Thursday, 8 October 2015

Daraprim. A 'for-profit' drug in a monopoly industry

The mainstream media were exercised over this drug recently. The drug, Daraprim, has been market for 62 years. It is used for a an illness called toxoplasmosis, caused by a parasite in food, and compromises the immune system.

Turing Pharmaceuticals, owned by Martin Shkreli, a venture capitalist, gained control over this drug, and immediately increased the price from $13.50 to $750, a rise of over 5,000%! Natural News stated that the price hike was actually even larger when it said that the drug was priced at just $1 "a few years ago".

The outcry that followed immediately got the attention of leading USA politicians.  Hillary Clinton called the new price 'outrageous', and promised to respond to it with 'a plan', presumably a cunning plan! Another presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders, responded by demanding information about the total gross revenues of Daraprim. He was quoted as follows:

"The enormous, overnight price increase for Daraprim is just the latest in a long list of skyrocketing price increases for certain critical medications."

Quite right. The issue with Daraprim is that it is the only drug licenced to treat toxoplasmosis. Turing Pharmaceuticals defended themselves. The previous company, they said, was "just giving the drug away", and that "you only need less than 100 pills so at the end of the day the price per course of treatment to save your life was only $1,000". The added that "these days modern pharmaceutical, cancer drugs, can cost %1,000 or more" and that "Daraprim is still underpriced". And, of course, the extra profit would be used to develop new and better drugs to treat the condition.

If we needed any confirmation that the pharmaceutical industry was about profit rather than patient health, perhaps we need go no further than this story! Such profiteering is not an isolated example. As the New York Times said, before going on to provide other examples of this practice,

     "While most of the attention (on drug price increase) has been on new drugs.... there is also growing concern about huge price increases on older drugs, some of them generic, that have long been mainstays of treatment".

I am left amazed at the outcry. This blog regularly discusses the dangers of conventional medical drugs, and their ineffectiveness. The third major problem with pharmaceutical drugs is their cost. Drug companies have been able to charge what they like for drugs for a very long time now. And politicians have been happy to pay drug companies whatever they ask for (with taxpayer money, of course). Pharmaceuticals are big business, and there are huge profits to be made from them.

This has been the situation for decades. Why should this particular situation attract so much interest?

National health services throughout the world have given conventional, drug-based medicine a virtual monopoly over our health care. And monopolies do over-price their wares. We know this from other spheres of life. The fact is that Daraprim is not the only treatment for toxoplasmosis. It is the only conventional drug that is licensed to treat toxoplasmosis - and that is quite a different matter.

The only way to rid ourselves of a monopoly is to search for other solutions, and as far as this disease is concerned, there are other alternatives, including herbal medicine and homeopathy. We ignore this, and maintain the pharmaceutical monopoly, at our own cost.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

More false / fraudulent science promoting pharmaceutical drugs

"Paroxetine is not effective in adolescents with major depression and actually causes harm"

This simple statement is taken from the doctors online magazine, Pulse, on 18th September 2015.

What the statement hides is that this constitutes yet another example of fraudulent activity by the pharmaceutical industry, and the harm it is prepared to do to its patients in order to sell drugs.

The trial was undertaken in 2001 and came to the conclusion that paraxetine was 'safe and effective' for adolescents, and on this basis doctors have been prescribing it for the last 14 years!

The study was funded by the Big Pharma company - GlaxoSmithKline.

Now, the study and its reported findings has been 're-analysed', and it has been found that neither Paroxetine, and another drug tested in the same study, Imipramine, were not as effective as placebo. The authors concluded that

     "Neither paroxetine nor high dose imipramine showed efficacy for major depression in adolescents, and there was an increase in harms with both drugs".

The result is that after prescribing the drug for over 14 years (on the basis of a so-called 'scientific' trial), doctors are now being advised by the drug regulator, the MHRA, against prescribing SSRIs to young people as "they may be linked to increased suicide-related events".

Indeed, the Pulse article says that the 'new analysis' suggested that doctors should be cautions with all SSRI drugs, and avoid paroxetine altogether!

And that, according to Pulse, and presumably the wider conventional medical establishment, is all there is to it! The re-analysis of the study was said to be "helpful to confirm the current advice".
  • No mention of the 2001 study, and why it came to a false recommendation.
  • No mention about what action would be taken against the drug company, and the so-called scientists who 'got it wrong'.
  • No mention of how many people have been given this drug for the last 14 years on the basis of this 'scientific' recommendation.
  • No mention of how many people have been harmed by the drug during this time.
  • No mention of an apology by the conventional medical profession.
  • As far as I can ascertain, no mention of this fraud in any of the mainstream media.
Paroxetine is sold under more well-known trade names, including Paxil and Seroxat, that have been marketed since 1992. The drug, quite regardless of the plethora of names under which it is marketed, has been known to be dangerous since that time. It is known to increase suicide risk, and to cause birth defects. Like other SSRI drugs it can cause dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, somnolence, insomnia, hypomania, nervousness, paraesthesia,  dizziness, weakness, tremor, sweating and sexual dysfunction. And no doubt much more that is not yet known, or admitted.

