Posts Tagged ‘doctors’

It’s common knowledge that cancer, along with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic lung diseases, is one of the biggest natural killers. Nearly two million Americans are diagnosed with cancer annually, according to some estimates, and as many as 20,000 cancer patients are reportedly dying worldwide every day.

In a chapter titled “Finding (hiding) a cure for cancer,” we address this killer disease in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures, and we look at what mainstream medicine is doing about it and, more importantly, what alternative treatments are available.

An excerpt from the book follows:

According to Mercola.com, which promotes itself as the world’s No.1 natural health site, “One person out of three will be hit with a cancer diagnosis at some time in their lives.” Subscribers are urged to understand that cancer is big business.

In an article dated August 3, 2013, Mercola.com states, “The cancer industry is spending virtually nothing of its multi-billion dollar resources on effective prevention strategies, such as dietary guidelines, exercise and obesity education. Instead, it pours its money into treating cancer, not preventing or curing it. Why would they shoot their cash cow? If they can keep the well-oiled Cancer Machine running, they will continue to make massive profits on chemotherapy drugs, radiotherapy, diagnostic procedures and surgeries.

“The typical cancer patient spends $50,000 fighting the disease. Chemotherapy drugs are among the most expensive of all treatments, many ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 for a one-month supply”.

The article concludes, “In spite of the enormous amounts of money funneled into cancer research today, two out of three cancer patients will be dead within five years after receiving all or part of the standard cancer treatment trinity—surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.”

There’s no doubt, in the last few decades hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent internationally on cancer research. In the US alone, since President Nixon launched his ‘War on Cancer’ program in 1971, tens of billions in government funding have been granted to cancer researchers.

And when a cancer cure is finally found it will save millions of lives and will be the medical discovery of the era.

However, there are theories out there which suggest there has already been a cure, or many cures, discovered for cancer. These popular theories suggest the Medical Industrial Complex have a huge financial incentive to suppress cures so they can continue to provide their own costly treatments for cancer patients.

If true, that would be a callous and unforgiveable business model, unnecessarily costing countless lives.

Of course, many if not most known (proclaimed) alternative cancer treatments are noticeably lacking in suitable testing methodology and well conducted clinical trials, and test results often haven’t demonstrated significant efficacy; nor have results been published, or published in appropriate publications at least.

According to Wikipedia, “A 2006 systematic review of 214 articles covering 198 clinical trials of alternative cancer treatments concluded that almost none conducted dose-ranging studies, which are necessary to ensure that the patients are being given a useful amount of the treatment. These kinds of treatments appear and vanish frequently, and have throughout history”.

The medical establishment has identified and branded as ineffective numerous alternative therapies to treat and prevent cancer. These include: homeopathy, naturopathy, herbalism, holistic medicine and aromatherapy.

Similarly, many other treatments have been put down by the establishment. To name but a few, these include light therapy and other energy-based treatments, fasting and other diet-based treatments, cannabis and other plant-based treatments, colon cleansing and other physical procedures, and faith healing and other such spiritual measures.

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“The cancer industry world wide is estimated at a 200 billion dollar a year industry. There are many in various associated positions within that industry who would be without a job if that cash flow dried up suddenly with the news that there are cheaper, less harmful, and more efficacious remedies available. Big Pharmacy would virtually vanish.” –Paul Fassa. Article excerpt from Natural News, September 24, 2009.

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There’s no disputing that the alternative (cancer treatment) route is littered with examples of pseudo-science, snake oil salesmen, bogus cures and failures; nor is there any disputing that in recent decades medical science has made major inroads into treating and removing cancers. You only need to look at the advances made in chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and the refinement of surgical techniques, to understand that.

However, officially at least, a cure for cancer still eludes Mankind and cancer sufferers continue to die by the millions every year.

For that reason alone, mainstream medicine should not be so quick to dismiss claims of alternative treatments and cures. After all, there are many case studies that support the theory that there has already been a cure, or many cures, discovered for cancer.

Even that respected American non-profit medical practice and research group the Mayo Clinic pays lip service at least to alternative cancer treatments. On its website, beneath the warning “Many alternative cancer treatments are unproved and some may even be dangerous,” the clinic lists “10 alternative cancer treatments that are generally safe” and “have shown some promise in helping people with cancer”.

