Would you like a micro chip with your prescription?

By AMY MAXMEN | NATURE | AUGUST 2, 2012

Digestible microchips embedded in drugs may soon tell doctors whether a patient is taking their medications as prescribed.  These sensors are the first ingestible devices approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To some, they signify the beginning of an era in digital medicine.

“About half of all people don’t take medications like they’re supposed to,” says Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla,California. “This device could be a solution to that problem, so that doctors can know when to rev up a patient’s medication adherence.” Topol is not affiliated with the company that manufactures the device, Proteus Digital Health in Redwood City,California, but he embraces the sensor’s futuristic appeal, saying, “It’s like big brother watching you take your medicine.”

The sand-particle sized sensor consists of a minute silicon chip containing trace amounts of magnesium and copper. When swallowed, it generates a slight voltage in response to digestive juices, which conveys a signal to the surface of a person’s skin where a patch then relays the information to a mobile phone belonging to a healthcare-provider.

Currently, the FDA, and the analogous regulatory agency in Europe have only approved the device based on studies showing its safety and efficacy when implanted in placebo pills. But Proteus hopes to have the device approved within other drugs in the near future. Medicines that must be taken for years, such as those for drug resistant tuberculosis, diabetes, and for the elderly with chronic diseases, are top candidates, says George Savage, co-founder and chief medical officer at the company.

“The point is not for doctors to castigate people, but to understand how people are responding to their treatments,” Savage says. “This way doctors can prescribe a different dose or a different medicine if they learn that it’s not being taken appropriately.”

Proponents of digital medical devices predict that they will provide alternatives to doctor visits, blood tests, MRIs and CAT scans. Other gadgets in the pipeline include implantable devices that wirelessly inject drugs at pre-specified times, and sensors that deliver a person’s electrocardiogram to their smartphone.

In his book published in January, The Creative Destruction of Medicine, Topol says that the 2010s will be known as the era of digital medical devices. “There are so many of these new technologies coming along,” Topol says, “it’s going to be a new frontier for rendering care.”

Codex Alimentarius: An Introduction to Soft Kill Eugenics

By DAISY LUTHER | INALIENABLE YOURS | MAY 2, 2012

The world as we once knew it is gone. The rosy cheeked children, bursting with energy, that once climbed trees and got up to mischief, are extinct. The people are still here, but they are pale, lethargic and slowly dying.

Every bite of food provided to these people is the product of a laboratory – the genetically modified spawn of Big Agri and Big Pharma. The food looks incredible – huge, radiant tomatoes such a vivid red that one would think the lycopene was virtually emanating from the skin of the fruit. Inside that appealing package is a food-like substance, utterly raped of nutrients.

The people are unable to go to a health-food store and purchase vitamins or an herbal tonic to put the spring back in their step. Herbs, vitamins and nutrients in general have been labeled “toxins” and are only available via prescription at high prices and low doses.

If the people are caught hoarding treasured fertile heirloom seeds, and heaven forbid, planting them to grow their own food, punishment is swift and sure. The bounty is taken and the people starve again.
Amidst the abundance of burgeoning supermarket shelves, the majority of the world’s population is slowly starving to death.

The world according to Codex Alimentarius looks grim indeed. Codex Alimentarius (Greek for “food code”) is a global set of standards created by the CA Commission, a body established by a branch or the United Nations back in 1963.

The CA Commission’s purported mission, like all Agenda 21 missions, sounds so wonderful that it might have been created by a committee from heaven above.

The main purposes of this Programme are protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food trade
Don’t you wonder what could possibly be wrong with that? The UN wants us to be healthy and wants everyone to be paid fairly. Codex Alimentarius sounds great! Let’s institute these standards right away!

As with all globally stated agendas, however, CA’s darker purpose is shielded by the feel-good words.  Global committees have been established to regulate the following topics, to name a few.

· fruits and vegetables
· fruit and vegetable juices
· fats and oils
· meat, poultry and fish
· cereals, pulses (used for food and animal feed) and legumes
· milk and milk products
· natural mineral waters
· sugars
· cocoa products and chocolate
· food hygiene
· food labeling (as a way not to disclose GMO foods and ingredients)
· pesticide residues;
· residues of veterinary drugs found in foods
· food additives

The unfortunate thing is, the regulations ensure money, not safety. They guarantee profit, not health benefits.
“Codex Alimentarius is a dark marriage between pharmaceutical and chemical industries and the WTO, conceived to exact complete and regimented control over all food products and nutrients worldwide.” ~ writes Chantal Boccaccio of The People’s Voice.

