Big Pharma’s business model is working great…for them. They are racking in billions getting people hooked on their drugs and then hiking the prices up 667% in some cases.
According to ARS Technica, new drug-pricing data is showing massive and stunning hikes. One drug’s price has risen by a whopping 667%. This price hike is well over the cost of inflation. By law, drug makers are required to report their price increases quarterly. This is the first report from the new law and includes data on drugs that had price increases of 16% or more over their January 2017 prices. Drugmakers are also required to provide reasons as to why they’re driving up costs.
A generic liquid form of Prozac saw a great increase in price. Fluoxetine, the generic Prozac drug, went from $9 to $69 just in the first quarter of 2019—a 667% increase. The reason given was new production costs. Likewise, another generic medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) called guanfacine, went from about $29 to $87 in the first quarter of 2019, a more than 200% increase. Guanfacine’s maker, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, also listed production costs as a reason for the hike, as well as “market conditions.”
This data shows that even when people are concerned about the cost of drugs, Big Pharma doesn’t care. Instead of attempting to make their products better, less addictive, and cheaper, they make more money by doing the opposite and convincing people these drugs are necessary.
Anthony Wright, the executive director of the California advocacy group Health Access told KHNthat this is a problem. “Even at a time when there is a microscope on this industry, [drug makers are] going ahead with drug price increases for hundreds of drugs well above the rate of inflation,” Wright said.
The drug price reporting law also faces challenges. The drug-maker industry group, PhRMA, has filed a lawsuit to overturn California’s law and it’s backed with the lobbying efforts of Big Pharma and their deep pockets. Earlier this month, the state of Nevada issued fines on drug makers for failing to comply with its drug pricing law, which passed in 2017.
England’s first state-sponsored child gender reassignment clinic has been slapped with a lawsuit by a mother of a patient and a former nurse at the center, who say “experimental” treatments are being forced on kids as young as 11.
The suit, first reported by the Times, alleges the Tavistock clinic in Leeds, and its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), painted an “inaccurate and potentially misleading” picture about the risks of hormone blockers, which are used to delay sexual development in children who wish to switch genders.
The case was brought by the mother of a 15-year-old patient at the clinic – who has only identified as “Mrs. A” – and Sue Evans, who worked there as a mental health nurse between 2003 and 2007. Evans told the Times she was concerned with how rapidly children were recommended for hormone treatment at the clinic, which some experts say can have serious medical risks, including loss of fertility and the ability to have an orgasm. Families are not made aware of some of those dangers, Evans said.
Mrs. A – who said she wanted to remain anonymous to protect her child’s identity – expressed concern that “no one, let alone my daughter, understands the risk” of the hormone procedure, which she called an “experimental treatment.” Proper informed consent cannot be obtained under those conditions, she added.
There are many parents, like me, who are anxiously trying to support their children … We want the best for our children, but we need this to be from a position of evidence-based, not experimental, medicine.
On its website, Tavistock describes its GIDS program as a “highly specialised clinic for young people presenting with difficulties with their gender identity.” However, the facility has increasingly come under fire in recent months over concerns doctors there were misleading patients and rushing them into potentially dangerous treatments.
In an open letter published over the summer directed at Tavistock head Polly Carmichael, another former employee at the clinic, psychologist Kirsty Entwistle, said the center was moving too fast with too little evidence.
“It is a problem that GIDS clinicians are making decisions that will have a major impact on children and young people’s bodies and on their lives, potentially the rest of their lives, without a robust evidence base,” Entwistle wrote.
’The Tavistock clinic said it would not comment on any pending legal matters in a statement to the Times.
“It is not appropriate for us to comment in detail in advance of any proposed legal proceedings,” the clinic said. “The GIDS is one of the longest-established services of its type in the world with an international reputation for being cautious and considered.”
Its authors said they were “shocked and surprised” by the results, and called for the development of new classes of medication.
