Monday, 24 October 2016

Benzodiazepine Drugs and Prescription Drug Addiction

BBC's '5 Live Investigates' programme yesterday (23rd October 2016) looked at 'Prescription Drug Addiction', and focused on the addiction caused by Benzodiazepine drugs. Readers of this blog will know that I am critical of the BBC's reluctance to investigate conventional, drug  based medicine. So in one sense this was an unusual topic for them to highlight. The impression I got was that Adrian Goldberg, the presenter, thought that he was breaking new ground in investigating these drugs. The fact is, however, that he wasn't, it is a well-known story of a tragedy that goes back many decades.

Of course, Goldberg was breaking new ground for the BBC, which, alongside the rest of the mainstream media, has hitherto ignored the issue when it comes to investigating the harm caused to patients by pharmaceutical drugs, and the conventional medical system!

Benzodiazepines are psychoactive drugs that work on the central nervous system. They have strong sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant and anxiolytic properties. They are used for a wide variety of medical conditions, including anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures, alcohol dependence and withdrawal. They are also used as muscle relaxants.

Benzodiazepines are a large drug class, with a long history of development. Some of these drugs are well-known brands, such as Librium, Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam). Other names are Alprazolam, Chlordiazepoxide, Clonazepam, Clorazepage, Clobazame, Dalmane, Estazolam, Flurazepam,Halcion, Librax, Klonopin, Midazolam, Niravam, Onfi, Oxazepam, ProSom, Restoril, Serax, Temazepam, Tranxene, Triazolam, Versed, and Xanax.

As the programme says, correctly, Benzodiazepine drugs were introduced in the 1960's to replace Barbiturate drugs, which at the time were killing thousands of patients. As usual, they were described as 'Wonder Drugs' by the BBC and other mainstream news outlets! Indeed, the media proved to be excellent sales organisations for the pharmaceutical companies! Millions of prescriptions for the new 'happy pills' ensured that they became one of the most highly profitable drugs of all time. In 1978 it is estimated that 32 millions prescriptions were written for Benzodiazepines in the UK alone!

Yet, as with all pharmaceutical drugs, benzodiazepines were soon known to be dangerous. They become controlled substances as they had the potential for abuse and addiction. And an increasing number of patients began to report dreadful, long term side effects. Subsequently Benzodiazepine drugs have been described as "a 50-year plus horror story" for tens of thousands of people in the UK. And as far as the BBC and the mainstream media is concerned, it has been a scandal that has never been properly addressed.

The scandal first broke in the 1980's, after it was accepted that thousands of patients had become horribly addicted to drugs like Librium and Valium. The victims complained of serious side effects, such as blackouts, epileptic seizures, memory loss, brain damage, insomnia and personality change. What is worse, many people who suffered these Benzodiazepine side effects continued to do so, many years and often decades later!

So the BBC is to be congratulated that it has, at last, caught up!

The initial reaction of the pharmaceutical industry, and the conventional medical establishment, including the drug regulators, was typical. Denial. They did not to accept that benzodiazepine drugs created addiction or 'dependence'. It was only when Mind, the UK mental health charity, teamed up with the TV programme 'That's Life' to survey the experience of thousands of benzodiazepine users that the conventional medical establishment were finally forced to face up to the problems these drugs caused. Presumably the BBC must have forgotten they produced this programme!

Even so, during the 1980's Benzodiazepine prescriptions continued to reach between 25 and 29 million per year, and despite frequent attempts to reduce prescriptions from that time, they still stood at over 11 million in 2005.

Colin Downes-Grainger wrote a book called 'Prescription for Injury' in 2007). It is available for download here. For anyone who wants to read more about the Benzodiazepine scandel this is an excellent source of information. It was originally self published (Colin told me that no mainstream publisher would publish it). As someone who suffered from the drug, he said this.

               "..... there are still over a million prescriber addicts in the UK and thousands who are taking (or who once took) the drugs long-term, and as a result are living with ruined health which cannot be rebuilt. Many are living in poverty as a result of the effects of benzodiazepines. Whole lives have been lost and cannot be relived.  Families have disintegrated, never to reunite."

  • It was in 1988 that the Committee on the Safety of Medicines advised that Benzodiazepine drugs should not to be prescribed for more than four weeks. 
  • The in January 2004 the UK's Chief Medical Officer sent a letter to all doctors, reminding them that Benzodiazepines should only be prescribed for 2 to 4 weeks. This letter was sent because doctors had ignored the 1988 advice. The letter itself stated that many doctors were still prescribing Benzodiazepines on a long-term basis. So, a full 16 years after the initial advice ,there were still 12.7 million Benzodiazepine prescriptions, and 30% of these were for long term use.
  • Yesterday, the BBC programme claimed that there were still over 10 million prescriptions for Benzodiazepine drugs in 2015, and that 250,000 of these were for patients who had been on them for more than a few weeks! The situation had changed little in the 12 years since the 'That's Life' programme is 2004, and an incredible 28 years after the initial advice about 'short term only prescription, nothing much has changed!

