Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Charlie Gard. The role of Conventional Medicine in 'new' and 'rare' diseases

Charlie Gard suffers from a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome. This causes brain damage and muscle depletion. I am deeply suspicious about what is going on, not least the role being played by the conventional medical establishment. I have three main questions.
  • What is the cause of this new, 'rare', 'genetic' disease?
  • What is the USA new treatment that is now being offered, and why is it being offered?
  • Why is this treatment being rejected by the British medical establishment?
In particular, I want to raise the question of the role that has possibly been played by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.

When Charlie was born, on 4th August 2016, he was described as a 'perfectly healthy' baby, born at full term with a 'healthy weight'. However, Charlie's parents, Connie and Chris, began to realise that he had difficulty raising his head and supporting himself compared to other babies of similar age. In October 2016, as a result of his being lethargic and his shallow breathing he was admitted to the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Here, Charlie went through a multitude of tests and examinations, which all lead to the diagnosis - mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

This is a condition where the cells of the body cannot use energy appropriately, leading to organs and muscles being unable to function properly. Charlie's condition deteriorated rapidly. He was placed in intensive care and was soon being kept alive by medical technology. The conventional medical establishment stated that there is no known cure for the condition, that Charlie had no chance of recovery, so they proposed to turn off his life support. The parents disagreed, leading to a long court battle, going right up to the European Court of Human Rights, all of which found against the parents.

Charlie's parents fought hard against this medical prognosis, which was that there has been 'irreversible brain damage', that he could not see, hear or feel, that he would never be able to breathe unaided, or swallow food, and had little or no awareness of the world around him. It has also been reported that he had fits that were "difficult to control".

Charlie's parents refuted this prognosis, convinced that Charlie did respond to their voices and touch, that he had awareness of the world around him, and they did not accept the view of the medical profession, and the courts, that his condition was irreversible. Indeed, they searched for potential cures and contacted a US doctor who offered an experimental treatment, called nucleoside therapy, which might, he said, offer some hope of reversing the condition. The treatment was expensive, but through crowd funding the parents raised the money, over £1 million. The courts however, based on the evidence provided by medical staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital, refused to allow Charlie to be moved to the USA for the treatment, as it was not 'in his best interests'. Medical opinion was that Charlie’s brain was damaged beyond repair, and that it was not in his best interests to transport him to the USA, that the risks of the treatment outweighed any potential benefit. The said that the treatment would be futile, merely serving to prolong his suffering.

The situation was presented by the media in an emotional way. The 'dreadful plight' of the family produced massive public sympathy and the donation of an enormous amount of money to spay for Charlie's treatment. The 'worst nightmare' of the parents was contrasted with the 'heartless and unfeeling' NHS, unwilling or too inflexible to save the child's life.  There were comparisons drawn with another recent case, where the NHS refused treatment for another young child, Ashya King. In terms of issues of parental choice there are similarities.

In truth, the Charlie Gard situation was probably far more complex than the Ashy King case, involving the machinations of a medical establishment which I suspect would be involved in a massive cover-up. So I will now outline my three concerns, each of them long-standing issues being raised in this blog.
  • What is the cause of this new, 'rare', 'genetic' disease?
Readers of this blog will know that I have always been sceptical of 'new' and 'rare' diseases. Invariably, these 'new' diseases are usually caused by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, especially when they are called 'syndromes'! So what is the cause of mitochondrial depletion syndrome? I looked at this on the Right Diagnosis webpage, and the various pages that it refers to. Yet, as so often with conventional medical, there is no description of 'cause' anywhere - just detailed and very intricate descriptions of various Mitochondrial diseases.

Describing what is happening, or going wrong, within the body is NOT the same as what is causing the body to function incorrectly.

So this case, if the mitochondria is not working properly, there is no reason given about WHY the mitochondria is misbehaving. The reason for the misbehaviour, the actual cause of the condition, is not addressed. Of course, it is said that the condition is 'genetic', which is a kind of catch-all, explain-everything formula so often used by conventional medicine to avoid having to look into the real causation.

So what is the cause of 'mitochondrial depletion system' and other mitochondrial syndromes? Are pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines involved? There is, of course, no evidence for this in the public domain. Conventional medicine is not looking to blame itself, and so will not even be looking at this possibility. But there are some indications or clues that it might be.

For instance, autism was a 'new' disease in the 1940's. There is strong evidence that autism and vaccines are linked, vigorously denied by the conventional medical establishment. One of the features of this link is that the child develops normally during the early months of their lives, but shortly after vaccination (often the DPT and MMR vaccines) the problems begins, development stops or is skewed from the normal.

This appears to be so in the Charlie Gard case. I have no idea whether Charlie was given a DPT (or 5-in-1) vaccine. Reading through the many hundreds of comments on their fundraising page I was surprised at how many people have said that their children, or someone in their family, has had this disease, or something similar. So perhaps it is not so 'rare' as the conventional medical establishment believes! If so, it is even more important to find the real cause of these 'new' diseases. But as I have outlined in other blogs, conventional medicine is NOT honest about the side effects of their vaccines, or other drugs. For instance, on the 5-in-1 vaccines, NHS Choices website says this:

               "The vaccine ... has few side effects, although it's common for babies to be a little irritable afterwards. They may also have a short-lived small bump, redness and swelling at the injection site." 

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is considerably more revealing. Not many parents read it, not many are given it to read. It mentions allergic reactions, like 'difficulty breathing', and temporarily stopping breathing (apnoea). It mentions collapse, loss of consciousness, lack of awareness, and above all, fits. Certainly, some of these known (but unheralded) 'side effects' bear some relationship to what Charlie experienced? So is this worth investigating, is the vaccine a possible 'cause' of this 'new' disease?

Certainly, as far as the conventional medical establishment are concerned, they would admit no suggestion of iatrogenic causation! They don't want to be held responsible. It is easier to dismiss what has happened to Charlie as a 'new' disease, of 'unknown' cause, and of course, no known cure!

I have written about the DPT vaccine before. The conventional medical establishment are determined that patients should not know about the dangers, and the mainstream media support them in this cover-up. In my blog, written in 2013, I outlined the serous side effects of the DPT vaccine (which is merely an older version of the '5-in-1' vaccine) mentioned in the PIL, which includes seizures and difficult breathing. More pointedly it is the only known cause of Sudden Infant Death syndrome, which is rarely, if ever, mentioned to parents before their child is vaccinated! So the conventional medical establishment is well practiced in denying the effects of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, and if they are prepared to deny that 'death' is a side effect, they are more than likely to deny that the vaccine might be the cause of Charlie's problems!
  • What is the USA new treatment that is now being offered, and why is it being offered?
No-one knows much about nucleoside therapy except that it is untested, unproven, yet massively expensive. Conventional medicine has always thrived on new treatments, new breakthroughs, cutting-edge technology that is going to save mankind from dreadful diseases. Such treatments are heralded when they are new, only to be found wanting with age, and usually discarded many years later when they are found to be ineffective, or dangerous. The 'Ages of Drugs', how pharmaceutical drugs pass from being a 'wonder cure' to being banned, is something I have blogged about in 2014. Each of these treatments serve a purpose for those companies or individuals peddling them. But rarely are they of any assistance to patients, or combating illness.

