I frankly get tired of hearing that homeopathy and other forms of natural healing can’t possibly work because they’re not “evidence-based”, not “scientific” the way modern medicine apparently is! Last month in Tidbits-19, I blew the whistle on that myth by exposing the non-replicability of over 75% of the studies published in major medical journals, the sleezy drug trials conducted in poor countries on the poorest of the poor (because they can be convinced of anything and aren’t likely to sue), and how government agencies that are supposed to be over-seeing the safety and efficacy of drug trials are simply looking the other way. Now I’ve got even more “tidbits” for you. Here we go again with Part-2–More Modern Medicine “Marvels”.
The Trouble With Benzodiazepines
According to the September 24th issue of the New York Times, if you’re on Benzodiazepines, you’re 51% more likley to develop Alzheimers Disease, so says Dr. Antoine Pariente, a pharmacoepidemioligist at the University of Bordeaux and co-author of a study in Quebec comparing 1800 Alzheimers patients with 7200 controls. Benzodiazepines include such popular drugs as Ativan, Valium, Xanax, Librium, Klonopin, Lunesta and Ambien. Other risks involved in using these drugs include: falls and fractures, car accidents, cognitive difficulties, hospital admissions and visits to the emergency room.
CDC Senior Scientist says CDC Hid MMR Link to Autism
Dr. William Thompson admitted being part of a cover-up of data that linked the MMR vaccine to an increased incidence of autism in African-American boys, age three-years and under. The increased incidence kept secret was 340%.
Two Virologists Blow the Whistle on Merck for Falsifying Mumps Vaccine Data
Two Virologists who worked for the pharmaceutical company Merck–Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski (no, that’s really how her name is spelled)–blew the whistle on their employer claiming they observed improper testing of the Mumps Vaccine, falsification of the test data to depict a 95% efficacy rate, and hiding unfavorable results. Their False Claims Act complaint states as follows:
“Merck also added animal antibodies to blood samples to achieve more favorable test results, though it knew that the human immune system would never produce such antibodies….”
To quote from an article titled, “Merck Scientists Claim Merck Forced Them to Falsify Vaccine Efficacy Test”:
“They describe a supervisor manually changing test results that showed the vaccine wasn’t working, hurriedly destroying garbage-bags full of evidence to keep the fraud from being exposed and lying to FDA regulators who came to the lab after being alerted by the whistleblowers. A top Merck vaccine official told Krahling the matter was a ‘business decision,’ …and he was twice told the company would make sure he went to jail if he told federal regulators the truth.”
Merck Sinks Even Lower! (If that’s possible)
Merck had compiled a “hit-list” of doctors who criticized its now-banned, heart attack-causing, pain-killer, Vioxx. The hit-list was revealed in a 2009 Australian class-action suit. As reported by CBS:
“Merck emails from 1999 showed company execs complaining about doctors who disliked using Vioxx. One email said: We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live…”
Merck Creates a Fake Medical Journal to Hype Vioxx
As if existing medical journals weren’t solicitous enough, Merck whipped up a phony peer-reviewed journal called the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine to populate with enthusiastic articles about Vioxx! They also conceived what they called a “cunning plan” to intersperse seminars with pro-Vioxx speakers– without seeming too obvious. (I guess that’s why it was called “cunning”.) Keep in mind that Vioxx killed over 60,000 people.
Merck Senior Researcher, Morrison, Objects to Fake Vioxx Data
…but the data was published anyway in a ghost-written article in the journal Circulation in October 2001 despite Briggs Morrison’s objections. In an internal email, he complained as follows:
“That seems wishful thinking [the article’s conclusion], not a critical interpretation of the data. … The data appears to have been interpreted to support a preconceived hypothesis.”
The fake article was attributed to a US cardiologist named Dr. Marv Konstam. In my “Tidbits” article last month, I talked about how teams of scientists tried to replicate “landmark” studies from reputable medical journals and weren’t able to do so roughly 75 to 90% of the time! This is an example of why!
The Real Drug Problem
They want you to equate “drug problem” with illegal drugs, but they are not the biggest “drug problem” we face. According to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, June 2010, in the 30 years between 1976 and 2006, approximately 62,000,000 Americans died in hospital settings due to medication errors. Every year, more than 770,000 Americans are killed or injured from prescription drug complications (Discover magazine, Nov. 2010, p 64-65). Adverse drug reactions cause either injury or death to 1 out of 5 hospital patients. In 2009, there were approximately 4.6 million drug-related visits to the Emergency Room in the United States, with more than half of those being for correctly prescribed and correctly taken Rx drugs.
Meet the biggest corporate criminals in the world:
MERCK –Tens of thousands of deaths and over 5.5 billion dollars in judgements and fines against it. Besides the Vioxx debacle already discussed, there’s the Fosamax fiasco, a drug that supposedly treats osteoporosis by increasing bone density. In December 2013, Merck agreed to pay over 27 million dollars to 1200 claimants who alleged that Fosamax caused osteonecrosis of the jaw (death of the jaw bone), 4,000 cases still await adjudication. Fosamax also causes your femur, the strongest bone in your body, to snap in half without the least trauma to cause it! You can see the report on ABC World News Tonight:
Also shown in this report is an FDA spokesman denying that Fosamax, and bisphosphonates in general, are harmful, but claiming to be “interested” nonetheless. Merck’s latest pet project is the vaccine Gardasil, which has been linked to thousands of adverse events and 49 deaths.
BAXTER –Product recalls in the dozens, 11+ pleas of guilty to fraud and illegal sales of drugs, two hundred lawsuits filed against it, many having to do with the sale of AIDS-tainted blood to hemophiliacs, criminal fines and civil penalties coming in over 1.3 billion dollars. What else has Baxter done? At the height of the flu season in 2009, Baxter mixed the lethal live virus H5N1 with the regular flu vaccine and sent it to labs across Europe. Thankfully, the Czech Republic tested the vaccine and saw the “mistake”, thereby saving thousands of lives. Then there were the contaminated dialysis filters resulting in lawsuits and settlements for those who had died because of them. No wonder Baxter made the “Top 100 Corporate Criminals” list in the ’90’s from AllBusiness.com.
ROCHE –Roche actually made the #1 slot in AllBusiness.com’s list of Corporate Criminals! Roche has had to pay roughly 2 billion dollars in judgements and fines stemming from thousands of lawsuits, but perhaps best of all, Roche is responsible for Tamiflu, an anti-viral that’s a complete fraud! In 2006, warnings escalated about the dreaded Avian Flu, an epidemic that never happened; but, sales of Tamiflu predictably took off! In 2009, along came the Swine Flu, which, not surprisingly, never materialized but sales of Tamiflu again went skyward! Dr. Tom Jefferson, who had gone on record as saying Tamiflu was safe and effective, decided to check out the raw data. To quote the Los Angeles Times,
“He was stymied when several authors and the manufacturer gave one excuse after another for why it couldn’t supply the actual data. Jefferson’s concern turned to outrage when two employees of a communications company … [revealed] they had been paid to ghostwrite some of the Tamiflu studies [and] had been given explicit instructions to ensure that a key message was embedded in the articles: Flu is a threat, and Tamiflu is the answer. After reanalyzing the raw data finally made available (they still don’t have it all), Jefferson and his colleagues published their review [in December 2009], saying that once the unpublished studies were excluded, there was no proof that Tamiflu reduced serious flu complications…In short, it appears the pharmaceutical companies had been as cunning in conning the public on matters of health as Wall Street had been on matters of wealth.”
PFIZER –Pfizer can claim the largest medical fraud settlement in history–2.3 billion dollars for the illegal marketing of Bextra and other drugs. It was the 4th such settlement involving illegal marketing for Pfizer since 2002. John Kopchinski, a former Pfizer sales representative and whistle-blower said,
“The whole culture of Pfizer is driven by sales, and if you didn’t sell drugs illegally, you were not seen as a team player.”
Eight hundred California voters were polled by the Campaign for Effective Patient Care and were asked if the health care they receive is based on scientific evidence. 65% said it was. The reality is quite different. According to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, less than half of the drugs, procedures and tests doctors prescribe or perform have been adequately tested, all the rest is guesswork, tradition and assumptions based on advertising and marketing. (Lenzer and Brownlee, “Reckless Medicine”, Discover, Nov. 2010, p. 64-65) And remember, I didn’t say that, the Institute of Medicine said it!