According to the Pulse article, this re-analysis is "the first piece of work to be published in the BMJas part of an initiative called RIAT – Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials". What this means is that there is now considerable concern about the 'science' that underlays so many of the pharmaceutical drug trials that have taken place over recent decades. More fraud, concerning more drugs and vaccines, are clearly suspected to have taken place. Drug companies have paid for the 'science', and at least some scientists appear to have been happy to produce the results that the drug companies have wanted.
  • This is cheque-book science, not real science! 
  • It is not the science that seeks truth, it is the science that seeks to sell pharmaceutical drugs. 
  • It is not the science that protects patients. It is the science that puts patients at risk of dangerous drugs. 
  • It is science that supports Big Pharma profits.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Gonorrhoea. There is no resistance to homeopathic treatment.

Gonorrhoea, or gonorrhea, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called ‘Neisseria gonorrhoeae', otherwise known as gonococcus. This condition was once known as ‘the clap’.  The symptoms of gonorrhoea vary, but includes a thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, pain when urinating, and bleeding between periods in women. Sometimes, however, women experience no symptoms.

Gonorrhoea is only transmitted by vaginal, oral or anal sex. The infection can, however, be be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby.

Conventional Medical Treatment of Gonorrhoea
NHS Choices says that Gonorrhoea is usually treated with a short course of antibiotics, usually with a single antibiotic injection followed by one antibiotic tablet. The unborn baby is also treated with antibiotics, immediately following birth.

However, there is no mention on the NHS Choices website that there are now strains of gonorrhoea that are now resistant to antibiotics. As this linked article says, "if this becomes the predominant strain in the UK we're (that is, conventional medicine) in big trouble”.

Fortunately, this sexually transmitted disease is not resistant to homeopathic treatment.

Unfortunately, owing to the laws currently operation in Britain, no-one can recommend treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, like gonorrhoea, other than by a conventional medical doctor. This may become extremely difficult for conventional medical doctors, as they will increasingly have no treatment to offer, and either they, or the patients themselves, will have to refer on to treatment that is still effective.

Homeopathic Treatment of Gonorrhoea

Important Note 
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter “Illness Diagnosis” above.

Homeopathy has been treating this sexually transmitted disease for a very long time, as this book, published in 1868, indicates. The following remedy descriptions have  been taken from the Hpathy website.

Gonorrhoea acute or chronic; copious, persistent discharge without pain or soreness in urethra, discharge thick, yellow or green.

Nitric acid
Gonorrhoea with chancres and warts; urethra burns; smarting during urination; discharge from urethra sometimes bloody.

Thin, watery, greenish discharge from the male urethra with Dysuria and sensation as if drops trickled down the canal after urinating. Severe cutting at close of urination, itching in the urethra. Frequent Micturation accompanying pains. Desire sudden and urgent, which cannot be controlled. Fig warts gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea which has been maltreated or suppressed which has been treated by local medication.

Cannabis sativa 
Gonorrhoea, acute stage; urethra very sensitive; burning while urination, extending to bladder; stitches in urethra, with spasmodic closure of sphincter.

Argentum Nitricum
Early stage of gonorrhoea; profuse discharge and terrible cutting pains; urethra inflamed, with pain, burning, itching; pain as from a splinter.

Chronic yellow vaginal discharge; chronic gonorrhoea, yellow, with little lumps along urethra.

A powerful deep acting medicine, often indicated for chronic ailments due to suppressed gonorrhoea; nocturnal emissions, followed by great weakness; gleet; whole urethra feels sore.

Kali Sulph
Old gonorrhoea with thick, yellow discharge.

Piper meth
Gonorrhoea in first stage with severe chordee; irritable urethra in old mismanaged cases, with nervous depression, so that he thinks constantly of his ailments.

Suppression of gonorrhoea causes epididymitis; testicles enlarged, retracted, dark-red, very sensitive to touch.

Condylomata from suppressing the gonorrhoea; chronic mucus discharges without pain or burning when urinating; milky or yellowish discharge.

Long standing cases of gonorrhoea; slight, shreddy discharge; gonorrhoea, with thick, foeted pus, especially after exertion.

Natrum Mur 
Chronic gonorrhoea; gleet; discharge of yellow pus; cutting pain in urethra.

Gonorrhoea of females; gnawing, smarting discharge, causing soreness of the parts with which it comes in contact.

Calcaria phos
 Chronic gonorrhoea in anaemic persons.

