Politics and Medicine – for our best interest?

Just two weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud case, Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology firm, scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the “fiscal cliff” bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs.

The company: Amgen has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital.

Amgen, whose headquarters is near Los Angeles and which had $15.6 billion in revenue in 2011, has a deep bench of Washington lobbyists that includes Jeff Forbes, the former chief of staff to Mr. Baucus; Hunter Bates, the former chief of staff for Mr. McConnell; and Tony Podesta, whose fast-growing lobbying firm has unusually close ties to the White House.

Amgen’s employees and political action committee have distributed nearly $5 million in contributions to political candidates and committees since 2007, including $67,750 to Mr. Baucus, the Finance Committee chairman, and $59,000 to Mr. Hatch, the committee’s ranking Republican. They gave an additional $73,000 to Mr. McConnell, some of it at a fund-raising event for him that it helped sponsor in December while the debate over the fiscal legislation was under way. More than $141,000 has also gone from Amgen employees to President Obama’s campaigns.

Amgen has deep financial and political ties to lawmakers like Senate Minority LeaderMitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Senators Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, and Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who hold heavy sway over Medicare payment policy as the leaders of the Finance Committee.

“That is why we are in the trouble we are in,” said Dennis J. Cotter, a health policy researcher who studies the cost and efficacy of dialysis drugs. “Everybody is carving out their own turf and getting it protected, and we pass the bill on to the taxpayer.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/us/medicare-pricing-delay-is-political-win-for-amgen-drug-maker.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130120

 

40% Failure in Hip Implant: They know it but they don’t tell you

An internal analysis conducted by Johnson & Johnson in 2011 not long after it recalled a troubled hip implant estimated that the all-metal device would fail within five years in nearly 40 percent of patients who received it, newly disclosed court records show.

The company’s analysis also suggests that the implant is likely to fail prematurely over the next few years in thousands more patients in addition to those who have already had painful and costly procedures to replace it.

The episode represents one of the biggest medical device failures in recent decades.

About 93,000 patients worldwide received an A.S.R., about one-third of them in the United States.

Hip implants, which are generally made from metal and plastic, often last for 15 years before they wear out and need to be replaced. Such devices can fail prematurely for a variety of reasons, but the early replacement rate is typically 1 percent after a year, or 5 percent at five years.

Based on the number of patients who had already undergone device replacement at the time, DePuy estimated that about 37 percent of patients who got an A.S.R. might need to have it replaced within five years of receiving it.

Read more:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/business/jj-study-suggested-hip-device-could-fail-in-thousands-more.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130123&_r=0

 

The Battle Against The Cancer Industry

by Margaret B. Bermel, MBA

Most people accept the concept of chemotherapy unquestioningly, afraid to depart from conventional thinking. Dr. Ulrich Abel declared chemotherapy to be a “scientific wasteland,” and found that “at least80% of chemotherapy administered throughout the world is worthless—but neither doctor nor patient is willing to give up on chemotherapy, even though there is no scientific evidence that it works.”

Dr. Gregory Foltz discovered that oncologists have been targeting the wrong cells in the treatment of brain cancer. Cancer stem cells cause the growth of cancer cells, and stem cells resist chemotherapy. Dr. Foltz explains that this is why “standard cancer treatments so often fail: those therapies target the wrong cells.”

A study conducted by Harvard researcher John Cairns showed that chemotherapy is “somewhat effective in only 2–3% of cancer patients, primarily those with the rarest kinds of cancer.”

The millions of failed trials as evidenced by the deaths of millions of people clearly indicate that the toxic method is erroneous. The chemo experiment is flawed because it does not compare the results of a treatment group taking chemotherapy to the results of a control group that does not take chemotherapy. Yet the cancer industry continues to cling to this “treatment,” ignoring its failure rate. Cancer patients are the unwitting guinea pigs, participating in a bad science experiment.

We have all been brainwashed into believing that chemo is the only option when faced with a cancer diagnosis. Until people question the basic premise of chemo, it will remain the knee-jerk reaction to cancer. “Big Pharma”, supported by the FDA, has developed a monopoly on the cancer industry.