However, in the absence of better drugs, they do not want current prescribing practice to be changed because the trial also showed sertraline is effective in reducing anxiety, which often accompanies depression.
The new trial is by far the largest to be conducted without the involvement of the pharmaceutical industry.
It is also the most in-depth examination of sertraline – a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) – in patients with a range of depression severities, rather than just in severely depressed patients in specialist mental health units.
The study included 654 people aged 18 to 74 who were given either the antidepressant for 12 weeks or a placebo.
The results showed depressive symptoms were five per cent lower after six weeks in the sertraline group, which was “no convincing evidence” of an effect.
After 12 weeks, there was a 13 per cent reduction, a finding the experts described as “weak”.
But the drug did offer clear benefits in reducing anxiety, with a 21 per cent reduction in symptoms at six weeks and 23 per cent at 12 weeks.
This is likely to explain why patients taking sertraline were twice as likely to say they felt generally better compared to the placebo group, even once questioned on specific symptoms of depression the benefit was far weaker.
Symptoms of depression include poor concentration, low mood, trouble with sleep, lack of enjoyment, whereas anxiety is presents as worry, nervousness, irritability and restlessness.
Washington: As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, researchers are constantly uncovering positive aspects of the plant. A study by the University of Colorado suggests that cannabis can be used to increase the survivability of a heart attack. (Marijuana use and short-term outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction) The study collected over 1.2 million medical records of acute myocardial infarctions (AMI) and among those records, it was discovered that 3,854 of those patients were cannabis consumers.
“Perhaps the most striking finding of our study is that marijuana use prior to AMI was associated with decreased in-hospital mortality post AMI,” writes the study authors
The study debunks the assumption that cannabis consumers would have more risk factors than non-consumers. Researchers noting that the cannabis consumers had a decreased risk of death, shock, or need to insert a balloon into a blocked artery.
The researchers mentioned that they do not exactly understand the scientific reasoning behind increased survivability. However, they speculated that the activation of cannabinoid receptor type 2/ CB2 found in the endocannabinoid system can provide therapeutic cardioprotective effects.
A new study conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas has found cannabis can improve a person’s health by enhancing the blood and oxygen flow, thus reducing the risk of blood clots and the possibility of a stroke.
The study conducted by Dr. Francesca Filbey and her team claims the “primary psychoactive ingredient present in cannabis —tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — relaxes arterial walls resulting in lower blood pressure and increased blood flow to tissues.”
Chronic marijuana use is associated with a decrease in HR, disappearance of orthostatic hypotension, increase in blood volume, and decrease in the circulatory responses to exercise which are consistent with reduced sympathetic and increased parasympathetic activity (18).
Image by Jacquie Kubin
Unfortunately, as many studies exist that claim habitual marijuana use can be detrimental to heart health. It is important that individuals contrast their own heart health against available information on the effects of cannabis, and CBD oil. Like choosing to use any medicine to treat your health issues, it is important to do your own research.
Nonetheless, a multitude of studies and empirical evidence concludes that cannabis can effectively treat other medical conditions. Positive benefits from THC and CBD use include assisting with cancer pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Chronic pain from injury and lessening of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis symptoms.
Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is promoted for a wide range of medical conditions. Recently, a review for doctors weighed the science behind the claims.
The Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils was published earlier this month in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It is not intoxicating, Health Canada said.
As of October 2018, the sale of dried cannabis, fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, cannabis plants and cannabis seeds are permitted under the the Cannabis Act.
As consumer interest in CBD grows ahead of the Oct. 17 legalization of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals, here’s a primer to answer common questions about its health claims for seizures, pain and other conditions.
What is CBD approved to treat?
Epidiolex, a purified form of plant-based CBD, is the only CBD-related treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is used to treat severe forms of epilepsy. Epidiolex isn’t listed in Health Canada’s database of medications approved for use in this country.
Health Canada assigns a drug identification number (DIN) to all drug products evaluated and authorized for sale in this country. To qualify, a drug manufacturer needs to provide information including dosing, strength and how it’s taken.
