Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Breast Cancer Drugs and Heart Risk

A class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, which are used to ward off the recurrence of breast cancer after surgery, increase the risk of cardiovascular disorders more than treatment with tamoxifen.

Previous reports have suggested a trend toward increased cardiac events in association with aromatase inhibitors.

An analysis of data from seven studies, involving a total of nearly 20,000 postmenopausal women with early breast cancer, showed a 31 percent relative increase in cardiovascular adverse compared with tamoxifen treatment.

However, the overall rate of all side effects, including blood clots and strokes, was higher among women given tamoxifen.

Did Bayer Drug Cause 22,000 Deaths?

Up to a third of all heart bypass patients in the U.S. were given a drug called Trasylol, manufactured by Bayer.

The drug, used to stem bleeding during open heart surgery, may have been responsible for the deaths of 22,000 patients before it was withdrawn in November 2007 at the request of the FDA.

The drug was withdrawn after a study showed that the drug caused kidney failure. According to the study’s author, Dr. Dennis Mangano, if the drug had been taken off the market when he first published his research in January 2006, over 22,000 lives could have been saved.

On “60 Minutes,” Dr. Mangano said that Bayer AG failed to disclose that a German drugmaker confirmed the same dangers that Mangano had found.

U.S. Supreme Court Poised to Strip Consumers of Right to Sue over Deadly Pharmaceuticals

(NaturalNews) In arguments and discussion for Warner-Lambert Co. v. Kent heard today, Justices are proposing that consumers should not be able to sue pharmaceutical companies for damages from side effects because some people might be helped by those same drugs. Forget all the technical legalities -- this argument is absurd from the outset. Here's why:

If Ford makes a defective car with a poorly-designed gasoline tank that explodes and kills someone, that person's family has a right to sue Ford, correct? But the U.S. Supreme Court is now effectively arguing that Ford should be granted immunity to all lawsuits because its cars provide benefits to other drivers.

In other words, the fact that Ford cars don't kill some consumers somehow makes up for the ones killed by those defective cars. (In this case, Ford is just an example. There is no pending legislation against Ford that involves the U.S. Supreme Court.)

That argument is absurd. If put in place, it would mean that individuals no longer have the right to sue companies for defective products, and the very definition of "harm" is no longer measured on an individual basis but rather by some sort of yet-unstated collective scorekeeping that says no company can be sued if its products provide benefits to somebody.

Of course, this is all being selectively applied only to the pharmaceutical industry at the moment, but if this line of thinking is allowed to continue, it could very quickly lead to blanket immunity for virtually all corporations against any consumer lawsuits. After all, the argument being made to protect Big Pharma is that even though drugs kill lots of people, the fact that they help some people who aren't killed outweighs the liability from the dead people. Should this also apply to automobiles? Fireworks? Roller coasters? At what point does the U.S. Supreme Court think corporations should actually be held liable for the harm caused by their products?

The abandonment of corporate responsibility and the surrender of consumer rights
Apparently, some Justices believe corporations should never be held liable for harmful products, even if they committed fraud in getting their products approved by regulatory agencies such as the FDA. It's true: At least one Supreme Court Justice is now arguing that even in cases of drug companies defrauding the FDA and lying about the safety of their drugs, the public should still have no right whatsoever to sue over the damage (or death) caused by those drugs.

And how about collapsing bridges and buildings? According to the U.S. Supreme Court's current thinking, people who are killed in a collapse of a defective bridge or building should have absolutely no legal recourse. Why? Because that same bridge or building provided benefits to other people who were not killed!

Thus, the Supreme Court is actually following a line of flawed reasoning that would deny consumers the right to sue corporations for practically anything! This is why I have come to the commonsense conclusion that the U.S. Supreme Court has surrendered the rights of the American people to greedy corporations that will soon, it seems, have no incentive at all to make safe products.

By the way, notice too that Big Tobacco was ultimately granted blanket product immunity under a complex settlement that essentially involved paying off U.S. States with a portion of the revenues generated by tobacco products that openly kill people. Thus, Big Tobacco was allowed to stay in business, producing products that directly kill millions of people each year around the world. This bring up an important law of every capitalist society: No sufficiently profitable industry will ever be brought to justice, even if its products destroy the health and lives of consumers. There's simply too much profit at stake, and money has an insidious way of influencing regulatory and judicial decisions while negating whatever imaginary rights the citizens once believed they were entitled to.

