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 two things in common. They were unknown until recent time. The cause is unknown. There is no conventional treatment for the condition. 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."

This is not a cause! As so often happens, conventional medicine goes in for elaborate explanations of 'cause' when it is really describing what is happening. No one needs to doubt that this is happening. The real question, however, is why does it happen? In other words, what has caused this mutation, why is the child's development not normal?

Another clue that should lead to suspicion concerns the development of the syndrome. This is what the NHS Choices website has to say.

          "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'. Perhaps the parents weren't sufficiently attentive! Or perhaps not. Conventional medicine says that other new diseases, for instance Autism, are not new diseases. It was just that parents did not notice before! A nonsense argument. I would suggest that parents have always known their children better the conventional medical doctors! 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.

Conventional medicine is always vague about the causation of these 'new' diseases and syndromes. "There is no known cause". "There is no treatment". When this is heard, be weary. The cause is probably conventional medicine itself. 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 'cover-up' mode.

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.

There are two objections to such a suggestion. First, 'there is no evidence'. But then if such links are denied they are not investigated. There has been no investigation independent of the conventional medical establishment, so of course there is 'no 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.