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Monday 19 December 2016

Avian flu, a new epidemic. What can conventional medicine do?

There is another epidemic of bird flu ravaging Europe, found in 14 countries, and it has now reached England. It has been found on a farm in Lincolnshire, and confirmed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). They say that more than 5,000 turkeys at the farm have been diagnosed with the H5N8 strain of avian flu. Last week, Defra instructed owners to keep their birds indoors for 30 days to protect them from this highly-infectious strain of flu.

Urgent measures are being taken. There are investigations beginning to establish the source of the outbreak. Farmers have received their instructions to protect their flocks, and been put on alert. A six mile surveillance area has been established, and bio-security measures have been stepped up. The public has been reassured that the danger to them is limited, and that poultry supplies should not be affected. Similar actions are being taken in Scotland. Sheila Voas, Scotland;s Chief Veterinary Officer has said"

               "The Scottish government declared this zone as a precaution against disease, although we knew that there was always a risk of the virus arriving in the UK with migratory wild birds. The fact that H5N8 has been detected in housed turkeys highlights the importance of biosecurity. We know that H5N8 is circulating in wild birds, and simply moving your birds indoors may not be enough to protect them if your biosecurity is not sufficient. Businesses should also review their contingency plans in case of an outbreak."

So there is great concern. But what happens to the infected birds? What happens to the livelihood of poultry farmers? Does conventional medicine have any treatment for avian flu?

Apparently not. It would seem that many of the birds died of the flu, and the rest of the flock are due to be culled! Conventional vets have nothing more to offer!

And they call this medicine! Flu can certainly be a serious disease, and for birds, especially those kept indoors, in cramped and unnatural conditions, it can most certainly be a killer. But culling a flock because of an outbreak of flu? Is there nothing better than conventional medicine can offer?

If not, perhaps they should take some advice from homeopathy. I have written about the treatment of influenza on my 'Why Homeopathy?' website, which compares conventional and homeopathic treatments of flu. Homeopathy is a simple and straight forward method, and easily adapted to birds, even large flocks of birds, both in the prevention and treatment of flu.

My preferred remedy is Oscillococcinum, a brand name for a remedy more commonly known as Anas Barb. For any farmer interested, these are available from any homeopathic pharmacy. I use these remedies regularly every Autumn and Winter for myself and my family. The remedy Influenzinum-Bacillinum is an alternative. They can be given to birds via their water supply.

In fact, I think I will now pop outside and pop a couple of Oscillococcinum tablets into my two bird baths!

I would not like to think that conventional vets will cull my lovely robins, blackbirds, blue tits, et al, because they were sneezing!

Big Pharma profits at our expense

No, I am no repeating myself. Pulse, the GP magazine, has today (19 December 2016) revealed yet another case of Big Pharma profiteering. I won't spend too much time on it! It has become such a regular occurrence, and the last time I blogged about it was just 3 days ago!

This time, Actavis UK hiked the price of a ‘lifesaving’ hydrocortisone drug by over 12,000%, according to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on 18th December 2016.  The drug, which I believed is called Zenoxone, used to treat eczema, dermatitis and insect bite reactions, cost 70p in April 2008, and £88 by March 2016.

Pulse also tried to estimate the cost to NHS which spent £522,000 a year on hydrocortisone tablets in 2008, £70 million by 2016.

Teva, another drug company that acquired Actavis in August 2016, said that it "intended to ‘defend’ themselves". Drug companies are good at denial. They deny that they are profiteering. The deny that their drugs cause harm to patients.

Meanwhile, the CMA has to be careful. Once again they have challenged the pharmaceutical industry, and must fear that they will trigger legal action from an excessively wealthy industry. So their findings, they say, are only ‘provisional’, and ‘no conclusion' should be drawn yet. Is one possible conclusion that the pharmaceutical industry is riven with fraud and corruption!

I have looked to see if there is any reaction from the NHS. What monitoring of drug prices do the NHS have in place to protect themselves (and the taxpayer) from this kind of situation? What is their response to being fleeced by drug companies? After all, the customer for these drugs is the NHS, who decide whether for pay for them, and how much taxpayer's money to pay for them.

It would be nice to think that the NHS had something to say!

Friday 16 December 2016

The Treatment of Sepsis or Septicemia by Homeopathy

The Daily Mail has recently run a campaign in Britain about the treatment of Sepsis and Septicemia. Septicemia is an infection of the blood, sometimes called bacteremia or blood poisoning, and if it is left untreated it can progress to sepsis. Septicemia happens when a bacterial infection somewhere in the body, such as  the lungs or the skin, enters the bloodstream. This is dangerous because the bacteria and their toxins can be carried through the bloodstream to your entire body.

The Mail campaign was called ‘End the Sepsis Scandal’. It began in January 2016 after a young boy called William died in 2014 "after a catalogue of errors, misdiagnoses and missed opportunities by doctors and NHS helpline staff". The Mail estimated that 44,000 lives each year are lost to sepsis "yet few people have even heard of the condition". Quite rightly, the Mail has claimed a victory for following the NHS decision to run a major campaign "to raise awareness of sepsis across the NHS".

However, one thing the Mail campaign, and Jeremy Hunt's awareness campaign will not achieve is an understanding of how Sepsis, and Septicemia, can be treated homeopathically.

Conventional medicine usually says that anyone was suspects that they have septicemia or sepsis should see a doctor right away, and that as Septicemia or Sepsis can quickly become life-threatening it should be treated in hospital. This is good advice. However, homeopathy can provide a quicker response that can be accessed whilst trying to see a doctor, or get into hospital.

There are several homeopathic remedies that can treat Septicemia or Sepsis, based on the symptoms the individual is suffering. Some of these can be found on this Hpathy website. However, it might not be wise, and there may not be time to spend time trying to link accurately the individual with specific remedy symptoms. It is certainly better to get to hospital quickly! Yet there is one homeopathic remedy that I have always had to hand, to take immediately as a first aid treatment whilst on the way to hospital. Pyrogen.

Pyrogen is a remedy prepared from decomposed lean beef allowed to stand in the sun for two weeks and then potentized so that it is safe to take. Remember that homeopathy works by 'treating like with like'. The remedy can act quickly to relieve most of the common, if not all, the symptoms of sepsis. If available it could have saved many of those 44,000 lives. It is readily available from any homeopathic pharmacy.

All doctors surgeries, all ambulance services, all hospital accident and emergency units, should have this remedy, but they are unlikely to have it. If the NHS were really keen to reduce deaths through Sepsis, and were sufficiently open minded about treatment options, it would be sensible for them to include homeopathy in their advice to patients. But it is almost certain that conventional medicine, which dominates the NHS, will not have any homeopathic remedy, or access to a homeopath, so every family should have some Pyrogen to hand!

And there is another reason for using homeopathy. Conventional medicine treats septicaemia and sepsis almost entire with antibiotic drugs, and as resistance to these antibiotics increases they are becoming increasingly ineffective with more and more patients. And, as with most cases of infectious disease, homeopathy is an alternative. And actually a safer and more effective alternative too.

Now, a word of warning! This blog will be attacked by the Medical Fundamentalists, the Homeopathy Deniers (it usually is)! To them, this blog will constitute 'dangerous' advice because, in their opinion, homeopathy does not work, and there is no evidence that it works. This is their mantra, and they never deviate from it! Of course it is not true! Homeopaths have been treating septicemia for over 200 years. And the following RCT study is evidence for this.

