Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Acomplia. What happens to all the 'Wonder Drugs' and 'Miracle Cures' of conventional medicine?

Two quite distinct things can usually be guaranteed about conventional medicine.
  1. Medical science will regularly tell us about new wonder treatments, new miracle cures, that will transform the treatment of this or that disease - in a few years time.
  2. The rates and incidence of every chronic disease rises to epidemic levels, on a regular basis, and there is a crisis in its ability to cope with these levels of sickness.
They are, of course, mutually exclusive. If the first comes to fruition the second will not materialise. If the second materialises, the first cannot be true.

So let's look at one of these wonder drugs - Acomplia. Acomplia, or Rimonabant, is an obesity drug that works by reducing people's appetite for food. The Guardian confirmed in an article (mentioned again below) that the drug "was hailed as a wonder drug after the first bursts of publicity from its French manufacturer, Sanofi Aventis, because it not only promoted weight loss but was also said to help people stop smoking."

Patient hopes raised, then dashed!

In June 2007 the magazine, What Doctor's Don't Tell Us (WDDTY) outlined evidence that this drug, hailed as a new 'wonder' drug when it got a licence in Europe in June 2006, increased the risk of suicide. It said that the drug 'sailed through' the approval process in Europe, had been used in the UK for a year, whilst at the same time the FDA in the USA had not approved the drug.

Acomplia (called Zimulti in the USA) was hailed as a 'miracle drug for people who were seriously overweight. The WDDTY article said that one study discovered that one-third of people on the drug lost 10% of their body weight, and 60% lost a less impressive 5%. Apparently, what the study did not say was that everyone in the trial was also on a low-calorie diet, and virtually everyone put the weight back on once they stopped taking the drug.

The Guardian caught up with this story on 25th June 2008 ("Weight-loss drug banned in US gets NHS go-ahead"). It said that the drug, refused a licence in the US because of fears over depression (as well as suicide) had been approved by NICE for use in England and Wales - if only for severely overweight people. It said that a study published in the Lancet in November 2007 showed that patients on the drugs were 40% more likely to suffer mental health problems than those taking placebos. A NICE spokesman is quoted as saying

               "It is out there and it is being used. What we have done is put it in the context of how and when it should be used. It is very much last line."

So a new 'wonder drug' was reduced to a 'a last line' within two short years! The Telegraph also published the story on 25 June 2008, but did not mention that the drug had not been approved in the USA. It did say, however, that

               "In 2006 more than one million prescriptions were written for obesity drugs at a cost of £47.7m and this is expected to rise as a result of the new guidance. Doctors and campaigners welcomed the move saying it will improve the health of thousands of people".

Patient hopes raised, pharmaceutical profits raised!

Finally, and incredibly within 4 months of NICE clearing Acompia, and just over two years of being hailed a "wonder drug", it was withdrawn. The Daily Mail (24 October 2008) said that its use had been suspended "over concerns that it may be linked to suicide and sudden death". It said that 100,000 Britons had used the drug, and that 2.500 adverse reactions had been reported.

Patient hopes raised, but they suffer further health damage as a result!

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) commented that the drug had proved less effective in 'real life' than in clinical trials. Patient hopes raised in the 'science' laboratory but dashed in real life. So it had been decided to suspend the licence for Acomplia as:

               "New data from post-marketing experience and ongoing clinical trials indicated that serious psychiatric disorders may be more common than in the clinical trials".

So Acomplia demonstrates better than most pharmaceutical drugs the many aspects of the hopelessness of medical science and drug regulation, which in the interests of selling drugs raise hopes, but lead only to further patient damage.
  • The NHS resorts to a drug for a condition that would be better treated via life-style and dietary treatment.
  • The drug is significantly less effective than the trials (the medical 'science' funded by the pharmaceutical industry) suggested.
  • The full side effects of the drug remain unknown through all the 'scientific' drug testing, the regulator process, the licensing, and the prescription of the drug.
  • The side effects turn out to be considerably more serious than the original condition or illness.
  • And a drug thought to be unsafe in one country (the USA in this case) is considered to be perfectly 'safe' in others (indeed, most of Europe) - before it is withdrawn there too.
There is no such thing as a wonder drug, or a miracle cure, there never has been, and there probably never will be (on the basis that future performance is best predicted by past performance). So the next time the mainstream media, or your doctor tells you about a remarkable new treatment - run a mile, very, very quickly!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Surgical Operations. Miracle? Or Medical Failure

Although I speak much about 'the failure of conventional medicine' most people continue to point towards surgical operations as a 'success' that proves conventional medicine is not failing. However, this is not so. Or it is so only as long as we want to ignore what has usually proceeded the necessity of surgery. What follows was originally published in a chapter of my e-book on the failure of conventional medicine.

