Tamiflu drug ‘largely ineffective’ in reducing hospitalisation: study

TamifluAntiviral drugs are largely ineffective for reducing hospital admissions and complications from influenza, and come with serious side-effects, according to a research review published by the Cochrane Collaboration today.

The drugs were stockpiled by governments across the world, including Australia’s, in response to the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

Cochrane, along with the British Medical Journal, is asking governments to consider whether they would choose to stockpile well-known antiviral Tamiflu in light of these findings, arguing the original evidence leading to the stockpiling was incomplete.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Department of Health said antivirals were part of the National Medical Stockpile currently valued at A$192 million, but refused to provide further details “due to security and commercial sensitivities”.

Tamiflu drug ‘largely ineffective’ in reducing hospitalisation: study.

Update August 10, 2011

Is Immunisation Child Protection?

“Similarly, anti vaccine campaigners have achieved prominence and influence in the media and political debate.4 Although mainstream trends promoting public consultation and professional accountability give some legitimacy to such individuals and groups, such public debate can become distorted and harmful to the interests of children.”

“The second parallel relates to the role of parents in protection of their children’s health and welfare. In general, society rightly entrusts the welfare of children— the future society—to parents, who have to bear the burden of care for bringing up children. …But as vulnerable and dependent individuals, children’s rights have to be protected ultimately by the state in its parens patriae role. In some situations, the best interests of the child diverge from the views and actions of the parents, unless an extreme version of ethical relativism is accepted. In the case of a violent or neglectful parent, well defined mechanisms are in place to protect the child. But should the same principle pertain to parents who refuse immunisation and thereby fail to take the necessary action to protect their children from preventable and potentially serious infection? Does the failure to immunise a child against a serious infection with a safe vaccine constitute child abuse? Should the state intervene to ensure children are protected from serious infectious diseases?”

My comment:

A scary article from a scary new feature on the ‘decade of vaccinations’ in the latest Lancet (freely available on registration). Entitled, Is Immunisation Child Protection? It attempts to justify taking this decision away from parents ‘for the child’s protection’. What else can we extend this same strategy to? Education as the government wants? Religious instruction or lack of thereof? Nutrition according to some multinational corporation’s food pyramid with sugar, fat and excess salt at the top and fresh fruits and vegetables nonexistent? One has to wonder where this will end and what will cause the population to finally revolt against this erosion of our rights to choose. If not now, then when?

Antidepressant Use Up Among Undiagnosed Americans

Antidepressants are increasingly prescribed for people who have not been diagnosed with an actual psychiatric disorder, according to a new study that raises questions about whether or not the drugs are being prescribed inappropriately or too often.

According to the new study, published Thursday in the journal Health Affairs, nearly three-quarters of prescriptions written for antidepressants in 2007 came from non-psychiatrists, up from 60 percent a decade earlier.

Notably, the percentage of patients prescribed antidepressants without having been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition more than doubled during that period — up from 2.5 to more than 6 percent of visits to non-psychiatrist providers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, antidepressants are now among the top three classes of medications prescribed in the U.S.

My comment:

This situation is paralleled within Australia. Aside from the fact that antidepressants seem to be handed out as though they were lollies, our own government’s advisors on mental health are now being cited for their close financial ties to the companies that produce these drugs. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why these prescriptions are so popular? When those who the government trusts to write its prescribing policy are being paid by the companies whose drugs they are meant to evaluate, it is no wonder that so many Australians are also being prescribed antidepressants off-label.

Marie McCormick’s IOM Remarks Leave A Bitter Taste

Why does Marie McCormick – former chair of the panel that produced the botched IOM report claiming vaccines do not cause autism – currently serve as co-chair of the “Vaccine Safety Working Group” of the National Vaccine Advisory Council? Her past remarks should disqualify her from serving on any committees concerned with vaccine regulation as illustrated by the following examples retrieved from the leaked transcripts of the January 12, 2001 closed session of the Immunization Safety Review Committee of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine at the National Academies Building in Washington DC.

Here is a comment she made in 2001, justifying a preconceived conclusion about autism and vaccines:

“What I am trying to get at is, do we want to simply, on our gut, say looking at the significance of the wild disease that you are protecting, and the seriousness and potential association with the vaccine — because we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect — is that going to be sufficient for you to judge public health impact?” (p. 97)

My comment:

Well, there you have it. The person who has already said that they will NEVER look at or find a link between vaccination and autism is now the co-chair of a group that is supposed to make sure that vaccines are safe and free of side effects. If any of you out there have a hen house, I think I can find a fox to guard it for you…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update August 4, 2011

Autism The “It” Disease: Dr. Al of the DSM-IV Scores One for Pharma

 

“Well, Mr. and Mrs. Goes…about your son…” “Yes…yes? What is it doctor?”  I was ready to practically jump out of my skin with excitement.  My husband and I were holding court with the tippity-top, bestest of the best pediatric neurologists in the whole of Chicago and she was about to hand down our son’s diagnosis.  “Clearly, you already know…your son has Autism.”