Colin Downes-Grainger's book, written in 2007, further summarised the situation faced by Benzodiazepine sufferers, including himself, when he said:
              "The real severity of benzodiazepine damage has never been recognised officially. In the face of it the Department of Health maintains a belief that benzodiazepine addiction is not all that serious and withdrawal is relatively easy. In modern gov-speak the department does not recognise the experience related by affected patients or campaigners. The Department too believes that repeated utterance of statements such as 'we take the problem seriously' or 'our priority is to prevent addiction occurring in the first place' makes it true for actual and former patients and provides adequate support for those badly in need of it".

So the situation has changed little. The dangers of Benzodiazepine drugs has been raised this time by the British Medical Association (BMA). It has asked for a permanent, dedicated, 24-hour phone-line to provide help and support for sufferers of Benzodiazepines, and other addictive pharmaceutical drugs. And again, the response of the NHS has again been dismissive as it was in 2004. Such a phone-line already exists, they have said! So there is still denial, still a refusal to acknowledge that these pharmaceutical drugs are a serious problem to our health, that they have ruined the lives of millions of people, and that they are still being prescribed!

So does the BBC's investigation yesterday represent a significant advance in dealing with the problem of Benzodiazepine drugs? Hardly! It failed to ask critical questions.

  • If doctors were given specific prescription guidance for Benzodiazepines in 1988, and then again in 2004, why have these guidelines been ignored by doctors? The question was never asked by the BBC!
  • The BMA, the organisation calling for additional resources to help drug victims, is the organisation that represents the very doctors who are continuing to prescribe the drugs! Why was the BMA not taking action itself to ensure that their members were acting appropriately? The question was never asked by the BBC!
  • The BBC programme appeared to be tacitly supporting the BMA's request for additional resources - to set up a 24-hour support service, and to provide adequate support services at a local level. One person said "someone will have to put their hands in their pockets and pay for it"! Yet the crux of this problem is that BMA doctors continue to prescribe a drug that continues to be licensed and approved by the drug regulator. Would it not be a more appropriate for the BMA to stop the prescription of Benzodiazipines, to seek to ban the drug altogether, and to resolve the direct cause of the problem? The question was never asked by the BBC!
  • Similarly, how often are adverse drug (and vaccine) reactions the cause of additional demands on health spending? How often is sickness and disease caused by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines placing additional burdens on the NHS? Benzodiazepine drugs were introduced to replace Barbiturates which killed people. The introduction of SSRI antidepressant drugs was purportedly to replace Benzodiazepine drugs, yet SSRI drugs are now also associated with severe side effects, and their prescription should have been withdrawn entirely from children and adolescents. So we have three generations of drugs, all causing illness and disease, all placing additional pressures on the health care system! The BBC always refuses to look at this issue!
  • Why is it possible for any pharmaceutical drug or vaccine to pass through the (allegedly) long process of 'scientific' drug testing, then through the process of drug regulation, and then through decades of clinical use, without action being taken? And during the decades of clinical use, how effective has the 'yellow card' reporting system been, the system designed to ensure that these adverse reactions are reported to the drug regulator, who should then take action. The question was never asked by the BBC!
  • Arising from this, what is the position of the British drug regulator, the MHRA, specifically on Benzodiazepine drugs? How many yellow card have been submitted over the decades? If they do not know about the issues, why have the yellow cards not been submitted? If yellow cards have been submitted, and they know about the issues raised in the programme, what action have they taken to deal with the situation? And what action are they planning to take to investigate the situation? The question was never asked by the BBC!
  • The BBC informed itself by obtaining 'expert' advice from conventional doctors, that is, by asking members of the same profession that has been prescribing Benzodiazepine drugs on a long-term basis for decades! This is what the BBC always does in relation to health issues! It raises a difficult issue, and then allows the perpetrators, presented as 'experts', to defend themselves, and throw balm on the issue! The safety of conventional, drug based medicine, and the reliability of the 'expertise' of conventional medics, are never questioned by the BBC.
  • Although the BBC seemed concerned, at a surface level, about the plight of people whose lives had been devastated by these drugs, it did not look into what redress these people had. The programme did discover one woman who had spent a large sum of her own money to obtain compensation, but it failed to address the issue of what people, without such resources, could do. It also failed to address the fact that the government has provided drug companies with immunity against prosecution for many of its drugs and vaccines.
  • Nor did the BBC give any indication that there would be a follow up programme. Once again it is likely that the issue of Benzodiazepine drugs will be quietly dropped. Good programme, perhaps, raising an important issue. It filled the available airtime. But the issue will not be pursued! So it is likely that in another 12 years the BBC will discover again that Benzodiazepine drugs are being prescribed by the million, that people are still suffering from their dreadful side effects, and that support services remain inadequate!