Frass M, Linkesch, M, Banjya, S, et al. Adjunctive homeopathic treatment in patients with severe sepsis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in an intensive care unit. Homeopathy 2005:94;75–80.

The study, a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted at the University of Vienna hospital, concluded that "our data suggest that homeopathic treatment may be a useful additional therapeutic measure with a long-term benefit for severely septic patients admitted to the intensive care unit. A constraint to wider application of this method is the limited number of trained homeopaths".

Conventional medicine is failing in the treatment of many illnesses and diseases. It needs help, yet is usually adamant in refusing it. This is why patients, and families, should themselves make sure that they have access to safe and effective alternative treatment with serious diseases like this.

Doxycycline. More Fraud by the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Six more drug companies have been accused of price fixing, and civil law suits have been filed in 20 USA states. Criminal changers are being brought against former executives at one of the accused firms. BBC News reported reported today (16th December 2016) that Heritage Pharmaceuticals were the 'principle architect' of the price fixing fraud. One state Attorney General said that the lawsuit was just 'the tip of the iceberg'.

Well, we should perhaps already realise this. It was just last week that I wrote about a similar situation, see 'Drug Profiteering and Phenytoin. A nasty little epilepsy drug, at a nasty big price!' And just a year ago I wrote this blog, 'Daraprim. A 'for-profit' drug in a monopoly industry' on another similar situation.

Pharmaceutical drug companies appear to be engaged in fraudulent price fixing on a regular basis. National health services are being overcharged by enormous amounts. As far as this situation is concerned, one Democrat Senator has claimed that the price of doxycycline, the antibiotic drug involved, rose in the USA from $20 to $1,849 in seven months.

In contrast, the mainstream media does not appear to ask the real questions. If they are prepared to commit fraud at this level, what else are they prepared to do?

  • Are they prepared to lie about the outcome of drug tests?
  • Are they prepared to claim that dangerous drugs are safe?
  • Are they prepared to claim that ineffective drugs are more effective than they are?
  • Are they prepared to underplay the damage their drugs and vaccines do to patients?
Regular readers of this blog will know the answer to all these questions is YES! Readers of the mainstream media will probably says 'SURELY NOT'!

So what about this antibiotic drug, doxycycline? As usual, the known side effects are massive, many of them serious. They can be seen on the website in full, but they include abdominal or stomach tenderness, cramping, bloating, cough, decreased appetite, severe diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, fast heartbeat, fever, headache, hives, itching, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue, inflammation of the joints, joint or muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, severe stomach pain, sore throat, mouth sores, swelling of the feet or lower legs, swollen lymph glands, tightness in the chest, unusual tiredness or weakness, unusual weight loss, and much, much more.

So let us be clear about this fraud.
  • We are regularly being massively overcharged for drugs. 
  • And we are being massively overcharged by drugs that are harmful to human health, without being told that they are harmful to human health
The focus appears to be on the former. The mainstream media, as usual, show considerable concern for the profitability of the drug companies, and what damage this court case might do to them. BBC News reports that the shares on one company has plunged 22% on the news! Thankfully (sic) the company said that the probe and legal proceedings would "not have a material impact on its future earnings". Well, that's alright then!

Yet the real concern about this, and so many similar situations, is that doctors are prescribing drugs that are harming our health, and that the drug companies are prepared to continue selling drugs that are known to be dangerous.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Cuba and the medical treatment of infectious diseases

The death of Fidel Castro 25th November 2016 brought mixed reviews in the mainstream media. The Cuban leader from 1959 to 2008 was criticised for many things, but even his most severe critics acknowledged that his rule had brought two significant benefits to the Cuban people - education and health. However, what his 'health' achievements were went largely unmentioned. So what was he able to achieve in this poor country? And why was there little mention of his specific achievements?

One of his later achievements was the treatment of infectious disease in Cuba. It started in 2007 with the treatment of Leptospirosis, which is endemic in Cuba. It is associated with the hurricane and high rainfall seasons from October to December when the infection is spread via infected water. Rodent urine also carries the disease. Prior to 2007 Cuba had been importing conventional vaccines, which were expensive, and largely ineffective. Owing to a particularly virulent outbreak of leptospirosis, and unable to produce enough vaccine, the Finlay Institute in Cuba decided to try homeopathic immunisation. The result were spectacular. The statistics can be found on this Hpathy webpage. Not only was the treatment successful, it was also treatment that Cuba could afford for the entire population.

Homeopaths like myself were delighted, once this became known, many skeptics would see that homeopathy was a successful medical therapy. Of course that did not happen. Medical Journals refused to publish the study done by the Findley Institute. The mainstream media did not cover the 'good news' story. And the skeptics, who believe themselves to be scientists, continued to skeptical. One made this statement.

               “Presumably then, if homeoprophylaxis for Leptospirosis was so successful and saved so many lives, the Cuban health authorities will have been boldly rolling it out all over Cuba for the last five years?”

Scientists view what is happening in the world and then seek to explain it, and benefit from the knowledge gained. And this is what happened in Cuba, where the Ministry of Health continued using homeopathy for leptospiros. Indeed, during the ensuing years it was given to the entire Cuban population (about 11 million). The results have been remarkable. As Christopher Johnson stated in the BMJ Journal on 26th November 2012, in response to the above criticism,

               "In fact, this is precisely what has been done, with remarkable effect: leptospirosis is now nearly eradicated - so much so that the homeopathic prophylaxis is no longer routinely needed."

And, as Johnson pointed out, this happened within 4 years of homeopathic treatment beginning, whilst in comparison, 10 years and more of conventional vaccine treatment never brought any such success.

The result is that Cuba is now using homeopathic prophylaxis and treatment for many other infectious diseases, including dengue fever, ‘swine’ flu, hepatitis A and conjunctivitis. And they have all been equally successful.

So what now skeptics? Well, actually readers, you will not be surprised if I tell you they are not looking. They are not commenting. Remember, their dislike of homeopathy is all about their support for so-called 'scientific' medicine. What's that? It's the medicine that came up with the vaccine used in Cuba prior to 2007, expensive, and useless!

And have you heard about this story in the mainstream media? No, as usual our media is quiet. It too is not looking. It is refusing to look. Rather than discuss 'good news' about the homeopathic treatment of infectious disease it chooses to ignore it. Instead it prefers to highlight the benefits of vaccination, and conventional medicine generally.

So, if this is the first time you have heard about this, please pass it on to your friends and relations. It is, probably, the only way they will ever find out about it!

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Hospitals. They don't want us to know how lethal drugs are!

Rather than focusing on finding proper answers for bereaved families, NHS hospitals are ’covering up’ failings in how conventional medicine investigates the death of patients.

A CQC review of how hospitals probe deaths, ordered by the health secretary after complaints against Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, found not a single hospital is doing this properly. The review, which looked at 12 NHS trusts, also found that grieving relatives were treated without kindness, respect or honesty.

Families said they were left with the impression that the NHS spent more time on cover ups than on saving lives, the report said. Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said: 

               "Families and carers are not always properly involved in the investigations process or treated with the respect they deserve."

