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Thu, 29 Sep 2016
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More 'epipreneurs' inspired by Mylan price hike are creating affordable alternatives to Epipen

The pharmaceutical company Mylan drew Internet and patient jeers after it became publicly apparent that it had hiked the price of the EpiPen to $600. The company acquired the epinephrine pen in 2007 and, back then, it was only $100. Furthermore, the product development was paid for by you - the taxpayer.

The epinephrine injection pen saves the lives of those with allergies so severe they go into anaphylactic shock. In the time it takes a paramedic to reach a person who goes into anaphylactic shock which causes the throat to close and the victim to lose oxygen to the brain, it could be too late to save a life. The injection pen works almost instantly allowing those with life-threatening allergies to live independently and without too much fear for their lives.

While Mylan cut the price by about half, the situation still highlights the greed of pharmaceutical companies who never show regard for self-pay patients and let insurance companies pick up the tab thanks to premium payers. After all, the product amasses $1 billion dollars in sales each year.



Toxins in your dust bunnies

If you are like most Americans, you spend up to 90 percent of your day indoors. Whether you're at home, in the car or at work, your hours are spent breathing indoor air.

Since your very life depends upon the air you breathe, it is vital you understand the risks associated with your indoor air quality and how to reduce the chemicals in your environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states the levels of indoor air pollution may be between two and five times higher inside your home or work than they are outside.1 Some indoor pollutants can be as much as 100 times more concentrated than outdoor levels.

The differences are related to the type of pollutants, the relative lack of air exchange in newer homes and the chemicals you may introduce to your home in your furniture, personal care, home and cleaning products. According to the EPA, poor air quality is one of the top public health risks today.2

While these factors are important to your health, dust plays another important role in your air quality. Recent research has identified chemical pollutants residing in the dust floating in the air and in the dust bunnies under your furniture.


How much money do pediatricians really make from vaccines?

If you want to be sure your pediatrician has your child's best interest, this is mandatory reading. Pediatricians around the country have begun refusing to accept families who opt out of some or all vaccines. Thanks to a tip sent to Wellness & Equality by a reader, now we know why.

When my friend's child suffered a life-threatening reaction to a vaccine a week after her first birthday, my friend assumed her pediatrician would write her a medical exemption from future vaccines. Shortly after receiving a routine set of vaccines, the happy, vibrant one-year-old spiked a 106 degree fever, began having seizures, and was hospitalized. When the unexplained "illness" passed after a week in the hospital, the little girl had lost her ability to walk. My friend describes how her daughter, who had learned to walk several months earlier at 9 months, suddenly "stumbled around like a drunk person" for weeks following the vaccines. My friend met with a team of pediatricians, neurologists, and naturopathic doctors, and they agreed: Her daughter had suffered a brain injury caused by a reaction to one of the vaccines. Hoping the injury would be temporary and that she might recover and ease her brain inflammation if they could help her small body quickly eliminate the vaccine additives that caused the reaction, my friend's daughter underwent an intensive detoxification program overseen by a nutritionalist. Slowly, her daughter relearned to walk.

My friend is a practicing attorney who graduated from a Top 10 college. The evidence was overwhelming that her daughter's reaction had been caused by vaccines, she told me.

But a few months later, when she took her daughter back into the pediatrician for a visit, he wanted to vaccinate her daughter again. She was baffled. Why?

Comment: Saying 'No' to Vaccines? What to expect from your doctor


Analysis finds carcinogen in tap water of 218 million Americans

© Toby Melville / Reuters
Potentially unsafe levels of chromium-6, a carcinogenic chemical associated with environmental activist Erin Brockovich, were found in the drinking water supplies of 218 million Americans, according to an analysis of federal water samples.

A recent analysis by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported potentially dangerous levels of chromium-6 found in drinking water supplies across the US — Phoenix, St. Louis County, and Houston being among the highest.

EWG analyzed data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning more than 60,000 water samples taken by local utilities around the US from 2013 to 2015. More than 75 percent of the samples contained chromium-6, with drinking water supplies for about 218 million Americans containing the chemical at potentially unsafe quantities.

Hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, is the chemical at the heart of lawyer Brockovich's crusade — which later became a major motion picture — against a California power company in the 1990s. Among other uses, chromium-6 is employed in steel production and is found in coal ash, the byproduct of coal-burning power plants that is controversially stored in waste pits that have infamously leaked into US waterways at potentially great peril to local residents.

Snakes in Suits

Investigation reveals CDC used 40% less effective test to diagnose Zika and punished whistleblower who raised concerns

© Reuters
The US health agency in charge of fighting Zika used a less effective test to diagnose the virus and punished a whistleblower who raised his concerns both internally and to health officials, an investigation revealed.

Dr. Robert Lanciotti, a microbiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accused the federal agency of prioritizing a substantially less sensitive test versus an alternative approach that in his studies proved to be more effective in detecting Zika.

He claimed that the CDC "created a substantial and specific danger to public health" when it did not disclose lower sensitivity of the test it used.

The tests Lanciotti was talking about are the Trioplex and the Singleplex. The first detects not only Zika, but also dengue and chikungunya, and is recommended for testing by the CDC. The second test is only used for diagnosing Zika, the virus transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas known to cause microcephaly in newborn babies.