     "Surgical operations will always be a necessary part of any modern and effective health service. Great strides have been taken during the last 150 years in surgical skills. Operations are not necessarily ‘dangerous procedures’, and many are necessary, life-saving procedures. 

     However, the demand for surgery, and the amount of surgery actually undertaken, is far greater than it needs to be. This is allied to a medical system that is incapable of treating illness and diseases safely and effectively. Conventional drugs and vaccines are largely ineffective, they do not cure illness, and in addition they exacerbate it, they cause harm to patients. Conventional medicine is doing this on a regular and consistent basis. The outcome is that medical conditions actually get worse, until patients require more invasive, surgical intervention.

Organ Replacement
     The human body comes with a fully-equipped, fully-operational and integrated set of organs that have been carefully honed to support life, and to maintain good health. This changes when patients develop some form of organ disease. If a patient then seeks conventional medicine treatment they will initially receive some form of pharmaceutical medication. Indeed, organ failure and disease is often the direct result of pharmaceutical drug treatment. It is the drugs and vaccines doctors prescribed that causes it. Even common pharmaceutical drugs, such as painkillers and indigestion tablets, sold without a doctor’s prescription, can damage our organs, and they do so more often than we are told!

     When conventional drug treatment fails, if the organ continues to deteriorate, or when its function is significantly reduced, the condition can become life threatening. When this happens, conventional medicine will turn to surgery for a remedy. It will eventually seek to replace the diseased organ with another, taken from a donor. The number of organ replacement operations, and the number of organs that can be replaced, has increased rapidly over the last 50 years, as surgical techniques and procedures have made them viable.

     The surgeons who do these operations are without doubt brilliant technicians. Yet it should be forgotten that they are used only after pharmaceutical drug treatment has failed to treat the organ successfully, and/or has exacerbated organ failure.

Immunosuppressive drugs
     After the operation there is another problem. In order to stop the body rejecting the new organ, the patient has to take more drugs, and take them for the remainder of their lives in order that the new organ is not rejected by the body. These immosuppressive drugs can also have serious disease inducing effects. Their primary objective is interfere with the body’s immune system, which would otherwise reject the new organ. 

     This interference with the body's immune system leads to the body being unable to do its proper job, to protect itself from a multitude of threats it faces on a daily basis in its environment. So replacing an organ makes us more susceptible to a variety of autoimmune diseases, many now running at epidemic levels, for the rest of our lives.

Limb Replacement
     Limb replacement surgery has become commonplace. Indeed it is now often described as ’routine’ surgery. Limb replacement is required for people who have usually suffered some form of arthritic pain for a considerable amount of time. Conventional medicine has no effective treatment for arthritis and related diseases. Painkillers are used to temporarily reduce the pain, but the underlying condition remains. 

     Yet painkillers, especially when used over a long period of time, come with serious long-term health consequences. They cause harm to the body, they add to the toxicity the body has to cope with, and they create new diseases. But most of all, they do not deal with the arthritis, which gets progressively worse. More powerful painkillers are required, adding more toxicity, and so cause even more harm. One feature of painkillers is that they can actually worsen the condition that is causing the pain, so that ultimately the pain, and the deterioration of the joint, or joints, is actually made worse by the ‘treatment’ conventional medicine has offered! Eventually, the pain levels become unbearable, and surgery becomes the only, or the last resort. The natural limb is removed, and an artificial one replaces it. There are four main problems or issues arising from limb replacement procedure.

    1.   The fitting of this new limb may not be completely successful, and ‘complications’, such as blood loss, infection, wound breakdown, reactions to anaesthetic, and many other unforeseen consequences can happen from the surgery itself.

    2.    Drugs may have to be used, for example, such as Heparin to avoid deep-vein-thrombosis, for several weeks following the operation. Older people are particularly at risk of complications, and the side effects of the drugs used to reduce this. And of course limb replacement is often done for older people!

    3.   The new limb may not function properly, or the implanted device can fail, because of faulty design or manufacture, or it may not perform in the way it was designed.

    4.   As with organ transplantation, immunosuppressive drugs have to be taken following surgery, and antibiotic drug to deal with issues of infection following the operation. The side effects of any drug may be problematical because of a weakened state following the operation.

     Yet this is often not the end of the sequence. Conventional medicine rarely addresses the cause of the original condition that has damaged the limbs. The result is that many patients find that a single limb replacement leads to the same pain developing in other limbs, not previously affected. So after time, another limb is affected, again drugs fail to deal with it, and another limb becomes so painful that it, too, has to be surgically replaced. 

