Pharma Founder Gets 66 Months For Bribing Doctors To Overprescribe Deadly Opioids

By Tyler Durden

Millions of Americans who lived through the financial crisis probably recall that not a single executive of a major investment bank was jailed in the aftermath, despite running organizations seemingly dedicated to perpetuating a criminal fraud on nearly every counterparty and client.

But when Americans look back at the opioid crisis, they’ll remember that at least one executive of a major opioid manufacturer and distributor was sentenced to a fairly weighty sentence – five-and-a-half years (66 months) in federal prison – for an illegal kickback scheme that effectively involved bribing doctors to prescribe potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. That’s right: Packaged under the name brand Subsys, Insys sold a painkiller made from the same ultra-powerful synthetic opioid responsible for tens of thousands of deaths across America.

According to the FT, which, in partnership with PBS’s Frontline, is producing a documentary on the opioid crisis, John Kapoor, the founder of Insys, was sentenced to prison time on Thursday after being prosecuted under the RICO act – a law adopted decades ago to help the DoJ prosecute the mafia.

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Kapoor

Kapoor joins seven other Insys executives who have already received jail time for their role in the company’s illegal shenanigans, which included uses “ruthless” sales tactics to encourage doctors to prescribe more of their drug. Several doctors who took money from the company in exchange for kickbacks transparently disguised as speaking fees are also either being prosecuted, or have already been sentenced to jail time.

Earlier on Thursday, Alec Burlakoff, Insys’s former head of sales and one of the government’s key cooperating witnesses accepted a sentence of 26 months in prison. The jail sentences were handed down despite a long tradition of allowing big pharma to skate by with fines that often amounted to a slap on the wrist.

Subsys was approved by the FDA to target so-called “breakthrough pain”, something experienced by many patients with advanced cancer. But most of the doctors Insys targeted weren’t oncologists. The company encouraged them to prescribe the drug “off label” – meaning not for its approved purpose – to treat normal chronic pain.

Kapoor is a serial entrepreneur who immigrated to the US from India in his early 20s. The fentanyl spray that was the company’s main product was approved in 2012.

Under the company’s kick-back scheme, doctors who prescribed large quantities of the drug could earn up to $125,000 a year in speaking fees.

The company depended on sales associates whom Kapoor described as “PHD” – “poor, hungry and desperate” or “poor, hungry and dumb.” One of the sales reps who got mixed up in the prosecution was a former stripper, a detail from the investigation that was widely covered in the press.

Kapoor’s insistence that the company meticulously track the ROI from its illegal kickback scheme is what eventually did him in. Prosecutors managed to get their hands on a spreadsheet calculating the return on investment for every dollar spent on doctor “honorariums”. Kapoor insisted that, for every dollar a doctor received, they must bring in at least $2 in sales for Insys.

Kapoor’s legal team insisted that their client was unfairly portrayed as a “caricature of a mob boss” by the prosecution. But the firm’s “callous culture” was exemplified by a sales video featuring a “rapping bottle of Subsys” encouraging doctors to raise the dose for their patient’s – effectively encouraging them to accidentally overdose and kill their own patients.

Burlakoff, who played the rapping Subsys bottle in the video, told the press that the video was a big part of the incriminating evidence against him. He now regrets participating in it, even though he thought it was ‘cool’ at the time.

Fred Wyshak, the prosecutor who handled the Insys case, gained notoriety for prosecuting the mob, and having a hand in the conviction of Whitey Bulger, the former Boston crime boss who was murdered while serving a life sentence last year.

Article source: Zerohedge.com

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The FDA Just Approved a New Drug Application for Cocaine-Based Nasal Spray

By John Vibes

In a shocking drug approval last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a ketamine-based nasal spray for treating depression. The news was surprising considering the history that the substance has as a snortable club drug and the strict policy of drug prohibition and regulation in the United States. However, in the short time since, ketamine is slowly becoming more respected as a legitimate treatment for depression in clinical settings.

Meanwhile, other nasal sprays for drugs that were once considered illicit are beginning to reach the market as well.

As the Mind Unleashed reported last month, a pharmaceutical company called Silo Wellness announced that they were developing a nasal spray for psilocybin, the active ingredient in many of the most popular “magic mushrooms.” The psilocybin-based spray is also intended to be used as a treatment for depression.

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Now, in the most shocking FDA approval yet, the agency has approved a cocaine-based nasal spray for use as an anesthetic.

In a January 13 press release, Lannett Company Inc. announced that the FDA approved a New Drug Application (NDA) for the cocaine-based nasal spray which is intended to be used as a local anesthetic for surgeries in the nose cavities.

The drug is called NUMBRINO and is comprised of a patented nasal solution which contains cocaine.

Lannett CEO Tim Crew says that the company is planning full clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of the drug.

“The FDA’s approval of our Cocaine HCl product, the first NDA approval to include full clinical trials in the company’s history, marks a major milestone in Lannett’s 70+ years of operations. We believe the product has the potential to be an excellent option for the labeled indication. We expect to launch the product shortly, under the brand name NUMBRINO®,” Crew said in the press release.

Variations of the cocaine-based solution were tested on 159 patients during the interventional clinical trial. In the treatment of these patients the investigators tested a placebo topical solution against cocaine hydrochloride 4% or 10% as an aesthetic prior to a diagnostic procedure, according to MDMag.

There are certainly many more regulatory challenges that Lannett will need to face in order to bring this drug to market, but the FDA approval of their NDA shows that the drug meets all of the agency’s requirements in the process thus far and that they have a good chance of full market approval.


By John Vibes | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Special Report: Antibiotic Resistant Diseases in Venezuela

By J.G. Martinez D.

If you did a survey, asking a bunch of more or less informed people about which they think is one of the most important scientific advances of the 20th century, it’s very likely that antibiotic drugs is going to be one of the most popular answers. These new discoveries saved so many lives that it’s hard to have a clear picture.

As someone focused on technical and engineering approaches, my concern is not what to do with the new diseases, it’s evolutionary. It’s inevitable the appearance of such organisms. It’s just the way Mother Nature decided so life can keep going. But we have forgotten that, although we humans are (supposedly) the “most” evolved organisms, we are still part of the ecosystem, meaning that we’re just food or shelter for something else.

I’m sure many people are out there have tons of medical/scientific knowledge about this, much more than I know. This article is just intended to inform about the current state of the diffusion of such disease, and some useful tips in case an outbreak of some variant can cut loose. This could generate a real problem in other countries with a high population density. Not exactly a concern in Venezuela these times, but…you know what I mean. As a matter of fact, one of the attractive features of my homeland is a relatively low population density and a wide variety of microclimates. I won’t mention the negative aspects, though, as they’re unrelated to the land itself.

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I have some close acquaintances in the medical field in Venezuela. However, upon consulting them about this, I noticed a certain reticence. It’s quite logical though. They don´t know (yet) I am documenting weekly and publishing for our community and the rest of the world.

But when I read reports like this where people die because of diseases that were eradicated over 60 years ago it’s something to think about. I know, paludism is not combated with antibiotics, but still…

We all have read about the effects this resistance can generate in the future. And what I mean as “future” is the next 15 years. The lifespan of bacteria and yeasts are so short, that their mutation capability is huge, and this is a big problem for us, water and mineral walking bags that may become their potential habitat.

This is being treated with big secrecy. Chances are, it’s not only in Venezuela this is being covered up. There are tons of reasons why a serious government would cover up those suspicious deaths.

Antibiotic-resistant diseases are on the uptick in Venezuela.

In Venezuela, there were reports of an increasing number of cases where Shigella strain treated with ciprofloxacin was ineffective. This was not directly related to the collapse, though. Honduras, Chile and Dominican Republic had the same problem according to this report.

This is bad: that bacteria produces dysentery. Thank God there are some natural treatments that, although they can be slower than conventional medicines, can be as effective. Most of the cases heal by themselves in a few days, once the body starts to react and using its own defenses. But in children under 5, it’s very dangerous. Kiddo had it a couple of times…and pediatricians were very specific on prescribing antibiotics; they can complicate themselves quite fast. I can’t be more thankful to God because the collapse hadn’t been started by then.

Statistics are reliable as long as the input is correct. Otherwise, it’s garbage.

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It’s highly worrisome that one of the authorities (I mean the real ones) in the country, like MD Jaime Torres, Chief of Tropical Medicine Institute from the Universidad Central de Venezuela (where I studied engineering and one of the best in South America) since 2013 several newborns have died because of the Candida Auris, one of the deadliest varieties of the antibiotic-resistant yeast strains. Even though Dr. Torres believes it’s unlikely to have an epidemic of this disease in our territory, infections in already ill patients is something to be expected from now on.

This is just a small sample of resistant bacteria. I don’t think there is a way to measure how many others are out there, rather than using statistics or simulations based in the data the scientists already have got.

In times of collapse, people are more susceptible to infection.

One of my motivations to write this, was because a close friend (and one of the smarter persons I’ve known) almost died while mounting shelves at his apartment. He suffered a nasty infection (got a cut on one of his fingers that affected the bone) because, for some reason, the germs, or bacteria, or whatever he got, got into his bone marrow (or something like that) and one week later he was in a private clinic receiving an antibiotics cocktail enough to heal a horse, according to his own words, feeling his veins like being on fire.

That is one of the reasons why I’m so obsessive about wearing gloves and general body armor: in these abnormal conditions, a wound can be bad, very bad. I’ve taught my kiddo a powerful remedy to cut some bark tree and throw it in boiling water to make an emergency antiseptic rinse solution for an open wound, provided there is no alcohol nor oxygenated water. But this is part of another article I will write about on survival skills (being in urban environments for the moment) I have taught to my kid.

Why is this important in the Venezuelan example? Because this infection agent affects mainly to those with a weak immune system, and this is exactly what malnutrition does: to get your defenses lower and lower. This is one of the symptoms that made us start to believe this was engineered: first scarcity, then hyperinflation, followed by lack of medicines.