Those alternative treatments (with the Mayo Clinic’s abbreviated comments added) include:

  • Acupuncture – “May be helpful in relieving nausea caused by chemotherapy.”
  • Aromatherapy – “May be helpful in relieving nausea, pain and stress.”
  • Exercise – “May help people with cancer live longer and improve…quality of life.”
  • Hypnotherapy – “May be helpful for people…who are experiencing anxiety, pain and stress.”
  • Massage – “Can be helpful in relieving pain.”
  • Meditation – “May help…by relieving anxiety and stress.”
  • Music therapy – “May help relieve pain and control nausea and vomiting.”
  • Relaxation techniques – “May be helpful in relieving anxiety and fatigue.”
  • Tai chi – “May help relieve stress.”
  • Yoga – “May provide some stress relief…improve sleep and reduce fatigue.”

Hardly earth-shattering stuff. However, it’s a concession at least that there is a place within mainstream medicine – no matter how small – for alternative treatments in combating cancer.

TBC…

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is available exclusively on Amazon. To check it out go to: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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It seems mainstream medicine won’t accept that high doses of Vitamin C may be an effective anticancer agent – this despite the fact that there have been some incredible success stories of late. We explore this in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

The following excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex  includes a couple of examples, which, to our eyes at least, warrant the medical authorities taking a closer look at the use of Vitamin C to combat cancer:

On October 12, 2014, Television New Zealand’s ‘Sunday’ current affairs program advised viewers that ground breaking research at Otago University had revealed Vitamin C may be a useful tool in cancer treatment.

The report states, “Professor Margreet Vissers has told the Sunday Programme Vitamin C is unlikely to provide a miracle cure. However it could be used alongside other therapies. ‘We think Vitamin C is potentially another tool in the toolbox of anti-cancer treatments.’

“Lab tests at Otago showed tumours with higher levels of Vitamin C were less aggressive and slower to grow than ones with lower levels of the vitamin. A number of doctors around the country have been running centres which offer the treatment to patients as an alternative or a complement to chemotherapy and radio therapy. They are using high level doses of Vitamin C by intravenous infusion to attack the tumours”.

Vissers also says, “What we want to find out…is if we increase the amount of Vitamin C is that going to slow the tumour growth as well? We suspect it will”.

On May 6, 2014, under the heading ‘Taking on Big C with Vitamin C,’ the New Zealand newspaper The Northern Advocate reported on the incredible case of policeman Anton Kuraia, a family man and cancer patient “who was given only weeks to live” after unsuccessful chemotherapy.

The article reads, “The medical experts described it as ‘wall to wall’ cancer and after two months of intensive chemotherapy there was little improvement. Anton Kuraia was sent home from hospital with weeks to live and told he would slip into a coma and die.

“The 43-year-old Whangarei policeman and father of three was left shattered and broken. ‘I remember asking my oncology doctor if there was anything I could do, anything at all. But it was made clear that there were no other options and that certain death would be upon me’.”

The article continues, “Anton got on the internet and googled vitamin C”.

Anton is quoted as saying, “I naturally looked into high dose vitamin C, therapies and supplements on the other side of the pharmaceutical fence. Why is it that we call everything that isn’t conventional medicine ‘alternative’? When you reflect on the simple methodology of alternatives you soon discover that the term ‘naturals’ is a clearer description. Naturals support, detoxify and gently encourage the body to create an environment in which cancer struggles to survive.”

Apparently, Anton’s diet was given a major overhaul, with sugar being a definite no-go food.

“Fresh vegetable and fruit smoothies became the order of the day as he followed a blood type diet. The high dose liquid form of vitamin C is 90g of clear liquid taken intravenously to bypass the gut…The sessions cost $200 each.

“After 10 weeks of healthy eating and infusions – two weeks longer than experts had predicted he would live – Anton was feeling better and agreed to have a bone marrow biopsy. The results revealed the cancer had dwindled to less than one per cent. The cancer was in complete remission”.

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“Each patient carries his own doctor inside him.” –Norman Cousins, Author of Anatomy of an Illness

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It’s abundantly clear not everyone agrees that Vitamin C may be an effective anticancer agent. On its website, the American Cancer Society states, “Clinical trials of high doses vitamin C as a treatment for cancer have not shown any benefit.” And it warns, “High doses of vitamin C can cause side effects in some people”.