Surgical Replacement represents Medical Failure
     Undoubtedly, many patients benefit from limb and organ replacement surgery, through both the reduction of pain, improved energy and greater mobility. And without doubt they are brilliant technical achievements. But they are not achievements that ultimately improve our health in the longer term. We are all better off with our original limbs and organs, and maintaining them is the best option for every patient.

If the patient had been given safe and effective medical treatment, capable of dealing with the original condition, the need for a limb and organ replacement would not have arisen. So what the surgical replacement of limbs and organs represents is medical failure, not medical success. 

High Blood Pressure Drugs. Treatment by Numbers not by Patient

Many years ago I came across this article on hypertension (high blood pressure) which I reproduce in part here. Unfortunately I have no reference to either the original article, its author, or when it was published (probably in the 1990's) - but I will gladly add this if anyone can inform me about the details.

The article is not as relevant as it once was - it is considerably MORE relevant now as more and more patients are being given more and more pharmaceutical drugs than ever to reduce their blood pressure readings.

"Blood Pressure: Treating Numbers Instead of a Person"
"Authoritative advice for treating blood pressure has changed dramatically over the years. Forty years ago, the chapter on hypertension in Harrison's Textbook of Medicine stated:

               "Whatever the form of therapy selected, it must not be forgotten that the physician who treats hypertension is treating the patient as a whole, rather than the separate manifestations of a disease. The first principle of the therapy of hypertension is the knowledge of when to treat and when not to treat... A woman who has tolerated her diastolic pressure of 120 for 10 years without symptoms or deterioration does not need immediate treatment for hypertension. Marked elevation of systolic pressure, with little or no rise in diastolic, does not constitute an indication for depressor therapy. This is particularly true in the elderly or arteriosclerotic patient, even though the diastolic pressure may also be moderately elevated."

"Today, that would be grounds for malpractice! The chapter, which was written by John Merrill, a leading authority on hypertension from Harvard, goes on to emphasise that:

               "The physician must constantly weigh the value of making his patient 'blood pressure conscious' by a specific regimen and regular follow-up, against real need for any particular form of therapy. Above all, in treatment or prognostication, he must avoid engendering in the patient a fear of the disease which may be unwarranted in our present state of knowledge." 

"Contrast this with the current cookie cutter approach of treating numbers that are often meaningless instead of people. There is absolutely nothing new about pre-hypertension, which was previously referred to as "high normal" at levels higher than 120/80. This would still be a preferable description since nobody knows whether these individuals will go on to develop sustained hypertension or are at any significantly increased risk for its complications.

"All these new guidelines essentially accomplish are to convert 45 million healthy Americans into new patients by creating fear. This is precisely what the experts emphasized we should take pains never to do! How could so many doctors have been so wrong for so many years?

"Whatever happened to the Hippocratic dictum Primum non nocere (First of all, do no harm)? It used to be the primary concern of all doctors but seems to have now been sidelined or forgotten in the frenetic and impersonal pace of modern medical practice. The recommendations in this new Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) are not very different from the first JNC report. This was published on 1977 following several studies showing that blood pressure could be lowered with thiazide diuretics. Subsequent JNC reports repeatedly recommended the use of diuretics as initial treatment based on additional reports demonstrating their efficacy.

"Despite this, the use of diuretics actually declined over the next decade or so, possibly because many went off patent and were no longer profitable. In addition, newer drugs were being vigorously promoted and the 1993 JNC 5 guidelines added angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta blockers as first-line therapy. Their sponsors argued that these more expensive drugs might be preferable since thiazide therapy could be associated with diabetes and abnormal heart rhythms, especially at higher doses. These medications had other side effects but it was claimed that they were more likely to reduce complications such as heart attacks and stroke."

The article continues, making this crucial point. "What is wrong is that physicians are treating a reading on a blood pressure machine in a cookbook fashion rather than the patient or the cause of the problem." It goes on to say that great care must be taken in making the readings. "At least two readings should be made at each visit separated by as much time as possible. Three sets of readings at least one week apart are advised before prescribing drugs that may have to be taken perpetually."

This is still rarely, if ever done. Harmful drugs are given to people on the basis of a single reading, without ever considering the individual patient, or what the blood pressure readings actually mean.

Now it's my turn!
I have just finished a page for my 'Why Homeopathy?' website on high blood pressure drugs, and the situation now is that doctors are prescribing a considerable number of pharmaceutical drugs for patients deemed to have high blood pressure - Diuretics, Beta Blockers, Calcium Channel Blockers, ACE Inhibitors, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers, Alpha Blockers, Alpha 2 Receptor Agonists, Peripheral Adrenergic Inhibitors, and Vasodilator drugs. As outlined, all of these drugs have serious side effects but regardless of this the number of patients taking them has increased exponentially since the above article was written.