If you don’t have money, you can’t eat well. If you are not properly fed, you get sick.

Depending on how sick you get, you could find medicines but, if you can’t afford them, your condition could keep worsening.

Once a person dies …then it is one less problem. One potential opposition member less.

One supporter of the resistance less.

The herd gets smaller and easier to control.

I’m just the messenger. Don’t judge me. Just pointing out the facts of what I have seen.

There are some promising advances.

I feel optimistic, though, because once you understand some basic principles of how Mother Nature works, you see how powerful are the tools of mankind. My love for theoretical physics has taught me how powerful universe forces are: light, heat, inertia…in ways that we never could have imagined.

There are some other options with promising results, like the therapies with phages, according to this article (please use your browser to translate it).

And, if there is something that our governments worldwide should have learned, is that regulating antibiotic prescriptions isn’t going to work — developing new, innovative therapies without the risk of generating more resistant strains is.

Teaching people to improve their natural defenses works. Using modern digital technologies to track everyone’s usage of antibiotics works. If AI is being used to track us, then, for God’s sake, put it to work in something useful, not on reading whatever one wants to write. Using AIs to develop new solutions for this type of problem works. Using AI to develop new methods for industrial farming without the need for actual antibiotics staffing should work. Avoiding abuse of antibiotics in big industrial cattle production works. Sure, they need to flood their products with all kind of that stuff in order to be “productive”, and to keep the shareholders’ profits the way have always been.

That’s great, and I applaud it. Capitalism is great, as long as doesn’t start killing the coming generations for profit … and a shareholder should think about what could happen if one of his grandchildren gets sick in that fancy school in The Hamptons, a variety which can easily mutate into antibiotic-resistant lethal pneumonia. There’s no amount of money enough to cover that. If there are no next generations, then what good is those huge profits anyway?

And don’t even make me start thinking what would happen if those organisms fall in the wrong hands. Jeez.

In the meantime, we have some ways to use our own intelligence to get our system stronger: colloidal silver, natural herbs, just to mention a few. Come on people, this is an organic healing website. We all know how good garlic can be as an antibiotic, for example.

For every disease in nature, we can find the cure in nature itself. We just haven’t found it yet.

This is why I fell in love with this website as soon as I arrived: the sustainable living concept is present throughout.

Thanks for reading!

This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

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What’s The Difference Between REAL Science & CONSENSUS Science?

By Catherine J. Frompovich

REAL science is exemplified by demonstrable scientific findings like those of Copernicus and Galileo, who basically were called “quacks” by none other than the ruling authority of that time, the Roman Catholic Church, for insisting the Sun was the center of the Universe, not Planet Earth. Each suffered organized oppression by the Church, too.

Galileo’s books were banned from being read! Anything sound familiar in these censoring times?

Copernicus and Galileo: A Scientific Revolution
20:07 minutes

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https://youtu.be/y-XiG8S4o_A?t=26

REAL science also is found in the work of Sir Isaac Newton. An apple never can fall up! Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation.

REAL science also can be found in the dabblings of the colonialist founding father Benjamin Franklin’s flying a kite in a rainstorm! That ‘foolhardy’ exercise led to the invention of the lightning rod and also understanding negative and positive charges.

The Periodic Table of Elements went from a “dream” by Russian chemist Dmitrii Mendeleev to a set table of the properties of individual elements, now complete [at least for the time being] as REAL science.

Real science is the standardized practice of questioning, researching, finding and reporting the “secrets” of how and what “makes things work” without any influences to deviate from those findings.

Consensus science is a relatively new science ‘discipline’ invading all sorts of vested interests, corporations and businesses such as: pharmaceuticals [Examples: Vioxx and neurotoxic vaccines]; chemical companies [Example: Monsanto Roundup® glyphosate]; the microwave industries—anything from military radar to microwave ovens, cell phones, 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and medicine [Examples: the War on Cancer, Autism, superbugs from excessive antibiotic prescribing; the opioid epidemic!]

“Consensus,” according to Merriam-Webster, means both “general agreement” and “group solidarity in sentiment and belief.” That sums up the problem. Is this consensus based on solid evidence and sound logic, or social pressure and groupthink? [Like at the CDC/FDA and Big Pharma.]

[….]

When can you doubt a consensus? Your best bet is to look at the process that produced, defends and transmits the supposed consensus.

Source: https://stream.org/doubt-scientific-consensus/

[Also, consider who is paying for the ‘freight’ to produce the science?]

CONSENSUS science rears its unfettered ugliness in dramatic reversals of real science findings, which had to be sanitized and reformulated with actions taken by the CDC/FDA and Big Pharma.