“Currently, there are two cannabis-related drugs that have a DIN and are authorized for sale in Canada,” a spokesperson for Health Canada said in an email.
Nabilone, a synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, product is approved to treat nausea. THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis that gives users a high.
The other drug with a DIN is Sativex, which is manufactured from whole botanical extracts and contains THC and CBD, according to Health Canada. Sativex is added to treatments aimed at relieving spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis. Spasticity is a muscle-control disorder.
No CBD-specific product has a DIN.
As well, no other “cannabis-related drug (including fresh or dried marijuana or cannabis oil) has been approved to be marketed as a drug for therapeutic use and sale in Canada,” Health Canada said.
What is CBD commonly used for?
There are anecdotal reports from users of CBD helping with certain types of pain, such as nerve-related back pain.
“Chronic pain management continues to challenge patients and physicians alike, and investigation into potential therapies such as CBD and hemp oils is a promising area for the future of clinical pain management for both pain relief as well as addiction management,” Dr. Karen Mauck, an internist at Mayo Clinic, and her co-authors wrote.
Dr. Hance Clarke, director of pain services at Toronto General Hospital who wasn’t involved in the U.S. paper, said he starts by asking patients what symptoms they want to use CBD to treat.
It’s one of the first times in Canadian history where a medication has made it to the population without the science actually leading us there.– Dr. Hance Clarke, director of pain services at Toronto General Hospital
“The evidence has not caught up to the story that’s in the public,” Clarke said. “It’s tricky. It’s one of the first times in Canadian history where a medication has made it to the population without the science actually leading us there.”
Physicians need to work with patients to figure out what people are using, the levels in their body and what’s actually helped and what hasn’t.
“The world is looking to Canada over the next five to 10 years,” Clarke said. An evidence-based perspective on cannabis is needed rather than solely industry’s, he said.
CBD now is widely used by people for all kinds of disease, in particular anxiety, panic attack, bipolar disorder, depression. But we don’t know if CBD is really good for these kind of diseases.– Dr. Gabriella Gobbi
“CBD now is widely used by people for all kinds of disease, in particular anxiety, panic attack, bipolar disorder, depression,” said Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, the study’s author and a psychiatrist at McGill University’s faculty of medicine in Montreal. “But we don’t know if CBD is really good for these kinds of diseases.”
Only clinical trials in humans can show if CBD is really effective for an illness, Gobbi said.
In Canada, pharmaceutical companies are sponsoring clinical trials to test CBD products in people.
How do you know what’s in the product?
Depending on what part of the plant is extracted, different components will be present in the oil, the Mayo Clinic authors said. Their list of what clinicians should look for include:
Manufacturing standards certification, such as pesticide or herbicide testing.
European Union, Australian or Canadian organic certification.
Lab testing to confirm cannabinoid levels and the absence of heavy metals.
“We see variations from batch to batch where patients are doing well on something, and potentially the next time they seek that same product, potentially they’re not seeing the same effects,” Clarke said.
A research letter published in 2017 in JAMA found nearly 70 per cent of CBD extracts sold online were mislabelled.
“A lot of CBD oil can have very little or contain lots of THC, so you must be very careful,” Gobbi said. “We need more quality control.”
What side-effects have been reported?
In larger studies on CBD treatment for epileptic patients, it was associated with drowsiness, decreased appetite and diarrhea in up to 36 per cent of people, the Mayo Clinic authors said, adding the side-effects were less severe and frequent compared with a conventional anticonvulsant medication.
The FDA said its review of a marketing application for Epidiolex suggested potential for liver injury associated with CBD.
You can’t just self-treat.– Dr. Gabriella Gobbi
“You can’t just self-treat,” Gobbi said.
What about drug interactions?
The main drug interactions doctors and pharmacists look for are drugs, such as morphine, oxycodone, sleeping pills, antidepressants or antipsychotics, that already make you sleepy, confused or impair co-ordination.
