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It’s The Brain-Altering Drugs Stupid: Addictive Opioids, SSRIs, Anti-Psychotics, Benzodiazepines And Suicidality

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that we’ve been fooled.” — Carl Sagan, “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection” (February 1, 1987)

Drug Czar Jim McClelland launching the RxADI Indiana initiative in Indianapolis – July 2018

This morning, just as I was about to start writing my weekly Duty to Warn column, I glanced through my local paper, the Duluth News-Tribune, and was confronted by a full-page ad on page A3, essentially identical to the one pictured above, except that the News-Tribuneversion didn’t have any Indiana groups on the poster.

Opioids, SSRIs, Anti-Psychotics, Benzodiazepines

The ad was titled “Rallying to Address Opioid Addiction”. The ad likely cost well over a thousand dollars and was paid for by an entity that I had never heard of before called “Rx ALI Minnesota”. Rx ALI is the abbreviation for Rx [i.e., prescription drug] Abuse Leadership Initiative). The group is apparently a fresh new “alliance” of “concerned” corporate entities that were suddenly interested in the opioid crisis that has been affecting all portions of America for decades.

Or maybe the interest of some of this now-seemingly ubiquitous major alliance that is sponsoring the ad all over America has some ulterior motives, such as trying to obscure the guilt that those behind the initiative should be acknowledging. Perhaps there are hidden entities that have been guilty of actually causing the addiction and suicidality crises in the first place are now trying to unjustly be a part of the many altruistic efforts that are going on already.

Pretending to be a part of the solution is easier than admitting that they were a major cause for the crisis in the first place. Big Businesses are notorious for trying to finagle their way into positions of “leadership” when decisions might be made that could affect their share price, shareholder confidence, prestige or corporate survival.

Five days before the full-page RxADI ad appeared in the News-Tribune, there was an opinion piece published that was written by the CEO of CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America), one of the ad sponsors seen at the top of the photo image above. The editorial was about dealing with the national opioid crisis. CADCA’s HQ is located in the Washington, DC area, so it was fair to ask what motivated the CEO to specifically write an opinion piece for Duluth readers? In that piece, which was supposedly written specifically for the News-TribuneCADCA’s CEO named many of the co-sponsors of the ad that was published 5 days later. I knew right away that the proximity of the two items was no coincidence.

So I had to dig further.

Among the 16 named corporate entities that were listed in the ad (only 13 appeared in the Indianapolis poster, I was first noticed the symbol for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) which had been placed in the lower left corner of both the Indiana poster and the Duluth ad. PhRMA is the notorious billion-dollar trade association that represents hundreds of excessively wealthy, politically powerful – and therefore also sociopathic – corporations that are known to have enriched themselves by manufacturing and marketing opioid drugs and a variety of addictive products, in particular, psychiatric drugs.

There is no question that the Big Pharma corporations represented by PhRMA have been, over the past century, major causes of prescription drug addictions, prescription drug over-doses (accidental, intentional, lethal and non-lethal), prescription drug-induced mental ill health, prescription drug-induced physical and mental disabilities, prescription drug-induced shortened lifespans, prescription drug-induced dementia, prescription drug-induced poverty/homelessness (because of prescription drug unaffordability) and prescription drug-induced suicidality. These entities are guilty, guilty, guilty of the many crises that are plaguing the world.

And now they want a seat at the preventive, therapeutic table. Anybody smell a rat?

Immediately below is a partial list of some of the entities that were pictured on the News-Tribune ad that have serious conflicts of interest. They are all hoping that nobody will find out about the existence of the deep-pocketed pharmaceutical corporations that are trying to finagle their way into the efforts of well-meaning groups that are seriously – without any ulterior motives – trying to address the crisis – beyond simply providing plastic bags designed to make easily disposable the unused prescription drugs easier, which is about all that some of these entities are proposing, while patting themselves on the back.

1 – PhARMA, which represents American pharmaceutical manufacturing corporations, is also in partnership with a number of the other groups in both the RxADI Minnesota ad and the RxADI Indiana Everybody with a modicum of bamboozle-resistance should naturally be suspicious of the motives behind every corporation’s (not just Big Pharma’s) marketing schemes. This story should reinforce those suspicions. Every “good deed” that comes from a Big Business corporation needs to be regarded with skepticism.

I checked the websites of the seven most influential groups of the 16 on the Duluth ad for details on their hidden corporate sponsors, the corporate boards of directors, the CEOs and the staffs, and I discovered many conflicts of interest that were listed in the websites, but only after considerable digging.

Following is a partial list of the six groups that had the most to hide. I leave it up to the reader to figure out what is going on, and then warn the altruistic groups to beware of these groups; when they come offering their “help”.

2 – The Addiction Policy Forum (APF, with a $17,000,000 annual budget) takes money from the Dublin-based Alkermes Pharmaceutical corporation which manufactures opioid drugs, opioid antagonists and brain-damaging anti-psychotic drugs, including the notoriously neurotoxic, so-called anti-psychotic drug respiridoneAPF also takes money from a British drug company called Indivior, which makes a new type of long-lasting antipsychotic drug (actually respiridone) that only requires monthly injections. The CEO of Indivior is on one of the APF’s

3 – CADCA (the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America) also takes money from AlkermesPurdue Pharma (the notorious marketer of OxyContin!); Johnson & Johnson(which, among hundreds of other medicinal products, used to aggressively market the highly addictive, so-called childhood “ADHD” drug Concerta (identical to Ritalin), the anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega and is now marketing the monoclonal antibody drugRemicade, which costs upward of $19,000 a month (which equates to $228,000 per year).

CADCA also takes money from Mallinckrodt PLC which markets the highly addictive opioid drugs HydrocodoneOxycodoneMethylphenidate (generic Ritalin) and Dextroamphetamine sulfate. Other drug companies that subsidize CADCA include ENDO, Verde Technologies and Ortho-McNeil (the latter of which markets tramadol, a synthetic opioid).

4 – JUSTUS Health takes money from Janssen, which markets Fentanyl (!), Percodan [an older synthetic opioid] and two anti-psychotics, Haldol and Justus takes money fromJohnson & Johnson (see above) as well as Pfizer, which is the biggest pharmaceutical company in America, and which markets the addictive SSRI so-called antidepressant Zoloft, the dependency-inducing and brain-damaging antipsychotic Geodon and the highly addictive benzodiazepine/tranquilizer Xanax.

5 – The MRHA (Minnesota Rural Health Association) has as its current president, Sue Abderholden, who is Minnesota’s long-term director of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) the notorious national organization that is heavily funded by PhRMA and every Big Pharma corporation in America that makes and markets psychiatric drugs, many of which are highly addictive and brain-altering. NAMI’s Big Pharma corporate sponsors over the years have included Alkermes, TEVA, AstraZeneca ($300,000.00 in 2009 alone) Schering Plough, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma America, Inc, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth, Lundbeck Inc, Otsuka America, Pfizer, Forest Laboratories, Eli Lilly. FOX Broadcasting, Magellan Health Services, Ortho-McNeil Janssen Pharma. and Sanofi-Aventis.

6 – NCL (National Consumers League) which recently promoted a pharmacy organization’s campaign called “Remember to Take Your Medication Month”.

7 – Lakeville Public Safety Foundation (which innocently accepted a $10,000 grant from PhARMA and the Addiction Policy Forum (to promote safe used-prescription drug disposal in the Lakeville, MN area)

I didn’t take the time to check for any conflicts of interest in the smallest sponsoring organizations that were listed in the ad. I believe that veteran’s groups, sheriff’s departments, realtors and the Grange have no ulterior motives like the others and are just altruistically interested in being part of the solution of a largely Big Pharma-induced prescription drug crisis.

It needs to be noted that the current chairman of the PhRMA board of directors is the CEO of Biogen. The chairman-elect is the CEO of Johnson & Johnson and the board treasurer is the CEO of Novartis (marketers of Ritalin, Clozaril and the Ritalin-me-too drug, Focalin (dexmethylphenidate).