The public is not well served by the BBC, which describes itself as a 'public broadcaster', but seems quite unable, or unwilling, or both, to adequately inform the public about health matters. Both it's health and science reporters appear to be proponents of conventional, drug based medicine, committed to pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, hailing them as 'wonder drugs' when introduced, and ignoring the harm they cause until it can no longer be ignored.

Yesterday's programme may go some way to inform people that Benzodiazepine drugs are dangerous. But it completely failed to investigate how, and why a medical system that dominates the NHS has completely failed to protect patients against harmful and dangerous drugs and vaccines.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Vaccine damage? Who is responsible?

Normally, when we buy anything, we have the assurance that the seller, and the manufacturer, will take responsibility for it if it does not work, or if it harms us.

Not so with pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. 

So will you vaccinate your children? Or yourself? Is it really worth the risk?

Ask yourself, why is it that vaccine manufacturers have been immune? Why has our government allowed them to do this?

Do they not have confidence in their vaccines? Do they really know that they cause damage, and don't want to take responsibility?

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Flu Vaccine.

It is the time of year when doctors will be pressing us, and our children, to have the annual flu vaccination. It is an offer everyone should refuse!

The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) have produced their free newsletter on the subject. It is worth reading and subscribing to. This year, apparently, our children are going to be offered not an injection but a nasal spray. Some people might believe a spray is progress, and preferable to an injection. But don't be fooled. Indeed, ANH asks the following, key question.

               "We ask: why is it that British kids are being asked to line up for the nasal spray when the leading US health authority on vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has declared that “the nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017”.

And ANH gives us the following, succinct answer.

               "The reason is simple: a study looking at the effectiveness of the nasal spray flu vaccine that was made available in May this year showed it did not confer any protection for those aged 2 to 17 who were studied."

And as ANH says, the mainstream media are acting as advertisers for the manufacturers of the vaccine. They mention that London’s 'Metro' newspaper is full of the benefits of the flu vaccine, and as usual they are encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated. Indeed, ANH says that the news reports "are carefully constructed to make parents feel duty-bound to vaccinate, so benefiting society and in particular those most vulnerable to infection".

So it's the usual propaganda. So should parents say 'Yes'? What is the experience of the flu vaccine? Is it worth the risk? Is it even worth the effort?

The nasal vaccine is a live, or attenuated vaccine based on a weakened version the flu virus. Yet it is well known that flu viruses changes, or mutates, every year. In order to get a vaccine that works the pharmaceutical industry has to guess which virus to use for the coming winter. Once they make the decision they cannot change their mind as there is no time to change which virus is used. And Big Pharma has not been very good at 'guessing' in recent years. ANH outlines the history.

               "Earlier this year, the CDC published a report revealing the effectiveness of the annual flu vaccine for the flu seasons from 2005-2016; effectiveness varied from just 10% to 60%. A huge range by anyone’s count, but for 7 years of that period the reported effectiveness was below 50%. This aside from the CDC’s recent revelation that the nasal spray for the 2016-17 season would be just 3%.  This means that kids who get the nasal spray will be unprotected and most people, even by CDC standards, will be more likely to be unprotected than protected by the vaccine."

Yet many people, who dislike injections, might be encouraged to take the spray vaccine, despite the advice from the USA. Indeed, the British campaign aims to encourage more than 500,000 children, aged between 2 to 7, to receive the vaccine! It is a big highly profitable business!

So what about the safety of this vaccine. I have written on many occasions about the dangers of the injected vaccine. Is the spray safer? The current media campaign, predictably, states that the vaccine is very safe. That is always what the conventional medical establishment wants us to believe. Yet the spray vaccine is a live version of the virus, and ANH asks correctly whether the use of live viruses will do more to spread the disease more than stopping it! It is, they say an unanswered question. Officially, of course, we are told that the risk of spreading the virus is low. However, as ANH says, spreading the virus by a process of 'shedding' is a very real problem.

What this means is that other people, who have sensibly have decided not to take the vaccine, can be at risk of infection because those who have been vaccinated carry the virus!

