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Tuesday 29 October 2019

DOCTORS MEDICAL INSURANCE. What happens when doctors harm patients? (4)

Conventional medicine, we are told, is very safe and effective. Yet it is easy to prove otherwise. Reading the side effects of drugs and vaccines outlined on the Patient Information Leaflets (PILs). Looking at compensation schemes for patients who have been damaged by drugs and vaccines. And medical insurance schemes for doctors is another.

During the last 2-3 years ago I have written about doctors medical insurance schemes, and the problems they face. Medical insurance protect doctors from the consequences of prescribing harmful and dangerous drugs and vaccines to patients.

In May 2016, in "What happens when doctors harm patients?" I began to outline the problem. Doctors were struggling to cope with ever increasing premium payments.

               "Multimillion-pound compensation claims against GPs and private consultants have risen three-fold over the past decade.... The Medical Defence Union (MDU) said that it has settled 12 compensation claims in excess of £1m in 2015.

In July 2016, in "What happens when doctors harm patients? (2)" I described how the British government had agreed to reimburse any price rises in GP's indemnity insurance for the coming years.

Yet even this did not relieve the problem. In August 2017, "Indemnity. What happens when doctors harm patients (3) I outlined how the situation was getting worse. The chair of the BMA GP Committee stated that the increases in litigation costs for defense organisations had ‘significantly increased’. So, the government decided that doctors should not have to pay insurance premiums, they would be taken on by the NHS. So what these 3 articles described was this  
  • OUR government 
  • is using OUR money
  • to support conventional doctors
  • prescribing pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines
  • that harm and kill US
  • in ever-increasing numbers
  • at an ever-increasing cost!
I described it as "a conspiracy against both patients and taxpayers". In other words, we were actually paying for doctors to harm us!

Now, in an article in the GP magazine, "MDU raises concern over historic claims funds as legal battle with government continues". there is a clear indication that the situation remains unresolved, that the MDU continues to have a claim over government over 'historical clinical negligence claims', and that these claims means that it faces 'increased demand' for payouts - set against dwindling funds contributed by doctors (and taxpayers).

And this ongoing medical insurance situation is the result of operating a medical system we are regularly being told is both safe and effective!

Why is this important? Two other blogs outline the extent of the problem. In February 2018, in."Patient harm? Medical blunders are bankrupting the NHS! Or is it just dangerous medicine? I sought to place the blame for this desperate situation where blame should rest - with a medical system that is inherently dangerous, that does not harm patients through medical negligence but through drugs and vaccines that are known to be unsafe.

And the cost of conventional medicine is not measured just in insurance premiums. In March 2018, in "22,000 people die every year in England as a result of medical errors. How many more die from pharmaceutical drugs that are NOT given in error?" I provided details of just why medical insurance for doctors was proving to be such a huge cost factor in delivering conventional medical services within the NHS.

And all this happening within a conventional medical system that insists that its treatments are both safe and effective!

Loose Women? Loose editorial control? Or is ITV playing fast and very loose with honesty?

  • Everyone in the homeopathic, and indeed the whole natural medical community, understands that the mainstream media supports the conventional medical establishment to the point of complicity.
  • We no longer, expect to see fair or even honest reporting on medical issues in the press, or on the broadcast media. It has not happened for 15-20 years!
One of my doughty colleagues, Grace da Silva, recently watched the ITV programme, Loose Women, and noticed that they were running a poll. The question posed was whether parents who did not vaccinate their children should be fined - a topical issue considering that our government is considering the introduction of mandatory vaccination. So she decided to vote, and whilst doing so, she noted the voting figures.

The result was duly announced. There was a huge majority for the imposition of fines - a massive 70% in favour of fining parents, and only 30% against. Grace was aghast, and she tells me that she took 3 minutes to complain to the programme.

On 24th October 2019 'Loose Women' gave an apology, and gave out the correct poll result - 70% against fining patients, and 30% in favour of fines. They had made a 'mistake'! We were told that it has human error! There was, however, no explanation of why such an human error could ever have been made. Apparently several people complained to Ofcom so ITV had no option but to tell the truth. Yet serious questions arise.
  • Was it really a mistake?
  • Is it possible that ITV did not just got the result wrong, but actually reversed it?
  • Was there no editorial oversight?
  • Would a correction have been made if there had no complaints?
As another colleague told me, an former TV producer, it would be highly unlikely that this was "human error", that everything, and especially programme content, is checked, double checked. She said that if she had allowed that kind of "mistake" on her job she would have been fired! She said that this was not just editorial control; there would be many other crew members whose job it would have been check everything.

The mainstream media regularly and gratuitously attacks homeopathy, natural medicine generally. It also provides the conventional medical establishment with an uncritical outlet for its propaganda. Yet does this 'mistake' mean that they are prepared to go further?
  • To raise support for the policy of the conventional medical establishment?
  • To provide the pharmaceutical industry with a captive and obligatory market for their drugs?
Just how important are pharmaceutical advertising revenues to ITV, and the mainstream media generally?

Monday 28 October 2019

Is Homeopathy Dangerous? Or is Conventional Medicine trying to hide from its own failure?

Today (28th October 2019) has witnessed yet another full-frontal attack on Homeopath by the conventional medical establishment in the mainstream media. Well, the homeopathic community is used to it. It is a regular occurrence now!