This is all done on the basis that people with high blood pressure suffer from a sickness, or at least they are in danger of a heart attack, or a stroke. Moreover, it is done on the basis of 'numbers', the numbers that come from mechanical readings of blood pressure rather than any indication that the patient is sick, or likely to be sick.

Moreover, the conventional medical establishment has continued to change the goalposts about what constitutes 'high' blood pressure, which means that many more millions of patients have been brought into the 'sick' category - and so prescribed drugs that can result in them contracting real sickness! This was said by the 'What Doctor's Don't Tell You' magazine in July 2003

               "What is a 'health condition' that ... needs drug intervention?  Well, it's pretty much what the medical profession defines it to be. Take, for example, the definition of high blood pressure, or hypertension. New guidelines from the National Institutes of Health in the USA have lowered the risk levels before drug therapy is called for.  From now on, in the States at least, 'normal' blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg, a pre-hypertensive state is 120/80 to 139/89, stage one hypertension-and this where the drugs now kick ion-is 140/90 to 159/99.  Under the old guidelines, 'normal' blood pressure was around 128/80 mm Hg, which is now pre-hypertensive.

The same magazine came up with the following 'myths' about high blood pressure in June 2006.
  • High blood pressure is a permanent condition - whereas it fluctuates widely throughout the day, and with personal circumstances
  • Any blood pressure that is 'high' is a danger - pointing out that for older people a high blood pressure is quite normal.
  • Blood pressure measurement is accurate - giving evidence for why it has been found to  be "medicine's crudest investigation".
  • ACE Inhibitor drugs, and then Calcium Channel Blocker drugs, are the answer to hypertension - when they most certainly are not!
  • And Diuretic drugs are safe - when my webpage here certainly demonstrates that they are not!
Blood pressure drugs are rarely needed, and never justified by blood pressure readings alone. Diet and exercise are better medicines! Patrick Halford recommends
  • Exercise every day, stop smoking, and lose weight if you need to.
  • Avoid excess salt, cut back on processed meats, cheeses, soups, tomato sauce, frozen meals, canned vegetables, and other foods high in sodium.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of purified water every day.
  • Get your B vitamins to lower homocysteine.
  • Ensure your diet is rich in antioxidants, eat lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, and seeds. 
  • In addition to eating plenty of mineral-rich vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds 
  • Eat fish, especially oily fish, for omega-3 fats, think fish. 
And there are most certainly safer treatments available, like homeopathy, as I have argued here in this 'Why Homeopathy? article. The answer is certainly not to take pharmaceutical drugs!

Postscript 8th March 2018
Just two days after posting this blog I discover news that conventional medicine is once more reducing the blood pressure readings that trigger the use of drugs. The information comes from the doctors e-magazine, Pulse. Many people will not have full access to this article, so here are some selected extracts.

               "The new US guidelines ..... decreased the threshold for stage one hypertension from an average systolic blood pressure of 140 to 130 mmHg, and from ≥160 to ≥140 mmHg for stage two."

               "Researchers said the changes could mean an extra 14% of people were diagnosed with hypertension, which would bring the total number to 46% of the country's population."

               "Current NICE guidelines define stage one hypertension as an average blood pressure of 135/85 mmHg or higher, and stage two as 150/95 mmHg or higher. It states that doctors should ‘offer antihypertensive drug treatment to people of any age with stage two hypertension’. If the UK were to follow the US example, many patients currently defined as having stage one and treated with lifestyle changes could be pushed into stage two and medicated.

Yet the article makes it clear that there is no clear scientific evidence supporting increased medication for this reason.

               ".... this comes as last year, a meta analysis of 24 studies found that the evidence for reducing blood pressure targets to below 140 mmHg in over-60s was inconsistent. The paper said that although lowering the targets could be beneficial, they could also be linked with a higher medication burden and an increased risk of short-term issues, such as hypotension."

Here the article seems to miss the point, this measure is not about improving health, it is about boasting drug sales! At least some doctors have recognised this, and the consequences of putting more people on antihypertensive drugs, in their comments on the article.

               "Big Pharma rubbing their hands with glee!"

Another points to the nonsense of medicine by numbers.

               "My blood pressure has always been over 130 since I first checked it as a medical student."

Another points to the health costs of increased drugging for high blood pressure, pointing to the....

               "..... increased side effects from medication that may not be needed and, no doubt, triggering CKD3 from the use of ACE inhibitors and even more costs to the annual medication budget. 