The following information about Big Pharma was mostly obtained from the internet, including Wikipedia:

“Antipsychotic drugs are the top-selling class of pharmaceuticals in America, generating annual revenue of about $14.6 billion. Every major company selling the drugs – Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson – has either settled recent government case (under the False Claims Act) for hundreds of millions of dollars (or is currently under investigation for possible health care fraud). Following charges of illegal marketing, two of the settlements set records for the largest criminal fines ever imposed on corporations. One involved Eli Lilly’s antipsychotic Zyprexa and the other involved Pfizer’s Bextra (a Cox-2 inhibitor whose mechanism of action is similar to Merck’s notorious anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx and Pfizer’s Celebrex). In the Bextra case, the government also charged Pfizer with illegally marketing its antipsychotic, GeodonPfizersettled that part of the claim for $301 million, without admitting any wrongdoing.

“On 2 July 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to a $3 billion settlement of the largest health-care fraud case in the U.S. and the largest payment by a drug company. The settlement is related to the company’s illegal promotion of prescription drugs, its failure to report safety data, bribing doctors, and promoting medicines for uses for which they were not licensed. The drugs involved were Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal and Zofran for off-label, non-covered uses. Those and the drugs Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent, and Valtrex were involved in kickback schemes.”

To conclude this week’s column, I attach one of my old Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletters (which I published before my retirement and mainly emailed to my patients). PPEN # 18 concerned prescription drug-induced suicidality.

The article was written by Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare and the original research which she writes about was done by Dr Ari Khan and colleagues. The original papers were first published in 2001, but the important data was ignored by the FDA, the CDC, the NIH, the NIMH, the AMA, the APA, the AAFP, every busy psychiatrist and physician and every Big Pharma corporation that should have been paying attention (if the well-being of patients was really important, that is).

Obviously the corporate elites that decide what research gets proper attention had no interest in the truths mentioned below. The share prices of the manufacturers and marketers of the brain-altering prescription drugs investigated would have been badly impacted if Khan’s research had been given proper publicity. These guilty corporate elites are perpetually trying to escape the punishment that they so richly deserve for their part in America’s addiction and suicide epidemics. Tragically, they have had – and still have – the propaganda power to bamboozle anybody and everybody, especially the mainstream media, major party politicians, the media-addicted public and even physicians and nurses.

Read the following important information strongly linking Big Pharma’s psych drugs to suicide from back in 2002 and weep. Opioids were not examined back then because there was no Fentanyl, oo OsyContin and no Purdue Pharma.


Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter # 18

Astonishing 6,500+% Increase in Rates of Completed Suicides from BOTH SSRIs and Atypical Antipsychotics!!

By Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness – 9-8-2002

http://www2.eclinicalpsychiatrynews.com/scripts/om.dll/serve

First we had the thalidomide tragedy, then the fen-phen fiasco, then LSD and PCP as prescription drugs, yet none of them begins to compare with the scandal below. Never in the history of the FDA do I recall something as tragic or terrible or as shocking or as criminal as is the following revelation! “Mass murder by prescription” is the only expression that fits.  

Blockbuster Study – 68 Times Greater Suicide Risk with Serotonergic Meds!

New research presented at a recent NIH  (National Institute of Health) sponsored meeting demonstrates a 68 times greater risk of suicide with the new serotonergic antidepressants (SSRIs) and (the so-called “atypical”) antipsychotics than if a patient never took anything.

These shocking figures of increased suicide risk show that a patient’s chances of suicide jump from 11 out of 100,000 to as much as 718 out of 100,000 if one is taking one of these new SSRI antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa) – medications touted to alleviate depressive symptoms and rid one of suicidal tendencies. And the risk is even higher for the new antipsychotics (Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel) – 752 out of 100,000!

Our gratitude for alerting us to this new research goes to Vera Hassner Sharav with the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP). (www.researchprotection.org)

Dr. Arif Khan presented his research at a recent meeting sponsored by the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health). This was a meeting of the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit. The essence of the research was an analysis of the data on the suicide rates for patients who participated in the clinical trials for these new drugs – over 71,604 people were involved. These were the clinical trials where the drugs were tested on the public to see if they were “safe and effective.” This clinical data is then presented to the FDA for approval for marketing of the new compounds.

In his presentation Dr. Khan made note of what we learned long ago when this information was revealed through court documents in SSRI wrongful death cases – that is, that “actively suicidal” patients are excluded from the clinical trials on the SSRI antidepressants. What he found shocking about this is that despite the fact that actively suicidal patients were excluded from these clinical trials, the suicide rate among those taking these medications ABSOLUTELY SKYROCKETED from 11 out of 100,000 to 718 out of 100,000!! (718/11 = 6500% increase in relative risk.)

What is really frightening at this point is the realization that millions of patients are going into withdrawal from these drugs. The rapid or abrupt withdrawal from these antidepressants can produce suicide, mania, seizures, psychotic breaks, etc. at an even greater rate than while on the drugs. Extreme caution MUST be taken.

Here are the suicide rates (for the 5 classes of prescription psychiatric drugs that were analyzed by Khan). Keep in mind as you read through these that the rate of 11 out of 100,000 persons per year is the suicide rate for the population at large.

1) 752 suicides per 100,000 for those treated with atypical antipsychotics–risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and quetiapine (Seroquel); (752/11 = 6800% relative risk increase).

2) 718 per 100, 000 for those treated with the SSRIs – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa); (718/11 = 6500% relative risk increase) (See the American Journal of Psychiatry article for the analysis of suicidality and antidepressant drugs at: Khan A, Khan S, Kolts R, Brown WA. “Suicide rates in clinical trials of SSRIs, other antidepressants, and placebo: analysis of FDA reports,” Am J Psychiatry 2003;160: 790-2.)

3) 425 per 100,000 for those treated for “social anxiety disorder” with nefazodone (Serzone), mirtazapine (Remeron), and bupropion (Wellbutrin/Zyban); (425/11 = 3800% relative risk increase).

4) 136 per 100,000 for those treated for panic disorder–with benzodiazepine alprazolam (Xanax); (136/11 = 1200% relative risk increase).

5) 105 per 100, 000 persons for those treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder with anticonvulsant valproate (Depakote). (105/11 = 950% relative risk increase).

These figures clearly speak for themselves. A massive number of wrongful death suits will obviously follow, but at least loved ones will know why they have lost those who meant so much to them via such tragic circumstances.

Keep in mind as you read through this data that the new “atypical” anti-psychotics listed here are basically a combination of the older anti-psychotics and the SSRIs. They too have a strong effect upon serotonin levels, (actually blocking serotonin receptor sites as well as dopamine receptor sites – Ed note).

Also the most likely reason researchers saw an even higher rate of suicide in placebo cases with the anti-psychotics is that these patients were likely being abruptly discontinued from their older anti-psychotics for the clinical trials. This abrupt withdrawal can cause suicidal depression.

Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director, International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org and author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare (800-280-0730)

No Credible Evidence for Anti-Suicidal Effect from Psychotropic Drugs

Carl Sherman, Contributing Writer to Clinical Psychiatry News Online

BOCA RATON, FLA. – Psychotropic therapy did not appear to have a marked impact on suicide risk, examination of a large database indicated-in fact, no class of medication had much more or less effect than placebo, Dr. Arif Khan said at a meeting of the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Overall, attempted and completed suicides among patients with diverse psychiatric conditions are substantially more frequent than had been expected, the analysis suggested.

“Given that suicide is such a complex behavior … we have to ask if medication is the only way to [approach] it,” said Dr. Khan of Northwest Clinical Research Center, Bellevue, Wash.

The conventional response to suicidality in psychiatry is pharmacotherapy. The assumption that this will be beneficial “is never challenged much,” Dr. Khan said, and raises ethical questions about clinical trials, such as whether patients assigned to placebo may be exposed to increased mortality risk. Some observers, on the other hand, have suggested that psychotropics may themselves increase the risk of suicide.

In fact, the only biologic treatments for which there are many data on this score are ECT and lithium, which have been shown to reduce suicidality. More limited data support a similar effect for clozapine.

Dr. Khan reported an analysis of clinical trial data for drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration between 1985 and 2000. This included suicide and attempted suicide rates for more than 71,604 patients treated with the atypical antipsychotics risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and quetiapine (Seroquel); all the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa; nefazodone (Serzone), mirtazapine (Remeron), and bupropion (Wellbutrin/Zyban); the benzodiazepine alprazolam (Xanax; and the anticonvulsant valproate (Depakote).