NHS Chief's Blast at 'Dangerous' Homeopathy was the headline in the Daily Mail. On the same day the Daily Telegraph's headline was "NHS Leaders Declare War on Homeopathy', and the Scottish Daily Mail leads with "NHS Chief slams homeopathic remedies". I haven't bothered to read the latter two articles. So how do I know about them? They were referred to in the Daily Mail article, all published on the same day!. So how did they know what other papers were writing about - on the same day?

Might it be that this was a planned, coordinated anti-homeopathy campaign? Again, there are no surprises if this was indeed the case. The mainstream media is funded by pharmaceutical companies to the extent that these papers would not survive if their advertising was withdrawn. So for their own viability they have to stand alongside the conventional medical establishment. And they do - meekly, slavishly, dishonorably.

This epidsode means that there can no longer be any doubt that the UK's NHS (National Health Service) is now totally controlled by the pharmaceutical industry, not just because the treatments it offers to its patients are now almost totally drug-based, but because it routinely and gratuitously attacks any form of alternative medicine, not least homeopathy.

So are these attacks on homeopathy by the mainstream media, and the NHS, based on the fact that conventional medicine is winning the war of sickness and disease?

This is a difficult claim for anyone to argue, not least the NHS!
  • The NHS has always failed to cope with the ever rising levels of illness and disease that we have witnessed over the past 70+ years.
  • The NHS has never been able to manage patient demand for health care even though its has had an ever-expanding budget.
  • And the more pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines the NHS has provided for us, to make us healthier, the sicker we have become.
  • Disease is out of control. Allergy, Alzheimers, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism, Cancer, Dementia, Diabetes (and every other chronic disease you might want to add) are all now running at unprecedented levels.
  • And the numbers of patients suffering from each of these diseases are not reducing, they are increasing, very rapidly
  • And many of these chronic diseases are no longer 'old age' ailments, as they were once considered: younger adults and children now suffer from them. In increasing numbers.
If conventional medicine was ever going to work, if pharmaceutical drugs were ever going to be found effective, we would now be a healthier, not a sicker nation. And the conventional medical establishment would be presenting medical statistics to prove this. Instead we face these epidemics of chronic disease, and a medical system that cannot recruit sufficient doctors to deal with increasing health demands.

So what's the problem? How does the NHS explain these 70+ years of medical failure?
  • It's all the fault of homeopathy!
Why do 10% of parents refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated (and probably another 10% are reluctant, but do so because of the constant pressure)?
  • Its all the fault of homeopathy! And those dreadful anti-vaxxers, of course!
Only a tiny proportion of the NHS budget has ever been spent on homeopathy (or any other alternative medical treatment). 

Only a tiny proportion of patients use homeopathy for their medical treatment, mostly it is un-subsidised, they have to pay for it themselves, and broadly they are happy to do so.

So is something else going on here? Is the conventional medical establishment beginning to realise that it is failing to deliver good health?
  • their drugs are unsafe, and increasingly cannot be used because of their dangerous side effects.
  • their drugs are ineffective, they are not capable of dealing with chronic disease epidemics.
  • we invest exclusively on a medical system that is exorbitantly expensive
  • even when the NHS budget is regularly increased by £billions, and bankrupting the nation, it still cannot cope.
So what to do? Focus on these problems? Investigate its own failure?

Or attack other medical systems?
Rage that some patients won't vaccinate for diseases that are no longer a major problem (and were not major problems when their vaccines were first introduced)?

No! Attack the competition! Insist that pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are safe and effective! State that any other medical therapy is unproven, worthless, even dangerous!

A wounded, and cornered animal is a very dangerous animal. It will strike out, randomly, blindly, to defend itself from further harm. And this is what we can see happening.

But questions are being asked, even if they are not currently being asked within the NHS, within government, or within the media. The 10% who are refusing vaccines are the one's who are asking questions, with no help from doctors, politicians, or journalists.
  • Is what is being offered by the NHS (drugs/vaccines) really safe? 
  • Are they effective? Are their reducing or increasing disease? 
  • And is the NHS being bankrupted by a medical system that needs ever more money, more resources, with each successive year.
Another 10% of the population will soon be asking questions too.
  • Is homeopathy really to blame for medical failure? 
  • Why is the NHS obsessing with measles and mumps?
  • Why is it so unconcerned about ever-rising levels of autism, dementia, cancer, et al?
When this new 10% joins the present 10% it will be the beginning of everyone becoming aware. The NHS has nothing safe or healthy to offer us. It's drug cabinet is almost bare. We are getting sicker.

But homeopathy is dangerous - isn't it!

Wednesday 23 October 2019

DOCTORS IN DISTRESS. The suicide rate is the highest of any profession. Why is this?

One doctor commits suicide every day in the USA, according to the WebMD website, the highest suicide rate of any profession, and more than double the general population. These were the findings presented at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 2018 . Yet this problem is not confined to America, studies from Finland, Norway, Australia, Singapore and China have shown an increase in anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts among medical students and health care professionals.

In England the situation is no different. In September 2018, Pulse (the GP's e-newsletter) outlined data that showed over 400 doctors had committed suicide in 4 years.