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has produced what The Telegraph (13 December 2016) says is a "landmark report" in which the NHS stands accused of 'covering up' failings behind patient deaths. The report warned that not a single hospital is properly probing deaths which warrant investigation, and that too many families who sought the truth about the deaths of their loved ones were given a “toxic drip feed” of information in their search for justice. The Telegraph article goes on to outline the CQC's findings, which I will not deal with her, except that there conclusion was as follows:

               "They said they were left with the impression that the NHS spent more time on cover ups than on saving lives."

The concern of the CQC was that families were not treated with care and respect, and that if proper investigations were not conducted no learning would take place, and future fatalities would not be prevented. These are, of course, serious matters. The Telegraph report this comment by Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

               "This landmark review reveals in stark detail what many in healthcare have suspected for a long time. Put simply, we have consistently failed and continue to fail too many of the families of those who die whilst in our care.”

My concern is rather different. We must remember that we are dealing with a medical system whose drugs and vaccines are known to cause serious illness, disease and death. The conventional medical establishment, over the decades, has consistently underplayed the seriousness of the so-called 'side effects' of its treatment. For instance it is generally recognised that only about 10% of drug and vaccine side effects are ever reported, which means, in effect, that pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are at least 10 times more dangerous than we are told by doctors. What this report has found is that when death does happen, the health authorities are not willing, or able, or sufficiently open, or prepared to be honest, to investigate them properly.

Why? Yes, as the report says, it is a cover up! Yes, it might be as Sue Bailey suggests, that healthcare has suspected this for a long time! But is there something more?

Perhaps doctors are not willing to look too deeply into some deaths because of what it might uncover about the lethal 'side effects' of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, and their role in prescribing them.

The CQC review was ordered after a scandal at Southern Health trust, when it was found that hundreds of unexplained deaths had never been probed. That was only uncovered after a long campaign by Dr Sara Ryan, whose teenage son Connor Sparrowhawk, died in the bath following an epileptic seizure in 2013. Were drugs involved in this case? Was this the reason that the conventional medical authorities were reluctant to investigate? Was this why the family found that information about the events leading up to the death were only released bit by bit, after a battle?

Anticonvulsant drugs are known to cause suicide, attempted suicide, and violent death. Was this young man taking anticonvulsants? I don't know. However, this study, one of many that have investigated this particular 'side effect', concluded that

               "... this exploratory analysis suggests that the use of (the anti epilepsy drugs studied) may be associated with an increased risk of suicidal acts or violent deaths."

I have been aware for some time that when doctors write death certificates they rarely mention that the person who has died was taking pharmaceutical drugs, even when those drugs were known to cause the reason given for death. My previous blog, "Iatrogenic Death - are doctors now the biggest cause of death?" mentions two such cases. One was a woman who fell, and died from a brain haemorrhage, who was taking Warfarin. Another was a woman who died from Alzheimers Disease, who had annual flu vaccinations, and regularly took PPI drugs - both associated with dementia. I have written about this latter case in my blog "Alzheimers Disease and the Flu Vaccine".

The result is that neither of these deaths were associated with the drugs and vaccines they were taking. How many times does this happen? We are probably talking about millions of deaths, every year, throughout the world, that were officially attributed to diseases that were themselves caused by pharmaceutical drugs.

Conventional medicine, dominated as it is by pharmaceutical drugs, appears to find openness and transparency extremely difficult. Perhaps from their professional point of view this is understandable. Honesty would only demonstrate conclusively how lethal conventional medicine is. But it is certainly not understandable, nor acceptable, from a patient point of view.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Drug Profiteering and Phenytoin. A nasty little epilepsy drug, at a nasty big price!

Imagine you popped off to the supermarket to buy a loaf of bread. Your favourite loaf cost £1.50 last time, but today you discovered it cost nearly £4,000! Driving away you decide to fill your car with petrol at £1.10 per litre, but this discover that the cost is now nearly £3,000 per litre.

This kind of inflation is possible. But only if you are buying pharmaceutical drugs! Big Pharma knows no restraints when it comes to profiteering. It is used to a profit ratio of over 20% when most other industries are happy with 5-10%.

This particular story has been well publicised. The drug company Pfizer has been fined a record £84.2m by Britain's competition regulator for increasing the price of their anti-epilepsy drug, phenytoin sodium, by 2,600%! The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that the US company "deliberately exploited" the British public, who of course pay for the NHS. It also fined the drugs distributor, Flynn Pharma, £5.2m. Of course, such massive fines are merely back-pocket cash for the drug companies, or as one company director said some years ago, they are an accepted part of their business costs!

And of course this is confirmed by the figures. The amount the NHS was charged for the drug went up from £2.83m to £67.50m in 2012, before being reduced to £54 in May 2014. This increased the cost to the NHS from £2m to £50m in 2012 and 2013, a profit of £96 million for these two years alone. By my calculation, that is a profit, even after the fine is paid!

So what exactly is this drug, Phenytoin? It is an anticonvulsant drug taken by about 48,000 patients in Britain to control seizures, or epilepsy. What is not so well known about the drug, and certainly not mentioned (as usual) by the mainstream media, is that it is a particularly dangerous drug, with particularly nasty side effects. Drug. com provides this summary information (go to the website for more detailed information).

          "Commonly reported side effects of phenytoin include: congenital anomalies. Other side effects include: hepatic necrosis, ataxia, confusion, constipation, depression, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, hypertrichosis, mental status changes, myasthenia, nervousness, numbness, tremor, tremor of hands, vertigo, excitement, irritability, mood changes, and restlessness."

     So the pharmaceutical industry wants us to pay nasty big prices for this nasty little drug!

So is it unusual for drug companies to behave in this way, charging excessive amounts for their drugs? Well not really. Last year a USA drug company was caught in a similar scam, involving Turing Pharmaceuticals, and the drug Daraprim. The price of this drug was raised overnight by over 5,000%. I will let the reader work out the increase on a loaf of bread, or a litre of petrol!

A spokesman for the CMA’s investigation is quoted as saying this about the increased charge for Phenytoin.

          "The companies deliberately exploited the opportunity offered by de-branding to hike up the price for a drug which is relied upon by many thousands of patients. These extraordinary price rises have cost the NHS and the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds."

So do the drug companies think they have done anything wrong? It appears not! Pfizer said they were making a loss on the drug before the 're-branding', and that the price set by Flynn was actually 25-40% lower than the cost of an equivalent tablet from another supplier. They felt that the CMA's findings were wrong. Flynn Pharma complained that the CMA has taken more than three and a half years to reach their decision which was based "on a wholly flawed understanding of the UK pharmaceutical market".

So both companies will appeal, and seek to overturn the CMA's findings in court. Perhaps the bread companies, and the petroleum companies should take note.

No time to write more. Sorry. I'm off to buy a loaf of bread, and fill my car with petrol before they put the price up!

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dementia, Alzheimers. Hopes raised, hopes dashed.

Solanezumab was to be a great breakthrough drug, the first to effectively treat the growing scourge of dementia, and in particular, Alzheimer's disease. Of course it has proven to be no such thing. But the history of the drug demonstrates the machinations of the pharmaceutical industry, the willingness of medical charities, patient support groups, and the mainstream media to sing, loudly and in tune, with the drug companies hymn sheet. It also demonstrates how patients are misinformed about the nature of their disease (dementia, et al), how they have their hopes raised about 'great scientific advances' in medical treatment, only to have them totally dashed.

It also demonstrates the need for a new approach to dealing with the many epidemics of disease we have been facing over the last half century and more. There is hope, but it does not exist in a packet of pharmaceutical drugs!