To be fair, high doses of anything can cause side effects – even death – if consumers overdo it. (Try eating a truckload of apples and see how you feel).

However, the American Cancer Society’s point is taken: high doses of Vitamin C can cause side effects and, it seems, the jury’s still out on the effectiveness, or otherwise, of this vitamin as an anticancer agent.

The society does acknowledge that “Some claim that the vitamin can prevent a variety of cancers from developing, including lung, prostate, bladder, breast, cervical, intestinal, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, and salivary gland cancers, as well as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Vitamin C is also said to prevent tumors from spreading, help the body heal after cancer surgery, enhance the effects of certain anti-cancer drugs, and reduce the toxic effects of other drugs used in chemotherapy”.

And while the society acknowledges that “people with higher blood levels of vitamin C tend to have a lesser risk of developing cancer than do people with lower levels,” it categorically states, “Studies that observed large groups or people and clinical trials of vitamin C supplements have not shown the same strong protective effects against cancer”.

The American Cancer Society also quotes a 2000 National Academy of Sciences report as saying, “There is not enough evidence to support claims that taking high doses of antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E, selenium, and beta carotene) can prevent chronic diseases”.

Certainly, some doctors recommend high doses of vitamin C supplements to protect patients against, and to treat, the common cold. However, it does seem that few doctors are prepared to accept that high doses of Vitamin C may be an effective anticancer agent.

TBC…

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex. This top rating book is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

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“If the Medical Industrial Complex is the Devil in healthcare, then natural or alternative medicine would probably be God.” Thus begins a chapter we devote to alternative medicines in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Supressed Cures.

Natural medicine… Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Given the dictionary interpretation of medicine is drug or medication, little wonder natural medicine sounds contradictory. However, it’s no secret that natural medicine – like alternative health – is (once more) a widely used, well understood term and is a practice that has legions of followers the world over. And those legions are increasing – much to the consternation of mainstream medicine…

The following excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex addresses this contentious issue:

Many in the medical fraternity instantly label treatments in the traditional, natural or holistic health fields as quackery. This word is even used to describe Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Indian Ayurveda – two medical systems which are far older than Western medicine and globally just as popular.

One sign that the Medical Industrial Complex may view natural or alternative medicine as a financial threat is the sweeping law changes it has forced upon the alternative health market in recent years.

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“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” –Thomas Edison

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Today, most nations now have laws requiring any health substance with medicinal claims to be legally defined as “drugs.” This includes herbal remedies and various other non-drug medicines of natural origins. Critics say such laws prevent wider distribution of natural health products and give Big Pharma ever more control.

In the US, these laws are monitored by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration), an organization which critics argue is at the very top of the Medical Industrial Complex. That’s right folks, the same FDA that allows genetically-modified Monsanto organisms in your food supply and the same FDA that allows your kids to consume Aspartame in soft drinks is the organization responsible for telling Americans how they can and cannot treat their illnesses.

It has been repeatedly argued by natural health proponents that major pharmaceutical companies, along with their supportive cronies in government, conspired to pass these laws to force the public to only use modern medicines that are pharmacological, patented or patentable, and profitable.

Call us crazy, but we think any product with 100% natural and non-synthetic ingredients such as those derived from the likes of herbs, flowers, fruits and roots should be in a totally separate category to synthetic, laboratory-made pharmaceutical drugs.

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“We each have the innate ability to heal ourselves. To empower ourselves with natural solutions, instead of succumbing to life-altering chemicals. There’s a time and place for pharmaceuticals, but it shouldn’t be the first answer, nor the only form of treatment.” –American wellness coach and author Dana Arcuri

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Many alternative health researchers also claim that little funding is granted for research into natural or traditional cures because Big Pharma cannot patent plants or anything else that occurs organically in nature.

One such example is the work of high-profile American chemist and Nobel Prize recipient Linus Pauling (1901-1994). He received no support from the medical establishment for radical health discoveries (he claimed) he discovered when experimenting with mega-doses of Vitamin C. Despite his illustrious credentials, Pauling was also labeled a quack for his claims that the natural, unpatentable Vitamin C could cure a whole host of diseases, including cancer.

However, it appears Pauling may have the last laugh, albeit posthumously. Several high profile studies in the last few years suggest his theories on high dose Vitamin C being an effective anticancer agent may indeed be correct.

