMR vaccine has dramatically reduced cases of measles, mumps and rubella and saved about 4,000 deaths from measles, resulting in the UK being declared "measles free" by the World Health Organization last year."

Measles was a killer disease in this country during the 18th and 19th century, alongside the upheaval and poverty of the agrarian and industrial revolutions. The incidence of measles declined progressively and rapidly from the second half of the 19th century right up to the introduction of the MMR vaccine. Graphs that track the incidence of measles show that the introduction of the vaccine made no impact whatsoever on the continuing decline of the disease.

Did Sally Davis mention this? Was she challenged by the BBC? No, this was allowed to pass - as a factual statement.

The Professor went on to say that the MMR vaccine was safe, and had been given to millions of children worldwide. Yet the patient information leaflet that comes with the MMR vaccine contradicts this statement. I have listed the long list of serious known 'side effects' in this blog, written in 2013. The side effects include seizures, encephalitis, and death (yes, death!)

Did Sally Davis qualify this statement that the MMR vaccine was safe? Did the BBC challenge her about the claim? No, it was allowed to pass - as a factual statement.

So why are 13% of parents refusing to take up the offer of this free vaccine? A vaccine that protects against a disease that no longer exists (!) A vaccine that causes death? 

Well, Dame Sally had the answer. I was to blame, alongside the many other anti-vaccine campaigners, all of us presenting our 'misinformation', and 'fake news'.
  • People who believe the myths spread by anti-vaccine campaigners "are absolutely wrong" she said.
  • She urged parents to get their children vaccinated and ignore "social media fake news".
  • She said myths peddled about the dangers of vaccines on social media was one reason parents weren't taking their children to get the MMR vaccine.
  • "Over these 30 years, we have vaccinated millions of children.
  • "It is a safe vaccination - we know that - and we've saved millions of lives across the world.
  • "People who spread these myths, when children die they will not be there to pick up the pieces or the blame."
This was her message, her unchallenged message, the one that everybody heard. The voice of a medical expert, an authority on the subject, someone who is not to be challenged, by anyone!

So what has my mistake been? Why have I erred? Why have I been attacked on the media? I suggest my mistake, and the mistake of all anti-vaxxers, has been twofold.
  1. We have read the evidence on the patient information leaflets and made the judgement that this level of child damage was unacceptable.
  2. We have listened to parents who once had healthy children, but whose development was normal up until they were vaccinate (either with DPT or MMR), and who subsequently became seriously ill.
Clearly, according to Britain's Chief Medical Officer, we should not have done so either of these things. We should accept her word, her statements, just as the media has done - after all she is a medical expert!

So was Sally Davis's challenged at all by the BBC? And did they, in line with the BBC's editorial guidelines, give time to anti-vaccine campaigners to put their position? No, she was not challenged. And no, no one was allowed to put the contrary case - that the MMR vaccine was,  in fact, dangerous, and parent were right to refuse to subject their children to its known side effects.

Instead, Dame Sally was allowed to bemoan the fact that there had been too many cases of measles in England this year - a grand total of 903 so far (!) - and that young people had missed out on the MMR vaccine "who had been particularly affected".

Any statistics on that, Sally? So perhaps the BBC asked her how many of the 903 children had been vaccinated? Unfortunately, they did not bother to ask.

And then, of course, the usual nonsense, routinely trotted out by the media whenever vaccines are brought into question.

               "In 1998, a study by former doctor Andrew Wakefield incorrectly linked the MMR vaccine to autism. The research is now completely discredited."

Actually, Andrew Wakefield's research has been replicated many times now. But we cannot expect the mainstream media to mention this. So did they challenge the statement? No, of course not. The job of the media, as seen by the media, is to support the conventional medical establishment, to act as an Echo Chamber for anything they want to say, without challenge or question, whilst at the same time bashing anyone who holds a contrary view, backed by contrary evidence.

So the result of Professor Dame Sally Davis's interview, and the vacillation of the mainstream media, will be that more parents are absolutely certain about the importance of vaccination, and the safety of vaccines, who have no knowledge of the warnings on the patient information leaflet, or the experience of parents whose young children have been seriously damaged.

So much for informed patient choice!