One striking finding was the elevated rate of completed suicides for patients during these trials. Compared with the rate of 11/100,000 persons per year for the population at large, the rates of completed suicide were 752/100,000 persons per year for those in anti-psychotic trials; 718 in antidepressant trials; 425 in trials of medication for social anxiety disorder; 136 for panic disorder; and 105 for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

This was particularly surprising in light of the attempt, in most clinical trials, to exclude patients who are actively suicidal, Dr. Khan said.

Figures on attempted suicide found similarly increased risk. The figures implied that 5% of patients who enroll in anti-psychotic trials will attempt suicide in the following year; 3.7% of those in antidepressant trials will make an attempt; and 1.2% of those in trials of medication for anxiety disorders will attempt suicide.

Suicide rates were higher, in the trials taken as a whole, for patients who were assigned to placebo than to the investigational drug (1,750/100,000 persons per year vs. 710/100,000 persons per year). But because participants were exposed to placebo for far less time than to the drugs (a mean of 33 days vs. 148 days), this could not be assumed to indicate an anti-suicidal effect of medication, he said. (The most likely reason researchers saw an even higher rate of suicide in placebo with the anti-psychotics is that these patients were likely being abruptly discontinued from their older anti-psychotics for the clinical trials. This abrupt withdrawal can cause suicidal depression. – Ann Blake Tracy)

In the case of trials for depression and anxiety disorders, suicide rates were in fact higher among those who received the investigational drug than placebo, Dr. Khan said.

The high rates of suicide among patients studied might suggest an “iceberg effect” in the general population. The numbers that come to light under the close scrutiny of the clinical trial situation indicate the extent to which attempted and completed suicides are concealed or mislabeled in the community, Dr. Khan speculated.


Dr Gary G. Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, MN, USA. Since his retirement from his holistic mental health practice he has been writing his weekly Duty to Warn column for the Duluth Reader, northeast Minnesota’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns, which are re-published around the world, deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, Big Pharma’s over-drugging and Big Vaccine’s over-vaccination agendas, as well as other movements that threaten human health, the environment, democracy, civility and the sustainability of all life on earth.  Many of his columns have been archived at a number of websites, including http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohlshttp://freepress.org/geographic-scope/national; and https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles

Originally posted at: http://freepress.org/geographic-scope/national

Author: Gary G. Kohls, MD

Top 10 medical treatments that can make you SICKER than before you took them

treatmentsBy now, everyone has heard plenty about the “side effects” from prescription medications advertised on television, but what about the side effects from combining processed, chemical-laden foods and neurotoxic vaccines with those medications? The science of allopathic medicine will never be “settled” because it’s a farce to begin with – this requires careful consideration. The term “FDA approved” means the manufacturers of the chemical concoctions paid millions of dollars for an FDA stamp of approval after “testing” their own products and claiming they’re “safe and effective.” Are they really? Couldn’t drug dealers simply say the same thing? The truth is… most medical treatments in America make you sicker than you were before you took them, especially because they’re mixing with an array of chemicals you’re already consuming daily.

What medical doctor has ever asked their patient at consultation whether they’re consuming genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Why not? That refers to produce that contains chemical insecticides and chemical herbicides that can interact dangerously with chemical medications. What medical doctor analyzes the adverse affects of mixing mercury and formaldehyde with blood thinners or anxiety medications? Why not? Flu shots are often loaded with those toxic ingredients, and heavy metal toxins can certainly interfere with neurons in the brain and the central nervous system. Even the toxins in tap water can affect the central nervous system, so what happens when you wash down those anxiety medications with tap water, consume an artificial sweetener like aspartame, eat some food containing MSG, and then get a flu shot?

The power of the elements: Discover Colloidal Silver Mouthwash with quality, natural ingredients like Sangre de Drago sap, black walnut hulls, menthol crystals and more. Zero artificial sweeteners, colors or alcohol. Learn more at the Health Ranger Storeand help support this news site.

We already know the MMR vaccine causes horrific adverse events for boys under age three, as admitted by the lead CDC scientist, after the biggest medical fraud scandal and cover up of the century took place at the Center for Disease “Control.”

We already know certain blood thinners can cause fatal internal bleeding, like Pradaxa, the drug that caused 260 people to fatally bleed out from an irreversible side effect for which there is no “reversal agent” available.

People assume scientific integrity is assured, with safeguards in place, but they have no idea about all the fraudulent research taking place in America

Scientific misconduct is the “norm” in this country. The opioid epidemic is pushed and spread by an elite crime network of highly paid white collar drug manufacturers and “drug dealers.” It’s a widespread problem, and it’s not just the scientists that are participating, but the CDC, the FDA, oncologists and medical doctors too. It’s time to wake up to the fraud all around us.

Science-based medicine means chemicals are mixed up in a laboratory and dished out to naive patients who consume many other dangerous chemicals that interact with those untested, experimental drugs. Science-based medicine is just an expression that has zero substance now. There are too many conflicts of interest in the research and testing fields.

Questionable science is leading to the deaths of millions of patients around the globe. Beta-blockers are drugs used to treat high blood pressure, but they block neurotransmitters and dilate blood vessels. The side effects include hundreds of thousands of deaths. Since when is death a side effect of medicine? That’s an end result and that medicine should be recalled immediately.

Did your medical doctor inform you about all the injuries patients are incurring from your medication? Who’s really reading about retracted papers in medical journals besides the crooked doctors who keep on pushing beta-blocker pills for lucrative bonuses and kickbacks?

Pharmaceutical companies don’t pull medicines from the “shelf” just because people are dying from them, they wait until the lawsuit payouts outweigh the profits. For example, the entire vaccine industry is equipped with their own secretive court and hush money that comes from a multi-billion-dollar slush fund. That slush fund is just a tiny fraction of the profits made from marketing bunk vaccines, like flu shots.

There are no more checks and balances in the medical industry. It’s as corrupt and chemical-laden as the cosmetics and pet food industries. Now, more people are dying from chemotherapy than from cancer itself. How is that medicine allowed to be legal? Check the Pharma Death Clock. Over 18,000,000 terminated since the year 2000. And you thought chemotherapy was science-based medicine?

Certain flu shots contain over 25,000 times more mercury than is allowed in drinking water, and it’s being injected directly into pregnant mothers and 6-month-young babies. Talk about getting sicker from medicine. The flu shot is the most dangerous vaccine of them all, but the media keeps completely silent about the “science” all while propagating hysteria. Why else is the flu shot the only free medicine around? Just check your local pharmacy, elementary schools, and most work places.

Then there are antibiotics that kill all the bacteria in your gut, including the good kind. That basically destroys your immunity. If what you have is really a viral infection, then you’re in for a rude awakening.

Did you know that antihistamines shrink your mucus membranes, preventing your body from pushing out the very toxins that cause infection in the first place. Ever wonder why you get a sinus or bronchial infection about a week after you start taking antihistamines?

Fact: 80 percent of people who commit suicide are reported to be on psychiatric drugs(SSRIs) at the time. So is that a side effect or “end effect?”

Take heed of the top 10 medical treatments that make you SICKER than before you took them

#1. Flu shot

#2. Chemotherapy

#3. Blood Thinners

#4. Antibiotics

#5. Antihistamines

#6. Steroids and Cortisone Shots

#7. Beta-Blockers (High Blood Pressure Medications)

#8. High Cholesterol Medications

#9. Anti-Anxiety Medications

#10. Anti-Depression Medications

Learn how to detoxify your body from medications and vaccinations while undoing the harm they’ve done to you. Watch world renowned Dr. Joel Bergman and get ready to have your mind blown about the truth of the dangers of chemical medicine.

Sources for this article include:

TruthWiki.org

NaturalNews.com

PharmaDeathClock.com

TopClassActions.com

TruthWiki.org

NaturalNews.com

CDC.news

Health.Harvard.Edu

NaturalNews.com

FluorideAlert.org

Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-22-top-10-medical-treatments-make-you-sicker.html

More than half of adults now on prescription drugs, largely for conditions that can be avoided with simple lifestyle changes

drugsA record number of pharmaceutical drugs were prescribed this past year in England. The United Kingdom’s National Health System (NHS) uncovered an alarming 1.1 million prescriptions for “conditions” that can mostly be avoided with better lifestyle choices.