“If you’re taking those medications to begin with and you use cannabis, we’d expect that those side effects would get worse,” said Kelly Grindrod of the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy.
People should talk to their physician, nurse or pharmacist to discuss potential drug interactions when determining whether to try CBD.
Maddie Brown, a registered practical nurse and cannabis consultant based in Ottawa, helps patients with medical cannabis prescriptions understand how CBD works and obtain it.
“I’m definitely most concerned about blood thinners,” Brown told CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art. “CBD can make Coumadin [a blood thinning medication] more potent.”
The general advice is to start low and go slow, especially if taking medications that are known to interact, Grindrod said.
Through the years most of us have seen essays that try to turn people off to supplements. And most of us have read from the mainstream that diet does not really matter and it is perfectly fine, according to many oncologists, that after one goes home it is perfectly OK to have a whisky or martini. There are still dinosauric type of doctors that still insist emotions don’t matter in medicine either.
To be fair, before going into this essay, know that I make a difference between supplementation and concentrated nutritional medicine. When it comes to natural or complementary medicine administering low dosages and high dosages really matters. Low dosages would be considered supplementation high dosages is the practice of natural, orthomolecular and even ICU and emergency Allopathic medicine. Just ask a doctor who injects magnesium into a patient dying of cardiac arrest.
The official line from the mainstream is: Most multivitamins and supplements are a ‘waste of Money.’ “Not only are vitamin and mineral supplements a waste of money, they can in some instances actually harm the body,” reports The Guardian.
According to the FDA, “Three out of every four American consumers take a dietary supplement on a regular basis. For older Americans, the rate rises to four in five. And one in three children take supplements.” According to Dr F. Perry Wilson, “There has never been much rationale as to why a super-intake of any of these chemicals (supplements) would give super-benefits to health.”
You can easily imagine how I feel about this statement: “Plenty of research suggests that taking vitamins isn’t helpful unless you’re addressing a specific deficiency in a doctor-monitored way.” Since doctors have received little to no training in nutrition it is hard to understand this gross misconception. Forty billion dollars in supplement sales gives us an idea how many people are not buying into the mainstream propaganda.
The lies nutritionists and doctors say to themselves runs something like this:
You should be able to get most of the vitamins and minerals you need from your diet without having to take supplements. “Dietary supplements don’t replace wise meal and snack patterns. As their name implies, supplements are intended to supplement—not replace—healthy and wholesome food choices. The vast majority of healthy adults can—and should—obtain all of the nutrients they need from food alone.” This is delusional because the foods we eat today do not have the nutritional value they once did.
According to Scientific American fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.”
According to the report, Still No Free Lunch, food scientists have compared the nutritional levels of modern crops with historic, and generally lower-yielding, ones. Today’s food produces 10 to 25 percent less iron, zinc, protein, calcium, vitamin C, and other nutrients, the studies show.
Thus the assertion that we can obtain all of the nutrients we need from food is cruel for it guarantees nutritional deficiencies that scientists know cause disease. Many professionals are health terrorists and do not know it or just will not admit it. One cannot live and be healthy on food and pharmaceuticals alone. We need to supplement with the best and most natural substances to make up the difference between the foods we eat today and the ones that our ancestors ate even in the recent past.
Complicating the entire nutrition story that ups the need for nutritional supplementation is the junk foods we eat today. And their is a whole class of foods, that might not even be considered as junk food, that is junk. White foods have been deliberately stripped of their nutritional values. I am talking about white rice, white bread, white pasta, white sugar and even white salt. These popular foods are white because they have had the fiber and minerals removed. If the food people eat is nutritionally poor who is going to make up the difference?
More is Better?