Moreover, conventional medicine is a profits-driven business. If there is money to be made there is usually someone within the conventional medical establishment to exploit it! So if a pharmaceutical drug or vaccine causes a rare disease, with no cure, there will be someone looking for and developing an expensive treatment to overcome it!
  • Why is this treatment being rejected by the British medical establishment?
Yet the conventional medical establishment in Britain opposed the use of this particularly therapy. Why did it do so? There are already some reports that it has serious side effects. Yet, of course, we have all  been de-sensitised to the dangers of side effects, and we have all become too prepared meekly to accept these as 'unimportant'. And when a loved-one, especially a child, is dying these 'side effects' do not seem so important in comparison!

Yet however serious those side effects might be, conventional medicine does not usually prevent a treatment being tried. Indeed, it has a history of doing so, even when the treatments are known to be potentially harmful. But on this occasion they decided that the treatment would not work, and that it was not in Charlie's best interests! I merely ask - why?

It seems like the Gard family fell between two stools, two well-known aspects of the conventional medical establishment. One stool may have been concerned with denial and cover up, whilst the other was concerned with raising hopes, and making a substantial profit by doing so.

There may also have been a bit of 'professional pride' in what happened too. Doctors like to present themselves as experts, not as people who cause disease, or who sell expensive drugs and vaccines that purport to be effective when the track record of conventional medicine tells us they are probably not!

Charlie's parents fought hard to save their son's life, and despite their efforts, they failed. Yet there are important lessons that can be learnt from the Charlie Gard situation.
  • No-one should ever have an illness, or contract a disease, without checking whether pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines have caused it. This is why I am developing my 'DIE's website (the Disease-Inducing-Effects of Pharmaceutical Drugs).
  • When conventional medicine talks of 'new', or 'rare' diseases, be aware that pharmaceutical drugs may well be the cause, and consider what drugs the patient has been given prior to contracting it..
  • When conventional medicine says that a disease has a 'genetic' cause, begin to ask questions, and research into your family's medical background. 
  • When doctors talk about the 'causes' of a disease, but then merely offer a description of what is going wrong within the body, be deeply suspicious. Conventional medicine does know the difference, and there is probably a reason for them not wanting to focus on cause.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Banning Homeopathy on the NHS

There is (yet another) move to ban homeopathy being prescribed by doctors on the NHS in England. For many of us who appreciate the effectiveness of alternative medical therapies, and homeopathy in particular, and know about its safety, such attacks will not come as no surprise! The NHS has, over the years, become the mouthpiece of the pharmaceutical industry. The NHS is Big Pharma's preferred contact with patients. It service as their retail outlet, par excellence, the source of their mighty profits in Britain.

The news has been extensively covered in the mainstream news media throughout the past weekend (22nd-23rd July 2017). The doctor's e-magazine Pulse announced it with this headline, and discussed the possibility with no great regret!

So what should our response be? The growing homeopathic community is gearing itself up for another battle with the conventional medical establishment. Yet, I am going to raise an important question - is it really worth it? One radical response might be just to go along with the suggestion, and decide ourselves to withdraw homeopathic services from the NHS! 

              One advantage would be that it would help the public understand that the NHS is a monopoly supplier of conventional medicine, and it would ditch the pretence that an important NHS objective was to provide patients with the 'best medicine available'! 

               Another would be to end the pretence that homeopathy had anything more than a tiny, minuscule presence within the NHS in any case!

               Another would be to disabuse patients, who currently believe that if homeopathy could help them their doctor would recommend it and refer them on. The reality is that they don't, they won't, and the can't!

So perhaps the time has come for alternative medicine to establish itself as an alternative source of medical assistance, with alternative outlets, and is something quite different and separate to what is available on the NHS.

The thousands of patients who have benefitted from homeopathy might disagree vehemently with such a suggestion, especially those who would be unable to afford treatment outside the publicly-funded NHS. But the reality is that very few people, in very few areas of England, have any access to NHS homeopathy whatsoever. In London and Bristol there are small homeopathic hospitals. If someone is lucky, very lucky, they might have a doctor in a local surgery who practices homeopathy alongside conventional medicine. But most patients (like myself) live in areas where there is absolutely no access to homeopathy whatsoever, or to any other kind of alternative therapy. And if we ask the NHS for it, it is routinely refused.

Another reason to pull homeopathy from the NHS, for me, would be that no reasonable or rational argument will ever suffice to persuade the conventional medical establishment of the case for homeopathy. This becomes clear if we look at the reasons NHS England is putting forward to ban homeopathy. This is contained in an NHS England consultation paper. The question it seeks to ask and answer is this:

               "Approve formal public consultation on products which are considered to be relatively ineffective, unnecessary, inappropriate or unsafe for prescription on the NHS."

Initially this question was asked because of the large number of conventional pharmaceutical treatments that are known to be ineffective, including drugs like paracetamol, tramadol, co-proxamol, dosulepin, prolonged-release Doxazosin, immediate-release Fentanyl, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, travel vaccines, and several others. Yet they are still being prescribed by doctors. The reason for the consultation exercise is outlined in the NHS paper.

               "Last year, 1.1 billion prescription items were dispensed in primary care at a cost of £9.2billion. Over 90% of prescriptions currently issued are exempt from a prescription charge. It is vital that the NHS achieves the greatest value from the money that it spends, and we know that across England there is significant variation on what is being prescribed and to whom. Often patients are receiving medicines which have been proven to be ineffective or for which there are other more effective and/or cheaper alternatives, and products which it may no longer be appropriate to prescribe on the NHS."

This appears to be a perfectly reasonable thing to do! It is quite right that NHS England should not be spending public money on ineffective (leave along harmful) pharmaceutical drugs. They are the drugs that conventional doctors have been prescribing for decades, at great cost, and belatedly found to be ineffective and useless for patients.

Homeopathy, and herbal treatments too, were added as an after-thought! The NHS knows little about these therapies, as they demonstrate with the two reasons given for their inclusion: homeopathy is ineffective - and homeopathy costs the NHS a lot of money.

               "NHS England’s view is that, at best, homeopathy is a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds which could better be devoted to treatments that work."

Let's examine both reasons. First, what evidence does NHS England use to demonstrate that homeopathy is ineffective? They provide none, other than 'their view', stated in the sentence above, that homeopathy is 'placebo'. Is it just me, or is anyone else fed up with this particular mantra?

There will almost certainly be a vigorous response from the homeopathic community to the new attack by NHS England. It will repeat all the evidence we have used, time and time again, to demonstrate that homeopathy is a safe and effective medical therapy. But will our response have any effect on them, or the conventional medical establishment generally? Or in a few years hence will we be faced with another attack that states, without any supporting evidence, that homeopathy is 'just placebo'?

And so to cost. We are now told that homeopathy costs the NHS a lot of money, which is better spent on 'treatments that work'! So how much money is this exactly? The NHS paper is able to tell us, a tleast vaguely and tentatively!

               "Data on the residual use and cost of homeopathy on the NHS are hard to come by. A recent Freedom of Information request by a third party suggested that at least £578,000 has been spent on prescribed homeopathy over the past five years, with the total cost being higher than that when the cost of consultations was factored in."

If these figures are anywhere near correct, it means that NHS England is spending about £115,600 each year on homeopathy. Let me remind you about the figures (already quoted from the consultation document) about the money NHS England wastes on 'ineffective' treatments!

               "Last year, 1.1 billion prescription items were dispensed in primary care at a cost of £9.2 billion." 