Here are just a few examples:

June 2000 The Simpsonwood Meeting where CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten’s findings that certain vaccines DID cause Autism were discussed to change the outcome of Verstraeten’s original real science findings into a consensus science that no vaccine is capable of causing Autism, an elitist epidemiological ‘dogma’ which never can be challenged! The transcript of that clandestine meeting is here: http://fearlessparent.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Simpsonwood_Transcript_Scan_by_RJK_OCR.pdf

The Poul Thorsen, MD, PhD, / CDC’s Eileen Boyle, PhD, debacle
Dr. Coleen Boyle surfaces again in this featured story about Poul Thorsen, PhD, the MASTER MANIPULATOR who currently is under eleven (11) indictments regarding wire fraud and money laundering, and for ripping off the U.S. CDC to the tune of between One and Two MILLION Dollars.

Thorsen also used Danish demographics he was not permitted to use for his falsified study that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism.

Dr. Boyle was aware of that sticky-wicket issue about not getting Danish permission to use certain demographics, etc., but flew to Denmark to ‘save the deal’. It’s documented in the book, Master Manipulator. https://www.activistpost.com/2019/04/if-truth-be-told-about-cdcs-science-manipulators.html

• Whistleblower William Thompson, PhD, collaborated with, but rejected, the ultimate in CONSENSUS science when he exposed the CDC’s requirement to destroy all science by discarding their findings into a trash can the CDC provided! However, real science found the MMR vaccine actually CAUSED Autism in young black boys under three years of age, which was featured in the documentary VAXXED, From Cover-up to Catastrophe. https://www.activistpost.com/2019/04/if-truth-be-told-about-cdcs-science-manipulators.html

Washington, DC area constitutional attorney Jonathan Emord, who understands the law and how it applies to government officials and agencies, was totally aghast by the remarks he received from an FDA lawyer/attorney. Emord has authored two well argued, erudite books: Global Censorship of Health Informationand The Rise of Tyranny—How Federal Agencies Abuse Power and Pose Risks to Your Life and Liberty, regarding federal bureaucratic legal mischief. Emord says, “FDA refuses to honor five decisions holding its censorship unconstitutional.” [2]

Attorney Emord goes on to say that an attorney in the FDA Chief Counsel’s office regarding a court order to the FDA made this really shocking statement, “Jonathan, the FDA will never abide by the Pearson decision.” [3]

Despite Jonathan’s noting it was a final and binding decision—an order of the court—the FDA attorney said, “That may be so, but I am telling you the FDA will never abide by that court decision, never, ever.” [4]

Emord goes on to tell us, His words pierced to the very core of my being. Here was an agency’s legal officer telling me that the agency was, intentionally, lawless.” [5]
https://www.activistpost.com/2016/10/cdc-flagrant-refusal-of-subpoena-nothing-new-regarding-vaccine-coverup-fraud.html

So, there’s a very real conundrum as to why U.S. federal agencies and corporations can practice CONSENSUS science, but pawn it off as REAL science.

How has this been allowed to happen, especially if there is another agenda, e.g., to change society’s understanding and acceptance of a once hallowed concept for research, which now has been trashed into nothing short of fraudulent science to promote advertising, billions of sales and ultimate obedience to control mechanisms?

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice, plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer health ​issues researcher ​and holistic health advocate since the late 1970s; she continues researching and writing in retirement. Her career in holistic healthcare began in the early 1970s when she had to save, and restructure, her life resulting from having “fallen through the allopathic medical paradigm cracks.”

Catherine has written numerous books. The following can be purchased on Amazon books:

Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities (2016)
Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines (2013)
A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments (2012)
Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009)
Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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Cost of Prescription Drugs Increases 9.5% Annually, Coordinated by Industry


Scripps Research analyzed pharmacy insurance claims from over 35 million Americans, finding ‘continual, marked, annual increases’ of popular brand-name drugs, with price jumps often timed with competitors.

After reviewing tens of millions of insurance claims for the country’s 49 most popular brand-name prescription drugs, a team from Scripps Research Translational Institute found that net prices rose by a median of 76 percent from January 2012 through December 2017—with most products going up once or twice per year.

The substantial price increases were not limited to drugs that recently entered the marketplace, as one might expect, or to those lacking generic equivalents. In addition, the increases often were “highly correlated” with price bumps by competitors.

The researchers concluded that the current rebate system, which incentivizes high list prices for drugs and relies heavily on privately-negotiated rebates to pharmacies, plays a central role driving up costs for consumers. The byzantine and secretive rebate system, they noted, prevents consumers from making informed decisions about purchasing medications.

The study appears in the latest issue of JAMA Network Open.

It’s no secret that health care prices are growing exponentially in the United States, but what has been less clear is the extent to which certain prescription drugs are contributing to that trend—especially when prices are clouded by a complicated rebate system,” says lead author Nathan Wineinger, PhD, director of biostatistics at Scripps Research Translational Institute and assistant professor in Scripps Research’s Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology. “By looking at price data for the most popular brand-name drugs, we found striking and consistent price increases occurring at regular intervals, regardless of competition in the marketplace.”

The Scripps Research team obtained the prescription data from a proprietary Blue Cross and Blue Shield data set known as BCBS Axis, which includes commercial insurance claims from more than 35 million Americans covered by independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in the United States.