The rise of dementia, and in particular Alzheimer's disease, has been staggering. The Alzheimer's Society published a major study on the social and economic impact of dementia in the UK in February 2007, and again in November 2014. They provided the most detailed information about the prevalence and impact of dementia in the UK. The 2014 findings showed that 1 in 79 of the entire UK population, and 1 in 14 of the population aged over 65 years, has dementia. They estimated that there would be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK in 2015 (In 2007 report the estimate was 700,000). The total number of people with dementia in the UK was forecasted to increase to over 1 million by 2025, and over 2 million by 2051.

Britain’s Office for National Statistics reports that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease has now replaced heart diseases as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, accounting for 11.6% of all deaths registered in 2015. Similar figures can be found for the rise of Alzheimer's disease in most other western countries. The projected number of people expected to be suffering with Alzheimer’s by 2050 is 100 million worldwide.

The disease was first described in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Even so, after 110 years, conventional medicine still does not know why we are facing such an epidemic. For instance, when talking about the causes of Alzheimer's disease the NHS Choices website (the voice of conventional medicine in Britain) can describe what happens to the brain, but states that "It's not known exactly what causes this process to begin." As far as treatment for dementia is concerned they state simply that "there's currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease."

This is why hopes and expectations were raised when the drug company, Eli Lili, announced that they were developing a drug called Solanezumab. It was patented in 2002. Millions of dollars were spent on developing it, based on potential sales should the drug prove to be effective and safe. The hype that followed seemed to indicate confidence in the drug, certainly according to the mainstream media, which as usual was prepared to publicise the optimism, and raise the hope of sufferers and their carers. BBC News, as usual, led the way.

           "The first details of how a drug could slow the pace of brain decline for patients with early stage Alzheimer's disease have emerged. Data from pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly suggests its solanezumab drug can cut the rate of the dementia's progression by about a third.... A new trial is due to report next year and should provide definitive evidence. The death of brain cells in Alzheimer's is currently unstoppable. Solanezumab may be able to keep them alive.... solanezumab attacks the deformed proteins, called amyloid, that build up in the brain during Alzheimer's. It is thought the formation of sticky plaques of amyloid between nerve cells leads to damage and eventually brain cell death."

This kind of pharmaceutical hype is usually meekly parroted by the mainstream media. Our news media, largely funded by pharmaceutical advertising, even the BBC which is not funded in this way, can alway be counted on to promote any new pharmaceutical drug! Health charities and patient support groups do exactly the same. Solanezumab was promoted by the Alzheimers Society, which is also largely funded by donations from Big Pharma companies. The drug worked. And, the hype emphasised, it had no side effects. Another wonder drug was about to come to our aid! Yet what, exactly, were they getting excited about. According to Wikipedia, not very much!

          "Solanezumab was tested in two phase 3 clinical trials ..... oth were randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled. Patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease received either placebo or ... solanezumab infusions every 4 weeks over 18 months. A total of 1012 patients participated in (one trial, the second) enrolled another 1040 patients. Both studies were not able to show a difference in cognition and memory between the treated and the placebo group. (My emphasis).  However, a subgroup analysis of only patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease showed less worsening of cognition in patients receiving solanezumab compared to placebo, which means the progression of the disease was slowed down. There was no effect on disease progression in patients with moderate symptoms."

This does not sound much to get excited about! Nor does it appear to justify raising the hopes and expectations of dementia sufferers throughout the world. But the hype was all good advertising, entirely free, for the drug companies. Through it they could demonstrate that medical science was winning the battle against disease! And it encourages thousands of people to run, walk, cycle, swim, and generally to achieve great things, all in the name of some medical charity, to help fund this kind of research.

Yet all pharmaceutical drugs usually work on these small, marginal, limited benefits, suitably hyped of course! And on this basis a third trial into solanezumab was financed.

          "Since the first two ... trials show a positive effect in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease, Lilly launched another phase 3 trial ... Patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease received ... solanezumab every 4 weeks for 80 weeks.... This trial failed to show positive results, despite the high expectations."

The BBC, via this article by Fergus Walsh, a particularly enthusiastic promoter of pharmaceutical drugs, were apologetic.

          "A major trial of a drug to treat mild dementia due to Alzheimer's disease has ended in failure.
Patients on solanezumab did not show any slowing in cognitive decline compared to those treated with a placebo, or dummy drug. The results of the trial were much anticipated after promising data was released last year. The phase 3 trial ..... involved more than 2,000 patients with Alzheimer's disease. The drug targeted the build up of amyloid protein, which forms sticky plaques in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's. It is thought the formation of these plaques between nerve cells, known as neurons, leads to damage and eventually brain cell death."

The Alzheimer's Society, likewise, expressed their disappointment, and commented that 'promising therapies' do sometimes fail at this stage "but this is particularly disheartening given that a similar treatment, Bapinezeumab, also recently fell at the last hurdle". It continued with its message of hope, urging us on, consoling us with the thought that there are 150 times more clinical trials focusing on treating people in the late stages of cancer than Alzheimer's disease.

          "Further investment in trials is urgently needed to identify effective therapies to improve the lives of the 800,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia."

It is the usual story. The birth, childhood, adulthood, old age, and death of new pharmaceutical drugs that I have described elsewhere. Except, perhaps, that this drug was still-born, and so we are still waiting, or perhaps will never discover, its full disease inducing side effects!

What has not been said, because it is never openly admitted by the conventional medical establishment, is that one major cause of dementia, and the explosion of Alzheimer's disease in particular, has been pharmaceutical drugs taken by patients for other medical reasons. The evidence is there, in plenty, for anyone to see. Many drugs and vaccines cause dementia, not just a few. Any vaccine that contains mercury (thimerosal) or aluminium (most do), the flu jab, in particular, antidepressants drugs, antipsychotic drugs, Benzodiazepine and other sleeping drugs, anticholinergic drugs, antihistamine drugs, proton pump drugs, and Statin drugs.

So one way we can avoid dementia, and so discard the need to develop dementia drugs, is to stop taking pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines that cause it, and instead look for a safer, more effective medical therapy, such as homeopathy. And for those who are already suffering from the condition, the Natural Health website article, 'Muteness on B vitamins and lifestyle after Pharma's Alzheimer's flop'  suggests a simple a straightforward treatment. It is based on diet, in particular vitamin B, exercise, and other lifestyle factors. For anyone with early dementia, or their carers, this treatment is readily available, and I recommend you read the article, and follow the regimen involved.

Medical fundamentalists, who hate any other kind of medical treatment other than pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, will ridicule such advice. To which the simple response is - tell me what conventional, drug-based medicine has to offer as an alternative. The response will be a deafening silence! The trouble is there is no cost to patients, and therefore no profit for the pharmaceutical companies, in such a treatment!

Monday 28 November 2016

Statin Drugs. Should you be taking them considering what doctors are now being told?

Statin drugs are taken by millions of people throughout the world. Doctors have been telling us for decades they are effective in preventing heart attacks. They have also been telling us that they are 'entirely safe'. Put the two claims together, and we should all be taking them! And indeed this has been the advice from the conventional medical establishment, which has prescribed Statin drugs in every increasing numbers to fit and healthy people.

I have been saying on this blog for many years that Statin drugs are both useless and dangerous. Elsewhere they have been described as "the greatest medical fraud of all times". But in this blog I am not going to describe them. I am going to allow conventional doctors to do all the describing instead.