Orchitis during gonorrhoea or when the discharge was suppressed; scanty bloody discharge; intense pain when urinating.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The contribution of Professor Edzard Ernst to disinformation about Homeopathy

Edzard Ernst is an anti-homeopath who spent his career attacking traditional medicine. In 1993 he became Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter. He is often described as the first professor of complementary medicine, but the title he assumed should have fooled no-one. His aim was to discredit medical therapies, notably homeopathy, and published some 700 papers in 'scientific' journals to do so.

Now, Professor Robert Hahn, a leading medical scientist, physician, and Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the University of Linköping, Sweden, has made an assessment of the quality of his work. It can be read, in German, here:

"In the interests of the honesty and integrity in science, it is an important assessment. It shows, in his view, how science has been taken over by ideology (or as I would suggest, more accurately, the financial interests of Big Corporations, in this case, Big Pharma). The blog indicates that in order to demonstrate that homeopathy is ineffective, over 95% of scientific research into homeopathy has to be discarded or removed! 

So for those people who, like myself, cannot read the original German, here is an English translation of the blog.

"I have never seen a science writer so blatantly biased as Edzard Ernst: his work should not be considered of any worth at all, and discarded" finds Sweden's Professor Robert Hahn, a leading medical scientist, physician, and Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the University of Linköping, Sweden.

Studies depicting homeopathy as ineffective are bogus
Professor Hahn has published over 300 scientific articles in the fields of anesthesia and intensive care, and has received several research awards. Hahn had not previously come into contact with homeopathy, but his curiosity was aroused by a highly emotional, remarkably unscientific, television debate against homeopathy, apparently organized by the anti-homeopathy campaigning group 'Vetenskap och Folkbildning' or VOF [translates into English as 'Science and Education'] One teenager after another said that there were no scientific studies that could prove that homeopathy works, and that Homeopathy had been shown to be one big 'bluff'.

(Interjection: this organisation is probably the equivalent of 'Sense about Science' in Britain).

Professor Hahn clearly saw that those teenagers could not possibly have the necessary skills, knowledge and maturity to even read, let alone understand, the relevant scientific literature, and that all they were doing was repeating to order VoF's anti-homeopathy propaganda.

Hahn determined therefore to analyze for himself the 'research' which supposedly demonstrated homeopathy to be ineffective, and reached the shocking conclusion that:

          "only by discarding 98% of homeopathy trials and carrying out a statistical meta-analysis on the remaining 2% negative studies, can one "prove" that homeopathy is ineffective".

In other words, all supposedly negative homeopathic meta-analyses which opponents of homeopathy have relied on, are scientifically bogus.

The evaluation criteria of medical treatment changed in the mid-1990s. It had previously been held that one should understand the mechanism why a treatment works before being able to accept it. This criterion, however, leads to problems. Many treatments, whose mode of action is still unknown, are in fact in use today in hospitals with success. Nitrous oxide, commonly used during the birth, is one such example (anaesthetics are another).

Medicine in the mid-90s moved over to the practical concept of "evidence-based", which implies that this was, or should have been, the method used for all the literature in the areas of systematic reviews or meta-analyzes. The question now asked was no longer

     "Do we understand the basic principles of treatment?"
     "Does the treatment work, or not?"

The removal of any requirement to demonstrate a mechanism makes it a major problem for academics to dismiss alternative therapies.

Klaus Linde's Article 
Klaus Linde's meta-analysis from 1997 [i] is the first and most honest writing in the field of homeopathy. Linde found an odds ratio of 2.45 and a 2.05 to 2.93 of CI, i.e., a significant result showing a beneficial effect of homeopathy compared to placebo.

This result is based on 89 studies and, interestingly, Linde added in a summary that the results shows how effective homeopathy is in various diseases. Linde's study aroused understandable sensation in the academic world. Then followed a counter current of articles that evidently tried to refute the results.

The first criticism was the quality of the study, which can be separated into so-called Jadad scores. When they did this with Linde's 89 studies, there was a trend for the studies with a low Jadad to show a higher effect. Linde demonstrated [ii] however that the positive effects of homeopathy were increased, even at the highest Jadad score levels.

Edzard Ernst
This argument was not accepted by the anti-alternative-medicine activist Edzard Ernst, who was of the opinion that one should draw a line between all Jadad scores except for the highest, and from that calculate the theoretical effect of the best studies (see reference iii).

In my opinion, this is completely insane, because you thereby replace real data with virtual (i.e. theoretically calculated) data.

In his 2002 paper [iv], "A systematic review of Systematic Reviews", Ernst oscillates, for example, between rejection of articles which show specific effects on diseases, whilst in other instances he rejects articles if they do not show specific effects. I've never seen a science writer so blatantly biased as Edzard Ernst.

