Archive | May 2014

Vaccine-choice advocate libelled by Mamamia?

 

Many people have known for some time that some of the writers at the “fluff” site, Mamamia, are not exactly…..how should one put it….. suffice it to say that, to my mind, they are not exactly Einstein.

One might receive the distinct impression that the writers there are aged about 20, that they know very little of the world, and that they lack the basic understanding to realise that there’s a whole world out there beyond their own rectal passage. And beyond their own website. You know – a world in which some people actually choose to be educated on matters of importance.

 

I recently had the misfortune to encounter a Mamamia article in which vaccine-choice advocate, Meryl Dorey, was accused of lying. According to Mamamia article  Anti-vaxxers come up with their most abhorrent lie yet, Meryl Dorey had the audacity to speak at a recent expo and state that Shaken Baby Syndrome is not always as it seems. Tch tch tch. How dare anyone tell the truth. But it appears to me that Mamamia’s motto is “Never let the truth get in the way of a libellous, sloppily-researched Mamamia hit-piece”.

 

Apparently, referring to bleeding behind the eyes, Dorey stated that “There are so many things that can cause that symptom and in Australia there is a doctor by the name of Archie K who also put a lot of those symptoms they’re looking at with shaken baby down to lack of Vitamin C. He even believed that vaccinations caused a deficit of Vitamin C and [that] would cause the bruising and the broken bones that a lot of people were seeing in their babies, as well.”

 

According to Mamamia, what Dorey said “is completely unfounded, untrue” and, apparently, “her arguments are based on bogus science”. Really?

 

Let’s look at Dr Archivides (Archie) Kalokerinos for a moment

 

The Sydney Morning Herald ran a piece on this well-respected physician in 2012, under the heading Doctor prevented infant mortality. The article goes on to describe Dr Kalokerinos’ work in addressing “ the impossibly high infant mortality rate he encountered in regional NSW.”

 

“In one Aboriginal community every second Aboriginal infant was dying. Kalokerinos adopted a radical ”counter intuitive” therapy – boosting the immune system – and brought the infant mortality rate there down to zero. He embraced preventative medicine, particularly in the beneficial use of vitamin C. Some of Kalokerinos’s theories were controversial, but he had some powerful support. The dual Nobel-prize winner Linus Pauling, in the foreword to Kalokerinos’s book Every Second Child, endorsed his views. In 1975, film director Phillip Noyce produced a documentary on him and Aboriginal healthcare entitled, God Only knows Why, But it Works. It was claimed that a ”Schindler’s List” could be drawn up, of children he had saved and their offspring.”

 

Furthermore, we see that Dr Kalokerinos “was surprised to discover that some of the children had symptoms of scurvy. After trying to treat them with antibiotics and vitamin C, he found that the effects of vitamin C therapy were dramatic. He reported on this, encountering scepticism from some within his profession. He believed there was a link between vitamin C deficiency and sudden infant death syndrome. He also found that some children had a disease that affected their taste buds so that food tasted foul, and they were being tube-fed. He realised they were suffering a zinc deficiency and came up with a treatment that is now routine.”

 

Now let us look at Linus Pauling, who endorsed Dr Archie Kalokerinos’ views

 

In this Linus Pauling biography , we read that “In addition to the general recognition as one of the two greatest scientists of the 20th century, he was usually acknowledged by his colleagues as the most influential chemist since Lavoisier, the 18th-century founder of the modern science of chemistry. His introductory textbook General Chemistry, revised three times since its first printing in 1947 and translated into 13 languages, has been used by generations of undergraduates. After Pauling entered the field of chemistry as a professional in the mid-1920s, his work, grounded in physics, has affected the work of every chemist. He is also often considered the founding father of molecular biology, which has transformed the biological sciences and medicine and provided the base for biotechnology.”

 

Hmmmm……let me see……..whose opinions and research do I put more stock in? That of Dr Archie Kalokerinos and Nobel Chemistry Prize winner, Linus Pauling? Or that of, in my opinion, a blinkered little writer at Mamamia whose sole goal appears to be the further dumbing-down of the masses?

 

So when Dr Archie Kalokerinos writes here about the subjects of Shaken Baby Syndrome, SIDS, vaccination, and vitamin C, we should all dismiss his 50 years of work? In favour of nothing more than the parochial views of a writer at Mamamia who, as far as I’m concerned, doesn’t know which end is up?

 

Sorry, Mamamia. Some of us are too intelligent to switch off our minds and join your flock of gullible fluff-worshippers.

 

Without any difficulty whatsoever, I was able to find this on Pubmed. Why, look at that – Shaken Baby Syndrome is not always as it appears to be.

[Metabolic disease or shaken baby syndrome?].

Abstract We describe two children with subdural haematoma and glutaricacidaemia type 1, who were diagnosed late because of initial suspicion of shaken baby syndrome.

And again “Intraretinal hemorrhages and chronic subdural effusions: glutaric aciduria type 1 can be mistaken for shaken baby syndrome.”

 

How difficult would it have been for Mamamia to do even the slightest amount of investigation before posting an article which, to my eyes, clearly libels someone?