Of course, I assume this total cost will "be higher than that when the cost of consultations are factored in"! So, ignoring the issue of consultation costs, NHS England is concerned that homeopathy is costing them 0.001257% of their total drugs budget. (Now, is this right, I have struggled with these figures, one being so high, the other so minuscule! Anyone who wants to correct this, please do contact me!) On the other hand, the NHS England consultation document is 9 pages long, and one entire page is devoted to its dismissal of homeopathy; that is, it takes up 11.11111% of the document!

The fundamental question is this - is there really any point in engaging such people in discussion? Is it not a waste of time and energy? Will they listen to anything we have to say? Is their stance so rigid, so dominated by the self-interests of a failing medical system that whatever we say will be ignored? 

Call me irascible, call me intolerant if you will, but I have long since ceased engaging with medical fundamentalists, so-called skeptics, who are not prepared to say anything beyond what the pharmaceutical industry wants them to say!

Does not homeopathy have better ways of spending their time? Homeopaths are treating so many more patients now who have been damaged by conventional, drug-dominated, NHS medicine. At the same time conventional doctors are having a bad time finding anything that is safe, or effective, to prescribe to their sick patients. The NHS itself is in constant crisis, with sick patients who do not get better, and paying for treatments that are slowly bankrupting it.

So why do we not let them get on with it? Let the NHS fail, as it inevitably will, alongside their painkillers which are now accepted as too dangerous to prescribe, their antibiotics which no long work, and all their other drugs which are causing epidemic levels of chronic disease with which they cannot cope!

Homeopathy will survive without the NHS. But the NHS will not survive without homeopathy, or indeed other safe and effective alternative therapies.

So my suggestion is that homeopathy leaves the NHS. It is not a silly idea. Indeed, it is an eminently practical one. It means that we will need to develop our organisation. In each city and town, in every area of the country, we will have to ensure that there are alternative medical clinics, quite separate and distinct from the doctor's surgery. Each one will have important tasks to undertake.
  • Each clinic will need to show they are offering something different, at a time when many more people are looking for alternative treatments for their chronic illness. 
  • Each clinic will need to demonstrate that they are effective in treating all kinds of illness, at a time the NHS failing to do so, and is therefore quite unable to cope with patient demand. 
  • Each clinic will need to demonstrate that they are offering safe medical therapies, when so may patients are currently suffering the chronic side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.
Initially, those people who cannot afford to pay for alternative treatment will be excluded as alternative medical centres will not be publicly funded. Sadly, the safest and most effective treatments will be available only to those who can afford to pay, something I will personally regret. Perhaps for a time 'low-cost' clinics can be set up to ameliorate the situation. Perhaps we could look into starting up some kind of alternative insurance scheme. 

Yet this is likely to be a temporary problem. As the NHS runs out of viable treatments; and public money to pay for these treatments; and as more and more patients are empowered to insist on having patient choice, the demand for safer and more effective treatment will ensure that the demand for homeopathy, and other alternative treatments, will increase. When this happens, the NHS will not be able to avoid referring them to alternative clinics, and paying for them.

So perhaps it is time that homeopathy decided to stand alone. Instead of waiting to be banned, we should withdraw. We have survived for decades without the support of any appreciable public funding, and what is more, we have done so when conventional medicine has been given to patients, free at the point of need, and during the decades drug companies have been telling us that they had 'wonder drugs', the 'miracle cures', that would end illness and disease forever.

Well, why don't we just let them get on with it?

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Benzodiazepines. Repulsive drugs that are still harming patients

Benzodiazepines are repulsive pharmaceutical drugs that have caused millions of patients great harm over decades. They should have no place in a civilised, caring society.

Yet the continued to be prescribed by doctors. The conventional medical establishment must know about the harm they cause - and yet they have done little to protect patients.

I will not repeat what I have already written about 'Benzos', but everyone should know about them, and no-one should agree to take them. There are, after all, safer, and more effective ways of treating anxiety and depression.

               "Benzodiazepine drugs have been described as a 40-year plus horror story for tens of thousands of people in the UK, a scandal that has never been properly addressed. This first benzodiazepine drug, Librium, was discovered in 1955, and came to the market in the early 1960's. For many years benzodiazepines were considered to be 'wonder drugs', to the extent that prescriptions soared to 32 million in the UK in 1978. Only then were the adverse effects were recognised, initially by the patients taking them, and only slowly and very reluctantly by the conventional medical establishment.

               The scandal of these drugs 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 DIEs such as blackouts, epileptic seizures, memory loss, brain damage, insomnia and personality change. What is far worse is that many people who suffered these Benzodiazepine effects still do so, many years later - so clearly these were real DIE's, and not merely short term  side-effects' or 'adverse reactions' as they are often described!"

Yet doctors still prescribe the drug to millions of people throughout the world, subjecting patients to the same harm they were suffering over 40 years ago.

Benzodiazepine drugs should have been banned many years ago, but at least there are now restrictions on their prescription now. Guidance to doctors state that they must not be prescribed for longer than 4 weeks! Yet it would appear that conventional medicine, slave as it is to the pharmaceutical industry, just ignores the guidance!

  • So what use is medical science if it is capable of unleashing dangerous drugs on patients?
  • What use are medical guidelines, based on medical science, and produced to safeguard patients, are routinely ignored by doctors?
  • From where can patients look for unbiased advice about the safety of pharmaceutical drugs if their doctors refuse to do so?
The BNF (British National Formulary - the doctors 'bible' on drug contraindications and side effects - clearly recommends that benzodiazepine drugs should be prescribed ONLY in short courses, and certainly no longer than four weeks. The reason is the high risk of dependency, the adverse neurological and cognitive side effects, and the severe dependency and withdrawal symptoms they are known to produce.

The new research shows that about 100,000 benzodiazepine and Z-drug users in Britain were taking the drugs for at least 12 times longer than the BNF recommends, and that many patients were taking them for over a year.

Patients on the drug found that 43% wanted support to come off the drugs, and that just over 119,000 patients in the UK may also be interested in making use of withdrawal services.

               "Many of the patients experiencing problems with prescribed medicines may have avoided the associated harms if existing prescribing guidelines had been followed.’

Many more would have avoided the consequences of Benzos if they had not been put on them in the first place! But conventional medicine has little safe to offer patients, whether for anxiety or anything else, so doctors continue to justify the prescription of Benzodiazepine drugs. In a Pulse article about the study,  Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard is quoted as saying: 

               "Benzodiazepines and other psychotropic drugs can be very effective when they are prescribed appropriately and in accordance with clinical guidelines; something that GPs are highly trained to do, taking into account the unique physical, psychological and social factors potentially affecting the health of the patient in front of us, and in conversation with them."

Yes, Professor Stokes-Lampard, doctors may be trained to safeguard patients from dangerous drugs and vaccines - but they are clearly not doing so!

Instead, the conventional medical establishment continues to look for reasons to prescribe dangerous drugs like Benzodiazepines. Just a few days earlier the Pulse magazine published an article stating that a study had found there was "no increased risk of death with benzodiazepine use". I have not bothered to research who funded this research, but pharmaceutical money is probably not far away! But what does this type of research tell patients?
  • That Benzodiazepine drugs may cause sleep disturbances and rebound insomnia, restlessness, irritability, elevated anxiety (yes really, an anxiety drug causes increased anxiety), weakness, blurred vision, panic attacks, tremors, sweating/flushing, nausea/vomiting, seizures, psychosis, hallucinations, dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
  • But never mind all this, be satisfied , at least the drug does not kill you!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Depression. Why 'Talking' Therapies are better than Pharmaceutical Drugs.