Cucherat's "Type II error"
Cucherat [v] "Evidence  of clinical efficacy Homeopathy", is basically an honest writer who nevertheless, in contradiction of his own research results, ended in making great efforts to reject homeopathy as a treatment. Conventional meta-analytic statistics were not used in this case; instead, out of five possible analytic methods, Cucherat chose the method which would be the most unfavourable to homeopathy.

Furthermore Cucherat fell into using a technique that Edzard Ernst exploited in many studies, namely, to remove virtually any high-quality material. In the case of homeopathy, however, it was not enough to remove 90% of the studies originally envisaged for analysis: the homeopathic treatment continued to show itself as superior to placebo.

As the author proceeded to remove 95-98% of all studies, this naturally tilted the statistics. But at this point, Cucherat's analysis no longer showed that the method of treatment (homeopathy) is bad, but rather that his study lacked sufficient statistical material for analysis. One can say that the author has created a "type II error" deliberately.

I am highly critical of the several points given by Cucherat to justify his rejection of selected studies. Cucherat gives sometimes only marginal details that do not result in exclusion in non-homeopathic studies. First Cucherat removed from his evaluation 101 out of a total of 118 studies: homeopathy nevertheless remained in his analysis as being to a large extent effective. Even as he withdrew further studies and only 9 were left, homeopathy continued to show a statistically-safe beneficial effect.

As he removed yet another 4 studies, the statistics however began to falter and the risk that the effect of homeopathy versus placebo could be explained by chance was now 8.2 out of 100.

The conclusion? Cucherat says that homeopathy was not effective. As far as I am concerned, Cucherat is a coward. At the risk of destroying his career by telling the truth and being in loggerheads with organizations such as the VoF, he did not dare to publish what his material actually showed.

Shang et al's selection was equally crazy
The next meta-analysis was written by Shang et al and published in 1995 [vi]. Here, just like Cucherat, 96% of all studies were removed, but in this case the authors sadly failed to specify any reason for that at all.

They turned the odds ratio this way and that, until it resulted in the study showing that placebo was 13% more effective than homeopathy, even though the actual evidence showed the precise opposite: i.e., that homeopathy was 13% more effective than placebo. I must also point out that the authors with whom Shang worked had a few years earlier published a very negative article on homeopathy, which makes me doubt the objective starting point of this group.

(Ernst was later to testify to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that Shang was 'clearly devastating for homeopathy').

Who can you trust? We can begin by disregarding Edzard Ernst. I have read several other studies that he has published, and they are all untrustworthy. His work should be discarded.

Both Cucherat and Shang have deliberately created a "Type II error" by ignoring almost all actually existing published studies. The reason? Well, if they had included just a few more trials and had have been content to exclude "only" 90% of the documentation, it would have been found that homeopathy was more effective than placebo. And they surely didn't want that, right? So they simply excluded so much material that they created a "type II error". I assume that the authors had to find some trick to produce the results they wanted from the outset - namely, that homeopathy failed to produce any effect.

This maths game seems anything other than respectable. And yet these people could retain their academic purity, still welcome in the hallowed halls of science, and not at risk of being mocked or to be publicly ridiculed by organizations such as the VoF.

I am fascinated to see how much the scientific world is controlled by their ideologies.

In the case of homeopathy, one should stick with what the evidence reveals. And the evidence is that only by removing 95-98% of all studies is the effectiveness of homeopathy not demonstrable.

Homeopathy is clearly a taboo subject. If anything relates to homeopathy, you may not work with the search for, or evaluation of, evidence if you want to continue to be considered a good and serious scientist. This kind of fear should not exist in science. But it does exist, and is very striking".

[i] Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, Melchart D, Eitel F, Hedges LV, Jonas WB. Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997; 350: 834–43.

[ii] Linde K, Scholz M, Ramirez G, Clausius N, Melcart D, Jonas WB. Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy. J Clin Epidemiol 1999;52:631–6.

[iii] Ernst E, Pittler MH. Re-analysis of previous meta-analysis of clinical trials of homeopathy. J Clin Epidemiol 2000;53:1188.

[iv] Ernst E. "A systematic review of systematic reviews of homeopathy" (Br J Clin Pharmacol 2002; 54: 577-582)

[v] Cucherat M, Haugh MV, Gooch M, Boissel J-P. Evidence for clinical efficacy of homeopathy. A meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2000;56:27–33.

[vi] Shang A, Huwiler-Münterer K, Nartey L, Jüni P, Dörig S, Sterne JA, Egger M. Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy and allopathy. Lancet 2005;366:726–32.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Gout. Comparing conventional and homeopathic treatment

Gout is a type of arthritis to the joints, most often to the ankles, feet, and especially the big toe. Gout can be extremely painful, the joint become extremely tender, making walking extremely difficult. The most common symptom is sudden, severe pain with swelling and redness. An attack of gout can last for several days.