Prescription drug use has become a new societal norm, with mental health declining for numerous people even in an era of abounding convenience, choice, communication, networking and travel opportunities, etc. All the opportunities of the digital age and an interconnected world cannot appease minds that are so eager to accept a “depression” diagnosis and a steady stream of pills. In the past decade, prescription drug use has skyrocketed at least 50 percent and this doesn’t even include nicotine patches and contraceptive use. Health care systems are taking advantage of people, giving them false assurance through pharmaceuticals, while over-medicating people’s problems and never addressing the real issues.

The NHS health survey found that ten percent of people are now on “anti-depressants.” One in seven people are taking statin drugs. One in seven also take the pills that promise to lower blood pressure. Altogether, more than half of adults are on some kind of prescription drug. Ten percent reported taking 6 or more different prescription drugs in a given week. The survey, which included more than eight-thousand adults, also uncovered a skyrocketing level of alcohol consumption, inactivity, and poor eating habits.

Health care leaders say most of the prescriptions are “unnecessary,” calling the findings a “wake-up call” for people to address unhealthy lifestyles, dietary choices, and high-pressure routines. More frequent exercise routines could immediately address bad cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and countless cases of depression. Yet a third of those surveyed aren’t getting enough exercise to meet minimum requirements for a healthy body and mind. Thirty-four percent of men and forty-two percent of women failed to reach the NHS recommended exercise guidelines of 150 minutes per week. Additionally, a quarter of the adults admit they watch at least four hours of television on any given weekday. A shocking thirty percent confessed to drinking more than seven pints of alcoholic beverages during any given week.

A healthy, fulfilling life is becoming a rare phenomenon, as statistics for mental health conditions went up from 15 percent in 2012 to 19 percent of people currently. Professor Dame Carrie MacEwen, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said, “On the face of it, these figures are really concerning. We have no way of knowing if these medicines are all really necessary, but we do know less is often more when it comes to some drugs. Lifestyle changes such as taking up exercise can be just as effective at treating some illnesses such as mild depression.”

However, clinical diagnoses, medical research, and clinical guidelines all seek out the quickest way to turn people into patients. As the increasing stream of prescription drugs fails to address the real issues, patients are burdened with even more compounding health issues and chronic dependence on the false assurance of pharmaceutical intervention.

Whether lazy or ignorant, more people are no longer addressing their physical and mental health in a realistic, holistic way. Following the crowd and the doctor’s orders, more people are getting ripped off and lied to on how to deal with their issues and heal their bodies. (Related: Breaking the psychological attachment to illness.)

Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

NaturalNews.com

Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-01-01-more-than-half-of-adults-are-now-on-prescription-drugs.html

Author: 

Antidepressants Cause the Brain to Be Depleted of Crucial Nutrients

Most pharmaceutical drugs only mask symptoms but never fix the real issue. In fact, some can even cause you more health issues.

Many folks are using antidepressants nowadays, but they don’t realize their side effects. Antidepressants can deplete the body of important nutrients, research shows. And can eventually lead to nutrient deficiency. Plus, these deficiencies can cause serious problems like mental illness.

And the worst part about it is that people end up using more meds to mask the side effects caused by antidepressants. Now let’s look into the 3 nutrients you may lose if you use antidepressants.

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body. And its deficiency can have a huge impact on the brain. Low magnesium levels in the body can cause anxiety, memory loss, high blood pressure, suicidal thoughts, and migraines.

Studies show that antidepressants deplete the body of magnesium, and can even cause deficiency.

If you’re taking antidepressants, make sure you take magnesium supplements. Alternatively, you can use natural herbs to treat depression.

B Vitamins

Antidepressants and psychiatric meds deplete the body of vitamin B12, B6, B3 and folate. Vitamin B2 helps regulate metabolism, and when the body is deficient of it, you may experience weight gain, thyroid problems, and skin problems.

You can get vitamin B2 from liver, eggs, leafy vegetables, almonds, and mushrooms.

Vitamin B6 supports the nervous system and keeps you in a good mood. Antidepressants deplete the body of this vitamin, so you need to supplement or get it from chicken, bananas, and potatoes.

Antidepressants can also cause levels of folate and vitamin B12 in the blood to drop. Animal foods are the best sources of vitamin B12, get folate from leafy greens, broccoli, strawberries, and asparagus.

Coenzyme Q10

This nutrient determines energy levels in the body. It also helps protect the brain from damage by free radicals. In fact, research shows that taking lots of coenzyme Q10 can help reduce depression.

Antidepressants deplete the body of this nutrient. And that can lead to depression, memory loss, fatigue, and brain fog.

If you struggle with belly fat or want to lose weight without starving yourself, watch the 2-MINUTE trick that shrinks belly fat. And don’t forget to like our Facebook page.

Originally Posted: http://blogs.naturalnews.com/antidepressants-cause-brain-depleted-crucial-nutrients/

What’s killing Americans? Top 10 prescribed medications of 2016 give us a troublesome answer

pills‘Let food be thy medicine’ is a saying attributed to Hippocrates, who is known as the Father of Modern Medicine. We would be well off to heed his advice, but by and large, we do not, for it is the Standard American Diet that is making us sick. A look at the most often prescribed medications reveals the most common health conditions we are being treated for. And these conditions reveal a problem with our diet, because our poor health is closely correlated with our poor food choices.

Our food supply has been adulterated by heavy processing, it’s laden with chemical additives and pesticides, and it lacks the all-important mineral content, due to poor quality soil, after years of high-intensity agricultural practices. Is it any wonder that we are one of the sickest nations in the developed world?

You are what you eat

This truism is all too true, for if we eat healthy foods, we will be healthy. But if we eat unhealthy foods, we will be unhealthy. Here is a list of the top ten prescriptions in America in 2016 (from LowestMed.com), along with the associated health condition, the dietary culprit, and a healthier dietary approach.

1. Atorvastatin Calcium is prescribed for high cholesterol. The most recent research bucks conventional wisdom and attributes high cholesterol to refined carbohydrates, not fats. Substituting high quality fats and oils for the empty carbs is the solution.

2. Levothyroxine is used to treat hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. Fluoride in our food and water is absorbed by the body in place of iodine. Iodine is woefully deficient in most people and is essential for healthy hormone production by the thyroid gland. Try to avoid ubiquitous fluoride and supplement iodine.

3. Lisinopril is used for high blood pressure, which is associated with heart attacks. Too much salt is blamed for high blood pressure, but low magnesium is most often overlooked.

4. Omeprazole treats reflux symptoms, which medical orthodoxy says is caused by too much stomach acid, whereas it is likely caused by too little production of hydrochloric acid. Make sure you get enough sodium chloride, or table salt in your diet.

5. Metformin is used to lower blood sugar for diabetes patients. Many physicians now blame a diet rich in refined carbohydrates for the onset of type 2 diabetes, and believe that it can be controlled solely through diet.

6. Amlodipine is used to treat hypertension.

7. Simvastatin treats high cholesterol.

8. Hydrocodone/Acetamenophen treats pain; not necessarily related to diet.

9. Metoprolol ER is prescribed for hypertension.

10. Losartan is prescribed for hypertension.

The low fat fallacy

Obesity is linked as a causative factor to diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, all major contributors to mortality. Regarding our dietary habits, the standard advice in favor of a low fat diet is probably what is killing us. Dr. Atkins puts it this way:

“In recent years, research has indicated that we may have been doing it all wrong. To verify that, just ask yourself: If low-fat diets work, why are we so fat? Sure, you could blame some of it on people with weak willpower, or metabolic problems, or whatever. But when nearly two-thirds of the nation is overweight, those excuses just don’t hold water.

“There is now an enormous body of research that proves that the conventional wisdom about the role fats play in the human diet is, quite simply, wrong, and in fact, it’s a high-carb, high-fat diet that results in weight problems and all the diseases that go along with being overweight. Culprits include the USDA Food Triangle, which guides school lunch programs across the country–it’s top-heavy on refined grains, including pasta and other starches while limiting foods containing fats. And many foods that are thought of as healthy–such as bran muffins, fruit juices and most brands of diet shakes and nutrition bars–are loaded with empty calories and high carbohydrate counts.”

