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Health news:
 
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?
 

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution

 

December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects

 

November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet

 

October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women

 

September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?

 

August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?

 

July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives

 

June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's

 

May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo
 

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure
 

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains

NEWS ARCHIVE
2009
2008
2007

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April 2008

Drug companies, doctors vs. Congress
 

Are we about to see first cracks in the iron-firm grip of pharmaceutical companies on how the medicine is practiced in this country? A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress to require drug companies to disclose anything of value - consulting fees, gifts, travel expenses and packages, etc. - that they advance to physicians. It could also include disclosure of grants that drug companies use to influence medical colleges, educational and research institutions.

In the nutshell, it is the old quid pro quo scheme. Individuals on the receiving end need to contribute to promotion of the cause, or business, of drug companies, otherwise - they don't get the spoils. Obviously, individual doctors and institutions are targeted highly selectively. For instance, as reported in 2002, in The New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 90% of those creating practical guidelines for U.S. physicians are, in some way,

on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry.

It is reasonable to assume that it is not much different with those deciding what kind of medical training doctors-to-be get in the college. What about society's (government) oversight? No problem there either. The business has worked it out. The government agency in question, Federal Drug Administration (FDA), is for a long time now sort of revolving door for drug industry employees, who go through their FDA "mandate" just to swing back to better positions in pharmaceutical industry.

In addition to it, the FDA - and the government itself - are very aware of its financing being very much dependant on the fees paid to it directly by pharmaceutical industry.

Is it wonder then that the face of medicine we see has "DRUGS" written all over it? Of course not. And it is not just depriving you from the alternatives to drug treatments and surgery - not seldom safer and more effective - it literally puts you at a great risk of being harmed. Yes, it is a known fact that side effects of prescription drugs

kill over 100,000 people in U.S. hospitals alone.

Good part of the problem is that the safety monitoring of drugs is compromised by the pharmaceutical industry acquiring so much of a hidden, illegitimate control over both, drug market and medical practice. They can't help but chase the profits, which often has user's safety concern belittled. Drug companies regularly get away with it, the worst scenario being agreeing to a limited compensation when they really mess up (read: cause too many deaths) and it becomes wildly known.

 They still make the money, and there is nothing in the realm of the market and its oversight to make them prioritize user safety over their profits. As a result, many get hurt.

Of course, this new legislation, even if it passes as intended, won't make this problem go away. After all, it is not about banning drug industry from making giveaways, from selectively paying hefty "consultation fees", or directing their grants or other forms of financial assistance. What the legislation would do is merely make this exposed to the public, and insomuch put constraint on how far they can go.

It may not do a lot, but would surely be better than without it. We've seen how great is the power of public awareness. Up to a few short years back, pharmaceutical industry had the power to use government's agencies to harass doctors practicing alternative cancer treatments - to the point of raids, arrests, or taking their doctor's license - even if they were having better results than conventional (drug/surgery) alternatives.

Sadly, not a few people were left to die as a direct consequence of being deprived help of such practitioners.

But this kind of terror started to generate negative publicity, and the Big Pharma had to back off. Alternative treatments were growing in importance ever since, simple because they work. Pharmaceutical industry still grossly dominates the market, but the exposure to public knowledge has set the limit to how far they - and their servant/partner, the conventional medicine - can go in suppressing the competition and taking away your right to decide about choosing your own treatment.

Similar - relatively minor - effect can be expected from the new legislature, introduced by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa and Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin.

For improving drug safety situation, much deeper cut is necessary. On one side, it would require making FDA finances independent of the fees charged to pharmaceutical industry.

On the other, making those in the prescription drug industry that knowingly expose the users to undeclared serious health risks criminally responsible.

Granted, it is a long shot from where we stand now. But the news of the Grassley/Kohl initiative is a good thing to start the day with.

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