Conventional Medical Treatment for Gout
NHS Choices says that the first treatment of gout is to relieve the pain of an attack, and provides some ‘self-care’ techniques for doing so, such rest, raising the limb, keeping it cool.

NSAID Painkillers
Painkilling drugs are then recommended “as an initial treatment” for gout, with Naproxen, Diclofenac, and Etoricoxib specifically mentioned.

“If you have been prescribed NSAIDs for gout, it is best to keep them near you at all times so you can use them at the first sign of a gout attack. Continue to take your medication throughout the attack and for 48 hours after the attack has finished”.

The serious side effects of NSAID drugs, particularly when they have to be taken with this regularity, are such that NHS Choices continue by recommending another drug to counteract these! So for a fuller explanations of these dangers, and the harm they can cause, click on this link.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI drugs)
NHS Choices says that painkillers should be prescribed together with PPI drugs - “which reduce the risk of the NSAID causing indigestion, stomach ulcers and bleeding from the stomach”

NHS Choices also warn that patients “with reduced kidney function, conditions such as stomach ulcers or bleeding, or who are using certain medications such as warfarin or treatments for blood pressure should avoid using NSAIDs”.

NHS Choices says that patients unable to take NSAID painkillers can be prescribed this drug as an alternative. Colchicine is derived from the crocus autumnale plant which is know to be extremely poisonous. In homeopathy a remedy made from this plant is also used to treat gout (see below), but of course homeopathic dilution and potentization makes it use in homeopathy entirely safe.

However, as a conventional pharmaceutical drug it can be dangerous. Even NHS Choices admits this, saying that whilst it can be an effective treatment for gout “it should be used at low doses as it can cause side effects, including nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, and goes on to admit that it “can cause major gut problems”.

Colchicine can do far worse than this, and effects more than just the gut. The website problem caused to the blood; the nervous system, including myopathy, seizures, mental status changes, and neuropathy; acute kidney failure; skin problems, including urticaria and alopecia; respiratory and muscleskeletal problems.

Corticosteroid Drugs
NHS Choices says that these drugs are used when patients “do not respond to other treatment” or “are unable to take” or “cannot tolerate an NSAID or Colchicine”. Yet these drugs are equally dangerous, and NHS Choices says that whilst they can ‘often’ provide relief, corticosteroid drugs can cause
  • weight gain
  • thinning of the bones (Osteroposis)
  • bruising
  • muscle weakness
  • thinning of the skin
  • increased vulnerability to infection
  • diabetes
  • glucoma
NHS also say the corticosteroid drugs are unsuitable for patients with impaired liver and kidney function, or heart failure.

NHS Choices also says that to prevent regular attacks of gout that this drug is recommended, although they warn that to maintain this ‘cure’ they would have to be taken, daily, for the rest of your life! In return, the patient is warned of side effects, ranging from a skin rash, allergic reactions, indigestion, headache and diarrhoea. For people with kidney disease Allopurinol is not suitable.

This drug is similar to Allopurinol, but can be taken by people with kidney disease, but it also has serious side effects, which NHS Choices outline as
  • an increased number of acute gout attacks (!!!)
  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • feeling sick
  • skin rash
  • breathing difficulties
  • facial swelling
Moreover, NHS Choices says that Febuxostat is not considered to be suitable for people with heart problems, especially heart failure.

For those who can take the drug, and “to try to reduce the frequency and severity of this side effect, your doctor may prescribe you regular daily oral NSAIDs or colchicine …for up to six months following the start of Febuxostat as preventative treatment”.

Small wonder, then, that many people find homeopathy to be both safer and more effective!

Homeopathic Treatment of Gout

Important Note 
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter “Illness Diagnosis” above.

The following remedies provide a guide to the kind of symptoms they will treat. They have been taken from the Arthritis Holistic Hotline website. All the remedies mentioned are safe, and any remedy that matches the patient’s symptoms will be effective.

The person is anxious, with a good imagination that can picture many terrible things. The joints are swollen and painful. The pain is worse at night and with warmth, but better with fresh air and rest.

Arnica can also be very helpful for discomfort that comes with gout. Pain is sore and bruise-like, and it hurts to walk. The person may be afraid to be approached or touched, because of pain.

Useful for symptoms such as sudden onset, swelling, throbbing, heat, and. The joints look red, inflamed, and shiny - with sharp or violent pains that are worse from touch and jarring. The person may feel restless, flushed, and hot. 

Twinges of pain in gouty joints, or stitching pains that are aggravated by changing position or walking, may indicate a need for Berberis. Berberis is often indicated for people who ache all over; some have nagging back pain or a tendency toward kidney stones.