 

“Sweet!” Simultaneous high fives, fist pumps and mid-air chest bumps ensued.  “I knew it!” My husband exclaimed!  “I am so psyched!”  We hurriedly thanked the celebrated doctor, bundled up our totally cool kid and headed for the car to start texting and facebooking the good news.  “Oh the Johnstons are going to be green with envy.” I remarked, my voice teeming with satisfaction.

 

“Yeah,” my husband said–“and the Smiths. Man, they think they are so great with those twin Mercedes…and that whiny kid of theirs with that annoying asthma. Always complaining, “maaahmmmy, daaaaddy, I can’t breathe.” I can’t wait for the next barbecue to show off that–what do you call it? That, IEP thing our son is going to need. Totally trumps an inhaler. That’s right Smith kid, our kid is so much better than you he get’s to go to a special school!  Bwaahahaha!”

 

“Oh look, babe!  He smeared his diarrhea all over the window!  Hang on…I’m gonna tweet this, the girls are going to flip!  Hey, can you hand him that strip of tin foil he likes to chew on, that screaming is driving me nuts.”

 

My comment:

 

The medical community is at its most ridiculous when dealing with (or, more accurately, NOT dealing with) issues relating to vaccine injury such as the explosion of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). This excellent article written by Lisa Goes of the Age of Autism, describes that absurdity when a doctor who is supposed to be an ‘expert’ states that parents who say their children are autistic are only doing it to bodge the system and get services they don’t deserve. He says that autism is now considered fashionable and that this is a ‘fad’ that  is all the rage in polite society. Of course, this ‘expert’ should get his head out of his posterior and take a look at what families with autistic children are dealing with on a day to day basis. There is nothing ‘fashionable’ about having a child who is in pain 24/7, who can’t process information in a neurotypical way, who doesn’t sleep, eat or behave the way we expect children to and who requires help that the medical community is incapable of giving them.

 

‘Can’t Afford Tuition? Sell an Organ!’ Says Scottish Academic

 

If you thought that selling kidneys only happens in poverty-stricken nations, here’s a heads-up: It’s now being pushed here. A high-ranking UK doctor now advocates that students sell their organs to pay for tuition. Lest it seem like a bit of a joke, note that the publisher is the so-called “prestigious” British Medical Journal!

 

This is disturbing enough, but the role she has played in making ethics determinations in the UK’s medical system is downright frightening. Sue Rabbitt Roff is currently a senior research fellow with the Dundee University Medical School. She is on the Investigation Committee and Registration Decision Panels for the General Medical Council of the UK. For those outside the UK, this is the same agency that took Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s license to practice medicine—and the panels Roff serves on make the decisions on whether to revoke licenses.

 

My comment:

The absurdity of someone actually suggesting that students pay for their university education by selling their internal organs should be obvious to just about everyone. The fact that someone in Dr Roff’s position is making this suggestion – and is serious about it – is downright scary! 

 

Bodies of infants turned blue, say parents

 

Parents of Vikas and Sunita, who died after they were administered the measles vaccines on Friday, had hardly imagined the life-saving drug to turn out to be a life-taking one.

 

Both of them had been administered the vaccine for prevention of measles under doorstep vaccination programme in Bajna and Akhepura villages of Nagaur district on Friday.

 

Both of them had fever followed by diarrhoea after the vaccination and died on Saturday. The family members of both the victims claimed that their bodies turned blue.

 

My comment:

One of the major differences between deaths following vaccination in Australia and those following vaccination in developing countries is that in Australia, the connection is routinely denied or ignored. That said, I well remember a case about 10 years ago – also in India – where many children had died almost immediately upon receiving MMR (measles mumps and rubella) vaccines. The original article from the Times of India stated that the children had died from the vaccine. Luckily, I copied the entire article on my computer as did several other people who were following the story. Luckily because within a couple of hours, the original story was removed and another one put in its place saying that it was not actually the vaccine that had killed these children but the vitamin A drops that were given in conjunction with the shots. Amazing the lengths to which the medical community and media will go to prevent anyone from ever suspecting that vaccines are anything other than totally safe and incredibly efficacious!

Update – August 3, 2011

Following on from the wonderful Ginger Taylor Media Editor of Age of Autism, I have decided to attempt a daily update to this blog with stories from national and international media that are important to the issues of vaccination, health rights and natural health. Of course, I will continue to write original articles on these subjects, but every single day, there are stories that must be read and this is my way of letting you all know about them. If you see a media report that you think is important, please feel free to forward it to me by clicking here.

 

Selling Drugs as Scholarly Opinion

 

Although the Times vaguely identifies David Ropeik as “an instructor at Harvard University,” Harvard’s websites identify the former TV news reporter as Director of Communications for the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA).

 

According to SourceWatch, Public Citizen and the Integrity and Science Project, HCRA has been funded by a who’s who of petrochemical, biotechnology and vaccine companies that include AstraZeneca, BMS, GSK, Hoffman-LaRoche, Janssen, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Parke-Davis, Pfizer, Pharmacia, Roche Pharmaceuticals, Schering-Plough Corporation, Wyeth-Ayerst and Eli Lilly – companies that were responsible for products that have killed, crippled or injured millions of Americans since 1990.

 

In his “opinion piece” published last week by the Los Angeles Times, Ropeik calls for new laws, incarceration and economic hardships against parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.  To lend credibility, the Times identified Ropeik as “an instructor at Harvard University.”

 

My Comment:

 

We continually see people in the media being quoted as experts on this subject and yet, when you look a little deeper, you find that they actually hold strong financial interests in the subject they are being quoted on. Paul Offit is a perfect example of this ‘expert for sale’ mentality and he has been shown time and time again to have made statements that have no basis in fact yet are supportive of something he is profiting from. The fact that this man, David Ropeik, is being quoted as calling for people who don’t vaccinate to be sent to gaol or to be penalised financially should hold him up to ridicule even to those who use vaccines. The fact that he is able to say these sorts of things unopposed in a newspaper published in a country that claims to support freedom should be of concern to all of us.

 

And They Wonder Why We Don’t Trust Them by Sandy Gottstein

 

The New England Journal of Medicine just published a shoddy piece, innocently titled “The Age-Old Struggle against the Antivaccinationists”, in which they make a multitude of outrageous, unsubstantiated claims.  Here is my response to many of them.

Labeling people who want their concerns about vaccinations to be taken seriously “anti-vaccinationists” is an age-old, shameless tactic.  Some are; most aren’t.  Regardless, dismissive and pejorative labeling does nothing to address the real question:  do the benefits of vaccines really (far) outweigh their risks?

 

“Countries that dropped routine pertussis vaccination in the 1970s and 1980s then suffered 10 to 100 times the pertussis incidence of countries that maintained high immunization rates; ultimately, the countries that had eliminated their pertussis vaccination programs reinstated them.”

 

And the result of the rise in pertussis cases?  This is a classic mistake (ploy?) made by those who unquestioningly promote vaccinations:  equating incidence of disease with adverse disease outcomes.  The number of people getting a disease is not useful information in and of itself. The only meaningful question is, “what are the long-term consequences of a disease and what are the long-term consequences of the vaccine designed to prevent that disease”.

 

Equating incidence with outcome is at best an example of sloppy thinking.  At worst?  By the way, Dr. Gordon Stewart published many articles about what actually happened in England when the pertussis vaccine went out of favor.  You might want to familiarize yourself with him and them (1,2,3).

 

My Comment:

 

I read the article mentioned above yesterday and it literally made me feel sick. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a journal which has an undeserved reputation for publishing scientifically-based information, this is the sort of story you would expect to see in a Murdoch publication. It is nothing more than a hate-filled attack on health freedom using phrases such as:

 

“Today, the spectrum of antivaccinationists ranges from people who are simply ignorant about science (or “innumerate” — unable to understand and incorporate concepts of risk and probability into science-grounded decision making) to a radical fringe element who use deliberate mistruths, intimidation, falsified data, and threats of violence in efforts to prevent the use of vaccines and to silence critics. “

 

It is very convenient to call those who disagree with you ‘innumerate’. By doing so, you don’t need to deal with their arguments, you can just dismiss them. And as for intimidation and threats of violence, I have never, ever heard of anyone in the pro-vaccination choice camp who has stooped that low. The anti-choice brigade however, is well-known for these sorts of tactics. 

 

As a reminder of the sorts of things these people will get up to in order to prevent others from accessing information on the other side of this issue, read the excellent article by Dr Brian Martin Professor at the University of Wollongong and Vice President of Whistleblower’s AustraliaDebating Vaccination, and these past blogs from our own site as an example:

 

 

Then, decide for yourself who is using threats and intimidation and who is actually open to scientific public debate on these issues.

 

I thank Sandy Gottstein for her intelligent, reasonable and wise response to this horrible article. She certainly has more patience than I in dealing with this sort of discriminatory and unscientific writing.

 

Vaccination Adjuvant Works By Killing Cells: Cause of Autoimmune Disorders?

 

A new Nature Medicine study may provide insight into why there’s so much autoimmune disease today. Have the authors unintentionally pointed to the smoking gun that even vaccinators must acknowledge?

 

Adjuvants are known to increase the ability of vaccines to cause the immune system to make antibodies. Aluminum has been used because it’s particularly effective. However, how it works was unknown until a study just published in the journal Nature Medicine. What they found is quite disturbing. Aluminum in vaccines causes cell death, but not of a normal sort, as in apoptosis.

 

This may be the explanation for much of the autoimmune disease that’s experienced by so many people today. Freestanding DNA and other bits of cells are not normal.

 

My Comment:

 

Adjuvants are added to vaccines to ‘provoke’ an immune response. Because vaccines are injected, bypassing the natural route of most infections which is over the mucous membranes or into the gut where between 70% and 80% of our immune system resides, adjuvants are required in order to alert our immune system in the hope that it will produce antibodies. All adjuvants are toxic – the only difference between the various sorts is their level of toxicity. After using adjuvants for well over 100 years, we are just now starting to study their effects. The results of these studies may shock and surprise you but they will also provide a biologically-plausible explanation for why vaccinations can be so harmful to a subset of the population.