Natural substances can’t be patented and do not generate the billions of dollars that chemical substances do. Natural substances are viewed as a threat to the monopoly because they are inexpensive and effective. Consequently, any alternative natural treatments are systematically suppressed and discredited by the FDA.

Once people understand that chemotherapy is about the money, people are empowered to make an informed health care decision.

The FDA’s suppression of alternative cancer cures has led to the success of the monopoly, all in the name of protecting the public. In 1986, Mary Yevchak testified before Congress that she was forced to undergo nearly fatal chemotherapy treatment, and had to leave this country for the non-toxic treatment which cured her. Still, the cancer industry is pushing toxic treatments that do not work, and suppressing non-toxic treatments that do work.

Treatment should result in health, not death. How many people do you know who had chemotherapy and died?

 We need to question conventional thinking; we need a thought revolution to change the way we approach cancer.

Read more:  http://www.nutriculamagazine.com/the-battle-against-the-cancer-industry/

Painkillers That Kill

The New York Times , 25 January 2013 has this heading: F.D.A. Likely to Add Limits on Painkillers

  • Painkillers like Vicodin that contain hydrocodone, the most widely prescribed drugs in the country. Oxycodone is another highly abused painkiller and the main ingredient in OxyContin.
  • Painkillers now take the lives of more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.
  • And since 2008, drug-induced deaths have outstripped those from traffic accidents.
  • Prescription drugs account for about three-quarters of all drug overdose deaths in the United States, with the number of deaths from painkillers quadrupling since 1999.

The F.D.A. convened the panel, made up of scientists, pain doctors and other experts, which contends that the drugs are among the most frequently abused painkillers and should be more tightly controlled.

The change would have sweeping consequences for doctors, pharmacists and patients. Refills without a new prescription would be forbidden, as would faxed prescriptions and those called in by phone. Only written prescriptions from a doctor would be allowed.

Distributors would be required to store the drugs in special vaults.

While hydrocodone products are the most widely prescribed painkillers, they make up a minority of deaths, because there is less medication in each tablet than some of the other more restricted drugs, like extended-release oxycodone products, said Dr. Nathaniel Katz, assistant professor of anesthesia at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

Oxycodone and methadone products account for about two-thirds of drug overdose deaths, he said.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chairman of psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York and president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, a New York-based advocacy group said: “This is about correcting a mistake made 40 years ago that’s had disastrous consequences.”

Note: Some years ago, the painkiller Vioxx – which were reported to have killed thousands and thousands have been withdrawn.

Do you ever wonder: What kind of science and what kind of a word are we living in now, that drugs which are once been prescribed like peanuts have now suggested to be kept in special vaults in the pharmacies?

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/health/fda-vote-on-restricting-hydrocodone-products-vicodin.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130126&_r=0

Study links fast food to childhood asthma

Researchers have found a link between severe childhood asthma and fast food.

A new study in the medical journal Thorax found that three or more weekly servings of junk food substantially increased the risk among teens and young children.

The study says it could be the food’s high concentrations of saturated fats that compromise the immune system of children, making them more prone to a whole range of health problems.

More: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2013/01/201311418486188934.html

New Canadian studies suggest seasonal flu shot increased H1N1 risk

Read more: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panflu/news/apr0610canada.html

All four studies, the authors say, show that the seasonal flu vaccine was effective in that season, reducing cases of flu needing medical attention. But all four also show an increased risk of illness from pandemic flu among the vaccinated. The risks shown in the studies ranged from 1.19 to 3.20 times greater for those who received the seasonal vaccine than for those who did not.

 

Receivers of flu vaccine more likely to catch H1N1 virus, new study finds

New information has emerged concerning the Great Swine Flu Hoax of 2009 and the mass vaccination hysteria that accompanied it. As it turns out, the seasonal influenza vaccine that was pushed on everyone as an added preventive measure against H1N1 appears to have been responsible for actually inducing more cases of H1N1 infection, this according to shocking new data procured by an influenza expert at Canada’s B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037302_flu_vaccines_h1n1_infections.html#ixzz2HgC1Aix7