America’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides a brief history of the use of high-dose Vitamin C as a complementary and alternative treatment for cancer on its website, pointing out that “High-dose vitamin C has been studied as a treatment for patients with cancer since the 1970s”.

NCI states, “A Scottish surgeon named Ewan Cameron worked with…Linus Pauling to study the possible benefits of vitamin C therapy in clinical trials of cancer patients in the late 1970s and early 1980’s” and “In the 1970’s, it was proposed that high-dose ascorbic acid could help build resistance to disease or infection and possibly treat cancer”.

Interestingly, the institute concedes, “Laboratory studies have shown…treatment with high-dose vitamin C slowed the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, malignant mesothelioma, neuroblastoma, and other types of cancer cells,” and “combining high-dose vitamin C with certain types of chemotherapy may be more effective than chemotherapy alone”.

NCI refers to another laboratory study that “suggested that combining high-dose vitamin C with radiation therapy killed more glioblastoma multiforme cells than radiation therapy alone”.

The institute advises that “The FDA has not approved the use of high-dose vitamin C as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition” and “Because dietary supplements are regulated as foods, not as drugs, FDA approval is not required unless specific claims about disease prevention or treatment are made”.

However, it seems the door remains open at least. As NCI concedes, “More studies of combining high-dose IV vitamin C with other drugs are in progress”.

TBC…

 

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex. This top rating book is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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The unseemly subject of kickbacks, or illicit payments, for doctors – from the likes of the big pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment suppliers – is addressed in our controversial new book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

We devote an entire chapter to kickbacks in our book. However, we stress to readers we have no wish to denigrate doctors, or to denigrate anyone who devotes their life to helping fellow man.

After all, it was Cicero who said, “In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in giving health to men.”

Certainly, the medical profession, in its purest form, is a noble one. And doctors are clearly at the apex of the profession.

And we stress that those who do (abuse their position) are very much in the minority. That said, the number of doctors who have brought their profession into disrepute, worldwide, is staggeringly high. Certainly far too many for so noble a profession, we would argue.

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“The vast majority of curricula that are taught in medical schools in this country (USA) were put together by organizations that were founded by, or are funded by, pharmaceutical companies.” –T.C. Hale, natural health expert

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It would be remiss of us not to bring your attention to some, shall we say, gaps in the system – gaps that allow doctors to abuse their position if they are so inclined.

Relevant excerpts from Medical Industrial Complex follow:

The following report was aired by BBC News on November 6, 2014: “Until recently, paying bribes to doctors to prescribe their drugs was commonplace at big pharmas, although the practice is now generally frowned upon and illegal in many places. GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) was fined $490m in China in September for bribery and has been accused of similar practices in Poland and the Middle East.

“The rules on gifts, educational grants and sponsoring lectures, for example, are less clear cut, and these practices remain commonplace in the US. Indeed a recent study found that doctors in the US receiving payments from pharma companies were twice as likely to prescribe their drugs.

“This may well exacerbate the problem of overspending on drugs by governments. A recent study by Prescribing Analytics suggested that the UK’s National Health Service could save up to £1bn a year by doctors switching from branded to equally effective generic versions of the drugs”.

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“Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do practice?” –Grammy-winning American actor/author George Carlin

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The “recent study” referred to by BBC News was a detailed 61-page report compiled by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and dated January 2014.

This report starts out with the comment that “While rent-seeking behavior may not be surprising generally, that financial conflicts of interest could influence physicians’ advice might be less expected. For one, doctors are highly paid, with most falling in the top 5% of the income distribution within the US”.

The UCSD report continues, “When drug companies have financial relationships with physicians, medical decisions may be influenced by pecuniary motives not directly related to patient health…

“We find that men are over twice as sensitive to payments as women. This confirms experimental and field evidence suggesting that women are, on average, more honest and less corruptible than men”.

The report’s conclusion is that “Using data from twelve drug companies, more than 330,000 physicians and nearly one billion prescriptions, we find that when a drug company pays a doctor he is more likely to prescribe that company’s drug…

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“The purpose of a doctor or any human in general should not be to simply delay the death of the patient, but to increase the person’s quality of life.” –Patch Adams

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A US Federal Government report unveiled in September 2014, detailing 4.4 million payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies sheds more light on the vexing kickbacks issue.

ProPublica.com, a watchdog site that prides itself on providing “journalism in the public interest,” analyzes the Federal Government report in an article dated September 30, 2014 by award-winning reporter Charles Ornstein….

Ornstein points out that the Federal Government’s “new trove of data” covers the period August to December 2013. He writes, “According to officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, companies spent a total of $3.5 billion during that period on 546,000 individual physicians and almost 1,360 teaching hospitals”.

Under the heading ‘Where Did the Payments Go?’, Ornstein provides the following breakdown of general payments (that drug companies make to physicians) by category. (Amounts in US dollars):

Royalty or licence payments – $302m; promotional speaking – $202.6m; consulting fees – $158.2m; food and beverage – $92.8m; travel and lodging – $74.1m; grants – $38.1m; education – $26.7m; honoraria – $25.5m; gifts – $19.2m; the balance of payments included space rental, charitable contributions and entertainment. (Payments excluded research or fees to physician owners of a company)…

He concludes, “Doctors were paid for more than 200,000 trips by companies in the last five months of the year…Their top destinations were Toronto, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona. Drug and device makers paid for doctors to travel to about 80 countries in all”.

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“An apple a day, if well aimed, keeps the doctor away.” –P.G. Wodehouse

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Ornstein also figures in an item CBS News ran on March 4, 2014. Headed ‘Does your doctor have ties to Big Pharma,’ the report states, “Big pharma routinely pays doctors to promote its products, but soon patients will be able to get a clearer picture about a doctor’s possible connections to the companies that make the drugs they may prescribe”.

The report continues, “The practice of pharmaceutical companies working with doctors to develop new medications to treat conditions and help promote those medications has been in place for decades, but Ornstein, who is investigating this practice, says, ‘The promotion part has gotten a lot of attention in recent years because drug companies have paid hundreds of millions and sometimes billions of dollars to settle lawsuits that have accused them of improper marketing and giving kickbacks to doctors’.”

The same report addresses the all-important issue of trust – trust between patient and doctor. As Ornstein points out, “When you go to your doctor, you trust that the doctor is giving the best medication for you, but there’s a lot of different interests that your doctor has to take in mind in prescribing you drugs”.

In response, Matthew Bennett, senior vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, is reported by CBS News as saying the discovery of new and improved medicines is dependent on research collaborations between physicians and biopharmaceutical companies. “Clinical trials sponsored by biopharmaceutical companies have led to breakthroughs for people suffering from cancer and other life-threatening diseases”.

We don’t doubt there’s some truth to that, but it doesn’t address the concerns held by many – that it’s illegal to give kickbacks to doctors to prescribe drugs.

Of equal concern to us is that it is legal for pharmaceutical companies to give money to doctors to help promote their drugs. How tempting it must be for doctors to put impartiality aside when recommending certain drugs to patients. And how tempting it must be for unscrupulous doctors to recommend lesser or inferior drugs, knowing promotional payments – aka kickbacks – are on offer.

As Ornstein advised CBS News, “Some doctors make tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year beyond their normal practice just for working with the industry”.

Yes, you read that right: tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year beyond their normal practice.

Of course, this is nothing new. The practice has been around for ages, but we’ve limited the bulk of our research to cases dating back to the mid-2000’s.

One earlier case that caught our attention was reported by New York Times on March 3, 2009. Under the heading ‘Crackdown on Doctors Who Take Kickbacks,’ reporter Gardiner Harris writes, “Federal health officials and prosecutors, frustrated that they have been unable to stop illegal kickbacks to doctors from drug and device companies, are investigating doctors who take money for using these products”.

Harris states, “For years, prosecutors rarely pursued doctors because they believed that juries would sympathize with respected clinicians. But within a few months, officials plan to file civil and criminal charges against a number of surgeons who they say demanded profitable consulting agreements from device makers in exchange for using their products.

“The move against doctors is part of a diverse campaign to curb industry marketing tactics that enrich doctors but increase health care costs and sometimes endanger patients. Taken together, the new measures are likely to transform the relationship between medicine and industry”.

Harris concludes with a quote by the US attorney, Mr Sullivan, who said, “Officials hoped to send a strong message to doctors,” and “I have been shocked at what appears to be wilful blindness by folks in the physician community to the criminal conduct that corrupts the patient-physician relationship”.

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“Doctors put drugs of which they know little into bodies of which they know less for diseases of which they know nothing at all.” –Voltaire

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A Washington Post report that was picked up by media around the world in February 2015 points out that Americans spent $329 billion, or approximately $1000 per person, on prescription drugs in 2013. Quoting John Oliver, of the Last Week Tonight show as its source, the newspaper reports that nine out of the 10 big pharmaceutical companies spend less on research than on marketing. (A lot less as it turns out).

The report confirms that US television channels screen ads for pharmaceutical products that require a doctor’s prescriptions. It concludes with the following quote from Oliver: “Ask your doctor today if he’s taking pharmaceutical money (then ask) what the money is for…Then ask yourself if you’re satisfied with that answer”.

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Little mention has been made thus far of kickbacks physicians receive from medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers. As with the relationship between the pharmaceutical companies and doctors, business dealings between medical equipment representatives and doctors are worthy of scrutiny.

There’s no doubt that an honest relationship between these two parties makes for a win-win for all. There’s potential to progress science and technology, and to help ensure the health and safety of patients. However, the key word here is honest. For there is potential for fraud and abuse, and, as it turns out, some are taking advantage of this…

For a snapshot of just how widespread corruption is within the medical equipment supply sector, and unfortunately, amongst their clients within the medical profession, take a look at the website of New York trial lawyer John Howley, Esq. It lists numerous examples of historic kickbacks deemed illegal under the Anti-kickback Statute and subsequently successfully prosecuted.

These examples include the case of a physician and the owner of a medical supply company pleading guilty to a conspiracy to defraud Medicare by submitting false claims for power wheelchairs, a durable medical equipment (DME) supplier being imprisoned for paying kickbacks to co-conspirators for medical prescriptions and a doctor pleading guilty to accepting kickbacks from the makers of power wheelchairs and other DME…

Hopefully, this insight into doctors’ kickbacks from the likes of Big Pharma and the medical equipment suppliers hasn’t destroyed your faith in your family doctor. We stress that those who succumb to the temptations on offer are in the minority and so, statistically speaking, we’d like to think there’s a very small chance your doctor is one of the culprits.

However, if you are tempted to consider alternatives (to conventional medicine) then upcoming chapters on alternative health and natural medicine may well be of interest…

 

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex. This top rating book is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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No-one can object to the pharmaceutical companies making profits. Surely that’s the aim of all companies – to make profits. But how much is too much? We ask that very question in our new release book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

Excerpts from Medical Industrial Complex  follow:

Many people are alive today because of prescription drugs, and many more are enjoying a better quality of life because of prescription drugs. Let us be clear and unequivocal about that. And unsubstantiated criticism of the pharmaceutical industry, or any industry for that matter, does no-one any good.

We kept all that front of mind when conducting our research for this book.

Unfortunately, the inescapable fact is that much of the good Big Pharma does is undone by mistakes, dubious business practices, (reported/confirmed cases of) fraud and, quite simply, by greed.

Much has been written about Big Pharma in recent years. One of the most informative books on the industry is The Truth About Drug Companies, by Marcia Angell, M.D., former editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

The book’s blurb reads (abridged):

“Currently Americans spend a staggering $200 billion each year on prescription drugs. As Dr. Angell powerfully demonstrates, claims that high drug prices are necessary to fund research and development are unfounded: The truth is that drug companies funnel the bulk of their resources into the marketing of products of dubious benefit. Meanwhile, as profits soar, the companies brazenly use their wealth and power to push their agenda through Congress, the FDA, and academic medical centers.

“Zeroing in on hugely successful drugs like AZT (the first drug to treat HIV/AIDS), Taxol (the best-selling cancer drug in history), and the blockbuster allergy drug Claritin, Dr. Angell demonstrates exactly how new products are brought to market. Drug companies, she shows, routinely rely on publicly funded institutions for their basic research; they rig clinical trials to make their products look better than they are; and they use their legions of lawyers to stretch out government-granted exclusive marketing rights for years. They also flood the market with copycat drugs that cost a lot more than the drugs they mimic but are no more effective.

The Truth About the Drug Companies is a searing indictment of an industry that has spun out of control”.

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Within the book itself, Dr. Angell describes the unethical and at times inhumane pharmaceutical industry she witnessed in her 21 years spent as the first female editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine. She also gives numerous examples to prove beyond dispute that the world’s biggest drug companies have grown so powerful they are now able to pull the strings and call many of the shots in medical academia, health research and even the way doctors and nurses go about their work. Meanwhile, the public, including more and more of the poor, invalid and elderly, are unable to meet the cost of rapidly increasing prescription drug prices.