So why is being a doctor such a stressful occupation? Doctors are generously paid. They are respected members of local communities. They are portrayed positively in an endless stream of television series. And their social role is an aspiration for many young people. It is widely known that doctors work long hours, and they work daily with patients who are very sick. Yet even so, why do so many doctors feel it necessary to end their lives?

The main reason may reside within the performance of the conventional medical system, and our expectations of it.
  • It is widely believed that conventional medicine, and pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, are winning the war against illness and disease.
  • When we are ill our first thought is usually to visit our doctor, who we confidently expect will be able to make us well again.
It is this that motivates people to enter the medical profession, and they do so full of hope and expectation of doing good, and helping people. Unfortunately, the reality is all too different.
  • So patients are just not getting better. They get sick and they are prescribed a drug. The drug, if effective at all, has only short-term effects; so the patient needs more, repeat prescriptions. And the longer they take the drug, the more likely they are to suffer side effects. And these side-effect-illnesses then have to be treated - with more drugs.
  • Doctors don't see their patients getting better. They actually get worse, month by month, often before their very eyes. The number of patients waiting outside the surgery door does not reduce, it grows, with older patients returning regularly because they are still ill, and new patients arriving all the time.
  • Yet patients are not part of this loop. They continue to believe the conventional medicine is the route to good health, that doctors have the answer to all their medical problems. After all, this is what patients are told, in the mainstream media, by leading health professionals, by pharmaceutical industry propaganda. They face expectations they are unable to meet.
  • So patients demand the impossible of them. They demand that doctors prescribe - something, anything. Yet they have nothing safe or effective to prescribe. My recent blog about the Opioid scandal is a case in point. Doctors have been told to restrict opioid prescriptions: but they are actually prescribing more. Why? The study on which this finding was based said that doctors are limited in the choices they have for dealing with chronic pain.
* So whilst teachers teach - and reap the rewards of seeing their pupils learn.....

* Whilst the police undertake their duties, investigate crime - and keep the public safe.....

* Whilst carers care for their clients - and are rewarded by their gratitude.....

.... doctors treat their patients and they never get well; they get sicker, they are not able to meet their patients demands for drugs, they become grossly overworked by increasingly un-deliverable demands being made on their time.

It is the most depressing situation I can imagine.

On top of this, more recently, there have been problems in recruitment. For many years fewer people are wanting to become doctors. So whilst there is more demand for doctors most colleges are failing to recruit sufficient students to fill the number of places they offer.

So as doctors retire, many taking early retirement, or leave the profession, or indeed, commit suicide, those who are left are put under an even greater strain, and this seriously affects the mental health of many of the remaining doctors. So my conclusion, my answer to why so many doctors are taking their own lives, is almost inevitable.....

Doctors are in serious distress because they are in the front-line of a profession, a medical system, that is failing badly

For more information on doctor burn-out, where the problem is linked to the concept of "moral injury", watch this video, "Burned out doctors or broken system".

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE. A new wonder drug for dementia? What is the truth behind the media hype?

There is news today 23 October 2019) of a new wonder drug that can treat Alzheimer's disease. It's called aducanumab. It has hit the headlines in BBC News ('First drug that can slow Alzheimer's dementia'), the Times ('Alzheimer's drug suggests our research billions were not for naught'), the Telegraph ('New drug that halts mental decline is 'best news for dementia in 25 years'), and no doubt the rest of the mainstream media too. You do not need to read all these accounts as they are all virtually identical. The source material will undoubtedly be a press release by the drug company, Biogen, which is seeking regulatory approval in the USA for this 'groundbreaking" drug.

The news will encourage, and raise the expectations, of millions of people who suffer from, or have loved one's who suffer from, dementia. The pharmaceutical industry has done it again! It has come up with yet another wonder drug that will transform our health! Or so they are led to  believe.

The truth is rather more uncertain than the media coverage, who as usual have meekly accepted what the drug company has told them, without investigating any of the downsides. So what is the truth about aducanumab? What is known about it that we are not supposed to know?
  • In March 2015, Biogen presented 'positive interim results' of a study.
  • In March 2019, just four years later, Biogen discontinued all trials into the drug.
Why was this? We are told that an "independent data monitoring committee advises aducanumab unlikely to meet primary endpoints", although we were also told that "the recommendation to stop the studies was not based on safety concerns". So what was it based on? Presumably it was found not to be effective!

But what about the safety of aducanumab? Conventional medicine frequently dismisses any safety concerns that are known about drugs, both old and new. This is the warning statement about aducanumab on the website.

               "Patients treated with adalimumab are at increased risk of infection, some of which may become serious and lead to hospitalization or death. These infections have included TB, invasive fungal infections, bacterial, viral, and those caused by opportunistic pathogens including Legionella and Listeria." (my emphasis).

For conventional medicine (and the website is owned by pharmaeutical interests) such safety concerns do not warrant any more than a warning, however drastic that warning might be! And, of course, the trials abandoned in March 2019 had nothing to do with 'safety' concerns! Instead, doctors are advised to take care about how the drug is used.

               "The risks and benefits of therapy should be carefully considered prior to treatment initiation in patients with chronic or recurrent infection. Evaluate for latent TB and treat if necessary prior to initiating therapy. Monitor patients closely for signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment, including the possible development of TB in patients who tested negative prior to treatment. Consider empirical antifungal therapy in at-risk patients who develop severe systemic illness. Lymphoma and other malignancies, some fatal, have been reported in pediatric and adolescent patients treated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers such as adalimumab. Postmarketing cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL), usually fatal, have been reported in patients treated with TNF blockers including adalimumab, primarily in adolescent and young adult males with Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis." (my emphasis).