This doctor finishes with a question that even I would have hesitated to ask! But it is a question that raises an important question about conventional medicine, and sums up what this blog is about to a tee!

               "Do we really know what we are doing anymore? The days of being a normal healthy individual seem long gone!"

Sunday, 4 March 2018

22,000 people die every year in England as a result of medical errors. How many more die from pharmaceutical drugs that are NOT given in error?

It  has been estimated that up to 22,000 people die every year in England alone because of an error when prescribing or dispensing their medication.

Prevalence and Economic Burden of Medication Errors in the NHS in England. Report commissioned by the Policy Research Unit in Economics Evaluation of Health and Care Interventions, 2018

Not a matter that most doctors, the NHS, the government or the mainstream news media would want us to know, but reported in more honest media sources such as the magazine 'What Doctors Don't Tell You'.  The report stated that there were about 237 million medication mistakes happening each  year, although about 72% per cent of these were considered "harmless". This means that 26% have caused serious harm or even death. It was estimated that 66 million "clinically significant" errors happen every year and that these result in anything from 1,700 to 22,303 deaths. The report came to several conclusions:
  • Older people, prescribed multiple drugs in care homes, are the most vulnerable.
  • An 'error' is most likely in the prescribing of a heart drug, such as an anti-coagulant or an anti-platelet drug, or painkillers such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs). 
  • Around a third of all hospital admissions are due to an adverse reaction to one of these drugs, and gastrointestinal bleeds from the drugs are responsible for half of all the deaths being recorded.
The WDDTY article also says that the human cost is matched by the financial cost. The estimate is that it costs the UK taxpayer about £98.5 m every year in compensation claims, but that "this could be a gross underestimation and is based on the lowest number of cases causing permanent harm or death. If the highest estimate was used, pay-outs would be nearer to £2bn a year". Nor does this account to the money spent on unnecessary and avoidable hospital admissions.

Yet this study is looking ONLY at the consequences of medical MISTAKES!

It does NOT include the deaths, or the serious illnesses and diseases that pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are known to cause, when they are prescribed for patients appropriately!

And these figures are for England alone. They do not cover the rest of the UK. Or the rest of Europe. Or the USA and Canada. Or Australia and New Zealand. Or the rest of the world whose health care is dominated by conventional drug-based medicine!

All of which means that the conventional medical establishment, principally the pharmaceutical industry, has become one of the main killers in the world today. It is more reasons for all of us to avoiding visits to the doctor, not just because (s)he might make a mistake, but because conventional medicine is inherently unsafe.

Post Script
The day after writing this blog it was reported that the UK government will be compensating GP's with £30 million of public money to cover rises to their indemnity insurance for another year.

So if doctors do make mistakes in treating us, it is not the doctors, or their insurance that will pay compensation for the damage caused to patients, it is you and me - the general taxpayer.

I have blogged about this on several occasions

What happens when doctors harm patients?
What happens when doctors harm patients? (2)
Indemnity. What happens when doctors harm patients? (3)

I am now looking for car insurance that does not hold the account holder responsible for accidents, and home insurance that .......... well, you know what I mean. But it would seem that different rules apply for the conventional medical establishment!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Antidepressant Drugs. Why is the Mainstream Media an Echo Chamber for the Pharmaceutical Industry?

BBC News is promoting pharmaceutical drugs, yet again! Today, it is Antidepressant Drugs. And in doing so it is failing to provide the public with full and accurate information about these drugs.

The study they having been referring to is 'Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 21 antidepressant drugs for the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis', published in the Lancet. BBC News has featured this study throughout the day (22nd February 2018). The headlines provided  are

  • The study provides 'compelling evidence' that antidepressant drugs work, and are effective.
  • The arguments about the drugs "have been settled".
  • This is good news for patients and clinicians.
  • More people should be taking the drugs.
  • One person is quoted saying that there was a stigma, a reluctance to take the drug, which was unnecessary, and that 'talking therapies' did not work for him.
All this is 'compelling evidence' that has 'settled the argument' is taken from the study, and the BBC article covering the study can be found here. Other mainstream news agencies have also covered the study in much the same way, regarding it as authoritative, and all reporting it without question or reservation. So what are the questions that should have been asked?

Who funded the study?
BBC News never asked! But the study itself provides a large list of pharmaceutical companies who paid for the study. In the 'declaration of interest' at the end of the study the companies mentioned include:
  • Eli Lilly, Janssen, Meiji, Mitsubishi-Tanabe, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Pfizer, Takeda Science Foundation, LB Pharma, Lundbeck, Otsuka, TEVA, Geodon Richter, Recordati, LTS Lohmann, and Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, Lilly, Lundbeck, Otsuka, SanofiAventis, Servier, Otsuka and Meiji, Yoshitomi.
It is well known (except perhaps by the mainstream media) that research funded by pharmaceutical companies routinely produces more positive and favourable results than research that is funded independently.