Bryonia is helpful when tearing pain is worse from the slightest movement.

Calcarea fluorica
When the finger joints become enlarged because of gout, and the knees and toes may be involved, it may be time for this remedy. Stabbing pain is experienced, and the joints may make a cracking sound on movement. Discomfort is worse during weather changes, and warmth may bring relief. 

For great weariness, nausea, shoutings and tearings in muscles and joints worse with movement, better at night. Tearings in legs, feet, and toes with swelling.

Colchicum is perhaps the most useful, and most often used for gout. The gout often appears in the big toe or heel-so painful the person finds both motion and touch unbearable. The joints are swollen, red and hot. Pain is often worse in the evening and at night. Flare-ups may occur in the springtime or with weather changes. Individuals who need this remedy often have a feeling of internal coldness and are very tired.

Ledum is indicated when the foot and big toe are swollen. Shooting pains are felt all through the foot and ankle, moving upward to the knee. Cold applications relieve both the swelling and the pain.

When gout flies about from joint to joint.

When you experience gouty swelling of the big toe joint that flares up before a storm, this remedy may be indicated. Other joints may ache and swell, especially on the right side of the body. Pain usually is worse toward early morning and after staying still too long. The person may feel better from warmth and after eating.

Rhus tox
This remedy can be helpful for joints that are hot, stiff, painful, and swollen. Symptoms are worse in cold, damp weather and improved by warmth and gentle motion.

The person is depressed. There is gouty pain and nodules may develop at the afflicted joint. Movement and heat make the pain worse; cool fresh air makes it better. Also when connected with uterine disorder 

When you have painful gouty joints that itch, along with a burning feeling in the feet, sulphur may be useful. The knees and other joints may be involved. Problems are aggravated by heat in any form, and are often worse in damp weather and in springtime.

Although these remedies can be taken safely without the professional assistance of a qualified homeopath, the identification of the best remedy for each patient is best done within a professional consultation.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The MMR-Autism Controversy, and the dishonesty of Medical 'Science'

The controversy concerning the links between the MMR vaccine and damaged children, particularly autism carries on, as it has now for some 30 years, although of course it has done so since 2004 outside politics and government, outside the conventional medical establishment, and most notably free from any coverage in the mainstream media.

The overwhelming response to my recent blog, "The MMR Vaccine, Autism, and the silence and culpability of the Political, Medical and Media Establishment" is one of incredulity and disbelief. Most people believe that within our free and democratic societies, supported by our free and ever-questioning press, that it would be impossible for pharmaceutical drug companies to get away with injecting into the veins of our children such damaging vaccines.

Ask your doctor, question the NHS, look for coverage on television or radio, or within the press, and you will be told that childhood (and other) vaccines are entirely safe. In particular, you will hear that there is no connection between the epidemic rise of autism, and contemporaneous increase in the use of the MMR vaccine. The rise of both, parallel as they are, is just a coincidence.

After all, we are told, there is scientific evidence that there is no connection between childhood vaccines and autism.

Conventional medicine is based on scientific evidence, mostly coming from RCT (randomised, controlled tests), said by the conventional medical establishment to be the 'gold standard' of evidence.

So what is this about medical scientists, under the auspices of the powerful USA CDC (Centre for Disease Control), falsifying evidence? Surely, no such thing would happen within our open, democratic society? So perhaps, some additional information might be useful, to support my previous blog.

In 2004, the MMR vaccine was being questioned, largely arising from the work of Dr Andrew Wakefield in London, which had linked the vaccine with gastrointestinal disorders, which themselves were linked to autism. Quite rightly, the media were discussing his work, and its implications. The public was being informed about the debate. Many parents decided not to allow their children to be vaccinated. So the take-up rate of the vaccine plummeted, so much so that the conventional medical establishment decided to take action to stop this. The CDC embarked on a study that was supposed to bury the questions that had been raised about Autism, and the MMR vaccine.

The researcher compared the ages of 624 autistic children at the time of their first MMR vaccination with over 1,800 children who had developed normal. The results showed that there was no significant link between the MMR vaccine and the development of autism. More, the study showed that there was no 'statistically significant' increased risk of autism for any racial or ethnic group. This evidence was published in the medical journal, Paediatrics.

Following this, the debate was supposed to end. It was no longer possible to discuss it within the media because this study proved, conclusively, that the link between the MMR vaccine and Autism was conclusively proven to be untrue. I remember listening to a BBC radio phone-in programme where one parent protested that her child had been damaged. She was quickly silenced. This was not possible. Medical science had proven otherwise!

Other people did try to raise the issue. In 2006, Dr Peter Fletcher, Chief Scientific Officer for the UK's Department of Health said that he had seen a steady accumulation of evidence from researchers, and medical professionals worldwide, linking the MMR vaccine and brain damage to children. He is  reported as saying, the 'The Healthier Life" website:

          "There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain, and elsewhere, who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves".