So now, I am asking everyone to read two articles published by the doctor's e-magazine Pulse, and by the magazine 'Prescriber', and most especially all patients who are taking Statins.

'No scientific evidence' for the use of statins, experts claim'
This article was published today (28th November 2016). There is now doubt about the claims being made for Statins, and the 'medical science' that supports these claims. Doctors are now asking pharmaceutical drug companies to release the data so that it can be properly assessed. Note, please, that Statin drugs have been with us since the 1970.s, claims for their efficacy have been made consistently since then, and now, 40 years on, doctors are asking for the evidence!

'More clarity needed on the true benefits and risks of statins'.
This article is for anyone who wants to read more about the concerns over both the effectiveness and the dangers of Statin drugs. It outlines the issues that are currently being discussed within the conventional medical establishment.

I have good reason to ask Statin users to read these articles. Although the 'Prescriber' article says that the "benefits and risks of statins have recently been the subject of much controversy and debate" I am not sure that our doctors will be willing or able to tell us about these controversial debates! They know about the issues, this is clear. But they continue to prescribe the drugs. And the drug companies are already coming up with denials (about it ineffectiveness, and about its dangers).

The situation with statin drugs, as with most other pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, is the 'benefit equation' that is routinely applied to them. Do they do more harm than good? And in these two articles it is clear what conventional medicine does to persuade us to take them.

  • Over-exaggerating the benefits
  • Under-estimating the dangers
So '2' for benefits and '3' for risk becomes '3' for benefits and '2' for risks. So our doctors give us the drugs. 

But clearly the drug companies don't want to let us know, and they are refusing to tell us, about the 'medical science' that underlays the 'benefit equation' they use for Statin drugs. So perhaps the figures are more likely to be much more in favour of pharmaceutical profit than our wellbeing and health! 

Monday 21 November 2016

How effective is conventional medicine? Do Big Pharma drugs work?

Conventional medicine does not defend itself when it is accused of causing disease and death through the pharmaceutical drugs it promotes and prescribes!

Conventional medicine is unable to defend itself when it is accused of being the most expensive form of medical therapy!

So how effective is conventional medical, and the drugs it promotes? In constructing my new website, "Why Homeopathy?" I have regularly been amazed at how doctors are quite aware about the ineffectiveness of the drugs they prescribe, and it has led to to ask many questions.

  • Does conventional medicine cure illness and disease, or does it just ameliorate? 
  • Does conventional medicine treat conditions so that they go away, or does it just deal with symptoms?
  • Does conventional medicine offer sick people a long term answer, or just temporary amelioration on a long-term basis?
  • Does conventional medicine just allow illnesses to run their course.

So let's allow NHS Choices to inform us. I have used only their words, directly from their website. The British NHS is, after all, a leading exponent of conventional medicine, and it is led, and indeed dominated by conventional medics - so they should know!

ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
          "Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can help relieve the symptoms and make the condition much less of a problem in day-to-day life."

Ankylosing Spondylitis
          "There's no cure for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), but treatment is available to help relieve the symptoms."

Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
          "Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis can help reduce inflammation in the joints, relieve pain, prevent or slow joint damage, reduce disability and enable you to live as active a life as possible."

          "Although there's no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, early treatment and support – including lifestyle changes, medication, supportive treatments and surgery – can reduce the risk of joint damage and limit the impact of the condition."

Arthritis (Osteo)
          'There's no cure for osteoarthritis, but the condition doesn’t necessarily get any worse over time and a number of treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms."

          "There's currently no cure for asthma, but treatment can help control the symptoms so you're able to live a normal, active life."

Alzheimer's Disease
          "There's currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, although medication is available that can temporarily reduce some symptoms or slow down the progression of the condition in some people."

          "There's no 'cure' for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, a range of specialist educational and behavioural programmes can help children with ASD."

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
          "Treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) aim to help relieve the symptoms."

Dementia (Vascular)
          "There's currently no cure for vascular dementia and no way to reverse the damage to the brain that's already occurred, but treatments can help prevent further damage and may help slow down its progression."

Haemorrhoids (Piles)
          "Haemorrhoids (piles) often clear up by themselves after a few days. However, there are many treatments that can reduce itching and discomfort."

          "There is no cure for atopic eczema, but treatments can ease the symptoms. Many children find their symptoms naturally improve as they get older."

          "Treatment for fibromyalgia tries to ease some of your symptoms and improve quality of life, but there's currently no cure.

          "Treatment for gout includes pain relief to help you cope with a gout attack, as well as medication and lifestyle changes to prevent further attacks.

          "Treating osteoporosis involves treating and preventing fractures and using medication to strengthen bones. An important objective for health services across England is to try to prevent falls and fractures, particularly in people with osteoporosis and those with risk factors for osteoporosis."

Parkinson's Disease
          "There's currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, but treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms and maintain your quality of life."

PMT (Pre-Menstrual Tension)
          "Treatments for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may help you manage your symptoms so they don't interfere with your daily life.

          "Treatment for chronic prostatitis usually aims to control the symptoms. Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may help relieve your pain."

          "Treatment for psoriasis usually helps to keep the condition under control."

          "Treatment for sciatica isn't always necessary, as the condition often improves naturally within around six weeks..... However, it's not clear exactly how effective many of these treatments are at treating sciatica."

          "Treatment for shingles can help ease your symptoms until the condition improves. In many cases shingles gets better within around two to four weeks.

News about new wonder drugs
The news media brings us news, on a regular basis, about new pharmaceutical drugs that will soon be able to treat disease - wonder drugs, magic bullets, treatments that will a 'game changers' in the treatment of disease. Apparently, these are all about the future, they are not currently available for sick people. Perhaps next year. Perhaps in 5 or 10 years time.

Or perhaps never!

If pharmaceutical drugs are so ineffective, whilst at the same time causing so many serious side effects (which are really new illnesses and diseases), it is little wonder that conventional medical systems throughout the world are in serious financial trouble. Conventional medicine depends hugely on Big Pharma drugs, which means it is relying on next to nothing. Or, perhaps more accurately, something that it worse than nothing.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Rett Syndrome. An alternative cause, and alternative treatment?

Rett syndrome is a 'new' disease. There are lots of them, normally only having these four things in common.
  1. They were unknown until recent times. 
  2. The cause is unknown. 
  3. There is no conventional treatment for the condition. 
  4. And the children appeared to be quite normal at birth, and for the first few months of life.
NHS Choices describes Rett syndrome as "a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development, resulting in severe mental and physical disability". It is estimated that about 1 in 12,000 girls born each year are affected, and is only rarely seen in males. Conventional medicine's explanation for the cause of this syndrome is interesting, but equally suspicious.

          "Almost all cases of Rett syndrome are caused by a mutation (a change in the DNA) in the MECP2 gene, which is found on the X chromosome (one of the sex chromosomes). The MECP2 gene contains instructions for producing a particular protein (MeCP2), which is needed for brain development. The gene abnormality prevents nerve cells in the brain from working properly.
There's usually no family history of Rett syndrome, which means it isn't passed on from one generation to the next. Almost all cases (over 99%) are spontaneous, with the mutation occurring randomly. This is known as a 'de novo' mutation."