How effective were antidepressant drugs found to be?
BBC News never asked, although it did say that each drug was tested against "dummy pills" (or placebo). What this means is that antidepressant drugs are better than nothing! Did the drugs cure the condition? If so, in how many patients? If not, to what extent was the depression relieved?

And how effective are antidepressant drugs compared to 'talking therapies'? Other than producing one person who said that talking therapies did not help, but drugs did, the BBC did not bother to ask!

Were antidepressant drugs found to be more or less effective than herbal treatments, homeopathy, acupuncture, etc. BBC News did not ask, perhaps because they never acknowledge the existence of any of these alternative medical therapies!

What are the side effects of antidepressant drugs?
BBC News never asked and never mentioned these either. Whenever they report the benefits of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines they rarely do, and if they do they only ask conventional doctors (so called 'experts') who, of course, have no vested interest in providing their answer!

Yet the answer is well known to the conventional medical establishment because it is published in the doctor's drug bibles, the British National Formulary (BNF), MIMS and similar. These include serious withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, irritability, sleep disturbance, nightmares, psychosis, and seizures. In many parts of the world, including Britain, all antidepressants come with a warning about their use in children and adolescents. They also increase the risk of suicidal thinking, suicidal behaviour and violence. 

These side effects are available online on websites such as,, and others, although the pharmaceutical industry is now buying into these too! So I have outlined the serious side effects of the many kinds of antidepressant drugs in this article.

BBC News presumably is presumably not aware of these side effects, perhaps thought that their recommendation for more people to take them should not be qualified in any way!

Why is this evidence reported when other evidence is ignored?
Other studies, including many published by the Lancet, have not been reported. Why is this? Is it because they are more critical, more questioning of the value of antidepressant drugs?
Many similar studies are ignored by the mainstream media. So the reason for highlighting this research seems clear - it is about the rehabilitation of antidepressant drugs.

Drug Rehabilitation. How will this study be used?
The BBC article makes it clear that this is an important study for the pharmaceutical industry. Here are some of the comments that can be found in it.
  • "Scientists say they have settled one of medicine's biggest debates after a huge study found that anti-depressants work". (My emphasis).
  • The authors of the report ... said it showed many more people could benefit from the drugs.
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the study "finally puts to bed the controversy on anti-depressants". (My Emphasis).
  • The lead researcher is quoted as saying "This study is the final answer to a long-standing controversy about whether anti-depressants work for depression". (My emphasis).
  • A Royal College of Psychiatrists spokesperson said: "This meta-analysis finally puts to bed the controversy on anti-depressants, clearly showing that these drugs do work in lifting mood and helping most people with depression". (My emphasis).
All these statements indicate that medical science has decided that the concerns and controversy surrounding these drugs are matters no longer to be discussed. Medical science is telling us that it has given its final decision. There is to be no more examination, no more questioning. And the mainstream media will no doubt go along with this too. It has done so before!

The MMR Vaccine and the Thompson Debacle
Take-up of the MMR vaccine plummeted following links with the Autism epidemic. It was a matter of concern for the conventional medical establishment so the pharmaceutical industry funded several 'scientific' research projects in the early 2000's which determined that no such link existed. Since that time the issue has never been discussed in the mainstream media, including the BBC. It is out-of-bounds. I suspect that this study will be used in the same way - to stifle discussion, to censor information, to keep the public misinformed.

The censorship has continued. In September 2014 Dr William Thompson, one of the co-authors of one of these 'conclusive' studies, admitted that the researchers had destroyed evidence that would have led to the conclusion that there was, indeed, a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. I have blogged about this situation several times. The information regarding this situation was clear then, and it remains clear now. What Thompson revealed concerns corruption throughout the conventional medical establishment, including bogus medical science and crooked drug regulators.
But the information has never been published by the mainstream media.

I made a formal complaint to the BBC about their failure to report this, but was informed that it was not a matter of public concern, and that BBC editors had lots of other stories to cover!

Why do I focus on BBC News reporting?
The BBC is a public service broadcaster. It is paid for by licence fee payers. Other news organisations are funded by advertisers, and it has been calculated that the pharmaceutical industry provides as much as 70% of this advertising revenue. This not an excuse, the public have a right to full and honest information about the drugs they are prescribed. But it is a reason. The BBC has neither reason nor excuse.