Clearly, the concept of 'first do not harm", and the precautionary principle" do not apply to conventional medical practice.

Nor does it appear to be a concern for the mainstream media. I did not have to struggle to find this informaton. It is not hidden. Nor is it information that comes from anywhere else but conventional medical literature. But the mainstream media does not bother to inform us. And the drug companies are, as sure as hell, will not do so!

What guides the BBC, the Telegraph, the Times, et al., is what drug companies want us to know; not what we need to know about these 'wonder drugs' before we begin to consume them.

This is not unusual. Whenever we face an epidemic of chronic disease, such as dementia, but also allergy, arthritis, autism, diabetes, and so many more, the first questions asked by the conventional medical establishment is "how can we respond?" "What treatments (usually what drug) do we have to combat this epidemic?"

The first question that should be asked, both by doctors and patients, is - "what has caused this epidemic?" Why are the numbers of older people, and even young adults and children, now suffering from dementia increasing so rapidly?"

Unfortunately it is a question that conventional medicine, and the drug companies that controls it, do not want us to ask. The cause of these epidemic levels of chronic disease are pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines - at least in large measure. They are certainly known to cause dementia, and although doctors know this (it's in their medical literature) they certainly do not want us to know!

Asking such a question does not fit in with the business plan of the pharmaceutical industry, which is to treat illness with drugs that cause other illnesses through side effects, and then treat these illnesses with other drugs, which also cause side effects............. and so on.

So investigating the CAUSE of Alzheimer's is not part of conventional medical strategy. Finding new, and every more harmful (and profitable) drugs to treat it, most certainly is! And our mainstream media is complicit in this.

Postscript (7th June 2021)
This awful drug, Aducanumab, has raised its ugly head again. 18 months after this free advertising of a nasty drug the mainstream media is at it again.
"US approves first new Alzheimer's drug in 20 years" is the BBC's headline. It is good, free advertising, although this time the BBC does mention the "uncertainty" about the drug trial results; but of course this  is not reflected in the headline.

And it's more than just 'uncertainty'. Members of the FDA (the USA drug regulator) have resigned "amid backlash over controversial drug approval". Even members of the pharmaceutical medical establishment will take action to prevent patient harm by such an approval. Perhaps all is not well within conventional medicine!

Monday 21 October 2019

STATIN DRUGS. Doctors are prescribing them for healthy people they consider in danger of heart disease. But a study has found they have little benefit. However, the serious side effects remain!

NICE encourages doctors to prescribe statin drugs to patients considered to have just a 10% risk threshold for heart disease. Many doctors feel that this uses up vast amounts of clinical time when waiting times to see a doctor continues to increase. They have been reducing these threshold (that is, increasingly the number of well people who are told to take statins) for decades.

The reason for this is simple. Conventional medicine believes that (i) statin drugs reduce the risk of heart problems; and (ii) the drugs are 'entirely safe'.

I have written several blogs over the last 10 years about the assumed safety of statin drugs (do a search on 'statins', above to see them all). You will see that they are now known to cause serious disease, such as diabetes, prostate cancer. arthritis, structural muscle damage, serious skin disease, prostate cancer, and even heart disease (yes really!) The most recent serious disease found to be caused by statins is confusion - so these 'safe'  drugs may well be an important factor in the epidemic tise in levels of dementia/alzheimers that we are now experiencing.

The assumption about statin drugs (as with all pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines) is that they are effective. This is surely necessary to counteract the harm they are now known to cause - that they are, at the very least, effective - they actually do what doctors have told us for so long they do!

But they don't! Like every drug you might care to mention, when they are first marketed we are told that they are (i) safe, and (ii) effective, only to find out later that they are neither.

               "The benefits of statins for primary prevention in healthy patients is unclear and in some cases a ’waste of healthcare resources’.

This is according to a study published in the British Medical Journal in October 2019.The study was conducted by the National University of Ireland, Galway. Researchers drew upon primary prevention data drawn on the findings of three recent peer reviewed papers on statin drugs, and they concluded that the benefits of statins to this group....

               "were not statistically significant when the baseline risk of developing a cardiovascular disease was factored in, raising uncertainty about the benefits of statins for primary prevention."

This was reported in the GP magazine, Pulse, which quoted one of the researchers saying that the use of statins for primary prevention ‘may be an example of low value care and, in some cases, represent a waste of healthcare resources’.

And Pulse provided these statistics.

               "Although the benefits of statins among healthy patients remains unclear, the study also showed that the proportion of over-50s eligible for statins increased from 8% in 1987 to 61% in 2016 due to a change in guidelines on cardiovascular disease." (my emphasis).

So whilst increasingly 'lower risk' patients became eligible for statin treatment, "none of those patients ... would reach acceptable levels of risk reduction to justify taking a daily statin."

So will patients be informed of this?
  • Will this study have any impact on conventional medicine's approach?
  • Will healthy statin users, considered to be low and medium risk, be told about this? 
  • Will the media pick up the study, and inform the public?
It is would seem that the answer to all these questions is a definite "NO"! Pulse quoted the response of Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, which showed of the usual defensiveness about pharmaceutical drugs.