Where do we go from here?

Many natural and non-toxic alternatives are available in the form of foods, supplements, and herbs for the above listed maladies. All prescription medications are toxic to an extent, some with serious health consequences. Most medical doctors have very little nutritional training, if any. Many doctors will straight up tell you that nutrition does not affect disease conditions. Are the insane running the asylum?

Sources:
WakingTimes.com

Atkins.com

LowestMed.com

originally posted: http://naturalnews.com/2017-01-11-whats-killing-americans-top-10-prescribed-medications-of-2016-give-us-a-troublesome-answer.html

Author: 

Virtual Reality Therapy Could Help People with Depression Find Drug-Free Relief

VRWhen most people think of virtual reality (VR), their minds go to video games and being able to be in the middle of the action that right now they can only view on a TV or computer screen. But for some, VR therapy might soon become a viable and safe treatment for depression.

VR Helped People be Less Critical of Themselves

Part of the pain of depression is self-deprecation, feelings of failure, and hopelessness about the future. Researchers at University College London (UCL) and University of Barcelona – ICREA say they’ve found VR therapy may help depression sufferers be less critical of themselves, as well as reduce the other often paralyzing symptoms of depression.

The team recruited 10 women and 5 men around the age of 32 for the experiment. Before being selected, the would-be participants went through a screening process. Once selected, they were asked to measure their depression symptoms over the previous 2 weeks. Then the group was asked to envision a scenario in which they returned home to discover they left their keys at work, and to rate their reaction – harsh or critical, or soothing and reassuring. Then they were asked to rate how scared they were of being compassionate to themselves.

 

In other words, how big of a deal was leaving their keys at work, and were they able to forgive themselves for making a common mistake.

After they answered the questions, researchers had them put on a VR headset and body suit that placed them inside a virtual room not entirely unlike the one in which the study took place. This allowed the individuals to move about the room and virtually interact with objects, as well as “view” themselves – to step outside of their bodies, in a sense.

Each person was asked to mentally identify with an adult avatar, which precisely mimicked the participant’s body movements in a process called embodiment.

A separate avatar of a small crying child appeared in the virtual room. Participants were asked to say generic compassionate phrases to the child, to try to comfort and console it. The adults were told to ask the child avatar to think of a time when it was happy, and to picture someone loving it.

Then the roles were reversed. The adult participants were embodied in the virtual child and watched the adult avatar say compassionate, comforting things to them.

The researchers repeated this 8-minute scenario with the patients 3 times at weekly intervals, and followed up with the patients a month later.

At the end of the experiment, the scientists found the patients had learned to be less critical of themselves, and their depression symptoms had improved.

image-gear-VR-worn-by-Maurizio-Pesce-680

 

Study author Professor Chris Brewin said:

“People who struggle with anxiety and depression can be excessively self-critical when things go wrong in their lives In this study, by comforting the child and then hearing their own words back, patients are indirectly giving themselves compassion.”

 

According to Professor Brewin, the aim was to teach patients to be more compassionate toward themselves and less self-critical, and his team saw promising results.

“A month after the study, several patients described how their experience had changed their response to real-life situations in which they would previously have been self-critical.”

The researchers say more studies are needed before virtual therapy can be used in real-world scenarios, and they hope their findings will lead to a larger, controlled study. If they can replicate their findings on a larger scale, VR could be a relatively inexpensive, widely available treatment for depression – a condition that affects some 350 million people worldwide.

“If a substantial benefit is seen, then this therapy could have huge potential. The recent marketing of low-cost home virtual reality systems means that methods such as this could potentially be part of every home and be used on a widespread basis,” said co-author Mel Slater.

Sources:

Medical Daily

The Huffington Post U.K.

Originally Posted: http://naturalsociety.com/virtual-therapy-help-depression-drug-free-relief-6127/

OUTRAGE: Big Pharma ordered to pay $70M after concealing adverse effects of cancer drugs and misleading doctors

Court-Law-Gavel-RulingIn a case that clearly illustrates the extent of corruption, callousness and greed on the part of Big Pharma’s cancer industry, two drug companies have been ordered to pay nearly $70 million to settle a federal lawsuit over charges that the companies lied about the effectiveness of a cancer drug.

The two companies, Genentech and OSI Pharmaceuticals, agreed to pay $67 million to avoid further litigation over its deceptive marketing of Tarceva, a drug used to treat non-small-cell lung cancer.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“The lawsuit claimed that from 2006 to 2011 Genentech and its marketing partner OSI Pharmaceuticals promoted Tarceva to treat all patients with non-small-cell lung cancer even though studies had shown that it worked for just those who had never smoked or had a certain gene mutation known as EGFR. Epidermal growth factor receptor is a type of protein found on the surface of cells in the body.”

A former Genentech employee, Brian Shields, filed the whistleblower suit in 2011 after his employers refused to acknowledge his concerns regarding the marketing of the ineffective drug. Shields said that he faced retaliation from his superiors after voicing his concerns and was told that he was not a “team player.”

Lies and bribes

Details of the lawsuit reveal the unscrupulous and illegal marketing techniques employed by the drug maker, which almost certainly led to the early deaths of patients who received treatment involving the useless drug.

“The lawsuit said the companies gave their sales representatives promotional materials that discouraged doctors from testing patients for EGFR.

“The companies also promoted Tarceva, the lawsuit said, by giving doctors illegal kickbacks disguised as fees for making speeches or serving on Genentech’s advisory boards.

“Sales representatives across the country were ‘instructed to spend lavishly’ on physicians, the case said, and given ‘an unlimited budget to wine and dine.’

“Genentech also organized lunches or dinners for lung cancer patients where ‘patient ambassadors’ were paid fees to speak about how Tarceva could be used in ways never approved by regulators, the lawsuit said.”

“This is about lives”

Under the terms of the False Claims Act, the federal government will receive $62.6 million of the settlement, State Medicaid programs will get $4.4 million and Shields and his lawyers will share the remaining $10 million.

“This is about lives,” said whistleblower Shields, a former Army helicopter pilot. “”Hopefully this will have a lasting effect and improve cancer care.”

From a Justice Department statement:

“Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to provide accurate information to patients and health care providers about their prescription drugs. The Department of Justice will hold these companies accountable that mislead the public about the efficacy of the products.”

Unfortunately, drug manufacturers have a history of ignoring their “responsibility” to patients and the healthcare industry – there have been numerous cases of fraudulent marketing, falsified study results and bribery on the part of drug makers.

Profits vs. people

Big Pharma has shown that it will stop at nothing in the pursuit of profits. It’s clear that the “cancer industry” has no interest in curing anyone – human lives and ethics are far less important than dollars to these greedy and soulless criminals.

The profits raked in by Big Pharma are absolutely staggering. It’s important to understand what kind of money we’re actually talking about.

From GlobalResearch.ca:

“Big Pharma’s top eleven corporations generated net profits in just one decade from 2003 to 2012 of nearly three quarters of a trillion dollars – that’s just net profit alone. The net profit for 2012 amongst those top eleven amounted to $85 billion in just that one year.”

If it weren’t for the courage of whistleblowers like Brian Shields, Big Pharma would simply continue its corrupt practices virtually unchecked – after all, the FDA and other regulatory agencies have been bought out by the drug industry and do little to protect the public from the fraudulent marketing of useless and dangerous medications.

If enough people come forward and speak out, as Shields did, we might begin to see changes in the way Big Pharma conducts business – but don’t hold your breath…

Sources:
http://www.latimes.com
http://edition.cnn.com
http://www.silive.com
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-evils-of-big-pharma-exposed/5425382

Author: Daniel Barker
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/054364_big_pharma_corruption_cancer_drugs.html#ixzz4Be6M0WHW

Addictive Behavior Related to Low Levels of Oxytocin, the “Love/Bonding Hormone”

Addictive behaviorThe more we understand how nature works, the more we realize just how complex, intricately balanced and ingenious its systems are. One aspect that we are currently gaining more insight into is the human body’s ability to produce natural chemicals and their effects on our general wellbeing.

Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain. It is often referred to as a natural love chemical because it is pumped into our bodies when we experience love. It promotes bonding, trust and attachment. It enhances the connection between mother and baby when it is released in high doses during childbirth, and is responsible for the magical seeming way a mother’s breast instantly releases milk at the sight or sound of her infant. It also deepens the sense of union between couples at orgasm.

Oxytocin levels are naturally increased when we feel connected. Actions such as physical touch, cuddling, massage, physical activity, sexual contact, and activities like singing and reading all encourage our bodies to produce oxytocin. When this hormone is whizzing around our bodies it instills a sense of wellbeing and our natural mechanism for healing is promoted.

Conversely levels of this chemical are diminished by isolation or loneliness, anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. When we are deficient in oxytocin, we are likely to have raised levels of the damaging stress hormone cortisol which, as well as negatively affecting our health, adds to the feeling of anxiety, disconnection and despondence.

“Sometimes we spend less quality time with our partner — especially when other demands on us are pressing. However, neuroscience findings suggest that we should change our priorities. By forgoing closeness with our partners, we are also missing our oxytocin boost — making us less agreeable to the world around us and more vulnerable to conflict.” ~ Paul J. Zak

It would seem that nature, in its innate brilliance, actually favors loving supportive social interactions by rewarding them with a natural feel-good, healing elixir. But this raises the question: If we crave oxytocin when our levels (and loving interactions) are low, how might we try to compensate?

Addiction is Not Necessarily an Addiction for Life - fb

Oxytocin and Addiction

A recent article in the international journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior explored the current state of research linking oxytocin and addiction. The article, guest edited by Dr. Femke Buisman-Pijlman from the University of Adelaide’s School of Medical Sciences, suggests that addictive behaviour such as drug and alcohol abuse could be associated with low levels of this love hormone.

For a long time it was assumed that addiction was the result of bad life decisions. The fact that as a society we still imprison people for personal drug use suggests that this view is likely still coloring our perception of addiction. However, Buisman-Pijlman’s article puts forward the theory that substances like drugs and alcohol may in fact be a means to compensate for inadequate levels of oxytocin; that when we don’t have the natural feel-good hormone circulating in our bodies, we are more inclined to seek out reward through our external environment.

Addressing the long-held association between addiction and childhood neglect, Dr. Buisman-Pijlman, whose background encompasses both addiction studies and family studies, continues that some individuals’ lack of resistance to addictive substances may be specifically associated with poorly developed oxytocin systems. She believes that when a child feels loved and safe they are more likely to develop a healthy oxytocin system, while harsh conditions (such as neglect and abuse) during early childhood may be responsible for the impaired development of the oxytocin system.

“Previous research has shown that there is a high degree of variability in people’s oxytocin levels. We’re interested in how and why people have such differences in oxytocin, and what we can do about it to have a beneficial impact on people’s health and wellbeing,” she says.

“We know that newborn babies already have levels of oxytocin in their bodies, and this helps to create the all-important bond between a mother and her child. But our oxytocin systems aren’t fully developed when we’re born — they don’t finish developing until the age of three, which means our systems are potentially subject to a range of influences both external and internal,” Dr. Buisman-Pijlman explained. “And because the hardware of the oxytocin system finishes developing in our bodies at around age three, this could be a critical window to study.”

Attachment Parenting - Learning From The Other Side

Oxytocin and Parenting 

“Oxytocin connects us to other people; oxytocin makes us feel what other people feel. And it’s easy to cause people’s brains to release oxytocin. Let me show you. Come here. Give me a hug.” ~ Paul J. Zak

In the past, the feeling of love was not seen as necessary for successful physical development. The focus of childrearing was on obedience and basic physiological needs like food and housing. Some experts even warned parents that providing too much love and affection could lead to ‘problem children’.

More recently, harsher practices like letting babies ‘cry it out’ and strictly controlled feeding times have declined in popularity as more parents began to choose to listen to their inner knowing, rather than voices of ‘authority’. Today this inclination to respond to our children from a space of love and connection is supported by most experts in the field of child development. Movements like attachment parenting, which encourages feeding on demand and co-sleeping, are becoming increasingly popular. And, now that we understand that there is a physiological motive as well as an emotional one for giving our children lots of love and affection in early childhood, there is even more reason to engage our natural inclinations.

For those who may have lacked the necessary love and attention during the formative stage of the oxytocin producing system, or for those who just want to maximize their feel good experience, the awesome news is that encouraging the body to produce more of this ‘love drug’ is not hard work. All the activities that increase oxytocin production are pleasurable and easily accessible. Activities like sex, cuddling, hugging, all raise levels naturally. Pleasurable activities like long baths, eating chocolate, listening to soothing music, singing in the shower, and showing our pets affection are also recognized as effective ways to increase the amount of oxytocin circulating in the body.

References:

About the author:

Christina Lavers

Christina Lavers is a writer, an artist, a creative enthusiast, and an inner world explorer. Born in Montreal Quebec, Canada, she now lives with her life partner and son in a rainforest pocket in the hills behind Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia. She spends her time playing, creating, growing and sharing.

Christina is devoted to assisting people to find and connect with their own creative magical current that flows deep within. She is now offering a comprehensive e-course designed to help people light up their world with passion and creativity. You can access Section One here for free!

Christina has also recently published her first full length book, a memoir about her wild awakening journey entitled Jump Into the Blue, and she is currently working on the next one.

“My journey has been about personal alchemy… exploring the mysteries of my soul and my environment, and learning to bring all aspects, the light and the dark, together with the transcending ingredient… love. The more I uncover and nurture the wounded aspects of my being, the more whole and grounded I feel and the more my outer world reflects the love, wonder and magic I have discovered inside”.

You can follow Christina’s work at:

Source: http://wakeup-world.com/2016/04/09/addictive-behavior-related-to-low-levels-of-oxytocin-the-love-bonding-hormone/

How Money From Pharmaceutical Companies Sways Doctors’ Prescriptions

drug-money-330x229If your doctor receives money or gifts from a drug company, be it payment for a lecture or a free meal, does it influence the medications he or she in turn prescribes? This represents the burning question in an industry saturated with pharmaceutical company involvement.

A ProPublica analysis revealed nearly nine in 10 cardiologists, and seven in 10 internists and family practitioners, included in their study received payments from drug or device companies in 2014.[1] But the analysis didn’t stop there.

It also looked into whether or not such payments were associated with prescribing practices, and here’s where things got interesting.

Doctors Who Received Drug-Company Money Prescribed More Brand-Name Drugs

ProPublica analyzed the prescribing habits of doctors who wrote at least 1,000 prescriptions in the Medicare Part D drug program. The doctors belonged to five common specialties: psychiatry, cardiovascular disease, family medicine, internal medicine and ophthalmology.

Not only was the receipt of drug-company money associated with a higher percentage of brand-name drug prescriptions, but the prescriptions rose with the amount of money received.[2]

The analysis included promotional speaking, consulting, business travel, meals, royalties and gifts as forms of drug company payments. Those who received more than $5,000 from industry in 2014 prescribed the most brand-name drugs. According to the analysis:

In all cases, the group receiving larger payments had a higher brand-name prescribing rate on average.

Additionally, the type of payment made a difference: those who received meals alone from companies had a higher rate of brand-name prescribing than physicians who received no payments, and those who received speaking payments had a higher rate than those who received other types of payments.”

Are Drug-Company Payments ‘Thinly Veiled Kickbacks?’

Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, an associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, told The Atlantic regarding the featured study:[3]

“It again confirms the prevailing wisdom … that there is a relationship between payments and brand-name prescribing … This feeds into the ongoing conversation about the propriety of these sorts of relationships.

Hopefully we’re getting past the point where people will say, ‘Oh, there’s no evidence that these relationships change physicians’ prescribing practices.”

Indeed, this is far from the first time that such payments have been linked to prescribing practices.