Follow the Money

So if all of these regulations don’t benefit the consumers, who do they benefit? Dr. Rima Laibow, of Health Freedom USA estimated that for every dollar spent on natural health solutions and supplements, Big Pharma loses $40. Therefore, if people have the option to chose vitamins over valium, Big Pharma loses billions per year.
The medical establishment benefits. When people are able to manage chronic conditions and avoid surgery through carefully choosing what they eat or what supplements they take, the medical establishment loses out on those costly visits that people must undertake in order to “manage” their conditions.

Pesticide manufacturers benefit. GMO foods require greater pesticide use, thus manufacturers of pesticides like Round-up (Monsanto) reap the financial rewards while being allowed to poison the environment.

Food processors benefit. CA requires food to be irradiated, a low cost (and nutrient-destroying) practice to require lower standards of hygiene and sanitation.

Big Pharma benefits. CA mandates that nutrients be classified as drugs; therefore the purchase of vitamins will eventually require a prescription. Prescription drugs, of course, are monitored by the FDA, which means only the Big Pharma companies will be able to manufacture and supply them.

Maybe, then, the United States should just refuse to take part in CA. That’s not going to happen, because all members of the World Trade Organization are legally bound under global guidelines, including CA standards. CA standards override all national laws. Lack of compliance to these standards may result in fines and/or crippling trade sanctions. If a country wants to play the global trading game, that country has no option whatsoever but to comply with CA. Those who do not comply automatically forfeit the judgment in any global trade dispute regarding food or nutrients.

Read Full Article →

Scientific Evidence shows Dangers and Ineffectiveness of Ritalin

By L. Alan Sroufe
NYTimes.com
January 31, 2012

Three million children in this country take drugs for problems in focusing. Toward the end of last year, many of their parents were deeply alarmed because there was a shortage of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall that they considered absolutely essential to their children’s functioning.

But are these drugs really helping children? Should we really keep expanding the number of prescriptions filled?

In 30 years there has been a twentyfold increase in the consumption of drugs for attention-deficit disorder.

As a psychologist who has been studying the development of troubled children for more than 40 years, I believe we should be asking why we rely so heavily on these drugs.

Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth.

Sadly, few physicians and parents seem to be aware of what we have been learning about the lack of effectiveness of these drugs.

What gets publicized are short-term results and studies on brain differences among children. Indeed, there are a number of incontrovertible facts that seem at first glance to support medication. It is because of this partial foundation in reality that the problem with the current approach to treating children has been so difficult to see.

Back in the 1960s I, like most psychologists, believed that children with difficulty concentrating were suffering from a brain problem of genetic or otherwise inborn origin. Just as Type I diabetics need insulin to correct problems with their inborn biochemistry, these children were believed to require attention-deficit drugs to correct theirs. It turns out, however, that there is little to no evidence to support this theory.

In 1973, I reviewed the literature on drug treatment of children for The New England Journal of Medicine. Dozens of well-controlled studies showed that these drugs immediately improved children’s performance on repetitive tasks requiring concentration and diligence. I had conducted one of these studies myself. Teachers and parents also reported improved behavior in almost every short-term study. This spurred an increase in drug treatment and led many to conclude that the “brain deficit” hypothesis had been confirmed.

But questions continued to be raised, especially concerning the drugs’ mechanism of action and the durability of effects. Ritalin and Adderall, a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, are stimulants. So why do they appear to calm children down? Some experts argued that because the brains of children with attention problems were different, the drugs had a mysterious paradoxical effect on them.

However, there really was no paradox. Versions of these drugs had been given to World War II radar operators to help them stay awake and focus on boring, repetitive tasks. And when we reviewed the literature on attention-deficit drugs again in 1990 we found that all children, whether they had attention problems or not, responded to stimulant drugs the same way. Moreover, while the drugs helped children settle down in class, they actually increased activity in the playground. Stimulants generally have the same effects for all children and adults. They enhance the ability to concentrate, especially on tasks that are not inherently interesting or when one is fatigued or bored, but they don’t improve broader learning abilities.

And just as in the many dieters who have used and abandoned similar drugs to lose weight, the effects of stimulants on children with attention problems fade after prolonged use. Some experts have argued that children with A.D.D. wouldn’t develop such tolerance because their brains were somehow different. But in fact, theloss of appetite and sleeplessness in children first prescribed attention-deficit drugs do fade, and, as we now know, so do the effects on behavior. They apparently develop a tolerance to the drug, and thus its efficacy disappears. Many parents who take their children off the drugs find that behavior worsens, which most likely confirms their belief that the drugs work. But the behavior worsens because the children’s bodies have become adapted to the drug. Adults may have similar reactions if they suddenly cut back on coffee, or stop smoking.

To date, no study has found any long-term benefit of attention-deficit medication on academic performance, peer relationships or behavior problems, the very things we would most want to improve. Until recently, most studies of these drugs had not been properly randomized, and some of them had other methodological flaws.