"Dr. Lanciotti alleged that use of the Trioplex in place of the Singleplex in a clinical setting would result in an additional 39 percent of Zika infections in their acute phase going undetected," the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said in a letter to the White House.


Big Pharma ghostwriting has a new name but same problems

© hobvias sudoneighm, Flickr
Consultant explains how 'Editorial Assistance' is used to hide ghostwriting practices

A new paper, published in the British Medical Journal, explains how the pharmaceutical industry has publicly denounced ghostwriting while still finding ways to engage in the practice. The author, Alastair Matheson, who worked as a consultant in pharmaceutical marketing and medical communications for 18 years, argues that the focus on ghostwriting has obscured the many other practices used to turn medical publications into marketing tools for industry, and describes medicine's complicity in this process.
"The roots of misattribution lie not in commercial calculation alone but the customs, standards, and self-interest of medicine and its publishing practices. Ghostwriting is merely one part of an entrenched culture of misattribution that serves the interests of commercial and academic stakeholders alike," writes Matheson.

Comment: Drug Company Used Ghost Writers to Author Work Bylined by Academics, Documents Show

Also read the confessions of a 'ghostwriter'
Ethical concerns about medical ghostwriting have been directed primarily at "guest" authors and the pharmaceutical companies that pay them. One voice that is largely missing is that of the ghostwriters themselves who, after all, create the documents that are in the ethical and legal crosshairs. Without them, one could argue, there can be no fraud, because it is they who create the fraudulent product.

For almost 11 years, I worked as a medical writer, creating a variety of pieces including the occasional ghostwritten article. For the most part, I never saw the finished paper, nor did I care to. This article describes what I did, why I did it, why I stopped doing it, and what I think might be done about the problem of fraud in authorship.


Tyson foods 'voluntarily' recalls chicken nuggets due to presence of 'hard, white plastic'

© Tyson foods
You may want to check those chicken nuggets in your freezer before feeding them to your kids. Tyson Foods is voluntarily recalling more than 130,000 pounds of the pre-cooked breaded delights, because they may contain hard plastic.

The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall of five-pound bags of Tyson Fully Cooked Panko Chicken Nuggets that were sold at Costco stores nationwide and 20 pound cases of bulk Spare Time brand cooked nuggets sold to a single wholesaler in Pennsylvania.

The Arkansas-based Tyson issued the recall after "a small number of consumers" told the company they had"found small pieces of hard, white plastic in the nuggets." The plastic ranged in size from 21mm in length and 6.5mm in diameter.

Comment: More horrifying things about the chicken you eat:


Even at low dilutions Manuka honey inhibits the activity and growth of bacterial biofilms

Even low dilutions of Manuka honey can curb the activity and growth of bacterial biofilms -- the thin but resilient layer of microbes that build up on, and stick to, any surface including plastic, according to new research from the University of Southampton.

The findings, published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, raise the prospect of the honey's potential use in patients fitted with medical devices, such as urinary catheters, which carry a high infection risk.

Around 100 million urinary catheters, used to drain the bladder of urine, are sold worldwide every year. Up to one in four hospital inpatients may have to use a catheter. However, long-term use is associated with frequent complications, such as inflammation and infection.

The use of honey as a health remedy dates back centuries, and among other things, recent research suggests that it may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Manuka honey is a monofloral honey produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the manuka tree.

Comment: In recent years a growing body of research is starting to support the thousands of years of folk medicine's use of Manuka honey. Among the many benefits, it has been found effective in healing intestinal inflammation and pain, balancing the digestive system; improving wound healing and helping cure gingivitis and periodontal disease.


The 13 tentacles of the Big Pharma octopus

This is a preview to the Era of Wisdom documentary "Toddlers on Adderall: History of "Big Pharma" and the Major Players," to be released December 28, 2016.

Written and directed by Cassius Kamarampi, narrated by Josh Mur. Music by Cassius Kamarampi. (Link to image credits and sources)

Transcript (video below):

In our society, we often correlate legality with safety. We use household products, spray pesticides, and religiously consume drugs such as ritalin, adderall, oxycontin, and prozac.

We consume all of this, but how many know who made the drugs, and where the corporations came from? Who produces the chemicals we trust on a daily basis?


Modern day witch hunts: The Inquisitorial roots of the war on natural medicine

In case you're not aware, there is a not-entirely-covert war being waged by mainstream medicine (ably funded by Big Pharma) against all forms of natural medicine. Anything that non-toxically and non-invasively stimulates or capitalises on the body's own programmed and innate healing mechanisms is not to be tolerated. Not only is it not to be tolerated, but it is to be attacked as viciously and as (in)humanly as possible, demonized, and crushed forever more.

Have you ever wondered just how far back this antipathy and irrational fear and loathing extends?

Some of you might point to the Rockefeller family and the incredible job they have done in destroying the reputations of all forms of natural medicine, as well as crushing all competitors using every (despicable) method possible. You'd be right, of course, in acknowledging their role, however, the ancient mental programs - "legacy programs" - that inhabit such imbalanced people and lead them to act in such tyrannical and violent ways are much older than David Rockefeller. He merely inherited them from a bygone age.

How much older are we talking?