Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

In our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures, we remind readers that hospitals can be dangerous places.

We draw attention to this disturbing state of affairs in a chapter titled “Medical tests you may not need and procedures that may kill you.” (See our blog of December 28). And we refer to an article the Huffington Post  ran on April 3, 2013. Quoting the Institute of Medicine, it reports, “100,000 people die every year due to medical error — more deaths than from car accidents, diabetes, and pneumonia. Far more patients are victims of medical error”.

The report also quotes “a stunning” 2011 Health Affairs article in which researchers apparently discovered that medical errors occurred in one-third of all hospitalized patients. “A separate study of Medicare patients found that one in seven people in the hospital experience at least one unintended harm”.

Further excerpts follow from Medical Industrial Complex:

The Huffington Post  report identifies the following as “the 10 common medical errors that can occur in the hospital”: Misdiagnosis, unnecessary treatment, unnecessary tests and deadly procedures, medication mistakes, ‘never events’ (events that should never happen), uncoordinated care, infections (from hospital to patient), not-so-accidental ‘accidents,’ missed warning signs and premature discharge (from hospital).

According to the report, misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical error in a hospital; $700 billion is spent every year on unnecessary tests and treatments; medication mistakes affect 1.5 million Americans annually; ‘never events’ (such as scissors being left in patients’ bodies) happen all too often; hospital-acquired infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control, affect 1.7 million people annually and cause nearly 100,000 deaths every year; and malfunctioning medical devices cause tens of thousands of “accidents” in hospitals every year.

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“Whenever a doctor cannot do good, he must be kept from doing harm.” -Hippocrates

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Choosing Wisely, that worthy medical initiative referred to earlier, reports that “three out of four US physicians say the frequency with which doctors order unnecessary medical tests and procedures is a serious problem for America’s health care system—but just as many say that the average physician orders unnecessary medical tests and procedures at least once a week”.

If that admission (by US physicians) has been accurately reported – as appears to be the case given Choosing Wisely’s impressive credentials and reputation for accuracy – then that raises alarm bells. We suspect the estimates are very conservative and the actual incidence of doctors going overboard on medical tests is even higher. Possibly much higher.

T.B.C.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Bk #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via 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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How many plants are being unnecessarily synthesized and sold over the counter as wonder drugs to an unsuspecting public? We ask that question 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 basis of many a drug or medicine, of course, is a plant or plants. These plants range from herbs, flowers, roots and leaves to common and uncommon weeds.

According to one (unconfirmed) source, there are 120 or more important drugs currently in use that have been sourced from plants. These drugs include the likes of morphine, camphor, papain, hesperidin, quinine, codein, ephedrine, strychnine and thymol.

The plant chemical quinine is another example of a plant that has been synthesized by lab technicians; the resulting chemical drug is used to treat malaria – just as the natural extract from the bark of the tree it originally came from was once used.

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

Remember, the pharmaceutical companies cannot patent anything that occurs organically in nature. So there’s no incentive for them to harvest, develop and sell herbs, leaves or any other plants. Far more profitable to synthesize or copy those plants, patent the resulting drugs and medicines, and then sell them.

What if those patented drugs and medicines are less effective in the treatment of diseases and illnesses than the actual plants they are derived from? Think of the cost-savings – not to mention the health benefits to be gained by ingesting or applying natural substances as opposed to toxic chemicals.

Has that occurred to anyone else?

It occurred to us during our research for this book when someone very close to us – let’s call him Mr X – sought treatment for the very common solar keratosis, or sunspots, at a local skin clinic. Mr X was attracted by the clinic’s advertised use of a new drug, Picato, which is an extract of milkweed – also known as radium weed and cancer weed.

Said to work considerably faster than other topical medications, dosing is completed in just two to three days (compared to two to four weeks for competitive products). As you can imagine, the skin’s reaction to such a powerful medication is quite dramatic. Users suffer drastic reddening of the skin and often painful blisters.

Turns out the Picato treatment is very expensive – and quite toxic. Like the better known and more widely used Efudex treatment (for sunspots), Picato is potentially harmful to the liver and therefore the recommended dosage per treatment is wisely limited.

The logic put forward by the skin specialists concerned is the alternative (to Picato or Efudex) could be fatal. They refer of course to deadly melanoma or skin cancer.

That logic’s hard to argue with. But Mr X wondered why he couldn’t simply use milkweed to treat his sunspots. So he did some research.

Turns out milkweed in its natural form is very effective for treating sunspots and potential skin cancers. Users simply break the stem of the plant and apply the milky sap to the skin.

Of course, plants can be toxic, too, and milkweed’s no exception – depending on the variety. For starters, like Picato and Efudex, it must not come into contact with the eyes.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) warns that “Milkweed may be toxic when taken internally.” On its website, USDA reports that Native Americans used milkweed as a food source, and several tribes used the sap to remove warts, for ringworm, and for bee stings.

However, it was a Daily Mail article that clinched it for Mr X. Dated January 26, 2011, the article quotes scientists who claimed that the sap from milkweed “can ‘kill’ certain types of cancer cells” and that “it works on non-melanoma skin cancers”.

The article states, “For the first time a team of scientists in Australia has carried out a clinical study of sap from Euphorbia peplus (milkweed), which is related to Euphorbia plants grown in gardens in the UK…The study of 36 patients with a total of 48 non-melanoma lesions” found that “After only one month 41 of 48 cancers had completely gone”.

Mr X now treats his sunspots with milkweed, which he grows in his garden. Last we heard he’s still alive and well!

That said, the Mr X case study was hardly scientific and therefore should not be used as a blueprint for managing the treatment of sunspots should you have any. As always, our advice must be: Consult your doctor first.

However, it does illustrate the point we were trying to make – that we suspect there are plants, vitamins (à la Vitamin C) and minerals out there that are safer, more effective and a whole heap cheaper than the toxic, synthesized alternatives being developed and marketed by the pharmaceutical companies.

If we are even half right then we’d suggest that would mean natural medicine and alternative treatments are worth exploring, right?

 

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

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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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In our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures, we focus on the alarming overmedication of children diagnosed, or misdiagnosed, as having ADHD, depression and other such ailments.

An excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex  follows:

Overmedication of children diagnosed – and often misdiagnosed or even not diagnosed – with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has, it seems, reached alarming levels, and the public debate has been as vocal as that surrounding the issue of overprescribing antidepressants.

By some estimates, around four million children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD and more than half of them have been prescribed drugs. This despite the fact there are very real concerns about the impact the drugs have on growth and brain development – especially in preschoolers.

One who has had something to say on this matter of late is Dr. Nancy Rappaport, a certified child and adolescent psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In a Washington Post article dated June 4, 2014, and headed ‘We are overmedicating America’s poorest kids,’ she claims that thousands of children between the ages of two and three are being prescribed stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall for ADHD even though the medicine’s safety and effectiveness has barely been explored in that age group.

Dr. Rappaport says she finds it even more troubling that a disproportionate number of those children were on Medicaid, which to her is an indicator of poverty. “That,” she says, “is the huge red flag”.

Referring to her experience as a child psychiatrist, working with at-risk children for more than 20 years, she points out the simple fact is that underprivileged children often grow up in home environments that lead to troubling behavior.

“To the untrained observer, it looks as if these children suffer from ADHD. But they don’t need medicine. They need stability and support”.

This raises the obvious question: Why are physicians prescribing potentially harmful drugs instead of recommending family-based support services for toddlers who display ADHD symptoms and disruptive behavior?

Dr. Rappaport asks this very question. She says, “Medication may be judiciously used to help ADHD when a biological illness is truly present, but true ADHD cannot be differentiated from other problems at such young ages. We owe it to our children to give the consistent message that we will do whatever it takes to foster their development. And that doesn’t always mean prescribing a pill”.

Amen to that.

It’s a fact that in this modern era most of us look for a quick fix for whatever ails us or for whatever ails our children. Our willingness to pop a pill in order to get a good night’s sleep or to ease a queasy tummy or to clear a foggy head or to…(the list goes on) is frightening. Even more so when we pass such quick fix ideas onto our children.

We seem very willing to overlook the fact that all drugs – prescribed or otherwise – have side-effects. Sometimes deadly side-effects, often unhealthy or otherwise undesirable side-effects.

We also overlook the fact that oftentimes there’s a simple, readily available, natural remedy available for those day-to-day ailments we encounter.

For example, physical exercise has long been recognized as an effective way to combat depression. Not for all, granted, but, we suspect, for many.

The Atlantic article referred to earlier reports that a growing body of research suggests that exercise is one of its best cures for depression. It claims a randomized controlled trial showed that depressed adults who took part in aerobic exercise improved as much as those treated with Zoloft, and a recommendation was made that physicians counsel their depressed patients to try it.

A later study looked at 127 depressed people who hadn’t experienced relief from a commonly used antidepressant and found that exercise led 30% of them into remission – a result described “as good as, or better than” drugs alone.

The article continues, “Though we don’t know exactly how any antidepressant works, we think exercise combats depression by enhancing endorphins: natural chemicals that act like morphine and other painkillers. There’s also a theory that aerobic activity boosts norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood. And like antidepressants, exercise helps the brain grow new neurons”.

The article concludes that “this powerful, non-drug treatment” hasn’t yet become a mainstream remedy. Why not? And why are so many people still popping pills?

We suspect the conclusion speaks volumes about the state of our mental health services and infrastructure, the physician reimbursement system (more about doctors’ kickbacks coming up) and the alacrity with which doctors dispense prescription drugs ahead of advising on diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

Regrettably, it also speaks volumes about our unwillingness to take responsibility for, and control of, our own health, preferring, instead, to entrust that to our family doctor.

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex. To find this book on Amazon 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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Even more depressing than our ever-increasing reliance on drugs to combat high blood pressure is the overprescribing and over-use of antidepressants – especially where children are concerned.  We address this in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures, and we examine the role mainstream medicine plays in all of this.

 

An excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex  follows:

Statistically, there’s a very good chance you know someone who is taking Prozac or some other antidepressant right now. It may be a neighbor, or colleague, or a friend or family member, or, it may be you.

This no doubt has something to do with the readiness of people to talk about their depression or even their mental illness – conditions which, thankfully, are no longer burdened by stigma. It no doubt also has something to do with the widespread consumer acceptance of antidepressants as a solution for their depression.

According to some estimates, depression, that most common of mental illnesses, affects one quarter of all Americans.

A March 24, 2014 report in The Atlantic claims Americans are awash in pills. “The use of antidepressants has increased 400 percent between 1988 and 2008. They’re now one of the three most-prescribed categories of drugs, coming in right after painkillers and cholesterol medications”.

The situation, it seems, is little better elsewhere in the Western world. In the UK, for example, more than 50 million prescriptions for antidepressants are written every year if latest estimates are correct.

This figure is “staggeringly high,” according to an article in The Guardian dated April 13, 2014. It quotes Dr Matthijs Muijen, head of mental health at the World Health Organization Europe, as saying prescription levels have gone through the roof, claiming “There’s a degree of fashion about antidepressants”.

Dr Muijen admits his worry is “We are medicalising all forms of sadness in the belief that antidepressants are a safe drug that you just prescribe”.

In a report dated August 3, 2013, BBC News asks the question: “Is England a nation on anti-depressants?” It also asks why we are seeing “such huge and rising numbers of people” regularly taking anti-depressants when GPs are advised to prescribe them only for more seriously ill patients.

The report continues, “In some places the number of patients prescribed anti-depressants exceeds the number of people in that area estimated to suffer from depression and anxiety by the NHS England’s Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (PMS)”.

On June 21, 2013, Healthline News reported that a Mayo Clinic study found that nearly 70% of Americans are prescribed at least one medication, with antidepressants (along with antibiotics and opioids) topping the list.

The article quotes the National Alliance on Mental Illness as estimating one in four Americans experience a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, in a given year. “Typical first-line treatments for mental health issues are medication and some type of psychotherapy…Critics who say antidepressant medications are overused often claim there is a chicken-and-egg phenomenon, saying that antidepressants are prescribed for normal human reactions to life events, leading to a lasting diagnosis of mental illness”.

The article concludes, “However, as the public mindset continues to change, there’s now less stigma attached to getting help for mental disorders, which may help explain the rise in antidepressant use”.

“Suicide rates have not slumped under the onslaught of antidepressants, mood-stabilizers, anxiolytic and anti-psychotic drugs; the jump in suicide rates suggests that the opposite is true. In some cases, suicide risk skyrockets once treatment begins (the patient may feel not only penalized for a justifiable reaction, but permanently stigmatized as malfunctioning). Studies show that self-loathing sharply decreases only in the course of cognitive-behavioral treatment.”Antonella Gambotto-Burke, The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide

Predictably, the Psychiatric Times, whose audience is American psychiatrists and mental health professionals, doesn’t agree that antidepressants are overprescribed in the US. In an article dated September 1, 2014, that publication’s editor-in-chief Ronald W. Pies, MD, reports that, “by and large”, he doesn’t agree with the allegation that America has become a kind of Prozac Nation – a none-too-subtle reference to the title of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 1994 memoirs perhaps.

“In many respects, the claim that ‘too many Americans are taking antidepressants’ is a myth,” according to Dr. Pies. “…To be sure: in some primary care settings, antidepressants are prescribed too casually; after too little evaluation time; and for instances of normal stress or everyday sadness, rather than for MDD (major depressive disorder),” he says.

“And, in my experience, antidepressants are vastly over-prescribed for patients with bipolar disorder, where these drugs often do more harm than good: mood stabilizers, such as lithium, are safer and more effective in bipolar disorder. But these kernels of truth are concealed within a very large pile of chaff”.

Dr. Pies continues, “For example, the media often report that antidepressant use in the United States has ‘gone up by 400%’ in recent years—and that’s probably true…But the actual percentage of Americans 12 years or older taking antidepressants is about 11%—a large proportion of the population, for sure, but not exactly Prozac Nation”.

So, though Dr. Pies – and by default Psychiatric Times and no doubt the majority of psychiatric professionals in the US – disputes the allegation that America has become a kind of Prozac Nation, there seems to be a reluctant acknowledgement that antidepressants are vastly over-prescribed for patients suffering one type of mental illness at least, and that it’s probably true that antidepressant use has risen 400% in the US.

If that doesn’t constitute a Prozac Nation, not sure what does…

Washington D.C. writer Brendan L. Smith, reporting on the American Psychological Association’s website in June 2012, reports that research shows that all too often, Americans are taking medications that may not work or that may be inappropriate for their mental health problems.

Smith observes that writing a prescription to treat a mental health disorder is easy, but it may not always be the safest or most effective route for patients, according to some recent studies and a growing chorus of voices concerned about the rapid rise in the prescription of psychotropic drugs.

“Today, patients often receive psychotropic medications without being evaluated by a mental health professional, according to…the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many Americans visit their primary-care physicians and may walk away with a prescription for an antidepressant or other drugs without being aware of other evidence-based treatments…that might work better for them without the risk of side effects”.

Smith quotes Steven Hollon, PhD, a psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, as saying at least half the folks who are being treated with antidepressants aren’t benefiting from the active pharmacological effects of the drugs themselves but from a placebo effect. “If people knew more,” Hollon says, “I think they would be a little less likely to go down the medication path than the psychosocial treatment path”.

Smith claims Prozac opened the floodgates. “Since the launch of Prozac, antidepressant use has quadrupled in the United States…Antidepressants are the second most commonly prescribed drug in the United States, just after cholesterol-lowering drugs”.

Smith also quotes Daniel Carlat, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University, as saying health insurance reimbursements are higher and easier to obtain for drug treatment than therapy, which has contributed to the increase in psychotropic drug sales.

“There is a huge financial incentive for psychiatrists to prescribe instead of doing psychotherapy,” Dr. Carlat says. “You can make two, three, four times as much money being a prescriber than a therapist”.

“As James Surowiecki noted in a New Yorker article, given a choice between developing antibiotics that people will take every day for two weeks and antidepressants that people will take every day forever, drug companies not surprisingly opt for the latter. Although a few antibiotics have been toughened up a bit, the pharmaceutical industry hasn’t given us an entirely new antibiotic since the 1970s.” -Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

 

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex. Watch this space for our take on the prescribing of antidepressants to children. Meanwhile, you can find this book 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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Can society trust the big pharmaceutical companies enough to be sure child immunizations are not dangerous – especially in the light of the alarmingly long list of proven fraudulent activities of many of those same companies? We attempt to answer that question in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

We also ask is there any limit to the lengths drug companies will go to in order to maximize revenue? And if adult lives aren’t safe in this mad pursuit of profits, can we be certain children’s lives won’t be viewed as expendable as well?

But surely they wouldn’t suppress scientific evidence of vaccine dangers when it comes to children? you may ask. Surely they wouldn’t go that far? Right?

Well, you may be right, but let’s break things down a little before reaching any conclusions.

Firstly, it’s an indisputable fact that immunizations protect many millions of children every year from potentially deadly diseases, and they save countless lives. It is undeniable that vaccines have all but eradicated a whole host of serious diseases including diphtheria, rubella and smallpox. Polio was also on that list although, alarmingly, it has reportedly been making a comeback in recent years.

Given the apparent overwhelming scientific evidence proving the effectiveness of child immunizations, in legal parlance this seems like it should be case closed. However, not all parents, and more significantly not all health industry professionals, agree it’s as simple an issue as that. Indeed, some doctors, nurses and other health professionals argue the underreported risks of vaccinating infants far outweigh the protection they provide against certain diseases.

At the time of writing, Californian politicians were considering passing a new law – Senate Bill 277 (SB 277) – making it mandatory for Californian residents to vaccinate their children. As you can imagine, this hasn’t gone down well with everyone.

Taking away parents’ ability to choose has stirred up the vaccine debate once more – especially in alternative media.

On April 23, 2015, the healthy living website Elephant ran an article by health campaigner Elliot Freed, commenting on the issues at stake. In it, Freed hints at complexities that go beyond whether vaccines are safe and effective, stating, “In 1986 vaccine manufacturers were given financial immunity from the damages of their products by congress”.

It turns out that law change led to a program that’s funded by a 75 cent levy on every vaccine sold.

The article heavily implies that through this legal and/or political loophole, drug companies can repeatedly dodge most claims which attempt to establish a link between vaccines and injury to children.

The Elephant article also mentions how more child vaccines than ever contain disease-producing pathogens – more so since liability was eliminated for drug companies producing vaccines. The list of vaccines containing pathogens, according to the article, includes “the MMR, the dTap and the oral polio vaccine”.

Because of the financial immunity in the production of vaccines, pharmaceutical manufacturers are now much more focused on developing vaccines than drugs. Easy to understand why: it’s a lower risk activity.

Freed continues, “Drugs go through a more rigorous testing process. They are then optional for consumers and consumers and governments can sue pharmaceutical companies for damages caused by the drugs. Vaccines are subject to a less rigorous testing process, saving millions of dollars for each drug sold as a vaccine.”

And of course, vaccines need far less advertising costs – especially when governments make their usage mandatory.

“This is not about vaccines for diseases like polio or measles,” Freed says. He goes on to predict that many other future vaccines will become mandatory as well. “Where are the infectious epidemics that are killing our children? I don’t see them”.

If the bill (SB 277) passes, according to Freed, “No state legislator, no school administrator, no doctor and no parent will be able to say no to any chemical mandated by the federal government to be injected into children, so long as it is packaged as a ‘vaccine’”.

Is this paranoia? Unfounded speculation? A theory only tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists would believe?

Not according to RFK’s son, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has warned the public that a medically induced ‘holocaust’ is now upon us…

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex. To view the book on Amazon 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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