With a focus on the 49 most popular brand-name drugs with pharmacy claim data available for the entirety of their five-year research window, Wineinger and his team, led by Eric Topol, MD, conducted a high-dimensional data analysis to examine each claim’s total price. This was represented by the total out-of-pocket costs paid by the insured consumer and the amount paid by the insurer.

Researchers determined that prices of top-selling branded prescription drugs increased by a median of 9.5 percent annually, which equates to a doubling in price every seven to eight years. And they found that pairs of brand-name drug competitors that treat similar conditions—such as Humira and Enbrel, both for rheumatoid arthritis—demonstrated highly correlated price increases.

“It’s bad enough to see the relentless increase in drug prices, but this work underscores it is occurring without transparency or accountability,” says Topol, founder and director of Scripps Research Translational Institute and executive vice president of Scripps Research. “It is especially concerning to see drugs in the same class having increases that appear to be coordinated.”

Wineinger explains that a prescription drug’s list price is typically set by the pharmaceutical company that makes the drug, reflecting the payment shared by the insurer and the patient who buys the product at a pharmacy. However, drug companies increasingly offer rebates to organizations called pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, which negotiate with pharmacies and insurance companies to determine which drugs are offered as preferred “formulary” options to insurance plan members.

Those rebates are returned to the pharmacy at a later date, paid out by drug companies based on the total sales volume of their products, and cannot be linked directly to any individual purchase. This makes prices especially difficult to track.

Some drug companies have defended list price increases by reasoning that rebates have increased at a similar clip. However, the researchers found that is not the case, and concluded that increases in list prices and a greater reliance on rebates are making drugs more expensive overall.

“Accountability and transparency are essential to developing a better understanding of rising pharmacy costs,” said Maureen Sullivan, chief strategy and innovation officer for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). “The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association developed the Alliance for Health Research to engage researchers in collaborative efforts to explore critical health care issues and enable valuable insights that can benefit consumers and the medical community.”

Article by Scripps Research. Authors of the study, “Trends in Prices of Popular Brand Name Drugs in the United States, 2012-2017,” are Nathan Wineinger, PhD; Eric Topol, MD; and Yunyue Zhang, all of Scripps Research.

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Widespread Contamination of Antibiotics Found in Rivers Around the World

Concentrations of antibiotics found in some of the world’s rivers exceed ‘safe’ levels by up to 300 times, the first ever global study has discovered.

Researchers looked for 14 commonly used antibiotics in rivers in 72 countries across six continents and found antibiotics at 65% of the sites monitored.

Metronidazole, which is used to treat bacterial infections including skin and mouth infections, exceeded safe levels by the biggest margin, with concentrations at one site in Bangladesh 300 times greater than the ‘safe’ level.

In the River Thames and one of its tributaries in London, the researchers detected a maximum total antibiotic concentration of 233 nanograms per litre (ng/l), whereas in Bangladesh the concentration was 170 times higher.

Trimethoprim

The most prevalent antibiotic was trimethoprim, which was detected at 307 of the 711 sites tested and is primarily used to treat urinary tract infections.

The research team compared the monitoring data with ‘safe’ levels recently established by the AMR Industry Alliance which, depending on the antibiotic, range from 20-32,000 ng/l.

Ciproflaxacin, which is used to treat a number of bacterial infections, was the compound that most frequently exceeded safe levels, surpassing the safety threshold in 51 places.

Global problem

The team said that the ‘safe’ limits were most frequently exceeded in Asia and Africa, but sites in Europe, North America and South America also had levels of concern showing that antibiotic contamination was a “global problem.”

Sites where antibiotics exceeded ‘safe’ levels by the greatest degree were in Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan and Nigeria, while a site in Austria was ranked the highest of the European sites monitored.

The study revealed that high-risk sites were typically adjacent to wastewater treatment systems, waste or sewage dumps and in some areas of political turmoil, including the Israeli and Palestinian border.

Monitoring

The project, which was led by the University of York, was a huge logistical challenge – with 92 sampling kits flown out to partners across the world who were asked to take samples from locations along their local river system.

Samples were then frozen and couriered back to the University of York for testing. Some of the world’s most iconic rivers were sampled, including the Chao Phraya, Danube, Mekong, Seine, Thames, Tiber and Tigris.

Dr John Wilkinson, from the Department of Environment and Geography, who co-ordinated the monitoring work said no other study had been done on this scale.

He said: “Until now, the majority of environmental monitoring work for antibiotics has been done in Europe, N. America and China. Often on only a handful of antibiotics. We know very little about the scale of problem globally.

“Our study helps fill this key knowledge gap with data being generated for countries that had never been monitored before.”

Antimicrobial resistance

Professor Alistair Boxall, Theme Leader of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, said: “The results are quite eye opening and worrying, demonstrating the widespread contamination of river systems around the world with antibiotic compounds.

“Many scientists and policy makers now recognise the role of the natural environment in the antimicrobial resistance problem. Our data show that antibiotic contamination of rivers could be an important contributor.”

“Solving the problem is going to be a mammoth challenge and will need investment in infrastructure for waste and wastewater treatment, tighter regulation and the cleaning up of already contaminated sites.”