               "Evidence has shown that statins are safe drugs and an effective preventative measure against heart conditions when prescribed and used appropriately. Nevertheless, the College has previously voiced concern around lowering the threshold for initiating statin therapy, which has significantly increased the number of patients eligible, due to the potential for over-diagnosis. Patients certainly have the right to question whether statins are the best course of therapy for them - as they do with any prescribed medication - and as with any long-term medication, it’s important that regular reviews are undertaken to determine if they are proving beneficial for the patient, based on their current circumstances." (my emphasis).

In other words, nothing is likely to happen. The study will be ignored because Statins are both safe, and effective. There is no suggestion that the threshold for giving healthy patients statin drugs should be raised. There is no suggestions that patients should be told. So whilst patients may have "the right to question"  how, when, and by whom will they be told? How will they find out about this new information?

In the meantime, as Pulse points out, the NHS is currently considering allowing a range of professionals to prescribe ‘low-risk’ medicines to patients. More 'primary prevention' without any evidence that it has any benefits.

Both the BMJ and Pulse articles are suggesting that there is a need for more information. As the study said, "we need to assess and understand the evidence underlying these trends." However, this is clearly not what the drug companies want to do. After all, statin drugs are one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the world, with estimated sales said to be approaching $1 trillion by 2020. So, as is made clear in the article, the pharmaceutical industry is not playing the game!

               "Yet despite calls to make access to full clinical trial data a legal, regulatory, or ethical requirement, key statin trial data remain unavailable for independent analysis." (my emphasis).

So what are patients on statin drugs to do? Even if they do get to know? The study says that "we need to assess and understand the evidence underlying these trends" but conventional medicine will not agree to this. The drug companies don't want them to have access to important information that might affect their profitability.

So patients - carry on taking the Statins! Even if no-one knows exactly how safe, or how effective they are. Pharmaceutical profits are, after all, more important than our health!


Friday 18 October 2019

THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY. Greed, corruption, fraud, dishonesty. Would you buy a 2nd hand car from them? Leave along drugs that can seriously damage your health?

Conventional medicine, what we invariably get when we see our doctor, or visit a hospital is dominated by the pharmaceutical industry. And the pharmaceutical industry is dominated by greed, corruption, fraud, and dishonesty.

This is not a new claim. Nor is it one from which the drugs industry can defend itself. It has form, a history that demonstrates that it will go to any lengths to sell us drugs and vaccines, quite regardless of the damage they do to our health.

The pharmaceutical industry has been involved in a large number of legal cases over the years, cases that have demonstrated the lack of ethics that drives the industry. I have highlighted some of them, those from 2007 to the present day, here - it makes sobering, frightening reading.

My question is this. Each of these legal uses illustrates the extreme lengths drug companies will take in order to sell us dangerous drugs. So can they be trusted? Is any drug or vaccine peddled by these companies, for profit, safe for us even to consider taking? Can we, should we believe anything pharmaceutical drug companies tell us?

Especially when drug company executives in the past have told us that judicial fines are 'merely another cost of doing business"? An amount to little more than 'pocket money'?

Johnson & Johnson is a drug company that (in the words of Bloomberg News) has taken some costly beatings in USA courts this year. "And it could get worse."
In October 2019 J&J were ordered by a jury to pay $8 billion for wrongfully pushing doctors to prescribe the anti-psychotic drug, Risperdal. As Bloomberg outlines, this came on the heels of many $billions paid out for damage claims involving opioid painkillers, artificial hips, and even their renowned baby powder.
               "The health-care giant still faces at least 100,000 lawsuits alleging injuries from those products and others, including vaginal-mesh devices and the diabetes drug Invokana....... Analysts say the cost of resolving those cases may reach $20 billion, and J&J’s handling of the various litigations is likely to spark questions when the company reports results on Tuesday."
This is the problem, as highlighted by Bloomberg. Not so much a concern for the damage J&J has done to patients, but the implications for the financial viability of the company. Shares of J&J were down 12% "partly because there’s no end in sight for liability costs".
I am not concerned with the shareholders! They have profited greatly from these drug companies for many decades. "Investors are tired or it", Bloomberg tell us. Well, I am more concerned about the patients who have used and taken, quite innocently, these profitable J&J products for personal health reasons, only to find that their health was damaged. A business ethics professor, Michael Santoro, at California’s Santa Clara University, gets closer to my concerns.
               “J&J used to be the gold standard of ethical behavior in the pharmaceutical industry. They just seem incapable of properly managing their ethical behavior at this point. They’ve lost their way.”
Indeed they have certainly lost their way! The Bloomberg article outlines the enormity of their current problems.
Opioids. J&J face 2,000 pending cases, with an estimated cost of $5 billion
Baby Powder. J&J face 15,5000 pending cases, with an estimated cost of $5 billion
Risperdal. J&J face 13,000 pending cases, with an estimated cost of $800 billion
Vaginal Mesh. J&J face 2,000 pending cases, with unknown costs
Artificial Hips (Pinnacle, ASR). J&J face 12,000 pending cases, with an estimated cost of $4 billion
Xarelto. J&J face 31,700 pending cases, with an estimated cost of $775 billion
Invokana. J&J face 1,000 pending case, with unknown costs
Details of each of these cases is further outlined in the Bloomberg article, who make the point that J&J are not the only pharmaceutical drug company that faces such action, and that "battling in court has become routine for many drugmakers, and J&J is no exception." This is absolutely true.
J&J were quoted saying that it has an expansive legal strategy that carefully evaluates all claims to determine when to settle and when to fight, that they were operating within a very litigious environment, and that they must at times be willing to go to trial when necessary. They also said that they remained open to resolving cases through settlement when and where that was appropriate. 
               "We have a proven track record of being able to successfully and appropriately manage this balance.”
I have no doubt that they do! But there was no mention (there rarely is) about their track record for keeping patients safe from dangerous drugs and medical devices. And that's probably because making such a case is more difficult - given their track record - and the track record of most other pharmaceutical companies.
What we must remember is that each one of the cases listed above represent people, and their families, who have been damaged by 'medical' products. Moreover, they represent only a tiny proportion of people and families who would be similarly damaged. And then only people and families living in the USA. The damage cause by J&J, and other drug companies, is much greater than these court cases could ever represent. So the real question for each of us is this.