But in 2009, findings were published from a well-controlled study that had been going on for more than a decade, and the results were very clear. The study randomly assigned almost 600 children with attention problems to four treatment conditions. Some received medication alone, some cognitive-behavior therapy alone, some medication plus therapy, and some were in a community-care control group that received no systematic treatment. At first this study suggested that medication, or medication plus therapy, produced the best results. However, after three years, these effects had faded, and by eight years there was no evidence that medication produced any academic or behavioral benefits.

Indeed, all of the treatment successes faded over time, although the study is continuing. Clearly, these children need a broader base of support than was offered in this medication study, support that begins earlier and lasts longer.

Nevertheless, findings in neuroscience are being used to prop up the argument for drugs to treat the hypothesized “inborn defect.” These studies show that children who receive an A.D.D. diagnosis have different patterns of neurotransmitters in their brains and other anomalies. While the technological sophistication of these studies may impress parents and nonprofessionals, they can be misleading. Of course the brains of children with behavior problems will show anomalies on brain scans. It could not be otherwise. Behavior and the brain are intertwined. Depression also waxes and wanes in many people, and as it does so, parallel changes in brain functioning occur, regardless of medication.

Many of the brain studies of children with A.D.D. involve examining participants while they are engaged in an attention task. If these children are not paying attention because of lack of motivation or an underdeveloped capacity to regulate their behavior, their brain scans are certain to be anomalous.

However brain functioning is measured, these studies tell us nothing about whether the observed anomalies were present at birth or whether they resulted from trauma, chronic stress or other early-childhood experiences. One of the most profound findings in behavioral neuroscience in recent years has been the clear evidence that the developing brain is shaped by experience.

It is certainly true that large numbers of children have problems with attention, self-regulation and behavior. But are these problems because of some aspect present at birth? Or are they caused by experiences in early childhood? These questions can be answered only by studying children and their surroundings from before birth through childhood and adolescence, as my colleagues at the University of Minnesota and I have been doing for decades.

Since 1975, we have followed 200 children who were born into poverty and were therefore more vulnerable to behavior problems. We enrolled their mothers during pregnancy, and over the course of their lives, we studied their relationships with their caregivers, teachers and peers. We followed their progress through school and their experiences in early adulthood. At regular intervals we measured their health, behavior, performance on intelligence tests and other characteristics.

By late adolescence, 50 percent of our sample qualified for some psychiatric diagnosis. Almost half displayed behavior problems at school on at least one occasion, and 24 percent dropped out by 12th grade; 14 percent met criteria for A.D.D. in either first or sixth grade.

Other large-scale epidemiological studies confirm such trends in the general population of disadvantaged children. Among all children, including all socioeconomic groups, the incidence of A.D.D. is estimated at 8 percent. What we found was that the environment of the child predicted development of A.D.D. problems. In stark contrast, measures of neurological anomalies at birth, I.Q. and infant temperament — including infant activity level — did not predict A.D.D.

Plenty of affluent children are also diagnosed with A.D.D. Behavior problems in children have many possible sources. Among them are family stresses like domestic violence, lack of social support from friends or relatives, chaotic living situations, including frequent moves, and, especially, patterns of parental intrusiveness that involve stimulation for which the baby is not prepared. For example, a 6-month-old baby is playing, and the parent picks it up quickly from behind and plunges it in the bath. Or a 3-year-old is becoming frustrated in solving a problem, and a parent taunts or ridicules. Such practices excessively stimulate and also compromise the child’s developing capacity for self-regulation.

Putting children on drugs does nothing to change the conditions that derail their development in the first place. Yet those conditions are receiving scant attention. Policy makers are so convinced that children with attention deficits have an organic disease that they have all but called off the search for a comprehensive understanding of the condition. The National Institute of Mental Health finances research aimed largely at physiological and brain components of A.D.D. While there is some research on other treatment approaches, very little is studied regarding the role of experience. Scientists, aware of this orientation, tend to submit only grants aimed at elucidating the biochemistry.

Thus, only one question is asked: are there aspects of brain functioning associated with childhood attention problems? The answer is always yes. Overlooked is the very real possibility that both the brain anomalies and the A.D.D. result from experience.

Our present course poses numerous risks. First, there will never be a single solution for all children with learning and behavior problems. While some smaller number may benefit from short-term drug treatment, large-scale, long-term treatment for millions of children is not the answer.

Second, the large-scale medication of children feeds into a societal view that all of life’s problems can be solved with a pill and gives millions of children the impression that there is something inherently defective in them.

Finally, the illusion that children’s behavior problems can be cured with drugs prevents us as a society from seeking the more complex solutions that will be necessary. Drugs get everyone — politicians, scientists, teachers and parents — off the hook. Everyone except the children, that is.

If drugs, which studies show work for four to eight weeks, are not the answer, what is? Many of these children have anxiety or depression; others are showing family stresses. We need to treat them as individuals.

As for shortages, they will continue to wax and wane. Because these drugs are habit forming, Congress decides how much can be produced. The number approved doesn’t keep pace with the tidal wave of prescriptions. By the end of this year, there will in all likelihood be another shortage, as we continue to rely on drugs that are not doing what so many well-meaning parents, therapists and teachers believe they are doing.

L. Alan Sroufe is a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development.

In 27 Years 3 Million Die from Prescription Drug Use

by Anthony Gucciardi
Activist Post
October 5, 2011

Over the past 27 years — the complete time frame that the data has been available —  there have been 0 deaths as a result of vitamins and over 3 million deaths related to prescription drug use. In fact, going back 54 years there have only been 11 claims of vitamin-related death, all of which provided no substantial evidence to link vitamins to the cause of death. The news comes after a recent statistically analysis found that pharmaceutical drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the US.

In 2009, drugs exceeded the amount of traffic-related deaths, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide.

The findings go against the claims of mainstream medical ‘experts’  and mainstream media outlets who often push the idea that multivitamins are detrimental to your health, and that prescription drugs are the only science-backed option to improving your health. While essential nutrients like vitamin D are continually being shown to slash your risk of disease such as diabetes and cancer, prescription pharmaceuticals are continually being linked to such conditions. In fact, the top-selling therapeutic class pharmaceutical drug has been tied to the development of diabetes and even suicide, and whistleblowers are just now starting to speak out despite studies as far back as the 80s highlighting the risks.

Mainstream medical health officials were recently forced to speak out over the danger of antipsychotic drugs, which millions of children have been prescribed since 2009. U.S. pediatric health advisers blew the whistle over the fact that these pharmaceuticals can lead to diabetes and even suicide, the very thing they aim to prevent. What is even more troubling is that half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental condition during their lifetime thanks to lack of diagnosis guidelines currently set by the medical establishment, of which many cases will lead to the prescription of antipsychotics and other similar medications.

Covering up the side effects

In order to protect sales, the link between suicide and antipsychotic drugs was completely covered up by Eli Lilly & Co, the makers of Prozac. Despite research stretching as far back as the 1980s finding that Prozac actually leads to suicide, the company managed to hide the evidence until a Harvard psychiatrist leaked the information into the press. The psychiatrist, Martin Teicher, stated that the American people were being treated like guinea pigs in a massive pharmaceutical experiment.

Greedy and oftentimes prescription-happy doctors are handing out antipsychotic medication like candy to adults and young children alike. In 2008, antipsychotics became the top-selling therapeutic class prescription drug in the United States and grossing over $14 billion in sales.

Antipsychotic drugs are not the only dangerous pharmaceuticals. The average drug label contains 70 side effects, though many popular pharmaceuticals have been found to contain 100 to 125. Some drugs, prescribed by doctors to supposedly improve your health, come with over 525 negative reactions.

Ritalin, for example, has been linked to conditions including:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased alertness
  • Suppressed appetite
Perhaps the hundreds of negative side effects is part of the reason why the FDA announced last year that it is pulling more than 500 cold and allergy off the market due to health concerns. Prescription drugs kill more people than traffic accidents, and come with up to 525 negative side effects. Avoiding these drugs and utilizing high quality organic alternatives like whole food-based multivitamins and green superfoods will lead to a total health transformation without harsh side effects and an exponentially increased death risk.

Sources:

Most recent year: Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2009 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 27th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2010). 48, 979-1178. The full text article is available for free download at http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Portals/0/2009%20AR.pdf

U.S. to Ban Epinephrine Inhalers to Sell more Prescription Drugs

by Mark Hemingway
Weekly Standard
September 23, 2011

Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration is would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer:

Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government’s latest attempt to protect the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday patients who use the epinephrine inhalers to treat mild asthma will need to switch by Dec. 31 to other types that do not contain chlorofluorocarbons, an aerosol substance once found in a variety of spray products.

The action is part of an agreement signed by the U.S. and other nations to stop using substances that deplete the ozone layer, a region in the atmosphere that helps block harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.

But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.

The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle, an asthma sufferer, noted a while back that when consumers are forced to use environmentally friendly products they’re are almost always worse:

Er, industry also knew how to make low-flow toilets, which is why every toilet in my recently renovated rental house clogs at least once a week.  They knew how to make more energy efficient dryers, which is why even on high, I have to run every load through the dryer in said house twice.  And they knew how to make inexpensive compact flourescent bulbs, which is why my head hurts from the glare emitting from my bedroom lamp.    They also knew how to make asthma inhalers without CFCs, which is why I am hoarding old albuterol inhalers that, unlike the new ones, a) significantly improve my breathing and b) do not make me gag.  Etc.

Well, tough cookies asthma sufferers! You should have written bigger checks to the Democratic party while you had the chance.