Article by University of York. Image from Pixabay

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Xenobiotics In Vaccines: The Place To Start REAL Scientific Investigations

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Since vaccine issues are ramping up on both sides of that unique ‘political spectrum’, i.e., legislation introduced almost daily at both state and federal levels, which specifically mandate vaccines while adding penalties for not submitting oneself or one’s children to “poison darts” called vaccinations, AND consumer push-back more evident now than ever, I thought it might be helpful to understanding and to discussing intelligently the topic of toxic vaccines and their ingredients [Xenobiotics] IF there were broader or more comprehensible information, including definitions of just what is in most, if not all, vaccines.

Thanks, and a big hat tip to Eileen Dannemann for sharing recent information wherein I found a most significant file titled “Vaccine Ingredients” published online by WAVE (Worldwide Association For Vaccine Education) embedded wherein vaccine ingredients are listed alphabetically along with their chemical signatures; possible/probable adverse health effects and/or reactions; and even their common industrial uses.

However, I think the list, for as extensive as it is—220 entries, probably is not complete since no recombinant DNA [DNA that has been formed artificially by combining constituents from different organisms (online Dictionary)] per se are listed; no growth mediums, e.g., vaccine growth “broths” per se, as listed in the CDC pink book of Excipient and Media Summary”; nor what probably could be termed “trade secrets ingredients,” which are certain elements that gain or guarantee U.S. patents as “proprietary secrets.” Even FDA and CDC may not know what they are!

WAVE’s alphabetical chemical listing includes the following number of entries:

# 1; A 21; B 6; C 8; D 14; E 4; F 6; G 8; H 13; I 8; K 1;
L 7; M 24; N 4; O 2; P 25; R 3; S 30; T 12; V 20; X 1; Y 2
[It’s a great resource to save and introduce as part of any vaccine discussion.]

To my way of thinking, an in-depth, analytical science discussion—not consensus science as practiced by the CDC, FDA and Big Pharma—must become the basis for considering ANY legislative actions regarding vaccines/vaccinations since they, by their very chemical natures, violate basic human rights, regardless of “herd or community immunity,” an impossibility since diseases have ways of outsmarting and morphing into other organisms.

No one—not even governments, as the Nazis in World War II found out—can get away with using humans as guinea pigs to determine ‘science research data’, even for national security projects! Wasn’t that what the Nuremberg trials after World War II were supposed to have established?

However, I really don’t think so. The United States government, under Project Paperclip, for all intents and purposes, performed and still is carrying on ‘weaponized medicine’ experiments.

Are vaccines a part of that agenda?

Should we and/or Congress ask that question of the U.S. military?

The only way to find out is to hold the U.S. Congress accountable for the 1986 Vaccine Law, plus demand Congress exercise its oversight powers, instead of being cozy friends with Big Pharma’s lobbyists who generously donate and fund pro-vaccine Congress members’ election campaign coffers.

See Database details drugmakers’ contributions to Congress”

“Contributions help keep the door open for company lobbyists,” said Brendan Fischer, Director, Federal Reform Programs at the Campaign Legal Center.

Here’s a website that can give you the contributions any member of Congress received from Pharma: Pharma Cash To Congress. Have fun!

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice, plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer health ​issues researcher ​and holistic health advocate since the late 1970s; she continues researching and writing in retirement. Her career in holistic healthcare began in the early 1970s when she had to save, and restructure, her life resulting from having “fallen through the allopathic medical paradigm cracks.”

Catherine has written numerous books. The following can be purchased on Amazon books:

Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities (2016)
Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines (2013)
A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments (2012)
Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009)
Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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Big Pharma Exec Pushing Opioids Found Guilty of Racketeering

By Arjun Walia

In Brief

  • The Facts: The CEO Insys-Therapeutics and four other executives have been found guilty of racketeering with regards to opioid drugs. They falsified information and bribed many doctors, among other things.
  • Reflect On: When it comes to pharmaceutical products and our federal health regulatory agencies, along with pharmaceutical companies, there is no shortage of deceit and fraud. Why do we continue to trust and use their products?

The term “big pharma” is really making its rounds as more and more people become aware of the fact that the major corporations that manufacture the majority of our “medicine” are actually criminals. The latest example comes from a recent case where a federal jury found multiple top executives of Insys-Therapeutics, a well-known pharmaceutical company that sold a fentanyl-based painkiller (opioids), guilty of racketeering charges and contributing to America’s current opioid epidemic.

Racketeering is a crime committed through extortion or coercion. Intimidation and force are also associated with this charge, and it’s often linked with organized crime, which seems to be a fitting definition for our modern day medical industry. This corporate domination is exactly why, in 2014, the current Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet stated that “the case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” (source) It’s why Arnold Symour Relman emphasized that the “medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research.” He thought it was  “disgraceful” that the academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry.” (source)

This isn’t a secret, but it’s quite odd how substances like opioids get approved by our federal health regulatory agencies, which have clearly been compromised as well.