Thursday 17 October 2019

ANTIBIOTIC DRUGS ARE FAILING. Drug companies know this, but they are cutting research on replacing them. So is Natural Medicine the only answer to the Antibiotic Apocalypse?

This blog is taken from the website of the Alliance for Natural Health, an excellent publication, and an excellently concise article on the failure of antibiotics, the antibiotic apocalypse that is predicted, and how natural medicine is stepping up to fill the void..

Big Pharma cuts research as antibiotics fail
The question is not if antibiotics fail, it’s when. 
Worse, there is no new breed of drugs to replace them. 
Compared to other potential blockbuster drugs there is relatively little money to be made from antibiotics, which is why Pharma is looking to significantly reduce or stop investment to find replacements or alternatives. 
Many people believe that they can’t heal from certain infections without taking a course of antibiotics and have come to expect to be given a prescription from their doctors. It’s this over- and misappropriate use of antibiotics that has led to the current situation where antimicrobial resistance is threatening our health again. 
Antibiotics are now failing, even the big guns held in reserve to combat the toughest of bacterial infections. In recognition of the warnings that by 2050, antimicrobial resistance is going to be responsible for the loss of around 10 million people a year, a new initiative has been launched. 
Aimed at overcoming antimicrobial resistance using natural medicine, environmentally responsible botanical company, Pukka Herbs, and The College of Medicine have come together to launch a new initiative.
This demonstrates two important differences between conventional, drug-based medicine, and natural medicines, such as homeopathy, naturopathy, herbalism, osteopathy, et al.
  1. The pharmaceutical is more interested in profit than finding safe and effective treatments for patients.
  2. Natural medicine, which works with, and alongside, are not failing; and as a result they are the future for anyone looking for health care.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Head Injuries. Another medical breakthrough. "A cheap drug could save thousands of live each year'.

Medical science has announced another important breakthrough, this time concerning head injury, courtesy of BBC News!

They are a regular feature of the news we are fed every day on the mainstream news media. The surprise is that with so many medical breakthroughs we should be witnessing such large levels of illness, levels that place so much pressure on medical services that cannot cope. So what is this new medical breakthrough?

               "A cheap and widely available drug could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year worldwide if it was routinely given to people brought into hospital with head injuries, UK doctors say. Tranexamic acid helps stop bleeding in and around the brain when blood vessels have been torn.
A large international study in The Lancet now suggests it improves patient survival rates if given early enough. It cannot undo damage but can stop smaller bleeds becoming worse." 

So Tranexamic acid is the new wonder drug! It is not a new drug. It has been around since 1960, so it has a 60 year old history. And what does this history show us? Tranexamic acid has a long list of serious side effects. These are the ones outlined by one website.

Pale skin, trouble breathing with exertion, unusual bleeding or bruising, unusual tiredness or weakness, anxiety, change in vision, chest pain or tightness, confusion, cough, difficulty with swallowing, dizziness or light-headedness, fainting, fast heartbeat, numbness in hands, pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue, skin rash, hives and itching, abdominal or stomach pain, discomfort, or tenderness, chills or fever, difficulty with moving, headache, severe and throbbing, joint and back pain, muscle aching or cramping, muscle pains or stiffness, stuffy or runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting

So if Tranexamic acid is as effective in dealing head injury as claimed (and most conventional medical claims are rarely delivered in practice), the medical system will have more patients with all these additional symptoms walking through the door, placing more pressure on an already pressurised conventional medical system.

Each new medical breakthrough rarely materialises, and usually brings with it additional health challenges that further stretches the conventional medical system.

Another major source of news in Britain at the moment concerns the upcoming General Election, with all the main political parties seeking to outbid each other in providing the NHS with more money - lots more money. We are told, every day, that the medical system is overloaded and underfunded.

It is medical breakthroughs like this one that ensures that conventional medicine is always over-stretched, always unable to cope with 'rising demand' for health services.

Rarely is the questions asked
  • why are health services unable to cope with demand?
  • why are health services not reducing demand?
  • will even more money enable health services to cope?
We continue to invest in health services that just doesn't work, whose 'breakthroughs' are not breakthroughs at all, but lead only to increased sickness, and increased pressure on resources.

