Panaceia or Hygeia

immunize yourself against the pandemic of lifestyle diseases

Posts Tagged ‘drug dealer’

Tough on crime (in theory)

Posted by Colin Rose on February 27, 2009

Sorry, Barry, but decreasing immigration won’t solve the problem. Those using the illegal drugs bought from violent drug dealers are mostly otherwise law-abiding Canadian citizens. I would bet that some of those people screaming for harsher laws for drug related crimes think nothing of having an occasional drag on a reefer or a snort of cocaine. One would think that we had learned a lesson from the Prohibition disaster that created the Mafia. Short of a mandatory death penalty for anyone caught with or selling an illegal drug, it is impossible to stop consumption of a drug desired by huge segments of a population. Ironically, it is the legal addictions to tobacco, alcohol, casinos and junk food that kill orders of magnitude more people than all the illegal drugs combined. So the solution to drug related violence is legalization and control of all drugs and intensive treatment and research into addiction.


Tough on crime (in theory)

National Post
27 Feb 2009

Will the federal Conservatives’ new package of anti-gang m e a s u r e s make a difference on the street? It’s hard to say. The implementation of criminal justice depends on a chain of trust including not only elected legislators, but judges,…read more…

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Trying to Stop Prison drug dealing

Posted by Colin Rose on February 1, 2009

If it takes at least $30 million per year and 30 Xray machines to make a dent in drug dealing in federal prisons housing 153,000 inmates or 0.13% of the adult Canadian population by extrapolation it would take at least $23 billion per year and 23 thousand Xray machines to control the drug trade in the whole country and that would be a lot harder than in a very confined prison population. Ergo, forget about trying to stop the drug trade by attacking the distribution. Legalize all drugs and deal with addiction, the same way we do with legal addictions to tobacco, alcohol and junk food which kill orders of magnitude more people than all the illegal addictions combined.


Tories take aim at prison drug dealing
CANWEST NEWS SERVICE
The Gazette
01 Feb 2009

OTTAWA – Organized crime may be about to lose its grip on one of its most profitable markets as the Harper government moves to put an end to drug smuggling into penitentiaries. In this war on drugs, Ottawa will spend $120 million over the next four…read more…

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Pharma marketing sways Canadian doctors

Posted by Colin Rose on October 15, 2008

Unlike their American colleagues, many Canadian doctors admit they are influenced by drug propaganda. But they don’t think those free sample compromise their judgement. Really? Let’s say a patient has a routine blood lipid test and the “bad” cholesterol is high and the patient is obese and smoking. What is a busy doctor going to do? Grab a box of Lipitor off his or her cabinet full of free samples or spend half an hour explaining the necessity of lifestyle choices in preventing atherosclerosis or diabetes?

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Medical Post
September 26, 2008 Matthew Sylvain

But just because it influences decisions, doesn’t mean physician judgment is compromised

TORONTO | Almost half of respondents to our Medical Post-mdPassport online eithics survey said their prescribing habits have been influenced by drug company advertising and other acts of persuasion. Depending on your perspective, that shows a remarkable honesty.

Then again, if you count yourself among the 54% who answered no, that you are unswayed by the arguments of detailers and the like, you might think that nearly half your colleagues are too easily influenced.

“I think physicians are influenced by it,” said Dr. Gerry Rosenquist, a gynecologist at the Winchester, Ont. District Memorial Hospital, who was asked to share his opinions on the survey findings. He added, however, “that doesn’t mean they (doctors) are influenced negatively.”

Few physicians would compromise their practice of medicine by intentionally prescribing products that were improper for their patients, he said.

Dr. Heidi Carlson, a Moncton, N.B., pediatrician, agreed the marketing isn’t inherently and entirely negative. The ads, rep visits and drug samples allow a busy doctor to quickly learn of a medication’s advantages and disadvantages, she told the Medical Post.

“I would be lying if I said I hadn’t given out free samples before, and I hadn’t taken the free samples before,” she said “because certainly, if there are new things on the market that are supposed to be better, I’d rather have patients trying them first—and seeing if they are of any use to them—before asking them to go out and buy them. So I can’t say I haven’t been influenced by it.”

Dr. Barbara Mintzes (PhD), an assistant professor in the University of British Columbia department of anesthesiology, pharmacology and therapeutics, was surprised by the admission by 46% of respondents that their prescribing had been influenced by marketing.

She said that seemed refreshingly sincere in light of a recent U.S. study of hospital-based physicians that found only 1% of them believed their own behaviour was influenced by pressure from pharmaceutical and equipment makers. Meanwhile, they thought more than 50% of their physician colleagues were swayed. That variance in opinion is so great it’s suggestive in itself, she said.

“I don’t think you would call anyone a dunce for actually saying that yes, they do believe there is some influence on their prescribing from marketing exercises,” said Dr. Mintzes, who is also a part of the Therapeutics Initiative, an independent, non-profit organization that assesses drug therapies.

The president of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), an industry lobby group, noted its members follow a marketing code of conduct. According to the code, “Information provided to health-care professionals by our members must be accurate, fair and balanced,” said Russell Williams in an e-mailed statement.

Williams added that information packages on clinical evaluations also meet standards set out in the Food and Drugs Act, and regulations.

Said one doctor, commenting on the survey, “Script ‘buying’ by big pharma, thinly disguised as a phase four clinical trial, is a problem.”