In an environment where “more” is often perceived as being “better,” consumers tend to think that if a supplement provides 100% of their needs, then something that provides 1000% must be 10 times better. The truth, those in the mainstream say, is it doesn’t work that way with supplements. They insist that there is no data that supports megadosing of supplements for health outcomes. (Megadosing is generally considered to be the practice of consuming 10 times or more the recommended amount of a vitamin or mineral supplement.)
However, when we think of certain basics like magnesium, iodine, selenium and bicarbonates, we can easily trash the above assertion. Take the case of iodine supplementation. Governments around the world conceded a century ago that the worlds populations needed more iodine, just enough though to avoid goiter but not enough to avoid cancer and other diseases due to iodine deficiency. When we look at the fact that iodine is an antiviral, anti-fungal and even effective against bacteria one would have to say high dosages, which were routinely given a hundred years ago, are called for in many medical situations.
Magnesium is an effective medicine at high dosages yet it is a common supplement as well. The recommend dose for magnesium is 320mg for adult women and 420mg for men. That might be a reasonable maintenance dose for healthy individuals but it is not near enough if one is suffering from a deficiency of the mineral and certainly not enough if one is suffering from cancer or diabetes or one of a many variety of diseases. Then five to ten times the recommended amount would certainly be in order.
Bicarbonates are not generally recommended at all yet it too is a supplement and a medicine doctors use all the time in ICU and emergency situations. Just to see how ridiculous Google can be, search for ‘iodine and goiter’ and you will see under the question, ‘How is Goiter Treated,’ they do not even mention iodine, though they concede that iodine deficiency causes the disorder.
Although supplements are often confused with drugs, supplements are not drugs. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supplements are, “Not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent or cure diseases.” Well certainly supplements cannot diagnose anything but the point I make in Natural Allopathic Medicine is that nutritional substances like magnesium, iodine, bicarbonates, potassium and even selenium, when injected or administered intravenously are certainly medicines.
The medical industrial complex will stop at nothing to put down supplements. They say that in the supplement world, there is no legally defensible definition for the term “natural.” In fact, when it comes to the natural products industry, the word “natural” more often than not means nothing. The perception of a natural supplement product is that it is not artificially fabricated. There is some truth because many supplements are synthetically created in a laboratory environment and do not contain any natural, plant-based or non-synthetic ingredients. That is what the mainstream likes to point out.
“Vitamins and dietary supplements may kill you, and they often provide little or no health benefit,” concludes one writer for Time. Doctors killing you with their pharmaceuticals are not mentioned even if the number of dead in the United States alone goes over the hundred-thousand mark from properly prescribed medicines. It would be more accurate to say that doctors and pharmaceutical medicine may kill you and most often provide little of no health benefit.
Many people take long lists of supplements and yet do not live in anywhere near perfect health. Supplements are not the answer to everything. For the past forty years Spirulina and Chorella have been my favorite supplements yet they really are whole foods that one can take at high dosages instead of multivitamins and minerals. If one wants to believe in even a sliver of what mainstream medicine puts out about supplements being a waste of time then try these nutritional super-foods that come to us directly from God.
Special Note: That said most supplements are not a waste of time and money. To make blanket statements that they are is scientifically stupid. Yet one must choose carefully and know what dosages make sense for one’s medical or health situation.
One must raise the usage of dietary supplements up to the level of a medical art, especially if one wants to heal from disease. Learn how to apply and combine the above nutrients in the Conquering Cancer course, when it comes out in a few months, or starting next week in my online cancer support group.
Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM (P) (acupuncturist, doctor of oriental and pastoral medicine) is a prolific writer and author of some astounding medical and health-related books. Dr. Sircus’s methods are based on medical science and long years of clinical experience, not only his own but experiences of doctors from around the world who have been practicing brilliant medicine.
The Philippines declared an initial “national dengue alert” in July.
“It is important that a national epidemic be declared in these areas to identify where a localised response is needed, and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque said in a statement.
Western Visayas had the most recorded cases with more than 23,000, with significant outbreaks also in Calabarzon, the Zamboanga Peninsula and Northern Mindanao.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone