Posts Tagged Medicine
Ethan A. Huff
October 29, 2014
The same drug manufacturers that stand to profit immensely from the sale of Ebola vaccines say they require full legal immunity from any potential lawsuits that might arise when people are harmed by various adverse effects from these “emergency” drugs.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO Andrew Witty told World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan that his corporation, which is currently leading the way in producing Ebola vaccines, shouldn’t have to shoulder any of the burden of responsibility for their safety.
Witty maintains, in other words, that GSK should be allowed full access to the financial benefits associated with selling Ebola vaccines to the public, but with absolutely none of the risk. And his company and others will likely get what they want, since they hold remarkable sway in the political realm.
“I think it is reasonable that there should be some level of indemnification because the vaccine is essentially being used in an emergency situation before we’ve all had the chance to confirm its absolute profile,” Witty told BBC.
“That’s a situation where we would look for some kind of indemnification, either from governments or from multilateral agencies.”
Taxpayers funding development of high-profit drugs for which drug companies will not be held liable
There are currently no approved drugs or vaccines for Ebola, which is why GSK and others have been racing to pump new ones through the pipeline. This process, which normally takes five or six years to complete, is being done in about five or six months, hence concerns over the safety of the final products.
But the shady reality is that governments, not vaccine companies, are actually the ones financing the development of experimental Ebola drugs and vaccines. And they are doing so on the taxpayer dime, which means vaccine companies are not only developing their vaccines for free but also gaining access to unlimited profit potential driven by fear.
by: Lisa Garber
August 7, 2012
Nearly 2,000 people have been detained and $180 million worth of fake pharmaceuticals seized in China’s latest crackdown. The detentions and seizures took place in late July but, in an effort to express its commitment to cleaning up Chinese industry’s tattered reputation, its Ministry of Public Security released the information on Sunday. The pharmaceuticals in question were counterfeit drugs for hypertension, diabetes, skin diseases, rabies, and even cancer.
Counterfeit Drugs – FDA Fails to Inspect Foreign Factories
China is one of the world’s biggest producers of fake pharmaceuticals. It is also one of the biggest producers of our drugs in America.
Although the Chinese government has made more and tightened existing regulations of late, it has much bad karma to convince consumers to forget. The government executed the director of its food and drug agency in 2007 for taking cash in exchange for approval of counterfeit, even deadly medication. Though this didn’t prevent the deaths of 81 people in the United States the very next year as a result of a tainted batch of heparin, a blood thinner.
Still, the Food and Drug Administration can’t be bothered to buy plane tickets to visit many of those or other foreign factories; a whopping 81% of them have never even been visited by an FDA inspector! It is no surprise so many counterfeit drugs are being circulated.
The Price Squeeze
The pharmaceutical industry is booming in China despite these disasters. Many provinces have even established bidding systems so drug companies can sell at rock bottom prices in exchange for hospital and pharmaceutical contracts.
So, how low can they go? In an example from earlier this year, China’s drug regulator stopped sales of 13 types of drugs with dangerous levels of chromium. How did it get there? The capsules for these counterfeit drugs were made from leather scraps with industrial gelatin—and chromium—from the tanning process.
How to stay safe
How are we to protect ourselves against counterfeit, often deadly drugs when they are so rampantly made in faraway factories our own government doesn’t care to inspect? Remember that every dollar is a vote. The government—and certainly Big Pharma—won’t count it, but your body will appreciate high quality supplements made of food-based ingredients without toxic fillers and synthetic ingredients.
Remember Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine.” Many foods like turmeric and ginger have been found to work better than pharmaceuticals in helping treat many chronic diseases.
by: Jim Karger
July 16, 2012
[Editors Note: the following post is by Jim Karger, TDV Legal Correspondent]
My wife and I had dinner last night at a small Asian-fusion restaurant here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with two lawyer friends visiting from the United States. One sat down and immediately began our evening’s conversation with a story.
“You won’t believe this,” he said, holding up his thumb, grinning ear to ear.
“I was chopping vegetables the other night and I sliced my thumb right here.” I could see the scar.
“I am sorry to hear that,” I offered, “but you seem absolutely cheerful about it.”
He continued. “It bled profusely and we ended up going to the emergency room.” His excitement was palpable.
“And, you won’t believe this, I was seen by a doctor in about two minutes. In the US where I live, I might have sat in the ER for 3 or 4 hours. He sewed me up, told me he wanted to see me again in a couple of days. And then do you know what happened?”
“You discovered a winning lottery ticket in your pocket?” I joked.
“Almost as good,” he laughed. “I got the bill. $35 dollars!”
Having lived in Mexico 10 years, that sounded about right to me.
“Don’t you get it? Thirty-five dollars,” he pronounced the words slowly as If I did not understand him the first time. “In the U.S. that would have been $500, maybe $1000, or more!”
Such is the reaction of many who experience medicine outside the US sickcare system, the most expensive in the world.
July 14, 2012
A Recent study on antidepressants has shown that the drugs have some serious side effects: those taking certain prescriptions could lose their sex drive. It sounds like the whole nation’s sexuality is under a threat as, according to the statistics, one in ten Americans takes antidepressants. And it’s not only libido people are losing – many of these meds induce anxiety and double the risk of suicide. Psychologist and author Bruce Levine joins RT’s Liz Wahl to discuss the issue.
by: Randy Ananda
July 10, 2012
To clean up its drugs that are contaminated with genotoxic ingredients (which are also carcinogenic), Big Pharma may deploy lab-created, nanosized, polymer-based scavengers.
But is the cure any safer?
New research explains that:
A variety of chemical compounds, intermediates, and reagents are used during the process of synthesizing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Some of these chemicals, intermediates, and reagents, as well as byproducts of synthetic processes, can have toxic properties and be present as impurities at low levels in the API or final drug formulation….
The kinetics of acrolein scavenging in the presence of the API iodixanol and the scavenging capacity of resins were demonstrated in this paper.
They found a nanopolymer so efficient it cleans up 97.8% of acrolein without eating the active pharmaceutical components.
Yum… drugs with nanobots.
“Pharmaceutical genotoxic impurities may induce genetic mutations, chromosomal breaks, or chromosomal rearrangements, and have the potential to cause cancer in human,” lead researcher Ecevit Yilmaz told In-PharmaTechnologist. “Therefore, exposure to even low levels of such impurities present in the final API may be of significant toxicological concern.”
Research began in earnest after the European Medicines Agency issued its Guideline on the Limits of Genotoxic Impurities in 2006, which set the limit at 1.5m/day under the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC):
A TTC value of 1.5 μg/day intake of a genotoxic impurity is considered to be associated with an acceptable risk (excess cancer risk of <1 in 100,000 over a lifetime) for most pharmaceuticals.
The US Food and Drug Administration followed suit in 2008.
Some nanopolymer scavengers are more or less selective in their activity, the team discovered, based on polymer structure. “Less cross-linked ones showed an ‘undesired high level of nonspecific binding to the API’,” meaning they readily eat the good properties of the drugs, and who knows what else.
In a 2008 study, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) were also found to “restore damaged cell membranes and ameilorate abnormal mitochondrial behavior induced by” genotoxins (like acrolein). “MSNs modified with drug/polymer constructs provide significant neuroprotection to cells damaged by a usually lethal exposure to acrolein.”
Safety questions for nano-agents remain, however. Because of the size, a whole new set of health hazards are raised. Does this technology trade one set of hazards for another?
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] Purdue Pharma LP, the pharmaceutical company responsible for developing the highly addictive painkiller drug OxyContin (oxycodone), is so desperate to retain exclusivity on the soon-to-expire patent rights for its drug that it has decided to conduct clinical trials with OxyContin on young children. According to theWall Street Journal (WSJ), more than 150 children between the ages of six and 16 will participate in the multi-site trial, which will be used solely to extend OxyContin’s exclusive patent by a mere six months.
Set to expire in April 2013, the patent rights for OxyContin have been a financial goldmine for Purdue, as the drug just last year generated more than $2.8 billion in sales. And with numerous other drug companies chomping at the bit to begin manufacturing their own generic versions of OxyContin, which would obviously be sold for far less than the original formula, Purdue is feverishly trying to protect its cash cow by whatever means necessary.
In this case, that means taking advantage of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s pediatric testing incentive for drugs, which offers six-month patent extensions to drug companies who conduct clinical trial on children after those drugs have been approved. The FDA, in other words, is actually encouraging drug companies to test oftentimes dangerous and highly addictive drugs on children by dangling a patent extension carrot in front of their noses.
Why does the FDA do this? According to the agency, testing drugs on children helps to bridge the “pediatric knowledge gap” of how drugs that are approved for adults perform in children. Since doctors often prescribe drugs “off label” to children, the FDA considers aftermarket testing on children to be beneficial for society (http://www.fda.gov).
FDA patent extensions benefit drug companies, not society
In reality, however, the FDA’s six-month patent extension incentive benefits only drug companies rather than society at large. OxyContin, after all, is not even approved for use in children, and Purdue admittedly has no intention of trying to gain FDA approval for the drug’s use in children. The only reason Purdue is conducting the trial is to gain the extension, which will generate for the company far more in profits than the cost of conducting the trial and filing the FDA paperwork.
Meanwhile, the test children, which will literally be used as human guinea pigs, will be exposed to a drug that has been shown to be more addictive than hard street drugs like cocaine and heroin. Individuals that take OxyContin for prolonged periods of time, especially children, are also highly susceptible to extreme withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug.
Prescription opioid painkillers like OxyContin are also extremely deadly, outstripping the number of deaths caused by cocaine and heroine combined by nearly 300 percent (http://www.naturalnews.com/024765_drug_drugs_DEA.html). According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 40 Americans die every single day, which translates into about 15,000 per year, as a result of overdosing on prescription painkillers like OxyContin (http://abcnews.go.com).
Sources for this article include: