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Pills

India is making the US look like 'the world's fools' when it comes to prescription drugs

© Jim Young/Reuters
There may be a long trip to India in your future if you have hepatitis C. That's because the Indian Patent Office recently rejected Gilead Sciences' application for a patent on Sovaldi.You may remember Sovaldi, the nearly miraculous "cure" for hep C that was approved by the FDA a little more than a year ago. Gilead decided to market the drug at a nice round number — $1,000 per pill — and that decision has been controversial ever since. A 12-week course of treatment runs about $84,000.

Gilead offered to sell the drug in India for a whopping 99% discount, but apparently that wasn't enough. If an Indian generic drugmaker can replicate the treatment, says a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, a full course of treatment should cost about $136. A generic drugmaker in Bangladesh just days ago issued a copy of the drug it intends to sell in countries where Gilead has no patent protection.

Comment: For more on hepatitis C and its treatment listen to the latest episode of Sott's Health and Wellness Show.


Info

Vaccine injury: First the gut, then the brain

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© Hundertwasser
Vase Tree Man, 1974
When we think about vaccine injuries such as autism and epilepsy, we generally consider a direct assault on the brain. But the reality may be far different where injury begins in the gut, leading to brain damage. This article will explore potential mechanisms of gut-brain injuries by vaccination.

As with Parts 1 and 2, we'll consider individual microbial predisposition as crucial to susceptibility to intestinal injury. The theory is that protective microbes such as Bifidobacteria are why some people appear to escape injury while others are not so fortunate.

Neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's and Alzheimer's are strongly associated with gut dysbiosis where these problems are now thought to begin in the gut. Diabetes and obesity are associated with brain inflammation. Gut-brain is known to be a two-way street, so diabetes and obesity are improved by reversing brain inflammation. In fact, 90% of fibers in the vagus nerve travel from gut to brain, not brain to gut, surprising and unsettling.

Comment: Read more about Brain, heart and gut minds:


Hotdog

Can the country's first Junk Food Tax reduce Obesity and Diabetes on the Navajo Nation?

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© nebirdsplus
The new law will test the real-life implications of taxes for health.

On long drives across the Navajo Nation, a remote and, unpaved territory spanning 27,000 square miles and three states, procuring healthy food is nearly impossible.

"Our communities are food deserts," says Janene Yazzie, who recently moved from New York, back home to Lupton, Arizona. While she and her husband led health conscious lives on the East Coast, it has been impossible on the reservation. The closest Safeway is in Gallup, 22 miles away. So, like many of the 200,000 people who call the reservation home, the family must rely on local gas stations or a general store, where a frozen pizza might cost a couple of dollars, but a bag of apples runs upwards of $6.50.

"We essentially had no choice but to fall back on a diet heavy in terrible, highly processed foods, along with everyone else," says Yazzie.

Telephone

Feeling intense emotions doesn't make you crazy- but that's not what Big Pharma wants you to think

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© Shutterstock/KennyK
In 2014, a great deal of ink was spilled about the need to stop calling women crazy. Though dismissing women as emotional and irrational is hardly a new phenomenon, aWashington Post op-ed by dating coach Harris O'Malley provided the fodder for a thousand blog posts on the subject. As O'Malley writes,
"It's a form of gaslighting—telling women that their feelings are just wrong, that they don't have the right to feel the way they do."

Comment: Read more about 'gaslighting': My husband convinced me I was insane


According to Julie Holland, a psychiatrist who has had her own Manhattan practice for 20 years, this sort of minimizing attitude does serious damage. Not only does it hurt women's self-esteem, but it leads to women being diagnosed and medicated for psychiatric disorders at higher rates than men. In her new book Moody Bitches, Holland looks at how pharmaceutical industry ads target women, the hormonal differences between genders and our long, dark history of medicating women's emotions. She shared her findings with AlterNet in a telephone interview, which has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Eye 1

U.S. government plans to track unvaccinated adults

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During the National Vaccine Advisory Committee's (NVAC) February meeting, American adults were put on notice by Big Brother that non-compliance with federal vaccine recommendations will not be tolerated. Public health officials have unveiled a new plan to launch a massive nationwide vaccination promotion campaign involving private business and non-profit organizations to pressure all adults to comply with the adult vaccination schedule approved by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).1

NVAC has authored the National Adult Immunization Plan (NAIP) and, once finalized, the plan will be turned over to the Interagency Adult Immunization Task Force (AIFT) to create an implementation plan. Notably, this task force is composed of "vested interest" stakeholders and no consumer representation for those groups concerned with vaccine safety and informed consent.

NVIC has submitted our public comments and recommendations for the NVAC's draft National Adult Immunization Plan.2 Your opportunity to submit your comments and concerns about this plan has been extended to March 23rd. We encourage all of our readers to participate in the public comment process and submit comments to the NVAC on the NAIP. Please forward this article to family and friends and encourage them to submit public comments, too.

Syringe

Distrust of vaccinations on the rise across EU

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© European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr
Europeans are turning away from vaccines, amid rising distrust of immunisation for infectious diseases. France's Constitutional Council has upheld legislation obliging parents to have their children innoculated.

Given the choice, not everybody would vaccinate their children. Marc and Samia Larère asked the French Constitutional Council for a "priority preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality" (QPC) on whether they could legally be forced to vaccinate their children.

The response came on 20 March: compulsory vaccination is legal under the French constitution. Like many parents, the Larères feel that the obligatory DTP vaccine (against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) poses too high a risk and protects against illnesses that are virtually non-existent in France.

The only DTP vaccine to not contain aluminium was withdrawn from the market in June 2008, and the others have been out of stock for months. The only remaining option is the hexavalent vaccine that also immunises against hepatitis B, although this is not on the obligatory vaccination list, and the vaccine has suspected links to multiple sclerosis.

Michèle Rivasi, a Green MEP, called this "a forced sale". "Vaccination is not benign. I am not against vaccination but I believe in moderation," she said at a press conference on 24 March. Together with pharmacist Serge Rader, she has launched an operation to blow the whistle on conflicts of interest and corruption in the public health sector.

Comment: The purported vaccination benefits discussed on the article don't exist. Conflict of interests between pharmaceutical companies and medical science are massive and increasingly recognized around the world. For more information, see:


Dollar

Sott Exclusive: Sending 'love and light' while big Agriculture rapes the planet

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'Strip-mining' the surface of the planet for profit
I was just folding laundry and I just happened to glance down and see the headline on the front page of the latest issue of Alberta Farmer that read: "McDonald's sustainable beef pilot moves into high gear; Fast-food giant has a long list of 'indicators' and is seeking producers ready to prove they're good stewards"

Cow

Study finds airborne matter from factory farms contains antibiotics, bacteria and antibiotic-resistant DNA

© Reuters
Airborne particulate matter wafting off American cattle yards contains antibiotics, bacteria, and antibiotic-resistant DNA.
Airborne particulate matter wafting off American cattle yards contains antibiotics, bacteria, and antibiotic-resistant DNA, a new study finds. Environmental tests on the spread of antibiotics have been performed in the past, but this is the first time researchers have examined aerial dispersion. The work suggests airborne transmission may be contributing to an emerging global health problem, where doctors find it increasingly difficult to treat life-threatening infections.

For some time now, scientists have worried that we may be entering a "post-antibiotic era," when the drugs that once defeated potentially fatal infections are no longer effective. Simply put, the bacteria causing infections in many cases are now immune to (or "resisting") the drugs. Since antibiotic-resistant bacterial DNA, if imbibed in water or consumed in meat, can be transferred to humans, many researchers say misuse and overuse of veterinary pharmaceuticals may be responsible, in part, for this global health threat. Large, commercial food operations rely on veterinary drugs, including antibiotics, to promote bigger growth of the animals. However, after the animals excrete the drugs, these antibiotics enter the environment via runoff, leaching, and the spread of manure.

For this new study, then, environmental toxicology researchers at Texas Tech University decided to look at whether these drugs become airborne. Over a period of six months, they gathered airborne particulate matter from 10 commercial cattle yards each with a capacity of 20,000 to 50,000 head of cattle, within 200 miles of Lubbock, Texas.

Comment: One more reason to limit the use of antibiotics in factory farms. When antibiotics are routinely used to raise food animals, the microbes develop resistance to the drug, which makes antibiotics less effective for treating disease in humans. Two million people are sickened by resistant bacterial infections annually, and 23,000 die every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.


2 + 2 = 4

Pro-GMO education enters the schoolroom

© our food future
Isn't it interesting how an agenda is so often posed as a debate even though there is usually only one side? Or, when a synthesis of the two is the actual goal?

That's how things are presented to adults, usually on television. Or rather, "adult-children." So that it looks like they have an informed choice. Unfortunately, children in many public schools don't even have the semblance of a two-sided joust. They are expected to download beliefs. As you will see below, it doesn't even matter if they get the answers correct, as long as they assimilate the connotation. The feeling. The message. The gist. And they will (if no one shows them otherwise) - I remember.

A lot of buzz is currently swarming on Robyn O'Brien's Facebook page. She wrote The Unhealthy Truth... and is sometimes called the Erin Brockovich of food. Over the weekend, a father sent her his 6th grade child's homework from Science class. It asks (and then answers) the question: Are genetically modified foods safe to eat?

Alarm Clock

Alternative medicine crackdown: FDA pushing to regulate Homeopathy out of existence

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Why is there a sudden push by the FDA to label homeopathic remedies as dangerous? Why is there a need to regulate substances that have been used for hundreds of years with out any issues? What does the FDA have to gain?


The FDA has published two documents recently, which suggest that WAR is being declared on the profession of homeopathic medicine - or at least on the manufacture of homeopathic remedies, which comes to the same thing in the end. What is a homeopath without homeopathic remedies?

On March 19, 2015 the FDA published an advisory (called a "safety alert") about homeopathic asthma OTC medications, recommending that patients be wary, and that health care practitioners be sure to report any adverse effects to the FDA. Here is the link to that safety alert

The FDA has since that date scheduled public hearings on
"the current use of human drug and biological products labeled as homeopathic, as well as the Agency's regulatory framework for such products. These products include prescription drugs and biological products labeled as homeopathic and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs labeled as homeopathic."
Here is the link to the document which was published on March 27, 2015 - not even 10 days after the March 19th safety alert.

Comment: Why Skeptics Love to Hate Homeopathy