For an insight into the profitability of the major pharmaceutical companies, take a gander at the top performers on the latest Fortune 500 list. (Fortune 500 being Fortune Magazine’s annual list of the top 500 US companies – publicly and privately listed – according to their gross revenues).

Fortune 500

At the time of writing, the 2014 Fortune 500 list was the latest available. One of the best summaries of the pharmaceutical companies (drug wholesalers, chain pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and pharmaceutical manufacturers) we could find is on the very professional DrugChannels.net site. Compiled by Dr. Adam J. Fein, CEO of Drug Channels Institute, it’s an eye-opener for the uninformed.

As Dr. Fein informs the public, his data “will help you ‘follow the dollar’ and understand how drug channel intermediaries make money.”

The good doctor compares the fortunes of the eight listed drug channels companies (AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, McKesson, Omnicare, Rite Aid, and Walgreens) with Fortune 500’s 12 pharmaceutical manufacturers and a separate survey of independent pharmacies.

Dr. Fein reports “The 2013, median revenues for the eight drug channel companies were $95.1 billion, up 1.4% vs. 2012. Median revenues for the manufacturer group were $17.5 billion… The revenues of the 12 largest pharmaceutical manufacturers on the Fortune 500 list range from $67.2 billion (Pfizer) to $5.5 billion (Celgene)”.

In the report he quotes 2012 data supplied by the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2013 NCPA Digest, which shows that independent pharmacies had higher profitability than the eight largest drug channels companies, including PBMs.

Dr. Fein also observes that, “In 2013…investment returns reflected last year’s strong stock market performance”.

The median Total Return to Investors in 2013 as reported from Fortune’s list is detailed as follows: 8 Drug Channels companies: +65.8% (range: +30.1% to +272.1%); 12 Drug Manufacturers: +34.8% (range: +7.3% to +115.3%).

Starting to get the picture? Big Pharma is mighty profitable and becoming more so each and every year.

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex.

The book is available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

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The role politics and politicians play in a country’s health is worthy of scrutiny and is one that has possibly been overlooked by many other independent critiques and critics of the medical establishment. We raise this point in our new release book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

We devote one entire chapter to the issue of politics and health in Medical Industrial Complex. An excerpt follows:

Serious questions need to be asked about a health ‘system’ in which politicians are often reluctant to invest money in long-term, preventative measures that can take years to show a return on investment.

A politician’s future is very much at the whim of voters who are notoriously fickle. Little wonder then that many tend to focus on short-term policies and initiatives instead of long-term ones. Those who don’t are very quickly brought into line by their party – be it on the Left or Right of the political spectrum – whose modus operandi, invariably and almost without exception, is to do whatever’s needed to win the next election and to stay in power.

That’s politics, folks.

In the process…short-term tangible things like spending more money to reduce waiting surgical waiting lists (to win votes) instead of dealing with the long term underlying causes are given priority.

If the wellbeing of constituents, as well as minors and other non-voters – aka human beings – wasn’t at stake, we’d say this is rather naughty of our elected representatives. As people’s health and, indeed, their very lives are at stake, we’d say this practice or policy, call it what you will, is downright deplorable.

When politics is thrown into the medical melting pot and stirred up with those other essential ingredients – namely Big Pharma, hospitals, the medical academic establishment, hospital supply and equipment companies, and other key players in the Medical Industrial Complex – the practice can only be described as seriously corrupt.

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“The medical profession is unconsciously irritated by lay knowledge.” –John Steinbeck, East of Eden

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Making short-term medical policies, in the case of vote-hungry, power-mad politicians, and pandering to those same policies, in the case of greedy elements within the medical establishment, when lives and health are on the line is unforgivable.

How refreshing it would be if the government of the day announced it was replacing its “ambulance at the bottom of the cliff” health policy with a 10 or 15-year, or, better still, a 20-year vision for the country’s health. A vision that requires investment in long-term preventative measures and that encourages a holistic approach.

Alas, the nature of politics and politicians is that no such change will likely occur. Equally, the current system – a system in which cures for diseases and other ailments come a distant second to just treating symptoms – suits the big pharmaceutical companies and their kind just fine. So no change can be expected any time soon from that quarter either.