Anyone who is considering the flu vaccine, and any sort, should examine carefully the evidence that it causes serious harm. And that this harm is always underplayed by the conventional medical establishment. For instance, the reporting of adverse events is probably only about 10% of the total numbers harmed by the vaccine.

So it is important that we all look at the evidence harm, and compare this with the balm that the pharmaceutical and media advertising campaigns, and indeed your local doctor, will place on the evidence. The Child Health Safety website has collected together a large number of links to articles outlining the harm that has been caused by the flu vaccine, including several links that concerns the 'FluMist' vaccine, which is what we are being offered in Britain this year.

The ANH article states that in the CDC has only reported on the minor side effects of the spray vaccine. But even the CDC goes on to state that "on rare occasions" flu vaccination "can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions". And the CDC goes on to recommend that people who think that they have been injured by the flu vaccine should seek compensation from a USA compensation programme. ANH report that 2,845 people have filed for injury, 109 claims of death, with 1,718 cases being compensated between 1988-2016. They comment:

               "What is notable in this report is the growth in compensation claims for vaccine damage (in general) from 6 in 1989 up to 688 in 2016. This figure, sadly, is likely to continue to rise in the coming years".

So if reporting adverse reactions is only 10% of the total number, and that those claiming compensation will be very significantly lower than this, we are talking about large numbers of people, far larger than are being acknowledged.

Influenza is an unpleasant illness. But for proper protection people need something that is both safer, and more effective treatment than the vaccines being offered by the conventional medical establishment. I have written about alternatives to the flu vaccination on many occasions. Homeopathy, for example, is both safe and effective in both preventing and treating the illness. Read more about it here. As ANH says, taking or not taking vaccines should be matter of personal choice. But the most important element in patient choice is information, that people know that they have a choice, and what those choices are!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Gulf War Syndrome. The trials of Gunner John Gough

The BBC recently broadcast a radio programme about Gunner John Gough. It can be heard by clicking on this link. It is part of the BBC's 'The Untold' series. The purpose was to highlight the plight of a former British soldier, and Gulf War hero, John Gough. Unfortunately, the telling of his story leaves much that remains 'Untold'! His story can be quickly related.

  • A school friend described him as a confident, cheeky boy, who was popular with the girls, and that the life of the form revolved around him.
  • When he left school he trained as a bricklayer, but as employment was difficult at the time, he decided to join the army, the Royal Artillery.
  • He served in Northern Ireland, and in the first Gulf War, helping to liberate Kuwait, during which time he was injured by a land mine.
  • He eventually left the army 20 years ago.
  • He is now suffering from what was described as 'post traumatic stress disorder'.
  • His father described his changed behaviour when John returned to live with him. He would not socialise, he had massive mood swings, and displayed aggressive and violent behaviour.
  • He left home and got involved with illicit drugs. He is now on medication as a result.
  • He has attempted suicide on 5 separate occasions.
  • He does not sleep in his bed, preferring to sleep on the floor.
  • He has disengaged from all social contact, he has completely shut himself off from his friends and family.
  • He was threatened with eviction from his accommodation, and fearful that he might end up living 'on the streets'.
The programme focused on several important and legitimate issues. Is this how war heroes should live? Is the support given to former soldiers, both in terms of counselling and housing, adequate? The programme ended on a more optimistic note: accommodation was found for him, and he attended a reunion of his former army colleagues, and he is now hoping to start university.

It was an interesting programme, and my only objection is one of omission. John Gough was clearly one of many thousands of UK and USA soldiers who suffered from 'Gulf War Syndrome. His life was transformed, from being a "confident, cheeky boy, popular with the girls", a brave and strong solder who served his country in two dangerous missions, to a depressed, reclusive and suicidal man, unable to cope with normal life.

Gulf War syndrome was almost certainly caused by the plethora of vaccinations and other drugs given to the soldiers prior to the first Gulf War. In the latter 1990's it was a topic worthy of discussion and debate. Now that debate has ended. The BBC programme was interested only in the consequences of the war for an individual ex-soldier, not the cause of his problem - to the extent that 'Gulf War syndrome was not even mentioned, leave alone the pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines he would have been given before the start of the action.

Soldiers sent to the Gulf were give a huge cocktail of drugs and vaccinations over a brief period. Some estimates say that soldiers were given as many as 17 different vaccines, for polio, for yellow fever, for anthrax, bubonic plague, cholera, typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Meningitis, and that many of them untested and unapproved. The vaccines that were approved and tested were known to cause the kind of symptoms experienced by Gulf War veterans!