 

By all means, if the article author wants to pretend to themselves that Shaken Baby Syndrome is always as it appears to be, they should go ahead and believe that. But to publish an article and not acknowledge facts that are provided to them and, in fact, to censor such evidence? As far as I’m concerned, that is wrong, unprincipled and ignorant. In fact, I think it’s just plain dumb, dumb, dumb.

 

Just keep on churning out that fluff, Mamamia. The calibre of ovis aries people you aim your writing at are clearly very, very happy with fluff.

archie's book

 

 

GlaxoSmithKline to be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office

The BBC news reported yesterday that “Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline is to have its “commercial practices” investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The British company, which is already facing allegations of bribery in several countries, said it would “co-operate fully” with the SFO.”

As described on its own page, “The Serious Fraud Office is an independent government department, operating under the superintendence of the Attorney General.  Its purpose is to protect society by investigating and, if appropriate, prosecuting those who commit serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption and pursuing them and others for the proceeds of their crime”.

 

Is GlaxoSmithKline stuck in a pattern of dishonest behaviour?

 

Back in 2012, GlaxoSmithKline “agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges of illegally marketing drugs and withholding safety data from U.S. regulators, and to pay $3 billion to the government in what the Justice Department called the largest health-care fraud settlement in U.S. history.”

 

GSK withheld safety data on Type 2 diabetes drug, Avandia.

As reported on drugwatch, “To date, tens of thousands of patients and their families have filed lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline because of Avandia’s life-threatening complications. One estimate links the medication to as many as 100,000 heart attacks, strokes and heart failures, including many deaths.”

 

In what can only be described as utterly disgraceful behaviour, “G.S.K. executives attempted to intimidate independent physicians, focused on strategies to minimize or misrepresent findings that Avandia may increase cardiovascular risk, and sought ways to downplay findings that a competing drug might reduce cardiovascular risk,” The New York Times revealed in 2010.

 

During the aforementioned episode of health-care fraud, GlaxoSmithKline also copped it for promoting antidepressants for uses that were not approved by the FDA. Ah, GSK clearly respects our health so, so much. It just warms the cockles of the heart, doesn’t it.

 

Is honesty a dirty word at GSK?  It would appear so. In my opinion, people should ask questions and think twice when offered any prescription (was your doctor offered a ski trip  or concert tickets as a perk for pushing a drug on you?), and be aware that we represent nothing more than $$$$$$$$$$ to pharmaceutical companies.  We are not even viewed as human beings by them, as far as I can tell. One could very easily receive the impression that pharmaceutical companies view us as little more than cannon fodder in their war against true health. Oh, perhaps, I judge them too harshly. Of course they care very much about some humans. These special humans, deemed worthy of pharmaceutical company consideration, are known as shareholders. It’s of paramount importance that those special people have a very healthy bank balance. And if that healthy bank balance comes at the cost of someone’s healthy heart? Just keep those $$$$$$$$$$$$$ rolling in, boys! Next!

 

GlaxoSmithKline up to their old tricks

 

In light of reports of corrupt practices, involving a massive bribery network  in China, and a criminal investigation into allegations of bribery in Poland, clearly the current investigation by the Serious Fraud Office could not come soon enough.

One would wonder how GlaxoSmithKline executives manage to sleep at night.
Maybe there’s a pill for that.

 

money pills - Copy (3)

 

 

 

Will Gardasil become the greatest medical scandal of all time?

Gardasil, approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 2006, is a Merck vaccine intended to prevent some strains of human papilloma virus.

Dr Bernard Dalbergue, formerly of Merck, predicts in the April 2014 issue of Principes de Santé (Health Principles) that “Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine, technical and scientific feat that it may be, has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers.”

 

Time will tell.

 

Anyone with even a cursory interest in the subject of Gardasil, will be aware that the Japanese government withdrew its recommendation for cervical cancer vaccines after adverse events were suffered by young Japanese girls.

As reported in The Japan Times, “According to Dr. Sotaro Sato, who has examined many cervical vaccine victims, the convulsions, inability to walk, and involuntary hand and toe movements are being caused by encephalomyelitis, or the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

“Cervical cancer vaccines, which are chemically bound to special types of adjuvants, often trigger encephalomyelitis,” he said.

“Since the vaccines cause autoantibodies against the brain’s neuronal fibers to be produced in many cases, they have triggered demyelinating disorders,” he said, adding they have also induced many cases of cerebral vasculitis.

Cerebral vasculitis causes the body’s immune system to attack blood vessels in the brain, often leading to hemorrhaging, said Sato, who runs a hospital in Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture.”

 

It’s hard to imagine that any of this would be news to Dr Diane Harper, the principal investigator in the Gardasil trials.

“Diane M. Harper, MD, MS, MPH Director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Community and family Medicine, and Informatics and Personalized Medicine at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine. Dr. Harper reports that she has served as a speaker and advisor for Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, and that the institutions at which she conducted HPV vaccination trials have received funding from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.”

During this discussion  Dr Harper mentions that there is the potential for “ serious adverse events, including demyelinating diseases that cause blindness, paralysis, and death…”.