In this case, the jury deliberated for two weeks before issuing a verdict against the company’s founder, John Kapoor, as well as four former executives of the company. They found that not only did these people conspire together on how to drive sales of their drug in several unethical ways, but they bribed doctors to prescribe their product and mislead insurers about patients’ needs for the drug as well.

According to the New York Times:

The verdict against Insys executives is a sign of the accelerating effort to hold pharmaceutical and drug distribution companies and their executives and owners accountable in ways commensurate with the devastation wrought by the prescription opioid crisis. More than 200,000 people have overdosed on such drugs in the past two decades. Federal authorities last month for the first time filed felony drug trafficking charges against a major pharmaceutical distributor, Rochester Drug Cooperative, and two former executives, accusing them of shipping tens of millions of oxycodone pills and fentanyl products to pharmacies that were distributing drugs illegally.

Shortly after Insys was given approval to sell their opioid drug, they found one very significant problem. Their drug, a sprayable form of fentanyl called Subsys, was designed to treat cancer patients with acute pain. However, they soon found that their market of cancer patients wasn’t quite big enough to match their profit goals, so they started falsifying information to make it look like patients had cancer so they could sell more of their drug.

The U.S. Department of Justice document reads:

Several pharmaceutical executives and managers, formerly employed by Insys Therapeutics, Inc., were arrested today on charges that they led a nationwide conspiracy to bribe medical practitioners to unnecessarily prescribe a fentanyl-based pain medication and defraud healthcare insurers.

Pretty wild, isn’t it?

This is great, but how deep does the deception go? How much power do these corporations and their executives hold? Below is a great quote from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that explains the issue quite well:

The pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C.. They have more lobbyists in Washington D.C. than there are congressman and senators combined. They give twice to congress what the next largest lobbying entity is, which is oil and gas… Imagine the power they exercise over both republicans and democrats. They’ve captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press… and they destroy the publications that publish real science. (source)

We don’t really live in a democracy, we are living in a ‘corporatocracy.’ There are many products manufactured by pharmaceutical companies that are highly questionable in light of evidence like the example above. Take, for example, when pharmaceutical companies were not disclosing all information regarding the results of their drug trials. Researchers looked at documents from 70 different double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) and found that the full extent of serious harm in clinical study reports went undocumented.  (source)

Another great example comes from documents showing that pharmaceutical companies are deliberately concealing information for the sole purpose of getting us to comply with an “official” vaccination schedule. They show that British health authorities have been engaging in such practice for the last 30 years. The 45-page paper with detailed evidence can be downloaded here: The vaccination policy and the Code of Practice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI): are they at odds? by Lucija Tomljenovic, who was part of the Neural Dynamics Research Group, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada at the time.

A few years ago, a group of more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out a public statement, while remaining anonymous, outlining the big problem of corporate influence and the effect it has on health policy decisions. The documents were referred to as the Spider Papers.  The authors really stressed just how big of a problem this is.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that fraud and corruption exist within many powerful pharmaceutical companies and within other major corporations that manufacture the products we use and consume.

This particular case with regards to opioids is a great step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.

Just as we would street-level drug dealers, we will hold pharmaceutical executives responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic by recklessly and illegally distributing these drugs, especially while conspiring to commit racketeering along the way,” said Andrew E. Lelling, the United States attorney in Massachusetts who pursued the case. (source)

But we still have to ask important questions, like why did the FDA just approve a painkiller 1,000 times stronger than morphine?

In the CE article ‘Study Reveals Big Pharma Paid Doctors Millions of Dollars To Push Opioids,’ Kalee Brown makes a cogent argument that the opioid epidemic, which is responsible for at least two thirds of the record 72,000 overdose deaths in the U. S. last year, is the product of a carefully crafted strategy that stems from a sinister alignment of  self-interest between Big Pharma, doctors, and the government. This strategy, it would seem, has no limits to its wickedness:

It’s no secret that Big Pharma is a money-making machine. Many even suggest that they design drugs with negative side effects so you remain sick, thus growing their market of sick consumers — a view supported by the reality that doctors get compensated for selling you drugs, not for getting you off of them.

Something to think about…

The Takeaway

Awareness on such issues is important. We live in an age where spreading information like the evidence shared in this article is incredibly difficult, as information is now heavily censored and blocked. Mainstream media controls the perception of the masses, and big pharma is one of multiple corporations who have been able to compromise them. At the end of the day, our ‘medicine’ makers can be corrupt, but there is a solution, and that’s us. There is no doubt about the fact that people are becoming more health conscious, more interested in alternative health, and more likely to seek out better ways to treat/medicate themselves instead of simply believing a doctor who only relies on pharmaceutical drugs without questioning them.

Arjun Walia — I joined the CE team in 2010 shortly after finishing university and have been grateful for the fact that I have been able to do this ever since 🙂 There are many things happening on the planet that don’t resonate with me, and I wanted to do what I could to play a role in creating change. It’s been great making changes in my own life and creating awareness and I look forward to more projects that move beyond awareness and into action and implementation. So stay tuned 🙂 [email protected]

This article was sourced from Collective Evolution.