So it was not a surprise when, in 2002, a study of 900 veterans found a strong correlation between the anthrax vaccine and subsequent ill health (Psychol Rep. 2002 Apr;90(2):639-53. Self-reported changes in subjective health and anthrax vaccination as reported by over 900 Persian Gulf War era veterans. Schumm WR, Reppert EJ, Jurich AP, Bollman SR, Webb FJ, Castelo CS, Stever JC, Sanders D, Bonjour GN, Crow JR, Fink CJ, Lash JF, Brown BF, Hall CA, Owens BL, Krehbiel M, Deng LY, Kaufman M. School of Family Studies and Human Services, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506-1403, USA. The study found that soldiers receiving the anthrax vaccine reported more adverse reactions than those who did not. It also found that the more severe any initial reaction to the vaccine was, the more severe long term health effects were. There were other studies at the time, coming to similar conclusions.

This was not good news for either the government, the Ministry of Defence, the conventional medical establishment, or the pharmaceutical industry. So they did what they usually do. They denied it! For many years they did not release information about the vaccines and drugs the soldiers had received. Other possible causes were looked into, like infectious disease, biological and chemical weapons, burning fuel from oil wells, organophosphate pesticides, depleted uranium, and many more. But unfortunately for the deniers none of these stood up to serious scrutiny. 

So eventually, medical 'science' was brought it to save the situation for those who had given soldiers this cocktail of drugs and vaccines, and, as usual, medical scientists were able to deflect attention away from pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines!

In May 2003, the government published the results of an 'independent review' of UK research into Gulf veterans’ ill health, concluding that there was "no evidence of a unique syndrome had been found in this country or aboard following research of troops deployed to the Gulf". At the same time the governemnt was paying compensation, and arranging support programmes for the troops, who were suffering from this non-existent syndrome!

In July and October 2006, the MOD published scientific papers that looked at "the possible adverse health effects of the combination of vaccines and tablets given to troops to protect them against the threat of biological and chemical warfare". The conclusion was that the combination of vaccines and tablets given to UK forces before the 1990/1991 Gulf Conflict "would not have had adverse health effects".

And so the scientific whitewash continued,. All the studies, bought and paid for by government coming up with the same conclusion. The 2002 findings were wrong. However the new evidence was unable to come to any alternative conclusion about what had caused 'Gulf War syndrome'. The Ministry of Defence outlined this research in a 'guidance' document, "Gulf Veterans Illnesses" in 2012.

               "The overwhelming evidence from the programme is that the combination of vaccines and tablets that were offered to UK Forces at the time of the 1990/1991 would not have had adverse health effects."

So the BBC, and the rest of our mainstream media, meekly accepted that position. It appears that investigative journalism is not permitted within any mainstream news media when it concerns matters of health! I have written before about the refusal of the BBC to look at the controversy about the MMR vaccine. It was a similar situation. Thousands suffered from the vaccine, and evidence began to emerge of a link with the Autism epidemic. So there was a crisis within the conventional medical establishment. So medical science is paid to come up with evidence that the vaccine was not, in fact, linked to the Autism epidemic. And that, for the BBC, was the end of any further discussion. Even in 2014, when the co-author of the 'bought' science admitted that the research team had intentionally excluded, and destroyed evidence that would have come to a different conclusion, the BBC refused to publish the evidence. It was, they said, not a matter of public interest!

So it is for John Gough, and other former soldiers suffering from Gulf War syndrome. The cause of their condition is not "a matter of public interest". The only issue open to discussion is the consequence, not the cause of his current situation. The cause of his current situation would, after all, be embarrassing for the government, the Ministry of Defence, the conventional medical establishment, the pharmaceutical industry: and now, of course, the BBC, who have gone along with this medical cover-up for over a decade.

Honest media reporting now would only highlight the dishonest media reporting of the past! So it is censored.

There remains no other reasonable explanation for Gulf War syndrome. There is no other satisfactory reason why John Gough's life was so drastically altered, ruined indeed, for the last 20 years. There is no known alternative cause for the destruction of so many lives - the lives of strong, fit young men, in the prime of their lives.

Yet to ask such questions, to investigate further, would bring the BBC up against powerful government interests at a time when their contract is up for renewal! Best, then, not to cause waves in that quarter! And the rest of the mainstream media would be taking on the rich and powerful pharmaceutical industry, one of their main paymasters. Best, then, to leave matters as they are! No need to rock the boat!

And so the mayhem caused by the conventional medical establishment continues, unchallenged, unreported .......

Thursday, 13 October 2016

What patients want of their doctors

The general public has been subject to the propaganda of the conventional medical health system for over a century. In more recent decades the harm caused by, and the failings of, conventional medicine has been kept from them - by governments, by doctors, by the drug regulators, by drug companies, and by the mainstream media.