A 2010 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine also found that nearly 84 percent of physicians surveyed reported some type of relationship with industry during the previous year, and those with such a relationship were more likely to prescribe a brand-name drug even when a generic alternative was available.[4]

The finding isn’t only relevant for patients, who may be paying more unnecessarily for brand-name drugs, but also for taxpayers who spend billions each year subsidizing Medicare Part D. At least 1 in 4 U.S. prescriptions are paid for by Medicare.

Meanwhile, it’s worth repeating that the reason drug companies pay doctors and aggressively promote certain medications is not to benefit patients; it’s to benefit their bottom line. And there’s often a fine line between legitimate payments and illegal kickbacks. ProPublica noted:[5]

” … [F]ederal whistle-blower lawsuits against several pharmaceutical companies have alleged that payments are little more than thinly veiled kickbacks, which are illegal. Companies have paid billions of dollars to settle the cases.”

Drug Companies Heavily Promote ‘Me-Too Drugs’ to Doctors

Past research by ProPublica revealed the drugs most aggressively promoted to physicians, and they’re not medical breakthroughs or even, generally, top sellers.

Instead, they tend to be drugs that are newer to the market, sometimes underperforming and often face competition from other older, readily available drugs.

Dubbed “me-too” drugs, their makers may claim they carry fewer side effects, work faster or have other advantages over existing drugs on the market.[6]

Another ProPublica study revealed that top prescribers of some of the most heavily marketed drugs tended to receive promotional speaking payments from the drugs’ makers.[7]

Would You Still Trust Your Doctor If He or She Accepts Drug Company Payments?

In 2012, research showed that accepting gifts from the pharmaceutical industry does have implications for the doctor-patient relationship, and “doing so can undermine trust and affect patients’ intent to adhere to medical recommendations.”[8]

Not surprisingly, most people surveyed in one study said they would have less trust in their physician if they learned he or she accepted gifts worth more than $100 from the pharmaceutical industry, or went on industry-sponsored trips or sporting events.

One-quarter even said they would be less likely to take a prescribed medication “if their physician had recently accepted a gift in return for listening to a pharmaceutical representative’s presentation about that drug.”[9]

It’s no wonder that most physicians would rather their patients not know about any kickbacks they’ve received from the drug industry. But now that this has become public information, it may very well prompt some physicians to cut their ties to the industry.

Unfortunately, quite often — definitely too frequently for comfort — treatment recommendations are biased in favor of a specific drug simply because people making the decisions stand to profit from it.

If you find your doctor is receiving large amounts of money from industry, you may want to find another doctor or get a second opinion. At the very least, if you have concerns you might open a conversation about whether the drugs you’ve been prescribed are the best choices for you.

Whatever your health problem might be, I strongly recommend digging below the surface using all the resources available to you; including your own commonsense and reason, true independent experts’ advice and others’ experiences to determine what medical treatment or advice will be best for you.

You Can Find Out If Your Doctor Accepts Drug-Company Money (and How Much)

According to ProPublica’s “Dollar for Docs” website, which you can use to find out if your doctor accepts money from the drug industry, more than 1,500 companies have made payments to nearly 686,000 doctors, totaling close to $3.5 billion.[10]

You can also find out if your doctor receives payments from Big Pharma by visiting OpenPaymentsData.CMS.gov. This site has tallied nearly $6.5 billion in payments since 2013.[11] It hasn’t always been possible to find out what giftsyour own doctor might be accepting.

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, went into effect in 2013. For the first time, the Act requires drug and medical device makers to collect and disclose any payments of more than $10 made to physicians and teaching hospitals.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is in charge of implementing the Sunshine Act, which it has done via its Open Payments Program. You can easily search the site to find out what (if any) payments your doctor has received, along with the nature of the payments.

Article Sources

ProPublica March 17, 2016

The Atlantic March 21, 2016

[1] [3] The Atlantic March 21, 2016

[2] Propublica, Matching Industry Payments to Medicare Prescribing Patterns: An Analysis March 2016

[4] Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(20):1820-1826.

[5] [7] ProPublica June 25, 2013

[6] ProPublica January 7, 2015

[8][9] Fam Med. 2012 May;44(5):325-31.

[10] Pro Publica, Dollars for Docs

[11] OpenPaymentsData.CMS.gov

About the author:

Dr. Joseph MercolaBorn and raised in the inner city of Chicago, IL, Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopathic physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Mercola served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years, and in 2012 was granted fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

While in practice in the late 80s, Dr. Mercola realized the drugs he was prescribing to chronically ill patients were not working. By the early 90s, he began exploring the world of natural medicine, and soon changed the way he practiced medicine.

In 1997 Dr. Mercola founded www.Mercola.com, which is now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the internet. His passion is to transform the traditional medical paradigm in the United States. “The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans… You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.”

Visit www.Mercola.com for more information, or read Dr. Mercola’s full bio and résumé here.
Originally Published: http://wakeup-world.com/2016/05/12/how-money-from-pharmaceutical-companies-sways-doctors-prescriptions/

Common medicines including cold and flu tablets, heartburn drugs and sleeping pills ‘SHRINK the brain and slow down thinking’

 

  • Ingredients promethazine and diphenhydramine ‘slowed brain function’
  • Block chemical acetylcholine involved in transmitting electrical impulses
  • Researchers said the drugs had an effect for a month after treatment  
  • A full list of implicated medications can be viewed at Ageing Brain Care 
  • Or scroll down for a full list of the medications listed in the study

Common over-the-counter medicines should be avoided by older people as they have been linked to memory loss and problems in thinking, scientists have discovered.

Treatments for colds and flu, hay fever, allergy and heartburn tablets containing anti-cholinergic drugs had the effect for one month after treatment, a study found.

Effects associated with taking the drugs included having slower brain processing times and smaller brains overall.

Well known treatments including the heartburn medicine Zantac, Night Nurse Liquid containing Promethazine and the sleeping tablet Nytol, containing diphenhydramine, are included among drugs that may result in the effects, the research said.

Over the counter treatments for cold, flu, heartburn and sleeping tablets were found to block the chemical acetylcholine, which is involved in the transmission of electrical impulses between nerve cells

Over the counter treatments for cold, flu, heartburn and sleeping tablets were found to block the chemical acetylcholine, which is involved in the transmission of electrical impulses between nerve cells

The drugs block the chemical acetylcholine, which is involved in the transmission of electrical impulses between nerve cells.

The treatments are prescribed for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, overactive bladder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, nausea and vomiting, sleeping problems, high blood pressure, depression and psychosis.

But the authors warn: ‘Use of AC [anti-cholinergic] medication among older adults should likely be discouraged if alternative therapies are available.’

Previous studies have linked the drugs with cognitive impairment, increased risk of dementia and falls.

However, the new study by Indiana University School of Medicine, is the first to explore their impact on brain metabolism and atrophy through brain scans.

Dr Shannon Risacher, the university’s assistant professor of radiology and imaging sciences, said: ‘These findings provide us with a much better understanding of how this class of drugs may act upon the brain in ways that might raise the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia,’

‘Given all the research evidence, physicians might want to consider alternatives to anticholinergic medications if available when working with their older patients.

‘The impact of these drugs have been know about for over a decade, with a 2013 study finding drugs with a strong anticholinergic effect cause cognitive problems when taken continuously for as few as 60 days. Drugs with a weaker effect could cause impairment within 90 days.’

Many over the counter medicines have been linked to slower brain processing times and smaller brains

Many over the counter medicines have been linked to slower brain processing times and smaller brains

The new study involved 451 participants, 60 of whom were taking at least one medication with medium or high anticholinergic activity.

The participants were drawn from a national Alzheimer’s research project – the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative – and the Indiana Memory and Ageing Study.

To identify possible physical and physiological changes that could be associated with the reported effects, researchers assessed the results of memory and other cognitive tests, positron emission tests (PET) measuring brain metabolism, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for brain structure.

Patients taking anticholinergic drugs performed worse than older adults not taking the drugs on short-term memory and some tests of executive function, which cover a range of activities such as verbal reasoning, planning, and problem solving.

Anticholinergic drug users also showed lower levels of glucose metabolism – a biomarker for brain activity – in both the overall brain and in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with memory and which has been identified as affected early by Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers also found significant links between brain structure revealed by the MRI scans and anticholinergic drug use, with the participants using anticholinergic drugs having reduced brain volume and larger ventricles, the cavities inside the brain.