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Over Half of Americans Face Hardships Due to Medical Costs

Study: 137 million adults in the United States suffered medical financial hardship in 2015/2017

A new study by American Cancer Society researchers finds medical financial hardship is very common among people in the United States, with more than half reporting problems with affordability, stress, or delaying care because of cost. The study, appearing early online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, estimates more than 100 million people in the U.S. experience medical financial hardship.

High out-of-pocket spending for medical care is an increasingly critical issue for patients in the United States. It can lead to a depletion of assets and medical debt, as well as distress and worry about household finances. Patients may delay or forgo needed medical care because of cost, jeopardizing benefits of treatment. Illness can also impact the ability to work and reduce productivity, limiting household income, and potentially reducing access to employer-sponsored health insurance in the working age population ages 18-64 years.

While many studies have looked at the financial toll of a cancer diagnosis, less is known about financial hardship in the general population, outside of oncology. For the latest study, researchers led by Robin Yabroff, PhD, assessed the prevalence of material (e.g., problems paying medical bills), psychological (e.g., worry about medical bills) and behavioral (delaying or forgoing medical care because of cost) domains of financial hardship using data from the 2015-2017 National Health Interview Survey.

They found overall, 56.0 % of adults reported at least one domain of medical financial hardship, representing 137.1 million adults in the United States. Compared with those 65 years and older, adults 18 to 64 reported higher material (28.9% vs. 15.3%), psychological (46.9% vs. 28.4%) and behavioral (21.2% vs. 12.7%) medical financial hardship.

Among adults 18 to 64, those with less educational attainment and more health conditions were more likely to report great intensity of hardship. Women were more likely to report multiple domains of hardship than men. And the uninsured were more likely to report multiple domains of hardship (52.8%), compared to those with some public (26.5%) and private insurance (23.2%).

The authors say unless action is taken, the problem is likely to worsen. “With increasing prevalence of multiple chronic conditions; higher patient cost-sharing; and higher costs of healthcare; the risk of hardship will likely increase in the future. Thus, development and evaluation of the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of strategies to minimize medical financial hardship will be important.”

Article: Prevalence and Correlates of Medical Financial Hardship in the United States; Journal of General Internal Medicine 2019 DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-019-05002-w

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Duke Univ Finds Possible Link Between Autism and Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy

An international team led by Duke-NUS Medical School has found a potential link between autistic-like behaviour in adult mice and exposure to a common antidepressant in the womb. They also identified a treatment that helped improve memory loss and social interactions, according to the new study published in the journal Molecular Brain.

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed for treating major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, including in pregnant women. One of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants is fluoxetine, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Fluoxetine can cross the placenta and is also detected in breast milk. Little is known about its safety during pregnancy, and not enough studies have been conducted on its long-term effects on offspring.

“Many human association studies have been conducted to investigate connections between antidepressant exposure during pregnancy and children with autism and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). But they have not been able to pinpoint a causal relationship,” stated Associate Professor Hyunsoo Shawn Je, from Duke-NUS’ Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders (NBD) Programme, a senior and corresponding author of the study.

The team from Duke-NUS and their collaborators in South Korea and Singapore investigated adult mice born to mothers treated with fluoxetine (sold under the brand names Prozac and Sarafem) over a 15-day time period that corresponds to the second trimester in humans, in comparison with those born to mothers given normal saline as controls. They found key differences in behaviour. For example, the unexposed mice normally explored all three arms of a Y-shaped maze over a ten-minute time period and, over the courses of multiple arm entries, mice usually enter a less recently visited arm, while the fluoxetine-exposed ones were less inclined to explore unvisited arm.

In a second experiment, the mice were introduced to two juvenile mice, one after the other. When the second new mouse was introduced, mice that were not exposed to fluoxetine were more likely to only sniff the newly introduced mouse, recognizing that they had already met the first mouse. But the fluoxetine-exposed group sniffed both mice, indicating that they had impaired social novelty recognition.

The team then examined nerve signal transmission in the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain involved in moderating social behaviour. They found impaired transmission caused by an overactive serotonin receptor. Treating fluoxetine-exposed mice with a compound that blocks the receptor alleviated their behavioural problems and improved their working memory.

The team next wants to examine autistic children born to mothers treated with antidepressants using positron emission tomography (PET) scans, an imaging technique used to observe metabolic processes in the body. If they also show enhanced serotonin receptor activity in the same area of the brain, the team plans to test whether FDA-approved serotonin receptor blockers can normalize their behaviours.

“The consensus among experts is that the rise in the number of people diagnosed with autism around the world is likely due to more awareness and testing rather than an increase in the prevalence of autism,” noted Professor Patrick Casey, Senior Vice Dean for Research at Duke-NUS. “This collaborative study by our researchers offers a compelling case for a link between autism and antidepressant exposure in the womb in an animal model, and a possible mechanism that could potentially be exploited for future therapies.”

Article published by Duke University in PubMed.

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