But this is NOT a cause! As so often happens, conventional medicine relies on an elaborate explanation of 'cause' when it is really only describing what is happening. No one needs to doubt the description is accurate, but the real question is why is it happening? In other words, what has caused this mutation, why is the child's development not normal?

There is another clue about the cause the cause of Rett Syndrome. When conventional medicine says "there is no known cause", or "there is no treatment", be weary. The cause is probably conventional medicine itself. We need to look to see what pharmaceutical drug and/or vaccine might have caused the problem. And if there is a possible link, especially if it is a vaccine, don't expect too much help from the conventional medical establishment. They will be in full 'cover-up' mode. So see what the NHS Choices website has to say about the development of Rett syndrome.

          "At first, the child will appear to develop and grow normally for at least six months, although (especially with hindsight) there may be subtle signs of Rett syndrome before the child is recognized as having a problem."

Well, that's leave the 'hindsight'. We have heard it before. Before most of these 'syndromes' were identified the parents weren't sufficiently attentive! Conventional medicine does this regularly. Autism, for instance, isn't 'new' at all! It was just that parents did not notice! It is a nonsense argument. It is part of the cover-up!

Rett syndrome was first identified by Dr Andreas Rett, in or around 1983. He originally noted the progressive nature of the syndrome nature based on the evidence that a child with the disorder seems to develop normally in the first 6-18 months of development.

So what happens to all our children between birth and 18 months? They are subjected to a plethora of vaccinations. DPT, MMR and an ever increasing number of other vaccines.

The conventional medical establishment will put up two objections to such a suggestion. First, 'there is no evidence'. But when such links are denied on this basis they have not been investigated! So clearly there is 'no evidence'. No one has looked for any evidence! Second, any suggestion that a vaccine might cause such harm invites an instant and hostile rejection. Vaccines are entirely safe! There is no connection with Rett, or Autism, or anything else. Injecting mercury, aluminium and/or formaldehyde into the bloodstream of babies is an entirely reasonable thing to do! And anyone (especially a parent) who suggests otherwise is likely to receive short thrift!

I watched a BBC 'Look East' programme on Rett syndrome yesterday (15th November 2016). Certainly, it featured a young girl whose mother had not asked the question. She said that the fact her daughter had contracted Rett syndrome was "just a thing that happens"! Her development was repressed when she was 18 months. The child's eyes, to me, screamed "vaccine damage". Indeed many of the reported symptoms of this syndrome have features so common to the many millions of vaccine damaged children, including autism.
  • low muscle tone
  • difficulty feeding
  • unusual, repetitive hand movements or jerky limb movements, including wringing, washing, clapping and tapping
  • delay with development of speech
  • mobility problems, such as problems sitting, crawling and walking
  • lack of interest in toys 
  • periods of distress, irritability and sometimes screaming for no obvious reason
  • social withdrawal, a loss of interest in people and avoidance of eye contact
  • unsteadiness and awkwardness when walking
  • problems sleeping
  • slowing of head growth
  • difficulty eating, chewing or swallowing, and sometimes constipation that may cause tummy aches
  • seizures
  • irregular breathing patterns may get worse, shallow breathing followed by rapid, deep breathing, or breath holding
  • teeth grinding
  • heart rhythm abnormalities
So perhaps a simple survey might be in order here. How many children with Rett syndrome HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED? If there are children with Rett syndrome who have not been vaccinated it will certainly help allay my suspicions.

When a disease is described as 'a syndrome', be suspicious. Whenever a disease is said to be 'new', be suspicious. Whenever there is a disease for which there is no known cause (or the cause is really an explanation), be suspicious.

And whenever conventional medicine tells us that 'there is no treatment' or 'no cure' for a syndrome, look deeper, look further, look beyond the conventional medical establishment. For instance, many homeopaths are now looking at how vaccine damage can be antidoted, and CEASE Therapy has been developing now for several years, mainly for the treatment of Autism. It is based on homeopathy, and  if my suspicious are correct, it appears to be equally relevant to the treatment of this condition.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Donald Trump . What is this 'Establishment' that he opposes? Does he know?

Donald Trump railed against the 'Establishment' during his election campaign, and his rage against the Washington Swamp has suggested that he knows what the 'Establishment is, where where it resides, and who belongs to it. I am not entirely sure that he does.

The Establishment is supposed to incorporate "the important and powerful people who control a country, or an organisation, especially those who support the existing situation" Cambridge dictionary It "generally denotes a dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation or organization. The Establishment may be a closed social group which selects its own members or specific entrenched elite structures, either in government or in specific institutions."

There has always been an Establishment. In Roman Times political power resided with those people who controlled the army; first the King; then group of patricians; soon army generals who turned politician. In Jesus' time it was the Jews who controlled the Temple, the High Priesthood. In medieval times it was the warlords and kings who were able to leave the battlefield, victorious. And the priests who controlled what the people thought and believed. In aristocratic times the Establishment consisted of that group of nobles who controlled the land, and so the people who lived and worked on it.

Now, in our democratic times, Trump believes that the Establishment consists of those people who hold political power within the nation's capital city, Washington. He is wrong! And actually he probably knows that he is wrong!

In 1867, Walter Bagehot asked the important question. "Where is the source of power in Britain? He published his book, 'The English Constitution', in order to look behind the facade of the British system of government, the Crown, the House of Lords, the House of Commons, to see how power really operated, and where true power lay. He found that power did not actually reside in any of these, but instead was held by a small group of men in the Cabinet, who belonged to the party that commanded a majority in the House of Commons.

That analysis needs to move on in today's world, and any analysis will show that power does not reside where we too often believe it does.

  • That if a government makes decisions, it has power
  • That if the House of Commons selects the government, it has power
  • That if MP's are selected by the people, the people must have power.

All this is rather like saying that if an army has power, individual soldiers must be powerful. It just isn't true! The swamp is not in Washington. Power does not reside with the politicians, much as they might think it does. In the USA, the people vote but they have no real power. They elect senators and representatives, but neither they or the Congress, wields significant power. The President is elected but even he is not able to exercise power unless he is able to identify the people and institutions who do hold power. He has to know this in order to challenge them.

So who is powerful, who is it that supports and gives governments power? Power today is held by the Big Corporations; the Industrial Military complex (why do we have so many wars no one wants?); the Petro-Chemical industry (why do we continue to burn fuels that  destroy our environment? And use chemicals that make our planet increasingly toxic?); and the Pharmaceutical industry (why do we invest ever more into a health system that is actually making us sicker?).

Consider for a while. How do politicians get elected? They are funded by Big Corp! Why do they fund politicians? An act of philanthropy? No! The money ensures that politicians can be held to account, that they support the political, economic and industrial objectives of their paymasters. If you want change, don't ask a politician to deliver it! They are not allowed to embrace change, especially if it conflicts with the interests of Big Corp!

Trump has one great advantage. His campaign was not funded by Big Corp, except that he leads a big corporation himself, and his friends run others. He is part of the Establishment himself. Which is why he knows about the Establishment, but isn't likely to tell us!

Apologies to regular readers who were expecting to read a blog on health issues. But actually this IS about a health issue. If Trump is really going to challenge the Establishment, including the conventional medical establishment, is he really going to be able to do so? The answer is probably that we have to wait and watch.