And protect themselves they have done. Such is the power and influence of the conventional medical establishment, such discussion has been censored in politics and government, within the national health service, and most criminally of all, within the mainstream media.

I use the word 'criminal' on the basis that the exercise of media censorship over the issue has meant that since 2004, millions of children have been vaccinated, and many thousands of children have contracted Autism, as a direct result of their silence. For over a decade, parents have been denied the ability to make an 'informed choice' because the media has not provided them with all the information that should have been made available to them.

Yet the culpability of media censorship has now been compounded.

Brian Hooker, Associate Professor of Biology, Simpson University, California, decided to take a fresh look at the date underlying the 2004 study. As he was doing so, he was contacted by Dr Thompson, a co-author of that study. Hooker and Thompson, who appears to have had a sudden conversion to the truth, had several discussions about the manipulation of data that had been done in order to obtain the 'correct' result!

Thompson revealed that the study had discovered a 340% increase in autism for African-American boys taking the MMR vaccine. He further revealed that he had discussed this evidence in February 2004 with Dr Julie Gerberding, then head of the CDC. Incidentally, Gerberding is now president of Merck's vaccine division, the drug company who has most profited from the MMR vaccine! Presumably, Merck would have been very grateful for the CDC falsifying the evidence against their vaccine. Thompson was fully aware of the 'problem' for Merck at the time. He wrote a letter in which he said:

          "I will  have to present several problematic results relating to statistical associations between the receipt of the MMR vaccine and autism".

But, of course, he never did. Presumably, in the full knowledge of the CDC, the 'problematic' information was suppressed. The study sample was reduced by 41%, and most of the African American data was thereby excluded. And this was why the conventional medical establishment was able to deny any link between the MMR vaccine and Autism.

  • Who, apart from the drug company concerned, benefitted by this decision? 
  • What does such a study say about the honesty of the 'science' that underlies them?
  • What does this study say about the CDC, whose former head now works for the drug company whose sales were boasted so profitably? 
  • What does this entire episode say about the honesty of the conventional medical establishment, particularly those at the very top?

And what does this say about our mainstream media? This information has been known now since August 2014, and not a word has been mentioned about it. If it was bad enough for the silence after 2004, what about the silence since 2014? What is the news story?

  • A leading scientist has admitted lying about an important piece of medical 'research'!
  • It is clear that an important 'scientific' study has been falsified!
  • A leading medical agency, the CDC, has been caught lying about the safety of a vaccine!
  • Many parents have submitted their children for the MMR vaccine on the basis of its findings!
  • The number of autistic children has risen alarmingly since 2004!

So why is this not an important news story for the media? They must know about it! So is this affair not a matter of public interest? The ongoing silence is not a question of 'uncertainty' about the facts surrounding the situation. One of the scientists involved in the study has admitted his involvement in wrongdoing! The enormous implications of this wrongdoing is quite clear, not only in relation to this single study, but raising questions about the whole validity of medical science, and the honesty of the conventional medical establishment.

This story is not going to go away. There are too many people, like myself, who are determined that people should know this information. So the longer the mainstream media ignores it, the more questions will be raised about their honesty, about their inability to publish 'negative' stories about conventional medicine. Why are they ignoring it? What forces, what influences are at work that ensures that the media cover-up continues?

And, as I asked in my previous blog, what is the culpability of news organisations that refuse to tell people about this information? What is their responsibility to the parents of children who continue to  take their children to doctors to have a vaccine they believe to be 'entirely safe'?

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Paul Morgan. An Angry Homeopathy Denialist

I don't usually respond to anything that Homeopathy Denialist have to say on matters of health, because usually they have little to say - apart from denial and abuse!

Paul Morgan frequently responds to my tweets, and he is not usually the most abuse. But this morning I awoke to several responses, and it is interesting to outline his position - as far as I understand it, of course!

1. In response to my blog on Tetanus, which compares the homeopathic and conventional treatment of this condition. Paul's response is just per abuse.

     "Stupid, idiotic, downright dangerous. You should be ashamed for promoting such dangerous, bad advice".

Homeopathy has, of course, been treating Tetanus, safely and effectively for many years, and you will note the complete lack of any explanation about why people should not be aware of treatments that are alternative to conventional DPT vaccination, with all its known risks and dangers. There is no answer, and no answer required.

2. So on to my tweet highlighting the webpage entitled "The Eight Best Homeopathy Treatments for Psoriasis". Homeopathy has, of course, been treating Psoriasis safely and effectively for many years, and as conventional medicine has few effective treatments, and no safe treatments, it presents an alternative for those people suffering from the condition. Paul's response is just pure denial.