So when a member of this misinformed and ill-informed public becomes a patient, what does he or she want from their doctors?

A recent article in the doctors e-magazine, Pulse, says "that half of the public think that their GP should always give them the prescription, treatment, or referral to a specialist that they request, a survey has indicated".

Is this really a surprise? Is it not the result of years of indoctrination by the conventional medical establishment? In a recent BBC series, 'The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs' I recall one patient telling the GP that if he did not give him the drug he thought he needed he would 'not feel safe leaving the surgery'. Clearly the man thought that his health, even his life, depended on the prescription of pharmaceutical drugs!

The Pulse article referred to a YouGov poll that interviewed 2,000 British adults. It was commissioned by a doctors organisation called 'Medical Protection'. These are the main findings:

  • 47% of the public have looked up their symptoms online before visiting their doctor.
  • 50% think doctors should give them the treatment, referral or prescription they want.
  • 21% of the public have challenged their doctors diagnosis.
  • 80% of the public agree their doctor meets their needs and expectations.
  • 86% of Medical Protection GP members sometimes, most of the time or always have challenging experiences with patients when they do not provide the prescription, treatment of referral to a specialist they request.

Much of the blame for this situation was placed on patients who search their symptoms, and diagnose their illness online, and do so prior to visiting their GP. One doctor is quoted as saying that patients doing this "may have a preconceived idea of what their diagnosis is and how the condition should be treated".

Yes, perhaps. Yet this is no more than patients being told to leave everything to their doctors, because only they know what they are doing, they know best, and they would do nothing to harm us. Apparently, according to the conventional medical establishment, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

Yet the real blame for this situation is not the patients, and the little knowledge they may glean from the internet, but the health information the public is given, in great quantity, regularly, routinely, and on a daily basis!

  • Only conventional medicine is based on 'science', it is the only system of medicine that has been proven to work.
  • Only conventional medicine is safe and effective, medical science has proven pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines to be effective and safe, and the drug regulatory system ensures that they continue to be effective and safe.
  • New pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are presented to the public as 'wonder cures', 'magic bullets', which will be future 'game changers' in the treatment of illness and disease.
  • News about the disease-inducing-effect of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are rarely publicised - the public is just not told about them!
  • Old pharmaceutical drugs, which have proven to be harmful to patients, causing side effects, adverse reactions, disease and death, and quietly buried. The public rarely get to hear about them.
  • Conventional medicine is winning the war against illness and disease. Pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are working.
  • Rising levels of numerous chronic diseases, many now at epidemic levels, are also largely ignored, except when they are used as an argument for spending yet more money on conventional medical treatment.
  • The role played by drug 'side effects' in these disease epidemics is studiously avoided, and blamed on anything other than the vast increase in consumption of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines during the years the epidemics have developed.

So is it any wonder that patients demand their doctors prescribe pharmaceutical drugs for them? Is this really a surprise? How can anyone expect patients to make an 'informed choice' if the information they have to rely upon comes exclusively from doctors, the conventional medical establishment, and a compliant media?

And when faced with this patient-led demand for pharmaceutical drugs, do the doctors prescribe them? In the main they seem to do so, even when the drugs and vaccines concerned are one's they have been told to prescribe only with great care because of their known dangers to patient health. Conventional doctors have little else to do other than to prescribe these drugs, and they are under great pressure from the drug companies to do so!

Perhaps some doctors know the harm their prescriptions are doing to patients, and are seeking to protect themselves. "We only prescribe these drugs because our patients want them!" This research, after all, was conducted on behalf of a doctors organisation called 'Medical Protection'.

Perhaps informed patients should set up an organisation called 'Patient Protection'. It is much needed!

Monday, 10 October 2016

New Wonder Drug for Cancer (or is it really that good?)

There is a new miracle drug treatment for cancer! This is wonderful news. Medical science is winning its battle against this dreadful disease. And we can believe this good news because it has been proven by randomised controlled trials (RCTs) which are considered to be the 'gold standard' of proof of the efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs according to many, including the industry itself, and supporters of the industry like 'Sense about Science'.

Of course the mainstream media are ecstatic with the news, and over the weekend they have heralded the new wonder drug with great acclaim. BBC News said that:

               "An immunotherapy drug has been described as a potential "game-changer." 

The Guardian said:

               "An immunotherapy drug hailed as a potential gamechanger in the treatment of cancer could soon offer new hope to patients with currently untreatable forms of the disease."

The Mail Online headline stated:

               "New drug hailed a 'game changer' for cancer patients."