Pharmaceutical drugs withdrawn because they contained cancer-causing ingredients! When will we recognise that pharmaceutical drugs are a significant cause of the cancer epidemic?

As if pharmaceutical drugs were not sufficiently dangerous in themselves, what is now becoming clear is that there these same drugs are being withdrawn because of the way they are being manufactured.

Many drugs are now made in chemical plants in China and India, where safety controls are less rigorous and effective. Drugs that are 'out-of-patent' are made in these countries for one simple reason. To reduce the cost of production.

But in successfully reducing their costs (and increasing their profitability) the pharmaceutical companies are increasing levels of patient harm. WDDTY have recently announced that more than 50 prescription drugs have been contaminated with cancer causing chemicals.

               "The prescription drug you're taking could contain high levels of a carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent. Most drugs are manufactured in China and India, where there are no safety controls, and America's drug regulators, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has recalled more than 50 drugs so far because of their health risks".

Conventional medicine has never placed protecting patients from harm very high on their list of priorities. If it had most of the drugs and vaccines doctors are currently prescribing would have been banned already - because of their inherent dangers.

Yet if the serious side effects of pharmaceutical drugs were not bad enough, now patient safety is threatened by the way these drugs are manufactured.
Some frequently prescribed drugs are involved in the 50 drugs the FDA has recalled. One is the blood pressure drug, valsartan (marketed as Diovan). It was found to have lethal levels of a cancer-causing chemical. Two other drugs withdrawn were irbesartan and losartan.
Moreover, WDDTY added that most pharmaceutical drugs manufactured in India and China are not being tested for contaminants, that the FDA checks only 1% of pharmaceutical drugs used in the USA - this according to an investigation undertaken by Bloomberg Business Week. In Europe the situation is unlikely to be any different.
Yet there is another consideration arising from this revelation.

These drugs, and undoubtedly many others, will have been prescribed to patients who subsequently develop cancer. So cancer rates will rise, just as they have been rising during the last 70-100 years. Yet what will the explanation be for this trend? Indeed, what is the explanation for the current epidemic levels of cancer?

Many explanations may offered by conventional medicine. But certainly pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines will not be amongst them. If there is a further increase in cancer rates caused by these drugs, conventional medicine may continue to strive to find a cure, with the usual lack of success. But identifying their drugs as a cause will not be mentioned, by anyone, anywhere, at any time. That by stopping taking pharmaceutical drugs might remove a major cause of cancer will never be mentioned. After all, it makes no business sense!

Many pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are known to cause cancer. I have listed some of them here. And these drugs cause cancer even when they are manufactured properly, without cancer-causing ingredients, in India, China, or anywhere else. Doctors know this. Conventional medicine knows this. Governments know this. One major cure for cancer is within our reach, but kept out of our reach.


Monday 14 October 2019

BREAST CANCER. Why is it that conventional medicine does not understand that HRT is a significant cause of this? Who protects patients from harmful drugs?

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) causes breast cancer!
  • Conventional medicine has known this for a long time, but they continue to prescribe these drugs to female patients.
Medical science has known this for a long time. In July 2002, research indicated that HRT can increase the risk of breast cancer (and heart disease too), and the test results were so alarming they were immediately halted. Many thousands of women came off the drug as a result, at least 50% of those who had been taken them.

Then, in 2003. the University of Texas recorded a 7% drop in breast cancer rates, and a 12% drop in women aged 50 to 69. This was reported in USA Today, 14 December 2006; and New York Times, 15 December 2006). And according to a BBC News report, 15th December 2006, UK researches also measured a drop in breast cancer cases. Professor Valerie Beral, director of Cancer Research UK's Cancer Epidemiology Unit, was reported as saying that there had also been a drop in breast cancer incidence in women aged 50-64 between 2003 and 2004.

So medical science discovers that HRT causes breast cancer. Then it discovers that rates of breast cancer reduces when less HRT is prescribed.

So why is it that the magazine 'What Doctors Don't Tell You' (WDDTY) had had to tell us that 'HRT causes 1 in 20 breast cancers'? (2nd October 2019). Why did the UK's drug regulator, MHRA, have to tell doctors to discuss 'new' (sic) information on HRT breast cancer risk with women at their next routine appointment?

 Surely our doctors should already know this! They should have known it since 2002, and even earlier. Apparently WDDTY was using a Lancet article as the source of this information (The Lancet, 2019; doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31709-X).

               "HRT is twice as risky as doctors feared...."

               "The risk is greatest .....if it's taken for five years, say researchers from Oxford University. They estimate that one in 20 cases of breast cancer in the UK are caused by the drug..."

               "And women need to know the risks persist for 10 years afterwards... they don't disappear the moment they stop taking HRT, which has  been the common perception."

               "HRT prescribing  has been steadily rising over the last 10 years or so, with some studies downplaying health risks...."

               ".....but the Oxford researchers say it is vital to turn back the dial to the early 1990's when the dangers of the drug were first discovered".

The answer to all these "why's" is that medical science has little or no influence on the conventional medical establishment
  • on the pharmaceutical industry (which controls most medical science)
  • on the conventional medical establishment (which is supposed to be evidence led)
  • or on doctors (who are supposed to be 'science led').
I have recently blogged on the current crisis with Opiate drugs, which have caused serious disease, withdrawal symptoms, and death for many - yet doctors to prescribe more of these drugs, year on year.