     "…..are all equally useless identical sugar pill placebos".

In order to say this Paul has to be in denial himself - he has to deny the experience of millions of people who have been cured of Psoriasis over the years, throughout the world, and he has to deny even the growing evidence of randomised, controlled tests that have demonstrate that homeopathic remedies are must more than 'sugar pill' or 'placebo'.

3. In response to my blog, "The Mustard Gas Experiments 1941-1942. Homeopathy works! So just ignore it!" Paul reverts to simple abuse again, but this time, abuse about a blog that contains the evidence supporting what actually happened over 70 years ago.

     "Utterly deluded nonsense".

Paul, of course, fails to explain which of the events are 'utterly deluded', and what is 'nonsense'. But this is typical of homeopathy denialists, they have little to say, little to contribute to the debate, so they just revert to denial.

4. Yet it is this response that demands most attention. Here, Paul actually does seek to make a case - to his eternal credit. It is in response to my retweeting of the dire status of Health Freedom in the USA, and some exchanges I have had recently with Americans who have seen for themselves how forcing pharmaceutical drugs on citizens is damaging the health of so many people in that country. I commented:

     "I can't believe Americans know this is happening, and aren't out on streets protesting and demanding health freedom!"

Unusually for Paul, and denialists generally, he suggests that mandatory vaccination is consistent with health freedom.

     "Vaccination gives health freedom - from preventable, dangerous, life-threatening diseases. Herd immunity civic duty".

So let's dissect his argument. It is an interesting idea that forcing people to take drugs and vaccines can actually enhance their freedom! We must suppose that people are so stupid that they will not act for themselves, in their own best interests, following a good reasoned, and fact-supported case in favour of pharmaceutical drugs. Government has to force people to protect themselves. Government know best. The individual should not be allowed to make up his or her own mind on the basis of the information they have on the subject. It is an interesting idea about the nature of freedom, and indeed democracy.

So in what way are people benefitting, what are they being freed from? How is mandatory vaccination benefitting us? It is freeing us from preventable, dangerous, life-threatening diseases. There are so many assumptions here. They are all assumptions that support the position of the pharmaceutical industry, and they can be quickly dismissed.
  • Preventable? In order to argue this Paul has to ignore the growing evidence that vaccines, and other conventional drugs are not preventing these diseases, and never have done.
  • Dangerous? The dangers of many of the illnesses for which there is a vaccine has had to be hyped in order to exaggerate the importance of having the vaccines. Most of them are not dangerous at all. Some of them were dangerous but are no longer dangerous (and haven't been for many decades prior to the introduction of vaccines). And it is well known that the 'adverse reactions' to pharmaceutical drugs are now more dangerous, and real, than the condition for which they have been given.
  • Life-Threatening? As stated above, most of the diseases for which there is a vaccine are not dangerous, leave alone life-threatening. And the drugs and vaccines supported by Paul, and other pro-big pharma supporters, are now on their way to becoming the most important factor in causing death.
And lastly, we come to the concept of 'herd immunity', something that Paul describes as a 'civic duty'. Gosh, a civic duty!

Most people want to avoid contracting illness and disease. Most people use the conventional drugs and vaccines they are offered by their doctors, as they believe it is the only alternative. So they go to their doctor, and get the drug, or the vaccine. They do so on the basis that conventional medicine has treated them, and that they are now safe, they will not contract the disease. The problem is that many people DO contract the disease! So how is this explained?
  • People who get measles, or polio, or other diseases for which they have been vaccinated, have not, in fact, contracted these diseases. It is a different disease, with a different name! The 'new' disease may have the same identical symptoms - but it is not the same disease.
  • And people who contract measles after vaccination do so because other people have not been vaccinated! The whole 'herd' has to be vaccinated, otherwise even the vaccinated are at risk!
So what does 'herd immunity' mean. It means that people who have been vaccinated are not safe, because other people have not been vaccinated! It means that in order for a vaccine to work, everyone has to be vaccinated! It means that everyone has to be vaccinated in order that each individual can be safe. It is an argument for the mandatory drugging of entire populations.

So 'herd immunity' is good for pharmaceutical profits. And we are all expected to go to our doctor to have his drugs and vaccines, regardless of the known consequences of taking them. And even when we take them, and risk the harm involved in doing so, we cannot assume that we are safe, unless everyone else does the same. We have taken all the risks, but to no avail!

Some people, and a growing number of people, want to avoid the risks and dangers of conventional medical treatment, and decide instead to use medical therapies that are both more effective, and safer. It is these people that Paul dislikes so much, and is so abusive towards via Twitter. But basically, Paul, I don't give a damn! You are welcome to use any form of medicine you want to use. I will not. And I will continue to recommend to other people that there are safer and more effective medical therapies And that mandatory (forced) medication is against our health freedoms.