Holistic Health Tips

March 22, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!


Natural Approaches to Eating Healing and Living

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Pharma news, 23 July

July 23, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

Money troubles for European drug makers? Check out the latest buzz in the pharmaceutical industry.

Roche May Lose $1 Billion a Year on Avastin Change
The anti-cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab)suffered a setback in the US that will cost its manufacturer Roche an estimated US $1 billion annually, according to Bloomsberg Businessweek. Avastin has been approved by the US FDA for metastatic  colorectal cancer, non‑squamous non‑small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC). However, an FDA advisory panel voted earlier this week “to rescind Avastin’s clearance in breast cancer after finding the drug paired with chemotherapies didn’t work better than other medicines alone.” Although the FDA is not required to act on recommendations of the panel , the regulatory body usually does. The recommendations are based on poor performance of Avastin on breast cancer clinical trials.

Glaxo Said to Have Paid $1 Billion Over Paxil Suits
The UK-based drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has reportedly agreed to pay more than US $1 billion in connection with cases related to the anti-depressant Paxil. The drug has supposedly caused birth defects in more 800 cases. Paxil was approved in the US in 1992 but the company supposedly failed to warn patients of potential birth defects when taking the drug during pregnancy. Some of the defects reported are quite serious including congenital heart defects. There are accusations that the company decided to bury “negative studies about Paxil’s links to birth defects and that its own scientists were alarmed by the rising number of children who had been affected by the drug in the womb.”

News report links Avandia panelists to drug makers
GSK is also bracing for more substantial settlements, this time regarding the antidiabetis drug Avandia (rosiglitazone). According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the panellists who was in the FDA committee who reviewed the safety of Avandia (and who later voted to keeping the drug on the market) had a connection with GSK as a paid speaker, thus, pointing to a potential conflict of interest. However, the panellist Dr David Capuzzi (Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Philadelphia, PA denies any conflict of interest as he never gave any talks promoting Avandia. In fact, he is also a paid speaker for other  pharma companies, including Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the makers of  Avandia’s rival pioglitazone (Actos).

AstraZeneca Said to Pay $2 Million in Seroquel Cases
AstraZeneca is another UK drug maker who is paying lots of money for a drug’s unexpected side effect. The company is facing lawsuits about its antipsychotic drug Seroquel which supposedly causes diabetes. The settlement is expected to be about US$2 million, much lower than expected. Definitely less than what was paid in a similar case of Zyprexa by Eli Lilly.

How safe is our tap water?

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

Have you ever wondered how safe is your tap water?

Researchers at the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds between 2006 and 2007. Their comprehensive survey revealed that a large number of pharmacological agents can be found in tap water and some of these are hormonally active. The 11 most frequently detected compounds, albeit at very low concentrations (source: New Scientist) are:

The use of pharmacological agents has increased in recent years and most of these compounds are excreted by the body through the urine and end up in our waste water. However, current techniques in waste water treatment seem to be not effective in taking out all the pharmacological agents from the water.

Researchers at the University of Montreal have recently detected the following drugs in the St. Lawrence River:

  • bezafibrate, an anti-cholesterol drug
  • enalapril, an anti-hypertensive drug
  • methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug
  • cyclophosphamide, also a chemotherapy drug

The waste water treatment plant in Montreal was able to take out the chemotherapeutic agents but not the cardiovascular drugs.

Increased contamination or improved detection?

The Nevada researchers are quick to point out that the concentrations of the 11 pharmaceuticals were very low, “millions of times lower than in a medical dose, and…that they pose no public health threat.” The concentrations were way below the set federal limits, at least for those with set limits. However, as in most pollution studies, it always ends up with the question whether the presence of these chemicals are due to increased contamination or improved detection. Or both.

Effect on the environment

The Canadian researchers are concerned about the effect of the compounds they detected on the flora and fauna of the St. Lawrence River. Hormonally active compounds can cause endocrine disruptions and have been observed to induce gender anomalies in fish and other aquatic organisms.

Effect on our health

Finally, we also have to ask as to what the long-terms effects of these pharmaceuticals are in our health. Are these compounds carcinogenic? Mutagenic? No data is available so far. Is it worthwhile to take all these chemicals out of the tap water?

According to Nevada researcher Shane Snyder

“the costs of “extreme purification” – far beyond what is needed for safety alone – are huge in terms of increased energy usage and carbon footprint. Ultra-pure water might not even be safe.”

According to a spokesperson from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

neither this nor other recent water assessments give cause for health concern. “But several point to the potential for risk – especially for the fetus and those with severely compromised health.”

Photo credit: stock.xchng

What Do You Know About Counterfeit Drugs?

April 29, 2008 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

… you probably think they don’t affect you, because you only pick up your prescriptions at the local pharmacy, or get samples from your doctor….

But you would be wrong. Counterfeit drugs may be found in your own medicine cabinet — and you have no way of knowing they are counterfeit.

Surprised? I was too — and because I too often have to be so cynical in my work — I never should have been so surprised. Why? Because so much of healthcare is about money. And counterfeiting is all about money — making it for the perpetrators, and saving it for those who have to pay, whether that’s a pharmacy or a health insurer. And who’s money and lives is it costing? Ours, because we are the patients.

I had heard of counterfeit drugs — but like so many, I pretty much dismissed any negative effect on my life. But it turns out that hundreds of thousands of us have taken them without knowing it, and across the globe, thousands of people have died. Yes. Died.

Drugs become counterfeit in a number of ways. They may be manufactured intentionally to be fake, often in other countries, then imported into the legal American or Canadian drug supplies. We know this happened recently with Heparin — and patients died.

And, too, you may be one of the thousands of patients who have purchased counterfeit Lipitor or been given Procrit after chemo…

Or, they may be adulterated after they were manufactured. Katherine Eban, author of Dangerous Doses, describes this phenomenon in detail, and it’s frightening. In particular, any liquid medicine that will be infused (think chemo) or swallowed can be watered down, or even replaced, then sold back into the drug supply. Unsuspecting patients, plus their doctors and pharmacists, may not know the drug has been watered down. Yes, patients die.

Sometimes they are simply stolen from distributor’s warehouses. Then the problem becomes one of storage. Drugs that are meant to be kept in dark places get stored in sunny locations, or drugs that are meant to be kept cold get stored in hot buildings… and then, of course, they are sold back into the legal drug supply. It’s like keeping raw chicken on a warm kitchen counter for days or weeks or even months. Ugh.

And don’t even get me started on what the FDA is ignoring about all this… or what the legal pharm manufacturers and distributors are doing to make sure their backsides are covered, while patients continue to be harmed and die….

A new website has been put online to help us track the latest in counterfeit drug news, so you may want to take a look and check back on occasion, www.NoToFakes.com. There is general information about counterfeiting of all kinds of products. Pharmaceutical counterfeiting is only a corner of that dark world… but perhaps the most deadly.

This kind of topic always makes me wonder what horror anyone can think of next. I’m just not diabolical enough, I guess.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.