It is clear that medical science has little or no influence over conventional medicine, or the drug prescribing practices of our doctors.

The MIMS article, dated 4th September 2019, tacitly confirms this when it states that MHRA, Britain's drug regulator has asked doctors to "discuss (this) new (sic) information on breast cancer risk with women at their next routine appointment. Is this really a sufficient or adequate response to a drug doctors have known to cause breast cancer for over 30 years? Drug regulation is supposed to protect patients from dangerous drugs. Is a chat, some time in the future, a sufficient response to women in danger of contracting breast cancer? There is, it is stated, "no need for urgent action".

Isn't there? Just how dangerous does a drug have to be to our health before doctors are obliged to take urgent action? How dangerous does a drug have to be now before it is banned?
But "women who use, or are planning to use, HRT, should be aware of these 'new' (sic) findings when considering their HRT."

These are NOT new findings. This is NOT news. It is history that is regurgitated every few years, a piece of information that will probably never acted upon, soon forgotten, and brought up again in a few years time. So if women don't know this by now it is because their doctors have not told them, or they have downplayed the information. I have written about this subject, many times, during the last 10 years.
The only possible conclusion is that both medical science and drug regulation are mere charades. Neither safeguard patients, you and me, from drug harm. Conventional medicine does not pay attention to its findings and directives - when they are negative - or when it has no alternative to the drugs that have been found to harm us.

I suspect that I will be writing about this again, when conventional medicine discovers yet again that breast cancer is caused by HRT!
Since writing this nothing has happened. HRT is still being prescribed, as before. Medical science might inform doctors that pharmaceutical drug treatment is dangerous - but it does not appear to change their medical practice!
WDDTY (February 2021)
"The most common type of HRT increases the risk of breast cancer by up to 80%, a new study has found". (My emphasis). BMJ, 2020; 371, m3873.
So here we are again, as I predicted, more 'new' medical science; and I wonder, this time, if it will have any impact on conventional medical practice?

Friday 11 October 2019

CONTROLLING BLOOD PRESSURE. The dangers of blood pressure drugs, and the creation of illness

Conventional medicine is obsessed with blood pressure, especially high blood pressure. It is, doctors tell us, connected to heart disease, so they go to great lengths to ensure that our blood pressure falls within some narrow pre-determined parameter.

It is 'medicine by numbers'. The patient may not feel ill, and may have no symptoms of illness. But doctors know best, and antihypertensive drugs are, they tell us, essential for our health.

So what happens next? The patient takes the drug prescribed by his/her doctor - and he/she does get ill! Really ill!

Blood Pressure Drugs - cause dangerous intestinal problem
The journal Circulation (2019: 140: 270-9) have published research undertaken at Imperial College, London, which found the calcium-channel blocking drugs, antihypertensives, increases the risk of diverticulitis, a disease that affects about 65% of people over 85, and can be life threatening. The researchers suspected that the drugs interfered with the ability of intestinal muscles to push food through the gut.

Of course, antihypertensive drugs were already known to cause many more side effects...
  • Diuretics are known to cause dry mouth, weakness, diarrhea, hypotension, nausea, headache and stomach upset.
  •  ACE inhibitors are known to cause diarrhea, headache, joint pain, fever and chills, troubled breathing and jaundice.
  • Beta blockers are known to cause fatigue, dizziness and weakness.
  • Calcium channel blockers are known to cause weight gain, swelling in the lower legs, feet, or ankles, constipation, tiredness, irregular heartbeat, coughing, problems with breathing or swallowing, nausea or stomach discomfort, and numbness or tingling in the feet or hands.
So, given that the patient did not feel ill when first given these drugs, it might be expected that he/she will feel ill after taking them. Moreover, the new evidence that calcium channel blockers causes diverticulitis, has only been discovered many decades after they were first prescribed! There may be many more side effects that doctors don't know about.

So, does this mean that doctors will apply more constraint in prescribing antihypertensive drugs in future? On the basis of "First, do no harm"? Will they be more circumspect in giving patients, who do not feel, and probably not ill, these drugs?

Absolutely not! 

The Lancet reported on 7th September 2019 that the latest UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance, published on 28th August, has recommended that antihypertensive drugs should now be offered to people younger than 80 years with blood pressure reaching of 140/90 mm Hg and above, and a 10% or greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years. The Lancet concludes that

               "This reduces the 2011 NICE guidelines of a cardiovascular risk level of 20% or more."

In other words, with one stroke of a pen, conventional medicine has significantly increased the number of people who will now be expected to be prescribed antihypertensive drugs. Medicine by numbers, that is, giving drugs to patients who feel well, has been increased.
  • So will this increase the number of patients who will develop diverticulitis, and the other known side effects of these drugs?
Yes, of course it will. This is what conventional medicine does - all the time - with all its prescriptions! Doctors prescribe drugs to well people knowing they have side effects that will cause illness. Then they will treat the new illness with more drugs to treat the side effects; and then even more drugs to treat the side effects of each new drug.

This is how conventional medicine creates illness, how they make us sick, why we never get well, why our health gets progressively worse, why chronic disease is now running at unprecedented, epidemic levels.

Learn more about how conventional medicine creates illness and disease by clicking on this link.