At the end of the day, we, the common people, have two choices: we can force the politicians to listen or, better still, we can take responsibility for our own health. The obvious advantage in the latter choice is that it’s actionable immediately and doesn’t rely on a change of government and/or a new type of political leader to emerge.

Be warned, taking responsibility for your own health is not without its challenges. It requires research and no small amount of courage. And…Some health professionals do not take too kindly to patients who want to be involved in decisions about their treatment.

So, be prepared for some battles with your doctor. We know from personal experience they don’t always welcome questions about the (inevitable) side-effects of prescription drugs or suggestions that natural medicine or a health supplement may be a better alternative than a ‘quick-fix’ pill for certain ailments.

 

Medical Industrial Complex is available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

Product Details

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We are constantly inundated with reports and allegations – some well-founded, some not – regarding the alarming state of the public healthcare system worldwide. Which raises the question just how reliable are these reports and how valid the allegations. We investigate this in our new release book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

New book pulls no punches.

As you may have guessed from the title of our book we are highly critical of the medical system. We are not alone in this of course, and we address these concerns in the very first chapter.

 

Relevant excerpts (abridged) from the book follow:  

“…UK peer-reviewed journal BMC International Health and Human Rights, which estimates healthcare expenditures globally total 3 trillion US dollars, indicates it’s little wonder this sector is vulnerable to corruption. In an article dated May 3, 2012 and published on its respected biomedcentral.com website, BMC highlights the huge expense associated with the procurement of the many services the sector offers, and points out that the nature of healthcare is such that the demand is not fully predictable and often exceeds supply.

“Health care systems also tend to have weak or non-existent rules and regulations, lack of accountability, information imbalances between providers and patients and suppliers and providers, and low salaries for health care professionals and public officials. These characteristics of the health sector make it susceptible to corruption.”

BMC also claims that theft, diversion and resale of drugs are other sources of corruption that occur at the distribution point of the pharmaceutical supply chain. Examples listed include theft without falsification of inventory records, dispensing of drugs to patients who did not actually attend the pharmacy or clinic, recording of drugs as dispensed to legitimate patients but the patients do not receive them, and dispensing of drugs to patients who pay for them but the health care provider keeps the funds.

The article also gives examples of “illegal kickbacks” to surgeons and false claims allegations, stating that, in one case, “Physicians were allegedly awarded vacations, gifts and annual ‘consulting fees’ as high as $200,000 in return for physician endorsements of their implants or use of them in operations”.

BMC states that the medical device industry, especially in orthopaedics, is an area where there are relatively large sums of money involved and thus there is a susceptibility to corruption.

Clearly, healthcare corruption is a global problem – and a major one at that. Certainly, that’s the perception of the majority of independent analysts. Most alarming, or at least as alarming, is the reluctance – or downright unwillingness – of those involved to discuss the problem.

Now why is this? Is it because guilty parties are afraid that discussion could lead to investigation of corrupt practices? And are those same parties afraid of what an investigation will uncover?

…Despite the gloom and doom surrounding the Medical Industrial Complex, all is not lost in our opinion. Many good people remain within the healthcare system and devote their lives to improving the quality of their patients’ lives…

Modern technology may eventually empower the public and provide a path to a fairer healthcare system.

One subscriber to the technology-as-a-medical-solution theory is Eric Topol, MD, a professor of translational genomics and the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California. Topol, who is described as a pioneer of the medicine of the future, is also author of the bestselling book, The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands.

The book’s splurge reads as follows:

“In this new era, patients will control their data and be emancipated from a paternalistic medical regime in which ‘the doctor knows best.’ Mobile phones, apps, and attachments will literally put the lab and the ICU in our pockets. Computers will replace physicians for many diagnostic tasks, and enormous data sets will give us new means to attack conditions that have long been incurable. In spite of these benefits, the path forward will be complicated: some in the medical establishment will resist these changes, and digitized medicine will raise serious issues surrounding privacy. Nevertheless, the result – better, cheaper, and more humane health care for all – will be worth it. The Patient Will See You Now is essential reading for anyone who thinks they deserve better health care”.

It seems readers are resonating with Topol’s book if reviewers’ comments are anything to go by…”

 

Product Details

Medical Industrial Complex is available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

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