Dr Harper also states that “In the United States, the same women could choose a lifetime of Pap screening and be afforded the same protection against cervical cancer as they would get from vaccination.”

 

Something to consider

 

There are more than 100 types of HPV. At least 13 of these types of HPV are cancer-causing, according to the World Health Organisation. Gardasil contains only 2 of these – types 16 and 18 (along with types 6 and 11 for warts).

 

Dr Harper also made some very interesting points when interviewed by Marcia G. Yerman in 2009. (See full story here)

“Many vaccinated women have returned to me in clinic with more abnormal Pap tests and more HPV disease. They are tremendously disappointed when told that Gardasil does not protect against all types of HPV, and that they are still at risk for cervical cancer.

There is a real risk that cervical cancer will increase in the U.S. if those women getting Gardasil do not realize that:

• Gardasil will not protect them for life

• They can get other HPV infections that lead to cancer that are not covered by Gardasil

• They need to continue to have Pap tests throughout their lifetime.

 

Recent reports state that Gardasil may have triggered MS (Multiple Sclerosis) in some girls receiving the vaccine. What are your thoughts on this? 

“Neurologists at the American Neurological Association have indeed concluded that Gardasil is temporally associated with autoimmune attacks on the neurologic system. The range of neurologic disorders is unknown.”

Do you believe that the Gardasil vaccine, as it currently stands, could present more risks to a young girl or woman than the possibility of cervical cancer?

“Pap smears have never killed anyone. Pap smears are an effective screening tool to prevent cervical cancer. Pap smears alone prevent more cervical cancers than can the vaccines alone.

Gardasil is associated with serious adverse events, including death. If Gardasil is given to 11 year olds, and the vaccine does not last at least fifteen years, then there is no benefit – and only risk – for the young girl. Vaccinating will not reduce the population incidence of cervical cancer if the woman continues to get Pap screening throughout her life.”

Has the original Gardasil marketing campaign of “one less” muddied the waters and misinformed the public, who heretofore believed that a Pap smear was sufficient to protect them from cervical cancer?

“If women were participating in Pap screening, or if as a parent you educated your daughter to seek Pap screening at the appropriate age (21 years) for her entire life, then she would have been very unlikely to be at risk for being “one” and would not be “one less.” She would not have been “one” to begin with!

Yes, the marketing campaign was designed to incite the greatest fear possible in parents, so that there would be uptake of the vaccine. If parents and girls were told the benefits and harms of Pap screening and HPV vaccines as described above, an informed and valued decision would have been able to be made. Many may have chosen to continue with a lifetime of Pap screening and forgo the vaccines, with the unknowns of duration of efficacy and safety unable to be answered for many more years.”

Can you point out specific “misstatements” that Merck has promulgated about the Gardasil vaccine?

“Less misstatements, than incomplete statements. For instance, the cumulative incidence of HPV infections for women in the U.S. through the age of 50 years old is 80%. That statement is true. That statement infers that nearly everyone is infected with HPV at least one point in their life.

What is left out is that 95% of all HPV infections are cleared spontaneously by the body’s immune system. The remaining 5% progress to cancer precursors. Cancer precursors, specifically CIN 3, progresses to invasive cancer in the following proportions: 20% of women with CIN 3 progress to invasive cervical cancer in five years; 40% progress to cervical cancer in thirty years. There is ample time to detect and treat the early precancers and early stage cancers for 100% cure.

Other examples include inferences that Gardasil will last a lifetime, with no mention of boosters or limited protection possible. Regarding wart protection promotion, there is no mention that the data showed protection against genital warts in men for only a 2.4-year period of time.

Gardasil is not really a cervical cancer vaccine. The vaccine prevents HPV infection, not the development of cervical cancer.”

 

 

Something else to consider

 

The Australian National Cervical Cancer Screening program information here indicates that “The biggest risk factor in cervical cancer is not being screened every two years, and that 3 out of 4 women who develop cervical cancer have either  never had a Pap smear or haven’t had one in the past 5 years.”

It would seem that the real focus should be on further encouraging women to have their regular Pap tests, rather than encouraging a false sense of security in a vaccine covering only a couple of types of HPV.

 

 

Who yet knows whether Dr Bernard Dalbergue is correct when he says that Gardasil will be the greatest medical scandal of all time. What I do know is that if I check the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration Database of Adverse Event Notifications, I can see that over 2,500 reports have been made about Gardasil so far in this country - and they include 9 cases of multiple sclerosis and 1 of blindness. As such sites as the TGA rely on passive surveillance, it is variously estimated that as few as 1-2%, or maybe up to 10% of cases are ever reported.

Would it even faze Merck if Gardasil did become the greatest medical scandal of all time? They will have surely by this time recouped their Vioxx scandal losses.

In my opinion, what definitely is a scandal at this current time is the way that children are being lined up like sheep to be given this vaccine at school in this country. The parents are provided with very little information – certainly no information that would allow them to make a true, informed choice. In my opinion, not only is that a scandal, it’s nothing short of an utter disgrace. In fact, it really gets to me.

 

needle