So the drug is clearly a 'game changer'! Strange that all three media organisations used the same description! Well, perhaps not. Other parts of the media used the same phrase too. And indeed they all appeared to be using the same 'facts' and 'statistics'.

A coincidence perhaps? Or, more likely, was this our mainstream media doing what they always do - receive a press release from the conventional medical establishment highlight its new 'game-changing' breakthroughs - and slavishly and uncritically re-writing it?

I can suggest that it is likely to be the latter, not least because the same news, the same headlines, all with identical information, published by the same media organisations, landed on our breakfast tables on 1st June 2015.

               "Cancer drug combination 'shrinks 60% of melanomas." (BBC News).

               "Cancer trial of drug combination yields 'spectacular' results." (The Guardian).

               "New era in the war on cancer: Revolutionary treatment that will save thousands hailed as 'biggest breakthrough since chemotherapy." (Daily Mail).

And I must offer an apology to the BBC, Guardian and Mail, as every other mainstream media outlet in Britain carried the same news, with the same information, on the same days. They are not alone in their slavish and uncritical adherence, both in the heralding of these 'good news' stories like this, and the censorship of 'bad news' stories about the ongoing failures of the conventional medical health system.

Private news organisations are, of course, heavily funded by the pharmaceutical industry, and perhaps this is the price we, as patients, have to pay for their ongoing advertising largesse. And the directors and board members of international news organisations and the international pharmaceutical companies share the same similarity with the published news stories on health.

So the general public is informed about health, and this is what it knows.

  • Pharmaceutical drugs are winning the battle against cancer.
  • Medical science has once again stumbled on a new wonder drug.
  • Help for Cancer sufferers is imminently available.

So the new drug is a potential 'game changer' because "more patients taking nivolumab survived for longer compared with those who were treated with chemotherapy", "combining nivolumab with another drug shrank tumours in advanced kidney cancer patients", the immunotherapy drug "works by harnessing the immune system to destroy cancer cells", and that "patients also experienced fewer side effects from immunotherapy" . Moreover, "patients survived an average of 9.1 months with nivolumab and 4.4 months with chemotherapy", that "this group of patients, with advanced or treatment-resistant tumours, are expected to live less than six months", and that "of these patients, one in 10 had no sign of cancer remaining".

And so the good news continues. We might ask, and indeed many people bombarded with this information probably did, what more can we ask for?

Well, perhaps we could ask for a history lesson. After all, this is not the first 'wonder drug', the first 'miracle cure', the first 'game changer', the first medical breakthrough we have been told about during the last 100 years. Think about Valium, Prozac, Viagra, Statins, and many, many more - all heralded in much the same way - a miraculous cure, with no side effects. Most of them have turned out to be addictive, or ineffective, or dangerous. Many had been heavily restricted, withdrawn or even banned for these reasons.

I have blogged before on the typical life-history of pharmaceutical drugs, passing from birth, through childhood, adulthood, old age, and then death! Here, apparently, is the birth of yet another one!

The media coverage then parades numerous leading conventional medical experts, figures from patient support groups, and from medical charities, et al., all emphasising what a breakthrough this pharmaceutical drug is. These are predictable, 'off-the-shelf' articles, formulaic to the extreme. And down at the very bottom are some initial warnings.

Well, in this particular 'good news' story, ever these initial warnings seem to be absent. So, too, is any indication of the cost of this new ground-breaking treatment. Perhaps it was not included in the pharmaceutical companies news release, and perhaps, in their hurry to tell us, journalists completely forgot to investigate. So let's be clear, we are, apparently, talking about an annual cost for each individual of tens of thousands of pounds!

The mainstream media were also predictably unhelpful about the known side effects of Nivolumab. These are outlined in the website, which took me about 30 seconds to research! There, we are warned to seek medical attention, right away, if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

               "Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; severe muscle weakness; severe or persistent muscle or joint pain; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; symptoms of electrolyte problems (eg, confusion; irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes; seizures; severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting; severe muscle pain or weakness); symptoms of kidney problems (eg, unable to pass urine, change in the amount of urine passed, blood in the urine, a big weight gain, swelling in your ankles); symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, right-sided stomach pain, severe nausea or vomiting, unusual bruising or bleeding, unusual tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes); symptoms of thyroid or pituitary gland problems (eg, constipation, decreased sex drive, deeper voice, dizziness, fainting, feeling cold, hair loss, mood or behavior changes, severe or persistent headache, severe tiredness, weight changes); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes."