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Free Online CME – Drug Dealers’ Propaganda

Posted by Colin Rose on July 26, 2008

Here is a classical example of “free” online CME (Continuing Medical Education) funded by drug dealers and given legitimacy by association with presumably ethical institutions, like “prestigious educational institutes”. Doctors have to accumulate CME credits to maintain their licenses, so they are obliged to look at this propaganda. It seems doctors don’t make enough to pay for their own continuing education and have to depend upon the drug dealers to keep them informed. Shed a tear.

How much is McGill paid to allow it’s logo on this propaganda? McGill is a publicly chartered and funded institution. One should be able to find out but good luck.

Both members of the “Planning Committee” are compromised by financial connection to one or more drug dealers.

David Fitchett is particularly notorious for multiple connection to drug dealers.

But Dr. Fitchett is labeled an “expert”. What has Dr. Fitchett ever done, any more than any other graduate of a medical school, to be considered and expert? I have no idea.

Dr. David Fitchett, Expert

Dr. David Fitchett, Expert

Watch a medical terrorist in action. Take that “powerful” statin to reach “target”, get that muscle pain. If you don’t you will die.

We are advised that “…it is unlikely that lipid targets can be achieved in the absence of pharmacological therapy” and we are given references for these targets. Who sets these targets, anyway? You haven’t guessed by now? In Canada it’s the “Working Group“, all of whom have financial connections with multiple drug dealers and who are chosen to be the conduits of divine revelation by groups like the Canadian Cardiovascular Society that get most of its funding from drug dealers.

And those “resources”? Again, paid for by drug dealers.

So, what appears on the surface to be a scientifically legitimate educational exercise turns out to be propaganda funded by drug dealers at multiple levels. Drug dealers pay doctors and their organizations to promote “targets” for blood  cholesterol, pay “prestigious” institutions for their approval, pay for the web sites, like mdbriefcase, for CME to promote measurement of blood cholesterol and drugs to lower it and doctors must read it to keep their qualifications. What a wonderful marketing machine! And it’s all legal. But what happened to medical professionalism?

Posted in cardiology, cholesterol, drugs, professionalism, statins | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drug Dealers Bribe Doctors to Prescribe Statins

Posted by Colin Rose on July 9, 2008

Here is a very important post from Dr. Catey Shanahan documenting direct bribes from drug dealers to clinics who can attract more doctors by paying them more as long as they pledge to get every patient’s LDL below 100. Without major dietary change, counseling for which takes a lot of unpaid time of the doctor, this can only be done by prescibing statins, already the most prescribed drugs in the world. When will the physician licensing bodies stop this corruption of the medical profession and forbid any financial connection of practicing doctors with any industry associated with medical practice?

Unlike Dr. Shanahan, I do blame the doctors. This sort of behavior is highly unprofessional. If no doctor went along with this highly unethical practice, contrary to the Hippocratic oath, it wouldn’t exist.

It seems insurance companies are so occupied with getting $zillions from drug dealers that they can’t be bothered to look at the data. Here are some from the ALLHAT-LLT study. In spite of a large reduction in LDL, bad blood cholesterol, there was no effect on mortality or morbidity in this group of very high risk people including diabetics, all of which the insurance company says should be give statins. Where a bar crosses the vertical line there is no significant effect in that sub-group.

And look at the baseline characteristics of the participants in ALLHAT-LLT: all overweight, 43% obese, 23% smoking, 35% diabetic. Is it not highly unethical to perform a drug study for lifestyle diseases in such a group with obviously atherogenic lifestyles BEFORE optimizing the lifestyles of all participants?

Legal Addictions

An ALLHAT-LLT type subject

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Many of the comments on the NYT and other articles on the new recommendations for pediatricians and family doctors to put children on brain-damaging statins are expressing outrange that drug companies are taking over the minds of doctors. Don’t blame doctors. We’re being threatened by insurance companies. If we don’t do exactly what drug companies want, we’ll be paid less. In some cases, some of us might loose our jobs. (OKay, we do deserve some blame for not standing up for ourselves!)

I went for a job interview in Portland and in a conversation with the medical director of a large group there, I was told that if I failed to get my patients LDL levels down to 100 “someone will sit down and talk with you.” This particular group was able to offer a better starting salary than average. I had assumed that the reason they could offer more was through efficiencies. During the interview, I learned there was more to it than that. They had special arrangements with drug companies called ‘incentive programs.’ The medical director told me with absolute glee “we keep asking them [meaning drug companies] for money and they keep giving it to us.” He sounded like a kid at Christmas!

This group’s policy is to get everyone’s LDL under 100, regardless of risk factors. Stratifying risk is “too complicated.” So they make it simple for their docs. How convenient for the drug companies. I suspect that because this organization has such an aggressive general policy, the drug companies reward them handsomely for taking such a progressive position. They can offer about $50,000 more per year than doctors working in their own, independent offices.

HMSA is Hawaii’s largest medical insurance company. They are paying me to prescribe statins to people who have had heart attacks. Next year, they will pay me to prescribe statins to every single one of my diabetic patients. If I don’t I may loose about $20,000 and my entire group will be penalized financially as well.

If any of this disturbs you, please write to John Berthiaume MD, HMSA Vice President/Medical Director. 818 Keeaumoku Street, Honolulu, HI 96814. Or, you can write to the medical director of your own insurance company and let them know what you think about your payments going into programs that force doctors to write bad prescriptions or loose money!

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