Antidepressant drugs are failing, but just as with the MMR vaccine, they are highly profitable for the pharmaceutical industry. As the BBC article states,

               "There were 64.7 million prescriptions for the drugs in England in 2016 - more than double the 31 million in 2006 - but there has been a debate about how effective they are, with some trials suggesting they are no better than placebos."

Perhaps this is the only piece of honesty in the entire article, although to be fair, the BBC has engaged in the antidepressant debate in the recent past.
I suspect that this research may be intended to end this critical debate - certainly as far as the conventional medical establishment is concerned, and most likely our mainstream media too. Whether the BBC will also draw back into the safety of conformity remains to be seen.

Health Freedom, Informed Consent and Patient Choice
The debate does matter. No-one should be expected to accept any form of medication or treatment without being fully aware of both the potential benefits and the possible dangers. In caving in to the conventional medical establishment over the Autism, MMR vaccine link, the mainstream media, including the BBC, has allowed parents to put their children in danger with the vaccine for the last 15 years or more.

They now have to decide if their viewers, listeners, readers and licence payers deserve to be given full and honest information about antidepressant drugs.


Monday, 19 February 2018

Epilepsy and the use of Cannabis in Conventional Medicine

Conventional medicine likes to be in control! It dominates the NHS, it dominates our thinking about ill-health, its causes and treatments. Despite 'patient choice' being a key policy of all British political parties, and the government espousing the idea of 'no decision about me without me' in its 2010 White Paper on health, doctors continue to be arrogant enough to think they always know best!

There have been several cases in recent years when patients have wanted treatment but were thwarted by the NHS. And it would appear that there is another on its way.  This is the story, as I understand it.

A six-year-old boy, Alfie Dingley has a "rare and aggressive" form of epilepsy which causes multiple seizures. Apparently Alfie can have up to 30 fits daily, and in one single year suffered 3,000 seizures, and 48 hospital visits. The parents took their son to Holland where a cannabis-based treatment dramatically improved the situation. Whilst there Alfie went 24 days without an attack, and it has been estimate that with the treatment Alfie would only have about 20 seizures a year.

However, the parent's request for this treatment has been denied in the UK by the Home Office because cannabis remains illegal here.

Instead, the NHS offers Steroid injections, for which he has to go into hospital after each attack. As the mother says, correctly, these drugs can cause organ failure, especially with the amount Alfie has to take.
  • Clearly, the Steroid treatment does not work to treat the condition.
  • Clearly, the Cannabis treatment does work in Alfie's case.
  • But to conventional medicine these simple observations appear to make little difference!
Homeopathy treats epilepsy, and does so more safely and effectively than any conventional treatment. This morning I checked my homeopathic repertory and there are over 250 remedies that are known to be successful. One of these is Cann-I, or Cannabis Indica. So homeopaths have known the value of Cannabis, and have been using it for a long time - for epilepsy, and many other conditions.

I notice that Alfie's mother says that Alfie's cannabis dose, made from the whole cannabis plant, was "very small" and that he was taking this in just three drops of the oil. This sounds like homeopathy, or something very similar.  It uses two homeopathic principles.

  1. Using a substance that in its normal form can cause the condition - that is, treating like with like.
  2. Using the substance in small, attenuated doses.
What it not doing, which homeopaths would do, is to dilute and succuss until there was nothing of the of the original substance left!

This situation is forcing the parents to raise money to take Alfie abroad to receive the treatment. This is a denial of human rights, the right to treat ourselves (and our children) in the way we think correct, and not according to the dictates of conventional medicine. And in order to get the treatment of their considered and informed choice, it is putting the family to unnecessary inconvenience and expense.

Yet this is typical of conventional medicine, which in choosing treatment for patients discounts 'patients outcome' almost entirely, and operates solely on the basis of the proof provided by 'medical science'. So steroids, dangerous as they are known to be, are okay because they have been tested by pharmaceutical companies. And Cannabis cannot be prescribed because of its addictive qualities, and because it has not been tested and approved by conventional medicine, and the pharmaceutical industry, who will not profit from its use.

This is not an isolated situation. In the USA it is becoming a serious issue. The Dr Mercola website published an article today which stated that the "Minnesota Governor Dayton Refuses to Legalize Medical Marijuana, Despite Parents’ Pleas". This article states that medical marijuana has been extensively studied, with positive results. 

               “To date, more than 15,000 modern peer-reviewed scientific articles on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis and cannabinoids have been published, as well as more than 2,000 articles on the body’s natural endocannabinoids. In recent years, more placebo-controlled human trials have also been conducted."