  • Will he support Health Freedom against an industry that wants to force people to take their drugs and vaccines?
  • Will he allow an investigation into the exorbitant cost of conventional medicine, not least in the USA?
  • Will he be prepared to investigate the health outcomes of conventional medical treatment, and in particular, the devastating health consequences of a population that takes more pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines than any other?
  • Will he be able to broaden the health debate to include medical therapies that are a genuine alternative to conventional medicine? And a challenge to them as they are both cheaper and more effective.
  • Will he want to tackle the mainstream media who are so effective in stifling any kind of real health debate?
If he does he will set himself up against not just the powerful media outlets in the USA (key for his re-election in 2020?), but a Pharmaceutical industry that might choose to invest and provide jobs outside America, plus the huge conventional medical establishment, consisting of doctors, nurses, other health workers, and the vast infrastructure that supports them. He will also have to tackle an electoral system where extraordinarily silly amounts of money are spent, money in a quantity that  only the Big Corps can provide.

So let's not hold our breath! Trump is not going to tackle a medical system that is making us sick, or the giant conventional medical Establishment that supports it. Such a hope is unrealistic. Like other Establishments before it, death will be painful and slow. Their drugs and vaccines will continue to fail, and eventually they will not be able to hide the truth from us. People will become increasingly sick, and gradually more people will understand that their health has been compromised by the drugs and vaccines prescribed by doctors. Disease will thrive, epidemics will come and go, and gradually there will be a realisation that none of the treatments they have relied on have made much impact on them.

In the meantime, homeopaths, naturopaths, herbalists, et al., will ply their trade - making sick people well, curing patients with diseases conventional medicine believes to be 'incurable'. And their numbers will increase, just as confidence in doctors, and harmful drugs, declines. The Roman army no longer has power. The aristocracy no longer controls the land, or political power. And in 10, or 20 years time (however long it takes) historians will begin to wonder why conventional, drug-based medicine had such a hold over us, why so many people had to suffer from the ravages of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Hypertension. Conventional medicine comes up with another guise for giving us more pharmaceutical drugs!

If there is one significant difference between homeopathy and conventional medicine it is that homeopaths treats the individual, and doctors treat a condition, or illness, or disease. 

Take Hypertension (high blood pressure) as an example. I don't know how many patients came to see me when I was practicing because their doctor had told them their blood pressure was too high, and that this put them at risk of serious heart disease. My response was usually to ask them what symptoms they had of high blood pressure. Headaches? Fatigue? Confusion? Irregular heartbeat? Usually they had none of these, usually they felt quite well, but their doctor had told them that if their high blood pressure was left untreated it could lead to them having a stroke, or heart disease, or kidney failure. It was, they were told, a silent killer. Most patients are then scared to death, but those who came to see me did not want to take pharmaceutical drugs.

So how do doctors know this? Why do they feel justified in telling their patients that they are sick when the patients think they are well? Well, there have been randomised controlled trials (RCT's), and to conventional medicine, these are sacrosanct! And other RCT's have also told doctors that pharmaceutical drugs can lower blood pressure. Put them together, and the doctor knows best!

After all, conventional doctors have guidelines for the treatment of hypertension, and they are based on these RCT's. Hitherto, anything over 140/90 mmHg is a concern, and the patient needs to take drugs to lower their blood pressure, regardless of the fact they feel well, regardless of the fact that blood pressure readings are notoriously unreliable, and that they are likely to be higher when in the doctor's surgery!

However, the situation is now likely to get worse! NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) is in the process of updating its guidance. New targets are likely to be set. NICE experts are considering new evidence that lowering blood pressure to a new target level, nearer 120mmHg, is a good idea! Pulse article, 8th November 2016 "NICE to look at lowering blood pressure targets in guidance overhaul".

What this means is that lots more people, who feel perfectly well, will be given pharmaceutical drugs to reduce blood pressure. These drugs are known to have serious side effects, and disease inducing effects (DIE's). So, lots more patients on unnecessary treatments. Lots more patients who develop diseases caused by unnecessary pharmaceutical drugs. Lots more pressure on health services that result from 'well' people being made sick through prescription drug DIE's.

So how do doctors feel about 'medicine by numbers'? Most of them will go along with it. They have to, they are expected to. But many do not like it. When NICE tried to expand the number of patients take statin drugs recently the doctors resisted. And there are signs that doctors may do so again. These are some of the GP comments already made on the Pulse article.

               "The only people who win will be the pharmaceutical companies. For doctors it will be more work. For patients more expense, anxiety and side effects damage to them. Pharma will be rubbings their hands with glee!" 

               "Will there ever come a time when target is set and doesn't change (for change sake)."

               "For once I agree with the comments - more work for GPs when patients who are really ill struggle to see someone; more work for pharmacies supplying what may be unnecessary treatments; more cost to the NHS - although I am assuming there would have to be an overall cost saving to make it worth the effort; and last but by no means least, more expense & worry to patients. Oh, and lots more people living to a ripe old age to put MORE drain on the system. Does sometimes make me wonder what the final aim is? Let's all live forever! (Can't wait!)"

               "'So doc how many of these tablets should I be taking then?' 'Well according to the latest guidelines keep taking them until you fall over and then slightly reduce the dose that's the sweet spot right there'"

               "This surely takes us in the opposite direction to the person-centred approach recommended in the recent NICE Multimorbidity guidance?"

So some conventional doctors agree with me. They do know that this is a guise to sell more pharmaceutical drugs. They do know they are causing patients harm. They do know that conventional treatment is bringing the NHS to its knees, bankrupting it. So at least some doctors do take issue when they are asked to give pharmaceutical drugs to well people. Some doctors don't automatically assume that they know best. We need more of them, but they probably know that if they stick their heads too far above the parapet they risk having it chopped off. 

Please note that all the above comments came from 'anonymous', presumably it is not good for the career to be identified with dissent! 

The conventional medical establishment DOES know what is best for us, and they don't want to be challenged! They DO know when we are ill (even when we think we are well). They DO know when we are well (when we think we are sick) - medical testing can show there is nothing wrong with us.

Homeopathy. Placebo? Or lethal medical therapy?

Have you heard and seen the arguments about homeopathy? They have been going on now for over 220 years, and during the last two decades, as conventional medicine struggles, and homeopathy expands, they have been getting ever more strident.

  • Homeopathy is not effective because its remedies have no active ingredient.
  • Homeopathy works because of the placebo effect, that is, they get better because they believe that the remedies will make them better.
  • Homeopathy is quackery, because all patient receive is a sugar pill.
Yet now the USA drug regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently stated that one homeopathic treatment has caused 10 deaths! So some rethinking is necessary! How is it that sugar pills, remedies with no active ingredient, that work only through the placebo effect, have been found to kill people.

First, what did the FDA say? The FDA made a new release on 30th September 2016 entitled "FDA warns against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels". In this it warned consumers that homeopathic teething tabled and gels "may pose a risk to infant and children". The FDA had released an earlier statement 6 years earlier, on 23rd October 2010, which stated:

               "Hyland's Teething Tablets are manufactured to contain a small amount of belladonna, a substance that can cause serious harm at larger doses. For such a product, it is important that the amount of belladonna be carefully controlled. FDA laboratory analysis, however, has found that Hyland’s Teething Tablets contain inconsistent amounts of belladonna. In addition, the FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in children taking this product that are consistent with belladonna toxicity. The FDA has also received reports of children who consumed more tablets than recommended, because the containers do not have child resistant caps."

