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Serious Drug Side Effects Greatly Underreported in Medical Papers

Here’s another reason to be skeptical of life-long medications. Sixty-four per cent of drug side effects are left out from published versions of medical trials, a new study finds. This includes serious side effects, like suicide attempts.

Most of these studies are funded by pharmaceutical companies looking to sell the drug that is being studied. So it’s not very surprising that nasty side effects are underreported, or that the positive effects of drugs are inflated.

And what’s the problem with this? Medical professionals base their decisions on published data from trials when giving patients medicines. If side effects are left out, then physicians are not basing these decisions on the whole picture.

How can we stop this? By making pharmaceutical companies present full data on side effects to medical professionals. Until this is regulated, unfortunately, drugs will keep being overprescribed.

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Medical Education

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Today, I’m going to take you on a little behind-the-scenes tour of what really happens with medical education and Big Pharma from my perspective as a community physician. Sometimes I forget that not everybody understands this, since many of my friends are physicians.

Doctors get continuing medical education (CME) through events like lectures and conferences. CME is necessary because many physicians practise for 30 or 40 years, and medicine is changing continuously, so they cannot rely on their medical school training, which might have happened in the 1960s. Doctors are required to get a certain number of hours of CME every year.

You might imagine that doctors learn from unbiased experts dedicated to learning. Actually, nothing is further from the truth. The dirty little secret is that virtually all CME is sponsored heavily by Big Pharma giving them huge influence over what information is presented to doctors.

Every single level of CME has been corrupted by $$$. Let’s start at the bottom. Continue Reading →

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Big Pharma Is Doubling the Price of Insulin in the US – Here’s How to Get the Last Laugh

In the last few years Big Pharma has doubled or tripled the already high price of insulin in the US. This price increase has no match in the rest of the world. The result is a situation where many patients have a hard time affording their medications.

Fortunately there’s a surprisingly simple solution, that can allow patients to get the last laugh.

If Big Pharma makes big dollars by overcharging on insulin, patients can reply by going low carb and perhaps also doing intermittent fasting. This can well reduce their need for insulin by around 30 to 70% (type 1 diabetes) or possibly even (type 2) allow them to stop needing insulin completely!

It can also reduce the need for many other chronic medications, like other diabetes or hypertension drugs. There’s a lot of money to be saved.

Important

If you’re taking diabetes medications and want to start low carb, make sure to read this guide first:

Starting Low Carb with Diabetes Medications

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How to Use Antibiotics: Why Less is More

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I’m going to talk about something completely different than the usual obesity, insulin and type 2 diabetes stuff – antibiotics. This is another area where current medical teaching is completely logic-free.

In many ways it reminds me of the entire “Type 2 diabetic patients have too much insulin. So, let’s give them more insulin and see if it helps” argument. Logically it makes no sense. So, instead the medical establishment adopts an “I’m the expert so don’t bother trying to talk sense into me. Just do what I say” attitude.

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Statins Leave Fit Pensioner Barely Able to Walk

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Cholesterol-lowering medications come with side effects, and muscle pain is a common one. Here’s another story about the side effects that pharmaceutical companies attempt to downplay:

Express UK: Statins Leave Fit Pensioner Barely Able to Walk

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Dr. Maryanne Demasi Applauded For Exposing Statin Con

This clip is worth watching. It’s Dr. Aseem Malhotra speaking in Australia, about how Dr. Maryanne Demasi was attacked for questioning mass statin prescriptions on national TV.

If you want to watch the banned Catalyst shows they are embedded below.

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Three Truth Seekers Fighting Bad Science

Is medical science being perverted by profit motives? Is it hurting patients? Here’s what Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, says:

Medicine and science are run by human beings, so there will always be crooks.

There are “dark forces” at work in science and medicine. And the results?

I think we have to call it what it is. It is the corruption of the scientific process.

Both the article below and the video above are worth a look, for insights into how Godlee and two other crusaders try their best to clean up bad science. Not an easy job.

CBS: BMJ editor Fiona Godlee takes on corruption in science

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“Stop Buying Into the Great Statin Con”

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It’s time to stop buying into the great statin con, says Dr. Aseem Malhotra. The benefits have been greatly exaggerated and the side effects have been downplayed, as our knowledge is completely based on studies from the statin industry.

Side effects include muscle pain, weakness, feeling tired, and slightly reduced IQ. Also, for every one hundred people taking statins for a few years one extra person will develop diabetes type 2.

Apparently newer and more rigorously controlled studies (after 2006) on statins show overall no significant benefit at all.

Considering all this statins should probably only be prescribed to people at very high risk of heart disease (usually only people with preexisting disease). Certainly not to a large part of the healthy population.

Huffington Post: The Great Statin Con?

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‘We Are Very Worried’ Former Royal Doctor Demands Statins Inquiry

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Could the risks of cholesterol-lowering statins outweigh the benefits? Is the research on these drugs fatally biased, as it was funded and carried out by statin manufacturers in a way that would be “totally unacceptable” today?

That’s what a new study claims. The UK Queen’s former doctor is calling for an independent inquiry – and here’s what UK cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra says:

These are truly disturbing findings and fit in with the concept that all industry-sponsored studies should be seen as marketing until proven otherwise.

Express: ‘We Are Very Worried’ Former Royal Doctor Demands Statins Inquiry

JCBMR: Beyond Confusion and Controversy, Can We Evaluate the Real Efficacy and Safety of Cholesterol-Lowering with Statins?

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FDA Now Belongs to Big Pharma?

Here’s some scary news from last week: The newly confirmed head of the US Food and Drug Administration, Robert Califf, has taken money from no fewer than 23 different drug companies. He’s also said some very friendly things about Big Pharma.

This has not only scared natural news websites but also caused democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to try to block Califf, saying that…

Dr. Califf’s extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry give me no reason to believe that he would make the FDA work for ordinary Americans, rather than just the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies…

Sanders may be a bit too socialistic for many people, but sometimes that is a good thing. Someone needs to be able to stand up to the drug companies and represent the people at the FDA. Who will do that now?

We would never accept a judge that had been taking money from the defendants. In what way is this different?

This seems like a major win for Big Pharma. Expect them to make even more billions on lethal drugs like Vioxx in the future. And expect Americans to pay even more for new drugs of doubtful benefit and carefully hidden harms.

More

If you want to read something really scary I recommend these fantastic books from Dr. Peter C. Gøtzsche, one of the co-founders of the Cochrane Collaboration:

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