This Health Impact News article, "Medical Cannabis: the real reason the government wants to keep it banned" looks behind the scenes to the vested interests that do not want to allow patients access to the treatment. It's the usual stuff, covered so often in this blog! Vested interests, and governments cozying up to those vested interests, and a conventional medical profession prepared to use dangerous drugs rather than safer treatments - so long as they can make profits for the pharmaceutical industry.

Alfie's parents will not been told about homeopathy for the same reasons. It is a medical therapy that is readily available throughout the UK, but rarely offered to patients by the NHS who prefer patients to take dangerous drugs (even when they do no work) rather than look for alternative treatment. They prefer to force parents to go overseas for treatment rather than to offer simple, safer and more effective treatments in this country.

So my advice to Alfie's parents? Or indeed anyone else who is sick, and prescribed dangerous and ineffective treatment. Seek out a qualified homeopath in your local area ( and see whether alternative medicine can offer treatment that is safer and more effective than conventional medicine.

I have just heard another account of the situation, and have noticed that Alfie's condition has been described as "rare and aggressive". Whenever I hear that I immediately wonder if the illness has been caused by conventional medicine itself. It is well known that epilepsy is caused by a number of conventional  drugs and vaccines, including pharmaceutical drugs like Amphetamines, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, Antibiotics, Painkillers, and many others.

I also heard that this 'rare and aggressive' condition did not start until Alfie was 8 months old. One of the biggest side effects of childhood vaccines are seizures, and this is the time when children have already received the DPT vaccine, and many have recently received the MMR vaccine. I do wonder if conventional medicine is not only reluctant to treat him, but are reluctant to examine whether vaccines, or some other pharmaceutical drug, is the cause.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Mass killings in the USA. What is the cause? Too many guns? Or too many SSRI Antidepressants? The cause has to proceed the solution.

I write this blog the day after the mass killing incident at the Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School in Florida, USA, when 17 people lost their lives. Already it is suspected that the killer, Nikolas Cruz, was taking prescribed medication, possible SSRI antidepressant drugs.

Such killings are not an uncommon tragedy in the USA. In Britain we hear only of the most serious mass shootings, the one's with the most serious loss of life. Even in America, apparently, they have become so common that not all of them are reported.

The discussion surrounding the incident has, as usual, focused on the gun control laws. Should the government reform them, restrict access to guns. Or uphold the constitutional right of Americans to carry guns for self defence. The focus is not unreasonable - the deaths, after all, are being caused by guns! The gun Cruz used was his gun, his parents made him keep it in a locked gun cabinet, but he had a key.

But is it a sufficient to focus on the gun? Ownership and possession of a gun does not mean that the killer have to use it to kill people.

We hear that Cruz had a troubled past, that he was adopted, and his mother died 3 months earlier of  pneumonia. According to Vaxxter, a family friend has already told a local newspaper, the Sun Sentinel, that Cruz had been on 'medications'.

               “I know she had been having some issues with them ..... He was being a problem. I know he did have some issues and he may have been taking medication. (He) did have some kind of emotional or difficulties.”

Mass shootings have often been linked to pharmaceutical drugs. I wrote about the connection back in 2011 when I first heard evidence linking mass shooters to pharmaceutical drugs, not least to SSRI antidepressant drugs. Since then I have research all the pharmaceutical drugs that are known to cause violence, and these include not only antidepressants, but Antiviral drugs, Benzodiazepine drugs, ADHD drugs, Lariam and Champix (Chantix). As Vaxxter comments:

               "One thing is becoming more and more clear, we need to take a deeper look at what these SSRI medications are doing to our society. We need more awareness and more studies."

I have looked, listened and watched the mainstream media to hear of any recognition of this link between drugs and mass killings, without success. The focus remains on guns.

So what happens in a country does have rigorous gun control laws? In Britain there are not so many shootings, very few in fact. But the problem, instead, is knives and stabbings. How many of the young people involved in this violence are taking pharmaceutical drugs? Perhaps USA citizens will not be surprised that we don't know, because we don't look into it, our focus is on preventing young people getting access to knives!

The problem is that if we don't identify the CAUSES of violence, all the causes of violence, then the problem of violence can never be reduced, leave along resolved.

If it is guns, or knives, we can introduce some measure of control. If pharmaceutical drugs are to blame nothing will be done as the problem is never raised, never considered, never investigated. If it is drugs, and we don't recognise it, all we can do is to wait until the next depressed youngster is given antidepressants, and wait until he decides to kill someone - whether with a gun or a knife!

Postscript 20th February 2018
This latest School Shooting atrocity was also undertaken by young man who was on pharmaceutical drugs. The gun killed the 17 victims; the trigger was pulled by the 'side effects' the conventional medicine.