Why consumer lives are worth nothing to corporations
Under the protection of blanket immunity, corporations consider the lives of consumers to be worth exactly zero dollars, and thus the normal equations of safety costs vs. liability risk are thrown out the window, replaced with a new equation of maximizing profits by minimizing expensive safety precautions. The only reason corporations currently place any value at all on the lives of consumers is because there are financial costs associated with harming or killing people (thanks to product liability lawsuits). Take away those financial costs, and the corporations will then consider consumer lives to be worthless in any way other than the fact that consumers might be worth something if they live long enough to keep buying more products.

What's obvious in all this is that the U.S. legal system has devolved into such a morass of fictitious legal technicalities that it no longer has any concept of commonsense reality. There should be no argument necessary at all in this case: Of course consumers have the right to sue companies over pharmaceuticals (or cars or bridges) that directly harm them! And the fact that the FDA or some other corrupt (or incompetent) government agency slaps its approval onto a product should in no way grant the manufacturer complete immunity from the very real effects caused by its products. Pharmaceuticals kill people. It's a simple fact. And Big Pharma should be held responsible for the harm caused by its products. But the Supreme Court is now looking for ways to weave complex legal technicalities into a convenient but entirely dishonest shield that allows drug companies to literally get away with murder.

An era of unbridled madness
If you were looking for evidence of why the United States of America has gone mad, look no further than the regulatory and legal fabrications surrounding pharmaceuticals. Not only do we now have a system of organized medicine that operates as organized crime by protecting monopoly prices, engaging in routine scientific fraud, and drugging children with powerful psychotropic chemicals without even a single shred of real evidence that those children are "diseased," but now we have a legal system that seems poised to hand Big Pharma unlimited permission to manufacture and market extremely dangerous chemicals with impunity.

The consumer has now been relegated to the role of "useless eater," with zero rights and zero value. The corporations are in charge, and the corrupt judicial system is now protecting the profits of these corporations by selling out the people. A new era of corporate-sponsored chemical destruction is spreading like a dark shadow over the future of the American people, and the highest court in the land has declared its loyalty to the corporate Kings who rule over American consumers as tyrants over peasants.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tainted Pills Hit the U.S. Mainland

Thirteen of the twenty best-selling drugs in the U.S. are made in plants in Puerto Rico. But an investigation found dozens of examples over four years of lapses in quality control in the Puerto Rican pharmaceutical industry.

Even modern Puerto Rico drug plants, under the watch of U.S. regulators, have failed to keep laboratories sterile and have exported tainted pills.

FDA inspections from 2003 to 2007 found many problems, including machinery pins ending up inside bottles of Effexor (a depression treatment) and Protonix (a heartburn drug), and Metformin pills (a diabetes treatment) being sent to the U.S. even though they were known to contain small amounts of metal particles.

The One Billion Dollar E-Mail Mistake

When the New York Times broke the story last week that Eli Lilly was in confidential settlement talks with the government, drug company executives accused federal officials of leaking the information.

However, it turned out that a lawyer working for the company had mistakenly emailed confidential information on the talks to Times reporter Alex Berenson instead of co-counsel Bradford Berenson.

Negotiations over Eli Lilly’s alleged marketing improprieties for its schizophrenia drug Zyprexa had reached an unprecedented sum of $1 billion, so Eli Lilly was anxious to keep the talks under wraps.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quackery - The Art of Attempting to decredit Alternative Medicine

Sometimes I would rather not bring light to these Quackery Watchers that think they are doing so much good. It seemed to be that pointing them out, gets them attention and the limelight which they so desperately want yet do not deserve. A few people die from overdoses on Ephedra, and so it was banned. What about the thousands and thousand who die from the drugs like aspirin and tylenol? Do they get banned? No, because the FDA and pharmaceutical companies have a nice little relationship built by lobbiest, with money as the backbone of the relationship.
1 person dies from chelation, should we ban chelation? How many people die from chemotherapy drugs and bypass surgeries each day and every year?
Fact is the Quackwatch Websites are funded by the pharmaceutical companies and the AMA who know that billions of dollars are spent on alternative medicine and preventative medicine. This upsets them, so they pay various Doctors to write an article slamming on alternative medicine and anyone who poses a threat to the wonderful drug cartel. Name 1 drug or 1 vaccine that does not have side effects, you cannot.

I agree that there are some snake oil salesman, but when these Quack Watch websites want to lump together ALL of the alternative medicines into 1 big pot, you have to question their intellect. After all, fact is, 50% of medical schools require 1 nutrition class. That is the fact, Look at the Medical School Curriculum, and you will see that they are funding heavily by the pharmaceutical companies.

Purdue University has a 500 level course called "Drugs from Nature" and the professor were Dr. Varro Tyler and Dr. James Robbers. These guys are highly recognized in pharmacognosy.
They told me that the course was no longer going to be offered in the future because the pharmaceutical companies that donates money to Purdue Universities School of Pharmacy put the pressure on to get to course dropped. Dr. Tyler is world recognized.

Somehow, people like Terry Polevoy ( the guy with the old computers below) and Stephen Barrett want to spend the lives defending pharmaceutical computers and making ANYTHING alternative as quackery.
Stephen Barrett ... In 1984, he received an FDA Commissioner's Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition quackery.... Yawn ... GO FIGURE...

  • (1996): "Each year, use of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) accounts for an estimated 7,600 deaths and 76,000 hospitalizations in the United States." (NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, ketoprofen, and tiaprofenic acid.)

    Source: Robyn Tamblyn, PhD; Laeora Berkson, MD, MHPE, FRCPC; W. Dale Jauphinee, MD, FRCPC; David Gayton, MD, PhD, FRCPC; Roland Grad, MD, MSc; Allen Huang, MD, FRCPC; Lisa Isaac, PhD; Peter McLeod, MD, FRCPC; and Linda Snell, MD, MHPE, FRCPC, "Unnecessary Prescribing of NSAIDs and the Management of NSAID-Related Gastropathy in Medical Practice," Annals of Internal Medicine (Washington, DC: American College of Physicians, 1997), September 15, 1997, 127:429-438, from the web at http://www.acponline.org/journals/annals/15sep97/nsaid.htm, last accessed Feb. 14, 2001, citing Fries, JF, "Assessing and understanding patient risk," Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology Supplement, 1992;92:21-4.

  • (Average 1982-1998): According to Canadian researchers, approximately 32,000 hospitalized patients (and possibly as many as 106,000) in the USA die each year because of adverse reactions to their prescribed medications.

    Source: Lazarou, J, Pomeranz, BH, Corey, PN, "Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: a meta-analysis of prospective studies," Journal of the American Medical Association (Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, 1998), 1998;279:1200-1205, also letters column, "Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients," JAMA (Chicago, IL: AMA, 1998), Nov. 25, 1998, Vol. 280, No. 20, from the web at http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v280n20/ffull/jlt1125-1.html, last accessed Feb. 12, 2001.

  • Dr. Terry Polevoy at work on his web sites

    Dr. Terry Polevoy at work on his web sites

    Proud man of drug medicine.

    Facts are:

    Dextromethorphan, the major ingredient in most OTC cough medicines, has been shown to cause birth defects and fetal death in chicken embryos exposed to concentrations relative to those typically taken by humans. Researchers found that dextromethorphan causes defects so early in the development of the embryo that in many cases the woman wouldn't even know she is pregnant. Reserachers feel that a single dose is capable of causing a birth defect and that, ultimately, it could be the cause for a woman to have a miscarriage.

    Dextromethorphan suppresses cough by acting on receptors in the adult central nervous system. But in embryos, the drug appears to "knock out" the receptors, thus leading to the defects. Further study is needed, but in the meantime, the authors suggests that pregnant women or women attempting to get pregnant, be advised not to use dextromethorphan-containing cough medicine.

    Doctors are the Third leading Cause of Death

    Many of you reading this have read or seen this in many places other than my Web site. This article, available on my home page, was widely circulated on the Internet and was one of the reasons why my Web site was initially popular. What you may not realize is that I am the one who made this analysis and popularized it. The original study was published by Dr. Starfield, a full professor of public health at the most prestigious hospital in the United States, Johns Hopkins. Her study never had the headline in it, but instead listed the published research documenting the various causes of deaths that doctors contributed to. I simply added them all up and compared them to cardiovascular diseases and cancer and came up with the above headline, which was widely circulated on the Internet.