These people all knew why talking therapies are better than pharmaceutical drugs in the treatment of depression. They have described so much more succinctly the power of the mind over our mental health than ever I could!

“There is no true healing unless there is a change in outlook and peace of  mind.”
Edward Bach.

“No matter how good things get, my capacity to make myself unhappy is always equal to it!”
Hugh Prather

“The best way to stay depressed is to keep thinking of all the reasons why you’re depressed.”
RD Laing

“If you are still hurt by something that happened when you were twelve, it is the thought that’s hurting you now.”
James Hillman.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.”
William James. The Principles of Psychology.

“Thought is not reality, but it is through thought that our realities are created.”
Sydney Banks.

The reason for depression is to do with what is in our mind, not the chemicals in our brain. 

And if treatment is needed, Homeopathy is so much safer and more effective than conventional medicine because it seeks to support our minds, not mess with our brains.

Many thanks to Ian Watson for providing me with these quotations, during a marvellous lecture entitled "Insight. The Key to Healing", given at the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths' Annual Conference in May 2015.

The Contaminated Blood Scandal. The worst cover-up in NHS history?

The UK government has announced an inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal of the 1970's and 1980's. This gap represents the usual 30 year plus gap between a scandal, an Establishment cover-up, and a proper inquiry into what happened. This time-lapse is, for example, similar to the recent Hillsborough disaster, amongst many other scandals that usually results in a time span sufficient to ensure that people or organisations responsible for the scandal no longer have to face the consequences of what they have done, or they have lost their power and influence to prevent a full investigation.

It is now admitted that the contaminated blood scandal involved around 7,500 patients, and caused the death of at least 2,400 people. The prime minister, Theresa May, has spoken about the "appalling injustice" that happened when thousands of NHS patients were given blood products infected with hepatitis C and HIV. Indeed, many have called the scandal 'the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS'. Patients were not told about the potential risks, and May has said, after all this time (over 40 years in this case), that patients deserve answers about how it happened, and why.

  • So is the contaminated blood issue a scandal? Yes, a serious one.
  • Has there been a cover-up by the NHS? Almost certainly!
  • Is it an important inquiry which can lead to belated justice for all those people who have suffered? Hopefully so.

Yet is this really the worst NHS scandal ever? Are there more serious, ongoing scandals associated with the NHS arising from their almost total reliance on dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines known and proven to be dangerous to our health? My 'DIE's (the 'Disease-Inducing-Effects' of Pharmaceutical Drugs and Vaccines) website picks out the drugs and vaccines that are known to cause serious illness and disease.

Each page demonstrates that there have been many more NHS scandals, affecting many more people, who have taken a vast number of dangerous drugs and vaccines, and as a direct result contracted these diseases.

So the NHS, and the conventional medical establishment generally, have been, and continues to be implicated in cover-ups involving most of the pharmaceutical drugs they have been giving to patients during the last 70 years. They have done so despite the overwhelming evidence pointing to a direct connection between pharmaceutical drugs and serious illness. They have rarely been subject to serious enquiry. Indeed, most drugs and vaccines have still not been recognised as a serious threat to our health.

Despite these exceptions, it is more usual for drugs and vaccines to cause disease, only for the evidence to be denied by the medical establishment, ignored by the mainstream media, or countered with bland reassurances from doctors that the 'benefits' of the drug outweigh the 'risks'.

The result is that we are now experiencing chronic illnesses and diseases at epidemic levels - diseases like ADHDAllergyDementiaArthritisAsthmaAutism, a whole host of Auto-immune diseasesCancerChronic Fatigue (ME)DiabetesHeart diseaseKidney diseaseLiver diseaseOsteoporosis, and many others. Add to this the rise of several killer Superbugs, and a variety of mental health diseases, like depression and anxiety, our society is probably sicker now than it has ever been.

All these disease are known to be caused, and/or exacerbated by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. Each link, to each of the diseases listed above, gives details of the drugs and vaccines known to be associated with them.

  • So how many children have been damaged by vaccines? 7,500. How many children have died as the result of vaccination? 2,400? Undoubtedly the figures are far higher than this.
  • How many women have suffered breast or cervical cancer as a direct result of HRT treatment? More that 7,500? How many have died? More than 2,400?
  • How many people currently taking Statin drugs have contracted the many serious illnesses and diseases associated with them, or will do so in the future?
  • How many older people now suffer dementia because they have taken a combination of drugs and vaccines that are known to cause dementia. More than 7,500? How many have died as a result of drug-induced Alzheimer's disease? More than 2,400? Without any doubt.

It is often said that there are simple ways of keeping healthy, and avoiding illness. A good, well-balanced diet is one. Exercise is another. Without doubt, avoiding pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, at all cost, has become another - as well as finding a safer, more effective medical therapy for when we do become ill.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Low Morale in the NHS - is this the real reason?

Evidence of low morale within the National Health Service is plain to see. Indeed it has been evident for many years, and it is undoubtedly increasing. The reasons given for this low morale are usually as follows:

  1. Lack of investment in the NHS.
  2. Staff salaries have been subject to pay freezes for the past decade.
  3. High and ever-increasing demand for medical services owing to an ageing population.
Yet each of these reasons, as the real cause of staff demoralization, needs to be seriously questioned if a solution is to be found. 
  • The New Labour government, between 1997 and 2010 increased spending on the NHS massively, by three-fold, from about £40 billion to about £110 billion. Since then the NHS has been 'protected' from the spending cuts imposed by Tory-led governments on other departments. The NHS is not underfunded.
  • Staff salaries have been frozen to 1% annually, but salaries in other parts of the public sector have been similarly frozen, and generally within the private sector wages have been stagnant. And doctor's are amongst the highest paid public employees, and nurses, although not brilliantly paid, once argued that their profession was more about vocation than remuneration.
  • The demand for health services have increased rapidly, as they have increased ever since the NHS was established in 1948. In recent years increased demand has been demonstrated in two sectors in particular, GP surgeries and hospital accident and emergency (A&E) departments. But it also apparent in lengthening waiting times for treatment and operations, and the many treatment 'targets' that are now being missed. Blame for this increased demand is routinely placed on 'an ageing population', but do elderly people really constitute the main reason for health service demands? It seems unlikely, and I have never seen statistics to prove it.
There is another reason for low morale, but it is one that is never mentioned within the conventional medical establishment, the government, the NHS, or indeed the mainstream media. And this is that the NHS medical system, based as it is on pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, is failing. There is little confidence, even amongst the conventional medical profession, that these drugs are working, or that vaccines are preventing illness. 

The froth of conventional medical confidence may still be heard at the surface, but it is clear that the inner confidence has gone. 

And there is a growing realisation that pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines not only offer sick people ineffective treatment, but treatments that actually produce increasing levels and seriousness of sickness through their so-called 'side effects' and 'adverse reactions'. In other words, doctors are nurses are not making patients better, they are making them sicker. Is there anything more demoralising than such a realisation. 
  • Consider a football or cricket team who, hard as they tried, always lost; who were constantly beaten by teams (bacteria and viruses) that they once believed they could beat. 
  • Think of the tennis player who, however hard he/she works to return the ball (the patient) back safely over the net - only to find it return, even harder, even more difficult to return successfully.
Being a medical professional, working with treatments that, at best, ameliorates sick patients, and, at worst, exacerbates sickness (and cause death too) must be a deeply frustrating experience. Is there any wonder that morale is low, that staff are becoming increasingly demoralised, and leaving the profession, often for lower paid, lower status jobs. And what about the suggested solutions?
  • More money for the NHS will only be spent on the same old, failed treatments, and so will do nothing to improve the morale of staff.
  • Increased salaries will see staff doing the same old things, and with no greater success.
  • The population will continue to age for many years to come; but so too will the illnesses and diseases that are striking patients at younger and younger ages.
Staff morale, and the problems of funding the NHS, will only improve when money is spent on more effective medical therapies, and treatments that do not cause additional disease, and are capable of actually making patients better. It would be a win for government funding, a win for the NHS, a win for doctors and nurses, and most certainly a win for patients.

Medical Science. Does one hand know what the other is doing? Aspirin and PPI drugs - the implication for patients.

Medical science is a wonderful thing, we are told. It provides us with the evidence base that underpins conventional medicine. It tells our doctors whether a drug or vaccine is effective. It informs us when conventional medicine is unsafe for patients.

Or does it? Consider these two pieces of recent news, straight from medical science!

The first concerns aspirin, and has been covered by the mainstream media. For instance, the BBC headline, 14th June 2017, said:

               "People over 75 taking daily aspirin after a stroke or heart attack are at higher risk of major - and sometimes fatal - stomach bleeds than previously thought, research in the Lancet shows."

This seems clear enough, although you might ask why the mainstream media is carrying a 'bad news' story about pharmaceutical drugs. The reason is simple. Medical science has made it into a 'good news' story, and the media as usual has merely parroted the transformation. These are the BBC's next sentences,

               "Scientists say that, to reduce these risks, older people should also take stomach-protecting PPI pills. But they insist aspirin has important benefits - such as preventing heart attacks - that outweigh the risks. And they warn that stopping aspirin suddenly can be harmful."

So that's alright again. If one drug is dangerous, take another one at the same time! And, as usual, the benefits outweigh the risks! And don't stop taking the drug, even if it is harmful, because stopping taking the harmful drug is also harmful. Okay? Does that all make sense? In essence we are being told:
  • Pharmaceutical drugs may be harmful, but another drug will reduce the harm it causes!
  • Pharmaceutical drugs may be harmful, but the benefits still outweigh the risks!
  • It may be harmful taking pharmaceutical drugs, but it is also harmful stopping taking them!
However, there is worse! Another piece of medical science has recently led to new guidance being given to our doctors. This advice concerns PPI (proton pump) drugs, widely used by millions of people for indigestion, acid reflux, and other stomach complaints. And, of course, for people taking their daily aspirin! You may not have heard about this new advice on the mainstream media, the reason being simple, it constitutes 'bad' news, and as yet there has been no attempt to spin it into something good! You can read it here, in the doctors e-magazine, Pulse (4th July 2017), in an article entitled "GPs should ‘limit use and duration’ of PPIs". This is what it says,

               "Prescribers should be more vigilant about only prescribing PPIs when necessary as they are associated with increased risk of death, according to a new study. The observational study found that there was a heightened risk of death in patients taking PPIs compared to patients taking other drugs that reduce the amount of stomach acid produced, such as H2 blockers, leading researchers to suggest that doctors should be more selective about who they prescribe the drugs to."

So, thanks to medical science, the picture now seems much clearer (sic), and it goes something like this. 
  • Patients are asked by their doctors to take aspirin in order to avoid a stroke or heart attack.
  • Unfortunately, aspirin may cause fatal heart bleeds.
  • So to protect again these fatal heart bleeds, we are told to keep taking the aspirin, but in addition to take PPI drugs too!
  • However, PPI drugs also heightens the risk of death!
So what will our doctors do? Are they conflicted? Are they confused? Well, they have certainly been warned by medical science!

               "The findings in our study highlight a potential excess risk of death among users of PPI, and in particular among cohort participants without gastrointestinal comorbidities, and that risk is increased with prolonged duration of PPI exposure."

Yet once again a 'scientific' study that has linked a pharmaceutical drug to patient harm comes with a warning that the patient should not stop taking the harmful drug. 

               "Although our results should not deter prescription and use of PPI where medically indicated, they may be used to encourage and promote pharmacovigilance and emphasise the need to exercise judicious use of PPI and limit use and duration of therapy to instances where there is a clear medical indication and where benefit outweighs potential risk."

So now, older people over 75 years of age are taking two drugs, both of them dangerous, all in order to prevent them having a stroke or heart attack. So perhaps there is a third drug available, to counteract the dangers caused by PPI drugs? Watch this space! I will tell you about it as soon as I hear!

Yet surely it is good that our doctors now know that there is an inconsistency here. The Pulse article points out the inconsistencies of what are doctors are being asked to do,

               "The findings come as research published in June suggested that GPs should be co-prescribing PPIs in patients taking daily aspirin to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal bleeds in the elderly."

Pulse does not suggest a solution, and the GP comments at the foot of the Pulse article indicates that they are as conflicted and confused about the situation as medical science. "So many confounders here", says one. Another is more dismissive, "people who drink fluids and eat solids have a risk of death". Another goes further, "everything has a risk. Let us not eat, breath or walk, one might get cancer, from food and PM2.5 particles, or one might slip and fall". One might, indeed! But eating, drinking and breathing is not a voluntary action, like taking a dangerous drug! Another doctor appears more phlegmatic, "I would have thought this would be good news? Cut polypharmcy, cut expense, cut workload, cut risk.... why are we moaning?" And yet another doctor believes that if patients had to pay for their drugs the situation would be different. 

              "Any Drug prescribed will be taken only when necessary ONLY WHEN PATIENTS PAY FOR IT. When everybody is charged for medications, patient will ask doctors DO I REALLY HAVE TO TAKE IT? IS IT A MUST? At current rate of 89 % public not paying for medications, no matter of how much we telling people will work."

So even doctors are telling us we should not be taking the drugs! But doctors continue to prescribe them. Perhaps it might help if the mainstream media, and the conventional medical establishment, including our doctors, began to tell patients about the real harm done by the drugs and vaccines, we would all be better able to make an informed choice!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

BBC News and Fake Health News

I have been asked why I often comment on BBC's reporting of health news. Is it really any worse than the reporting of other news agencies? The answer is 'No' - it is no worse. But the BBC is a public service broadcaster. It is paid by licence fee payers, ordinary citizens, and it is NOT funded by Big Business, and Big Pharma in particular.

Most other news agencies ARE dependent on the largesse of big advertisers. So advertising pharmaceutical drugs is important to their survival, and drug companies can threaten their viability if they refuse to spend their money on 'critical' advertising outlets. This does not make these uncritical news agencies any better than BBC News, but it does provide a reason for their support and promotion of dangerous drugs and vaccines, and their lack of interest in patient safety.

BBC News has no such excuse. They take every opportunity to promote Big Pharma drugs and vaccines, usually without any mention of the dangers. And they regularly attack homeopathy and other safer and more effective alternative therapies quite gratuitously. As a licence payer myself, and as someone who would suffer from the drugs and vaccines they tirelessly promote if I were to believe what they tell me, I object to the 'fake news' they regularly promote.

These are the blogs I have written over the last fews years about BBC News coverage of health issues, these being the main ones. Do have a read by clicking on each one!