Reading this makes me think that the 'good news' is more about the reputation of the conventional medical profession, and the profits of the pharmaceutical industry. It makes me wonder when the mainstream media will bother to tell about this important information about this drug, currently in its childhood; will in be in its adulthood, its old age, or after its death. I wonder whether doctors, when they are prescribing these 'game changing' drugs, will ever bother to tell their patients. Most of all I wonder how many people are raising their hopes about this new drug, and how many patients will suffer the consequences of Nivolumab?

I also wonder when we are all going to be told by our doctors that one of the biggest causes of cancer is pharmaceutical drugs?

And I wonder when the mainstream media will wise up to the fact that the conventional medical establishment always over-hypes the benefits of its drugs, and under-report their known serious, and often life threatening side effects ?

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Dental Amalgam? Mercury poisons in our mouths? Saying 'No' to the dentist?

How is it that dentists feel okay about putting mercury in our mouths, and how can they tell us that it is safe?

Well, of course, that is what happens in all conventional medicine, including dentistry. It's okay to inject mercury in the bloodstreams of our children, it does not cause autism, it does not cause seizures, it is perfectly alright. And anyone who says otherwise is not able to view those opinion in our mainstream media.

Patients, accept that doctors and dentists know best, belief what they tell you, open you mouth and let them fill in with dental amalgam, which contain mercury. They also contain silver, tin and copper. But 50% is mercury! This is how Wikipedia describes it.

               "Dental amalgam is a liquid mercury and metal alloy mixture used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. Low-copper amalgam commonly consists of mercury (50%), silver (~22–32% ), tin (~14%), copper (~8%) and other trace metals. Dental amalgams were first documented in a Tang Dynasty medical text written by Su Kung in 659, and appeared in Germany in 1528. In the 1800s, amalgam became the dental restorative material of choice due to its low cost, ease of application, strength, and durability.

Like much of the mainstream media, Wikipedia will allow nothing unfavourable to be written about conventional medical (and dental) practice (or anything good, or even neutral about homeopathy). But in another article, on Mercury poisoning, they do suggest that mercury is poisonous.

               "Toxic effects include damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs. Mercury poisoning can result in several diseases, including acrodynia (pink disease), Hunter-Russell syndrome, and Minamata disease. Symptoms typically include sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), disturbed sensation and a lack of coordination. The type and degree of symptoms exhibited depend upon the individual toxin, the dose, and the method and duration of exposure.

So of course, this is what doctors inject into our babies and young children (in the form of Thimerasol), and dentists put into all our mouths (in the form of Amalgam). If we let them, of course. However, if you are Danish or Swedish it is not allowed. Amalgam is banned in these two countries. I suppose either they can't cope with the poison, obviously something rather weak about them, or they are too bright too sensible to allow it to happen. Elsewhere, dental associations defend dental amalgam. It is perfectly safe. There is no problem with putting one of the most poisonous substances known to mankind in our mouths, when the metals can leach out, close to our brain, and into our stomachs, and onwards to all our other bodily system.

Sensory impairment, disturbed sensation, a lack of coordination - no problem. It's not a problem, except if you are Norwegian or Swedish. The USA drug regulator, the FDA, did think about banning it, but it didn't happen. To admit that putting poisonous mercury in our mouth would be admitting that they had allowed dentists to do it for years, and that people have suffered as a result. This is why drug regulators don't like banning dangerous and harming pharmaceutical drugs. They approved them in the first place, and who likes admitting they made a mistake that has harmed and killed people? Besides which most people working in drug regulatory agencies have either been Big Pharma employees, or would like to be in future.

So the FDA tell us, instead, that mercury in dental fillings is 'elemental' mercury that releases mercury vapour which is 'mainly absorbed by the lungs.' And that this mercury vapour really isn't as toxic as methyl mercury, the type that's found in some fish, which is absorbed in the digestive tract.

So we continue to trust our dentists as much as we trust our doctors. They would not do anything to us that might harm us, would then? I did this in the 1970's and 1980's, a new filling every time I went for a check up. The tooth was excavated, and the drilled hole filled with mercury. Then I discovered that dentists were paid for the work they did. I never had trouble with my teeth until after those years of accepting amalgam fillings by dentists who did not tell me they were filling my mouth with poison, and getting paid for doing so!

Studies have been done that found people with amalgam fillings excrete 10 times the amount of mercury through their bowels than those without any dental amalgam. And it is also known that whilst passing through the bowel some of the mercury changes into methyl mercury (the type that is found in fish, which is absurd in the digestive track, and not like that nice, less toxic mercury vapour given off by dental mercury.

So it's not just your doctor you need to say "No" too, no more pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines; its your dentist too - no more mercury in my mouth, thanks very much!