    » Doctors May Be Third Leading Cause of Death
    Published 3/15/2000 | Pharmaceutical Industry News | Unrated
    Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 250,000 Deaths Every Year

    This week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the best article I have ever seen written in the published literature documenting the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm.

    This information is a followup of the Institute of Medicine report which hit the papers in December of last year, but the data was hard to reference as it was not in peer-reviewed journal. Now it is published in JAMA which is the most widely circulated medical periodical in the world.

    The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and she describes how the US health care system may contribute to poor health.


    • 12,000 — unnecessary surgery 8
    • 7,000 — medication errors in hospitals 9
    • 20,000 — other errors in hospitals 10
    • 80,000 — infections in hospitals 10
    • 106,000 — non-error, negative effects of drugs 2
    • These total to 250,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes!!

    What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as induced in a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of a complication of treatment.

    Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these numbers:

    • First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.
    • Second, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort.
    • Third, the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report.

    If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular disease).

    Another analysis (11) concluded that between 4% and 18% of consecutive patients experience negative effects in outpatient settings, with:

    • 116 million extra physician visits
    • 77 million extra prescriptions
    • 17 million emergency department visits
    • 8 million hospitalizations
    • 3 million long-term admissions
    • 199,000 additional deaths
    • $77 billion in extra costs

    The high cost of the health care system is considered to be a deficit, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health results from more expensive care.

    However, evidence from a few studies indicates that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive inappropriate care.

    An estimated 44,000 to 98,000 among them die each year as a result of medical errors.2

    This might be tolerated if it resulted in better health, but does it? Of 13 countries in a recent comparison,3,4 the United States ranks an average of 12th (second from the bottom) for 16 available health indicators. More specifically, the ranking of the US on several indicators was:

    • 13th (last) for low-birth-weight percentages
    • 13th for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall 14
    • 11th for postneonatal mortality
    • 13th for years of potential life lost (excluding external causes)
    • 11th for life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males
    • 10th for life expectancy at 15 years for females, 12th for males
    • 10th for life expectancy at 40 years for females, 9th for males
    • 7th for life expectancy at 65 years for females, 7th for males
    • 3rd for life expectancy at 80 years for females, 3rd for males
    • 10th for age-adjusted mortality

    The poor performance of the US was recently confirmed by a World Health Organization study, which used different data and ranked the United States as 15th among 25 industrialized countries.

    There is a perception that the American public "behaves badly" by smoking, drinking, and perpetrating violence. However the data does not support this assertion.

    • The proportion of females who smoke ranges from 14% in Japan to 41% in Denmark; in the United States, it is 24% (fifth best). For males, the range s from 26% in Sweden to 61% in Japan; it is 28% in the United States (third best).
    • The US ranks fifth best for alcoholic beverage consumption.
    • The US has relatively low consumption of animal fats (fifth lowest in men aged 55-64 years in 20 industrialized countries) and the third lowest mean cholesterol concentrations among men aged 50 to 70 years among 13 industrialized countries.

    These estimates of death due to error are lower than those in a recent Institutes of Medicine report, and if the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.

    Even at the lower estimate of 225,000 deaths per year, this constitutes the third leading cause of death in the US, following heart disease and cancer.

    Lack of technology is certainly not a contributing factor to the US's low ranking.

    • Among 29 countries, the United States is second only to Japan in the availability of magnetic resonance imaging units and computed tomography scanners per million population. 17
    • Japan, however, ranks highest on health, whereas the US ranks among the lowest.
    • It is possible that the high use of technology in Japan is limited to diagnostic technology not matched by high rates of treatment, whereas in the US, high use of diagnostic technology may be linked to more treatment.
    • Supporting this possibility are data showing that the number of employees per bed (full-time equivalents) in the United States is highest among the countries ranked, whereas they are very low in Japan, far lower than can be accounted for by the common practice of having family members rather than hospital staff provide the amenities of hospital care.

    Journal American Medical Association Vol 284 July 26, 2000

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