April 2012. Diabetes and Statin drugs.

May 2012. BBC News whitewashes Statin Drugs

July 2012. BBC News. A sudden conversion to honesty?

November 2012. BBC News supports drug taking (Ritalin) to enhance work performance!

January 2013. Breast Cancer and Tamoxifen. BBC meekly announces 'great news'.

August 2014. Aspirin and the Media (BBC News)

September 2015. Autism, the MMR Vaccine, and Media Censorship.

December 2015. The refusal of BBC News to report important health information

April 2017. BBC News. Advertising another dangerous drug for the pharmaceutical industry.

April 2017. BBC News. A statement on Vaccine Policy.

June 2017. Statin drugs going out of favour?  (BBC News promoting a new vaccine).

As more people are discovering the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, often by tragic  personal experience, as more patients are turning to safer medical therapies, as conventional medicine gradually dies, and bankrupt nations, through its inability to deal with epidemic levels of chronic disease (if not actually creating them in the first place!) the craven attitude of BBC News needs to be highlighted. The craven and unquestioning attitude of the BBC to pharmaceutical drugs, it's total failure to investigate and question the serious health issues that have confronted us throughout this time, needs to be a matter of record.

BBC News, and the mainstream media generally, have a lot of questions to answer, questions that will become increasingly important to people as the real harm caused by pharmaceutical drugs become obvious, and conventional medicine become completely indefensible?

  • how many people have taken pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines because they have not been aware of the dangers?
  • how many people have taken conventional medication for illness for years in the belief that it would make them better - because no-one has ever questioned this assumption?
  • how many people have suffered the side effects, adverse reactions, and really the illness and disease, that are being caused by pharmaceutical medicine?
  • how many of these people can rightly accuse the mainstream media that they are seriously ill, or that their friends and relatives have died, because the media has failed to question or investigate the dishonest and fraudulent practices of the pharmaceutical industry?

So I will continue through this blog to castigate BBC News (and the rest of the mainstream media) as a promoter of 'fake' health news. Hopefully, in time, many more people will want to know why their 'public service broadcaster' has failed, if not actually refused, to tell them the truth.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Patients who should not be prescribed drugs are given them anyway!

All pharmaceutical drugs have side effects. The conventional medical establishment recognises this. Many drugs should not be given to patients with certain medical conditions. In medical jargon these are called 'contraindications'. 

Yet a new study, published in the British Journal for General Practice, suggests that 40,000 patients with an irregular heartbeat are being treated with anti-coagulant drugs even though they are known to be at risk of serious adverse effects.

Doctors prescribe anticoagulants, such as warfarin and pradaxa, to patients with an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) to reduce the risk of stroke. Yet it is known that anticoagulants increase the risk of bleeding, so doctors are advised not to prescribe them for who are at risk, for instance, if they have an ulcer, or are pregnant, or have previously had a stroke due to bleeding.

The study, undertaken by the University of Birmingham, investigated whether these contraindications had an effect on anticoagulant prescribing in the UK. In other words, were doctors following the guidelines, and protecting their patients from drug harm? As Pulse, the GP e-magazine summarised,

               "The researchers found that patients with atrial fibrillation and contraindications to anticoagulants were just as likely to be prescribed the drugs as those without any risk factors."

The author of the study, Professor Tom Marshall is reported as saying that the situation had not changed over the 11 year period under investigation:

               "Safety advice seems not to influence prescribing of anticoagulants. Patients considered a safety risk were just as likely to be prescribed the drugs. It was the same in every year from 2004 to 2015."

Marshall added that doctors should be more aware of the risks, and understand "whether patients might come to any harm"! NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) is absolutely precise in its guidelines, stating that "anticoagulants should only be used in the absence of contraindications". So the guidance is ignored by our doctors, and thereby patients are placed in harm.

Is this a problem? The study says that more research is needed to understand why GPs prescribe anticoagulants to at-risk patients! And whether some patients with contraindications might still benefit from anticoagulant treatment! Pulse itself goes on to mention another study that suggested one-third of stroke and mini-stroke patients "could be missing out on preventive drugs".

It would appear that whilst the conventional medical establishment knows it is using dangerous drugs, when they discover they are being used inappropriately they seek to justify the misuse rather than preventing it. They play with patients' lives! NHS Choices appears to confirm this when it states:

               "Warfarin is an anticoagulant, which means it stops the blood clotting. There's an increased risk of bleeding in people who take warfarin, but this small risk is usually outweighed by the benefits of preventing a stroke." My emphasis.

So what chance do patients have? Doctors certainly seem to be ignoring the overwhelming evidence that anticoagulant drugs are not only dangerous but lethal. I wrote about this in June 2014 in my blog "Atrial Fibrillation. The dangers of blood-thinning drugs" saying this about Pradaxa (a newer drug developed as a safer alternative to Warfarin).

               "Most of the complaints about Pradaxa were that the drug company failed to warn patients about the risk of internal bleeding. Yet did the FDA do anything about these complaints. Of course not! One piece of research indicates that Pradaxa can be blamed for a total of 1,158 deaths, and 12,494 serious injuries - just in the USA!"

This is a dangerous world for any patients who submit themselves to conventional medical treatment, with the medical establishment justifying the use of dangerous and lethal drugs, with pharmaceutical companies prepared to sell drugs and vaccines, quite regardless of the harm they cause, with drug regulators failing to take effective action to protect patients, and with doctors who are prepared to prescribe dangerous drugs to patients even when they have been told they should not have them!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Do not go gently into that good night

Do not go gentle into that wonder cure,
Let health persist and struggle until the close of play;
Rage, rage against iatrogenic death, for sure.

Though wise men at their end know death is best,
Because their warnings forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good rest.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how right
Their honest trust might have been in an honest day,
Rage, rage against their drug induced plight.

Wild men who lived lives of outrage with a shrug,
And learn, too late, that doctors had their way,
Do not go gentle into that miracle drug.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

That it was their bodies who held the key to ongoing health,
Rage, rage against Big Pharma's might.

Giving full attribution, but with the sincerest apologies, to Dylan Thomas

Friday, 23 June 2017

The NHS, Pfizer and Lyrica. Corporate Profit and Patient Harm

Conventional medicine treats neuropathic pain with a drug called pregabalin, conditions such as fibromyalgia, shingles, diabetic nerve problems, spinal cord injury, and many others. It is an anticonvulsant and neuropathic pain agent - and a dispute over patenting rights with drug companies has cost the English NHS, and the British taxpayer, an estimated additional £54 million.

Pregabalin is a nasty little drug, with lots of nasty side effects. The Drugs.com website lists these, and they include infection, ataxia, blurred vision, constipation, diplopia, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, peripheral edema, tremor, weight gain, visual field loss, accidental injury, xerostomia, abnormal gait, abnormality in thinking, amnesia, arthralgia, asthenia, cognitive dysfunction, confusion (dementia), edema, neuropathy, sinusitis, speech disturbance, vertigo, visual disturbance, myasthenia, amblyopia, and so on.

Yet the harm it is known to cause patients has not been the issue, as usual. The problem has been money and profits - as usual! From July 2014 to March 2015 most prescriptions for pregabalin were for the 'generic' (the cheaper but identical) versions of the drug. However, the manufacturers of the branded (the expensive) version, Pfizer and Warner-Lambert, did not like this. When their UK patent for Lyrica expired in July 2014 they claimed they still held a ‘second medical use’ patent for when it is prescribed for 'neuropathic pain'. So they took the matter to court. An interim judgment found in favour of Pfizer, so in March 2015 NHS England backed down and issued guidance forcing doctors to switch thousands of patients’ prescriptions for generic pregabalin back to Lyrica.

In September 2015 the High Court threw out Pfizer's patent claim as 'invalid', and the Judge stated that Pfizer had made ‘groundless threats’ to pharmacists about dispensing the generic drug. They, too, backed down, and the GP magazine Pulse says that "some pharmacies even triggered a significant event alert every time a GP prescribed so as not to fall foul of Pfizer’s ‘threats’."

So now, after two years, and an appeal, the English NHS is directing doctors to switch thousands of patients back to generic pregabalin. Well, all is fair in love (the love affair between the NHS and drug companies) and war (the battle for profit)!

Pulse analysed the cost of this decision, estimating that prescribing Lyrica instead of generic pregabalin had cost the NHS an extra £54m between February and September 2015 - less than a year! It stated a BMA spokesman, Dr Andrew Green, told them that patients had lost out.

               "Pfizer, by threatening legal action against pharmacists and doctors if they prescribed generically, have boosted their profits and denied patients effective treatments that otherwise could have been provided with that money."

Financially, this is certainly true. The NHS has been screwed by Pfizer, but by now it should be used to this, pharmaceutical companies have been screwing the NHS for nearly 70 years! Green added,

               "They now have a moral duty to pay that money back to the NHS."

Maybe. But there seems precious little 'moral duty' around within the NHS, and certainly not within the pharmaceutical industry! They are both locked together in a medical monopoly, together with most patients who depend on the NHS, and therefore depend on pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.

What nobody has been spared, or even discussed, during all this time, have been the dangerous side effects of taking this awful drug.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Patients are 'confused' when told about the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs!

A new study has found that only 37% of the public trust evidence from medical research. This means that two-thirds do not, and prefer to trust the experiences of friends and family! This was reported in the Academy of Medical Sciences website on 19th June 2017, and reports on "the significant difficulties patients and some healthcare professionals face in using evidence from research to judge the benefits and harms of medicines". It calls for "concerted action to improve the information patients receive".

The confusion faced by patients needs to be unwrapped a little in order to understand what is happening. Although the news media refuses to tell patients about the serious side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, drug companies are obliged to provide a 'patient information leaflet' with each prescription, and these PILS contain the known (or rather the accepted) side effects of the drug. The study was instigated following public debate about the benefits and harms of treatments such as statins, hormone replacement therapy and Tamiflu. The debate (quiet as it has been in most of the news media) has apparently led patients to reject these treatments, which is, of course, a problem for the conventional medical establishment!

The AMS study calls for "a range of actions including significant improvements to patient information leaflets, better use of medical appointments and a bigger role for NHS Choices as the ‘go to’ source of trusted information online for patients and carers, as well as healthcare professionals".

In other words, the information patients are being given is becoming a problem. It is creating doubt in the mind of patients, who are beginning to question the value, effectiveness and safety of what doctors are offering them! The study's leader. Professor Sir John Tooke, FMedSci, is reported as saying:

               “It is startling to hear that only about a third of the public trust medical research, and that patients are struggling to make sense of the information they receive from their doctor, the TV, the internet and their friends and family about medicines."

Clearly, information is a bad thing when it comes to patients understanding more about the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines! Making an 'informed choice' is not what is required by the conventional medical establishment! Our doctors know best.

               “With our ageing population and ever more sophisticated treatments being made available, we need to act now to give patients clearer and more useful information about the medicines they take.”

PILS were described as being ‘impenetrable’ and ‘unreadable’ (which they are) and the report calls for substantial changes to the leaflets at a national and EU level.

               "The report calls on the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to work with national regulatory authorities, pharmaceutical companies and patients to reform patient information leaflets to give a clearer and more balanced summary of both the potential benefits and harms of medicines. At present, patient information leaflets detail all of the possible side effects but are particularly poor at outlining the potential benefits of treatments, hindering informed decisions about medicines.  

What we seem to be facing here, amidst the 'clearer' and 'more balanced' information', is an attempt to prevent patients being 'confused' by censoring our access to negative information! These are the same arguments used for mandatory vaccinations in other parts of the world, the USA, Italy, Australia and elsewhere. The doctor knows best. As far as patients are concerned, a little information is a dangerous thing! The role of the doctor is to give us drugs on the basis of their understanding of their value to our health. Our role is to take them, and anything that contributes to us making our own decision is not to be tolerated. Nothing about "No decision about me without me" here!

The AMS study decries "the ever-increasing volume of information available online", recommending that the NHS Choices website should be built into "a trusted ‘go to’ source of online information for patients and health professionals, providing clear, accurate, up-to-date, evidence-based information about medicines". Any cursory examination of this official website (as I have undertaken in my website, "Why Homeopath?", which compares conventional and homeopathic treatment of a variety of illnesses, will demonstrate the NHS Choices does not always give an honest account of drug side effects, and rarely a full account of their known dangers!

The agenda of the AMS study was made clear with this statement - it is the rehabilitation of discredited treatments such statins, HRT, and Tamiflu.

               "Implementing the changes recommended in the report could help avoid future confusion about the benefits and harms of medicines, such as arose in the past around statins to prevent cardiovascular disease, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat the symptoms of the menopause and Tamiflu to treat flu."

The dangers of these drug treatments have been well documented, and I have written about them many times in this blog. Do a search on each at the top of the page. Instead, we are provide with the usual propaganda.

               "... for example, questions raised about the risk-benefit balance for statins was associated with a greater number of people stopping treatment causing an estimated 2,000 excess cardiovascular disease events, such as heart attacks and strokes, over the next ten years in the UK.

Not a word about the side effects of Statin drugs, and the damage and disease that they are now known to cause! The problem is that the conventional medical establishment is losing control of the health debate. It might have bought-off any significant criticism by the press. The BBC covered this story this morning, uncritically. But what 'friends' and 'relatives' are tell patients is that the drugs and vaccines doctors are giving us are neither effective or safe.

Note on the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Who, or what is the AMS? This is what the Green Med Info website has discovered.

               "The AMS is a self-proclaimed “independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science” who, according to their website, is funded by GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen, Merck Sharp and Dohme, and Roche".

So let's not be too confused about who the AMS speak for!

Statins drugs going out of favour?

BBC News is today promoting yet another vaccine. It is part of its role as the 'echo chamber' for the pharmaceutical industry, an unofficial, unpaid position that our 'public service broadcaster' has accepted for many years now.

Michelle Roberts, the Health Editor, has produced this article on the BBC website, "Cholesterol-lowering jab to help prevent heart disease". The article informs us that human trials of a "cholesterol-lowering vaccine" is being produced to help prevent heart disease. As usual, it sounds like another amazing medical breakthrough, but before popping off to see you doctor for the jab, hold on! There have been "successful studies in mice" to date, according to researchers at the Medical University of Vienna, and they are testing the safety of the vaccine on 72 volunteers!

               "It will take years more of testing to know if the treatment will be safe and effective enough for human use.... Even if it does become available, in six years' time, it should not be seen as an excuse for people to avoid exercise and eat lots of high-fat food".

So we have another 6 years to wait before this wonder-vaccine will begin to have an impact on the epidemic levels of heart disease we are currently experiencing, allegedly caused by 'fatty deposits clogging up our arteries!'