Professor Risacher added: ‘These findings might give us clues to the biological basis for the cognitive problems associated with anticholinergic drugs, but additional studies are needed if we are to truly understand the mechanisms involved.’

The study was published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

John Smith, Chief Executive of the Proprietary Association of Great Britain, which represents makers of over the counter medicines, said the medicines linked to the study were not intended to be used on a daily basis.

Anticholinergic medicines include some over-the-counter allergy and cold and flu products. However they are intended for short term relief of symptoms only 

Anticholinergic medicines include some over-the-counter allergy and cold and flu products. However they are intended for short term relief of symptoms only

He said: ‘It is important to note that the JAMA study only involved people with a mean age of 73 in what the researchers conceded was a small sample.

The study followed people who took medicines that were low, medium or high in anticholinergic activity, and concluded that the use of medication with medium or high anticholinergic activity should be discouraged in older adults if alternative therapies are available.

‘However, due to the study limitations, the researchers propose that further and more advanced studies are needed.

‘Anticholinergic medicines include some over-the-counter allergy and cold and flu products but these are intended for short term relief of symptoms and not for continuous use as in the research.

‘If anyone has any concerns about their medicine, we would advise them to talk to their pharmacist.

‘There is a range of different allergy, cold and flu products on the market which contain different ingredients, many of which were not considered in this study, and a pharmacist will be able to recommend a suitable product.

‘All over-the-counter medicines in the UK have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and are rigorously assessed for safety and efficacy.

‘Once on the market, their safety is continually monitored in light of any emerging evidence.’

 

FULL LIST OF IMPLICATED MEDICATIONS
Drug Prescribed for/Type of drug US brand name
UK brand name Other brand names
Alimemazine Sedative, antihistamine Zentiva Theralen
Alverine Gastrointestinal disorders Spasmonal
Alprazolam Sedative, anxiety Xanax Xanax Niravam
Aripiprazole Antipsychotic Abilify Abilify Abilify Discmelt, Aristada
Asenapine Schizophrenia Saphris Sycrest
Atenolol Beta blocker, high blood pressure Tenormin Tenormin
Amantadine Antiviral, flu Symmetrel Symmetrel
Amitriptyline Antidepressant Elavil Elavil Vanatrip, Endep
Amoxapine Antidepressant Asendin Asendin
Atropine Treats heart rhythms, stomach and bowel problems Sal-Tropine, Atreza
Bupropion Antidepressant, smoking cessation Wellbutrin Zyban
Belladonna Leg, nerve pain and psychiatric disorders Plant also known as deadly nightshade
Benztropine Parkinson’s disease Cogentin
Brompheniramine Antihistamine Dimetapp
Captopril High blood pressure, heart failure Capoten Capoten
Cetirizine Antihistamine Zyrtec Zyrtec
Chlorthalidone Diuretic Diuril Hygroton
Cimetidine Stomach ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Tagamet Tagamet
Clidinium Peptic ulcers Librax Quarzan
Clorazepate Anxiety, partial seizures, alcohol abuse disorder Tranxene
Codeine Opioid painkiller Contin Nurofen Plus, Solpadeine Max, Panadol Ultra
Colchicine Gout Colcrys Colchicine
Carbamazepine Anticonvulsant, seizures Tegretol Tegretol
Cyclobenzaprine Musculoskeletal pain, injury Flexeril Amrix, Fexmid
Cyproheptadine Antihistamine Periactin Periactin
Carbinoxamine Antihistamine Histex Carbihist
Chlorpheniramine Antihistamine Chlor-Trimeton Piriton
Chlorpromazine Anti-psychotic Thorazine Thorazine
Clemastine Antihistamine Tavist Tavegil
Clomipramine Antidepressant Anafranil Anafranil
Clozapine Antipsychotic Clozaril Clozaril
Desloratadine Antihistamine Clarinex Clarinex
Diazepam Anxiety, alcohol abuse disorder, muscle spasm Valium Valium
Digoxin Heart failure Lanoxin Lanoxin
Dipyridamole Prevents blood clots Persantine Persantine
Disopyramide Irregular heartbeat Norpace Norpace
Darifenacin Overactive bladder Enablex Enablex
Desipramine Antidepressant Norpramin Norpramin
Dicyclomine Irritable bowel syndrome Bentyl Merbentyl
Dimenhydrinate Anti-nausea Dramamine Arlevert
Diphenhydramine Antihistamine Benadryl Benadryl
Doxepin Depression, anxiety Sinequan Sinequan Deptran
Doxylamine Antihistamine Unisom Unisom
Fentanyl Opioid painkiller Duragesic Duragesic Actiq
Furosemide Heart failure, liver disease Lasix Lasix Frusol
Fluvoxamine Antidepressant, obsessive compulsive disorder Luvox Faverin
Fesoterodine Overactive bladder Toviaz Toviaz
Flavoxate Bladder pain, incontinence Urispas Urispas
Haloperidol Scizophrenia Haldol Haldol
Hydroxyzine Antihistamine Atarax Atarax Vistaril
Hyoscyamine Muscle spasms, stomach and intestinal disorders Anaspaz Anaspaz Levsin
Hydralazine High blood pressure Apresoline Apresoline
Hydrocortisone Steroid, treats eczema, psoriasis Cortef Cortaid
Iloperidone Schizophrenia Fanapt Fanapt
Isosorbide Angina Isordil Isordil Ismo
Imipramine Antidepressant Tofranil Tofranil
Levocetirizine Antihistamine Xyzal Xyzal
Loperamide Diarrhea Immodium Immodium
Loratadine Antihistamine Claritin Claritin
Loxapine Schizophrenia Loxitane Xylac
Metoprolol Angina, high blood pressure Lopressor Lopressor Toprol
Morphine Opioid painkiller MS Contin MS Contin Avinza
Meperidine Opioid painkiller Demerol Demerol
Methotrimeprazine Anti-psychotic Levoprome Levoprome
Molindone Anti-psychotic Moban Moban
Meclizine Nausea, vomiting, dizziness Antivert Antivert
Methocarbamol Muscle relaxant Robaxin Robaxin
Nifedipine High blood pressure, angina Procardia Adalat
Nefopam Painkiller Nefogesic Acupan
Nortriptyline Antidepressant Pamelor Pamelor
Oxcarbazepine Epilepsy, anti-convulsant Trileptal Trileptal
Paliperidone Anti-psychotic Invega Invega
Prednisone Anti-inflammatory Deltasone Deltasone Sterapred
Pimozide Anti-psychotic Orap Orap
Olanzapine Anti-psychotic Zyprexa Zyprexa
Orphenadrine Muscle relaxant Norflex Norflex
Oxybutynin Overactive bladder Ditropan Ditropan
Paroxetine Antidepressant Paxil Seroxat
Perphenazine Anti-psychotic Trilafon Fentazin
Promethazine Antihistamine Phenergan Phenergan
Propantheline Reduces stomach acid in patients with stomach ulcers Pro-Banthine Pro-Banthine
Propiverine Incontinence Detrunorm Detrunorm
Quinidine Heart rhythm disorders Quinaglute Quinaglute
Quetiapine Anti-psychotic Seroquel Seroquel
Ranitidine Stomach ulcers Zantac Zantac
Risperidone Anti-psychotic Risperdal Risperdal
Scopolamine Nausea, vomiting, motion sickness Transderm Scop Transderm Scop
Solifenacin Overactive bladder Vesicare Vesicare
Theophylline Asthma, bronchitis, emphysema Theo-Dur Uniphyllin
Trazodone Antidepressant Desyrel Desyrel
Triamterene Diuretic Dyrenium Dyrenium
Thioridazine Anti-psychotic Mellaril Mellaril
Tolterodine Urinary incontinence Detrol Detrol
Trifluoperazine Anti-psychotic Stelazine Stelazine
Trihexyphenidyl Parkinson’s disease Artane Trihexyphenidyl Genus
Trimipramine Depression Surmontil Surmontil
Trospium Overactive bladder Sanctura Sanctura
Venlafaxine Antidepressant Effexor Effexor
Warfarin Prevents formation of blood clots Coumadin Warfarin
Source: Aging Brain Care

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