The mainstream news media took up the story, and it has been running there ever since. It has now crossed the Atlantic ocean. The Mail Online, for instance, published an article called "Panic over homeopathic teething tablets after TEN children are killed". So this story has become 'a panic', and not just ten children are killed but TEN!

Now, before going any further, the FDA regulates all issues regarding food and drugs in the USA, especially the approval and regulation of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. And a conservative estimate is that these pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines kill about 250,000 people in the USA every year. There seems to be some disparity here.
  • The FDA has recommended consumers to stop using these homeopathic products; but at the same time it is content to allow conventional doctors to prescribe and consumers to continue using pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, even though they are known to cause harm and death. Some of these pharmaceutical drugs, known to be dangerous particularly for children, are used for teething (as we will see below).
  • The FDA states that they have not evaluated or approved homeopathic teething agents or gels "for safety or efficacy", and that "they are not aware of any proven health benefits of the products". They have, of course, evaluated pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines for safety and efficacy, including many known to be harmful, and including those recommended for teething children (as we will see below).
  • The FDA said that they had been "analysing adverse events reported to the agency regarding homeopathic teething tablets and gels...since 2010" which, if they have caused 10 deaths and 400 cases of seizures and other reactions seems rather an long time. The FDA goes on to say that consumers "should seek medical care immediately if their child experiences seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using homeopathic teething tablets or gels". Again, if a homeopathic preparation is really causing these kinds of side effects, why did the FDA not act in 2010? Perhaps the answer is that the FDA is aware of the harm caused by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, although in their case, they are usually initially involved in denials, and taking action sometimes take them several decades!
  • The FDA also urged health care professionals and consumers to report adverse events. This is understandable. Adverse drug reactions should be routinely reported, but it is well known that as far as pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are concerned only about 10% (a very conserative estimate) are reported in the USA, and throughout the world.

So the response of the FDA to this homeopathic remedy seems to be rather more pro-active than their response to conventional drugs and vaccines. If the FDA, and other drug regulators, took similar action again pharmaceutical products that were thought to have caused 10 (TEN!) deaths, and caused the kind of side effects listed, how many of them would still be available to us? Few, if any!

Yet this is not the main issue. The question is, can something dismissed as 'placebo' actually do this?How is it possible for homeopathy to come under attack in this way when for the past 220 years it has been attacked for being ineffective? The answer is 'No' for anyone who has an interest in honesty. Our critics have been right. The substances used in homeopathy to produce remedies are highly diluted, to the point where chemistry tells us there is no active ingredient left. Yes, the Hyland product is made from Belladonna, which is highly poisonous. But the Belladonna has been diluted so much there is none left. So there is no possibility that the teething product would have caused death, or even the side effects mentioned.

If anyone is in doubt, read this article, in which homeopathy is dismissed as a "200 year scam" very much in the traditional fashion. It is written by a typical homeopathy denialist, using typical anti-homeopathy rhetoric. And when you have read how homeopathy is dismissed, consider how homeopathy remedies can cause these dangers they are now accused of!

So can homeopathy honestly be attacked from both sides? The answer is, of course, 'Yes'. What homeopathy faces is a large, grossly wealthy, invasively influential and hugely powerful medical establishment. Moreover, it is an establishment that is under severe pressure. There are many kinds of chronic disease that have been, and continue to increase in epidemic proportions. And the pharmaceutical industry has no answer, all its drugs and vaccines are failing, for three main reasons.
  • They do not work, and there is an increasing realisation amongst the general public, and with doctors, that they do not work.
  • They are causing serious side effects, disease and death, and their disease inducing properties are leading directly to increasing levels of ill health.
  • There are no new drugs coming through to replace those that have had to be withdrawn, or are known to be ineffective.
And whilst the conventional medical establishment is slowly beginning to realise that it is failing, that it has no answer to the spiralling health demands of a population that is becoming sicker and sicker, they witness homeopathy, and other traditional therapies, increasing in popularity.

The FDA is a part of this conventional medical establishment, as are all the national drug regulation agencies! They are staffed by pharmaceutical place-men. Their main concerns are the concerns of the pharmaceutical industry first and foremost. Patient health, and protection from dangerous drugs and vaccines are very much secondary considerations. So yes, the FDA can attack homeopathy in any way it wants. 

The problem has been that the placebo argument is not a strong one. It has to ignore the millions of sick people who have been successfully treated by homeopath throughout the world, all with their placebo sugar pills! It must be galling for them. They must feel entirely hopeless.

And yes, the mainstream media can also attack homeopathy from both sides, if they, too, are part of the conventional medical establishment. In order to survive financially the mainstream media need pharmaceutical advertising. So they are prepared to attack homeopathy in any way their paymasters tell them! So, the Mail Online can 'panic' about a homeopathic remedy that had 'allegedly' caused 10 deaths, but fail to report that pharmaceutical drugs that kill thousands.

So, the homeopathic profession requires two explanations. The first concerns how a placebo, a sugar pill could possibly have killed 10 (TEN) people. The second is to examine the conventional approach to teething, and to examine how safe and effective this approach is. After all, in the FDA news release a spokeswoman informed us that "teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies"! To do so, I have had to look at the NHS Choices website for guidance. When my children were teething I recall receiving little or no help or support from conventional medicine, but fortunately I was just becoming aware of homeopathy at the time, and used the remedy Chamamilla, very successfully, and very safely!

NHS Choices first recommend teething rings. These "may ease their discomfort and distract them from any pain". Yes, many people use these, and they are just a little more useful than useless!

The next suggestion is teething gels. I remember using Bonjela, so I decided to see how safe this was. The patient information leaflet (PIL) says that it contains a painkiller, so immediately this raises concern, and sure enough there are several 'cautions' mentioned. 
  • "This is a medicine; Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have an underlying medical condition, are taking any other medication or complementary therapy, or if symptoms persist.
  • Seek advice before using if you are breast feeding, pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or suffer from allergies.
  • Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Unsuitable for children under 2 months.
Then the PIL states that it can cause allergies, skin problems, fatigue, and that if these "became serious" to consult with your doctor.

The next suggestion made by NHS Choices is to give the child paracetamol and ibuprofen, contained in 'sugar free painkilling medicine' which contains "a small dose" of each. This brings the FDA's response to the homeopathic product into perspective.
  • Paracetamol (or acetamorphen) has become a major cause of liver failure, even if taken for just a few days, in small doses.
  • Paracetamol is known to cause over 100 deaths in the USA each year.
  • In 2007, the Lancet reported that the FDA were so concerned about paracetamol that it was considering restricting the drug's availability
  • Likewise, Ibuprofen is known to cause a wide variety of serious side effects. At the end of this process it is known to increase the risk of heart and circulation problems, and the longer it is used, the greater the risk of side effects become.
So the FDA is able to attack a homeopathic preparation because of the alleged side effects, and recommended that customers stop buying it. At the same time, conventional medicine continues to recommend painkilling drugs known to have the most serious side effects. It is double standards. It is powerful vested interests defending their trade. It is a medical profession that has little interest in patient safety.

Perhaps the last word on this subject should be left to Hylands, and its defence of its homeopathic teething products? It can be found by clicking here. It is a very cautious, measured response. So let me make a somewhat bolder statement!

Homeopathic remedies, even when based on poisonous and toxic substances, are entirely safe, because of the process of dilution through which they pass during manufacture. It is this process of dilution, which homeopaths call potentization, that makes all homeopathic remedies entirely safe for all patients, including young children.