The BBC does this all the time, giving us the 'good news' about pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, which is always about the good news that will  happen in the years to come! Years which never seem to arrive!

At the same time as hearing BBC News promoting the pharmaceutical industry this morning (20th June 2017) I received an email of WDDTY (What Doctor's Don't Tell You). They reported two items. The first was Aspirin is a bigger killer among the over 75's than everyone thought! I wrote about this in my recent blog, "Aspirin causes gastrointestinal bleeding, so the solution is to take PPI drugs which cause .... and so it goes on!" Did the BBC pick up this important piece of news? Of course not!

The other WDDTY article was about the deaths caused by pharmaceutical drugs in the USA, estimated to be nearly 500,000 annually. Did the BBC pick up this important (and regular) piece of news? Of course not!

The BBC tells us about the 'good' news, that may (or may not) happen in 6 years time. But it refuses to cover the news about what is happening to patients right now (and for decades past)!

Yet there is another, more interesting news story here. I ought to mention it as the BBC is unlikely to do so! For decades patients have been told that Statin drugs prevented 'fatty deposits clogging up our arteries'. Moreover, these drugs were entirely safe, so safe in fact that everyone should be taking them. The BBC have been part of this media hype about the benefits and safety of Statin drugs for a long time. It was the 'good news' story of yester-year! The question is, why is there a need to develop a vaccine to do what Statins have been doing, apparently so successfully and safely, for decades? The BBC has the answer, probably straight from the news release of the pharmaceutical industry!

               "It would offer patients an alternative to taking daily pills to cut their risk of stroke, angina and heart attacks."

Or, alternatively, is it more to do with the fact (unmentioned by the BBC of course) that Statin drugs are now implicated in having serious side effects, including liver dysfunction, kidney failure, muscle weakness, cataracts, and more recently, memory loss, confusion and dementia?

So maybe this is the first indication that conventional doctors are now beginning to realise that the drugs they have been giving to patients for years are causing more harm to patients then they realised, or were told. They are certainly doing more harm than the BBC has ever informed us about!

And this is, of course, what happens regularly in the world of the pharmaceutical drugs. Dangerous drugs and vaccines are marketed, they cause harm to patients, and when the harm becomes to great to hide (and profitability is reduced because patents run out) they are quietly withdrawn. And this process seems to happen more quickly when Big Pharma has a replacement!

The new vaccine would also appear to be a profitable venture too. As the BBC article suggests, booster jabs will be required, "the researchers envisage that patients could have a yearly booster shot to top up their immunity."

And conventional medicine presents this as medical progress!

Can anyone trust the BBC and its coverage of health issues? Absolutely not. Or mainstream newspapers (who similarly peddle pharmaceutical propaganda)? Absolutely not. The newspapers wonder why their circulations are declining! The BBC are beginning to understand (in non-health areas anyway) the reason why people are turning to 'alternative' news sources, and are rejecting the 'establishment' view on many social issues, including health. The reason is simple.

It is because the public is beginning to realise that the mainstream media has consistently refused to tell us the truth! 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A Sociological assessment of the 'benefits' of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines

An eminent American sociologist, Donald Light, has weighed in on the debate about pharmaceutical drugs. In fact, he did so in June 2013, four years ago, when his research was published in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics was published (Vol 14, No 3: 590-610), entitled "Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs". This is what he said summarising his devastating findings:

               "Over the past 35 years, patients have suffered from a largely hidden epidemic of side effects from drugs that usually have few offsetting benefits. The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the practice of medicine through its influence over what drugs are developed, how they are tested, and how medical knowledge is created. Since 1906, heavy commercial influence has compromised Congressional legislation to protect the public from unsafe drugs. The authorization of user fees in 1992 has turned drug companies into the FDA’s prime clients, deepening the regulatory and cultural capture of the agency. Industry has demanded shorter average review times and, with less time to thoroughly review evidence, increased hospitalizations and deaths have resulted. Meeting the needs of the drug companies has taken priority over meeting the needs of patients. Unless this corruption of regulatory intent is reversed, the situation will continue to deteriorate. We offer practical suggestions including: separating the funding of clinical trials from their conduct, analysis, and publication: independent FDA leadership; full public funding for all FDA activities; measures to discourage R&D on drugs with few if any new clinical benefits; and the creation of a National Drug Safety Board."

In the journal 'Footnotes' journal of the American Sociological Association, Light was described as the 2013 recipient of ASA’s Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology, and he said this in his article, 'The Epidemic of Sickness and Death from Prescription Drugs' he had more to say, and it is sufficient here to repeat his words in a series of hard-hitting statements:

               "At the intersection of medical and economic sociology sits prescription drugs. Economically, the strange, government-protected markets for drugs lead to prices largely unrelated to either value or cost, though companies claim they reflect one or the other, or both at the same time." 

               "Epidemiologically, appropriately prescribed, prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death, tied with stroke at about 2,460 deaths each week in the United States. About 330,000 patients die each year from prescription drugs in the United States and Europe. They cause an epidemic of about 20 times more hospitalizations, as well as falls, road accidents, and about 80 million medically minor problems such as pains, discomforts, and dysfunctions that hobble productivity or the ability to care for others. Deaths and adverse effects from overmedication, errors, and self-medication would increase these figures."

               "The Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard is devoted to researching “institutional corruption” in a range of domains, including Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Institutional corruption refers to legal ways in which an institution’s social mission and basic values get distorted, usually by big money. For example, the FDA, developed around a series of drug disasters to protect the public from unsafe and ineffective drugs, devotes only 10 percent of its budget to monitoring for harmful side effects. Further, evidence of serious risks is reviewed by the same committee that approved the drug in the first place as 'safe and effective'. This builds on another institutionally corrupt arrangement - companies testing their own products. They use well-documented techniques to produce evidence that new drugs appear safer and less harmful than they are in actual practice. These practices include randomly sampling from a preselected biased population, using substitute outcome measures, and using a high dose to hasten evidence of benefit while running trials too short to record the resulting adverse side effects.

Light states there hitherto there has been a lack of sociological research into the prevalence of mild and serious harms from prescription drugs.

               "Medical sociologists often concentrate their research on diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease rather than on prescription drugs as major cause of illness and death. Drugs as a major health risk, especially given that few new ones have offsetting advantages compared to their higher risks, unites the two sides of medical sociology because physicians prescribe them to help patients. It’s a field waiting for graduate students and faculty to explore."

The articles goes into detail about the operation of large pharmaceutical companies, which Light studied, and led his to realise that a far worse problem existed.... "the epidemic of harmful side effects from drugs that usually offer few or no new clinical advantages over existing drugs to offset their risks."

Light and his colleague went into many other medically related sociological issues, including evidence that new drugs were no better than old ones, questioning how much benefit drugs conferred, how inadequate testing regularly produced disasters such as those associated with Vioxx, that drug pricing was unjustified, and that American federal law required that Medicare payoff any FDA approved drug at the prices drug companies set. His conclusion was clear.

               "What, then, is going on? We concluded that companies charge unaffordable, impoverishing prices because legal protections in the United States encourage them. Further, we found in the large data set on prescription prices .... that companies keep raising these prices in subsequent years, doubling every five years. Thus the pricing of cancer, cardiovascular, and other specialty drugs can be characterized as 'market spiral pricing'.” 

The other factor spiralling out of control is the damage pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are doing to patients throughout the world.