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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Big PhRMA Misleads You and Your Doctor

UPDATE: 19 October

In the same vein as problematic drug trials, let it be known that the same may be true with vitamins, as PhRMA makes it move to grab control of any supplements that may help you protect yourself from dementia and Alzheimer's. (Read more in the 60+ related articles on Natural Health News)

More on Natural Substances to Combat Alzheimer’s—and Big Pharma’s Dirty Little Secret
  Coconut oil [1] is showing great promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. New studies show that other natural substances are also offering big breakthroughs, and the drug industry is trying to jump on the bandwagon with them too.
Fish oil reduces inflammation, including the inflammation associated with dementia. The DHA form of fish oil also converts into neuroprotectins, which, as the name suggests, protect our nerve tissue. A recent study [2] suggests that the risk of Alzheimer’s may be reduced by a third if we consume this regularly. Another broad study [3] suggested that the risk of all forms of dementia could be reduced by almost half with fish oil.
Nattokinase is an enzyme extracted from a fermented, cheese-like soy food called natto, which has been eaten in Japan for many years. Nattokinase has a well-documented ability to dissolve clots, so it plays a role in cardiovascular health. Now it is being studied for another set of abilities. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by brain deposits of a certain type of amyloid—a group of abnormal proteins that cause disorders in various organs. Getting rid of amyloids is one of the targets of Alzheimer’s disease research. A recent study [4] shows that nattokinase removes amyloid plaque.
Other encouraging Alzheimer’s news comes from the University of California at Irvine, where a study recently showed that mice with cognitive impairment had dramatic improvement with niacinamide [5]. Niacinamide is one of the water-soluble B-complex vitamins known as B-3. Niacin, or nicotinic acid, is another form. When an amide molecule attaches itself to niacin, it becomes niacinamide (also called nicotinamide). The body can convert niacinamide back into niacin but is unable to make niacinamide out of niacin. One major difference is that in doses exceeding 50 mg, niacin typically produces flushing of the skin, but niacinamide does not. Niacin and niacinamide also have different applications. In the niacinamide form, it reduces inflammation. Since many studies indicate that inflammation may trigger Alzheimer’s, researchers wondered if niacinamide would help Alzheimer’s.
Researchers gave mice the equivalent of a human dose of 2000 to 3000 milligrams of niacinamide, and the results were shocking. “Cognitively, they were cured,” said Dr. Kim Green, the head of the study. “The vitamin completely prevented cognitive decline associated with the disease, bringing them back to the level they’d be at if they didn’t have the pathology.” Niacinamide also improved memory in mice without Alzheimer’s.
Pioneering integrative physician and researcher Jonathan V. Wright, MD, notes that niacinamide has been widely used for a variety of purposes for more than 60 years, and its safety is well known [6]. He reports that as far back as 1943, William Kaufman, PhD, MD, a psychiatrist and exceptionally thorough clinical researcher, showed that niacinamide deficiency causes impaired memory, easy distractibility, an inability to concentrate, mental fog, slowed thoughts, difficulty comprehending, unwarranted anxiety, a lack of initiative, being uncooperative or quarrelsome, etc. And he discovered that all of these symptoms—and many more—“disappeared or…improved considerably” with the use of niacinamide.
Niacinamide isn’t the only B vitamin that may help significantly with Alzheimer’s. A study from Oxford University [7] found that fairly high dosages of three B vitamins (folic acid, B6 and B12) could reduce the rate of brain atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment—because these vitamins reduce homocysteine. (Other studies have found that TMG, or trimethylglycine, also controls homocysteine and is useful if the B vitamins are not enough.) Around 50% of people with mild cognitive impairment go on to develop Alzheimer’s.
But this study, widely trumpeted in the world press, wasn’t quite what it seemed. It was a study of B vitamins, yes, but it was at the same time a study of a patented drug. How could that be? Why was a drug company happy to see the curative role of B vitamins established? Here’s why: TrioBe Plus—the formulation of the B vitamin used in the study, is a patented drug, even though it is really just a blend of three ordinary vitamins and shouldn’t have received a patent. It is made by a Swedish drug company, Meda AB, based on a patent held by the chief researcher. As our colleagues at ANH-Int’l point out [7], the lead author of the research had to declare a conflict of interest because the patent for the use of these vitamins in this particular form is in his name. He will therefore personally gain massively if your local doctor starts to prescribe this to everyone who’s complaining about losing their car keys on a regular basis.
So the pharmaceutical industry is once again patenting and promoting a drug that’s not a drug, but is merely three forms of vitamin B you can get from any health food store. Supplements are not drugs—but drug companies are so unsuccessful in producing new drugs that they are looking greedily at supplements.

Article printed from Alliance for Natural Health – USA:
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[2] A recent study:
[3] Another broad study:
[4] A recent study:
[5] mice with cognitive impairment had dramatic improvement with niacinamide:
[6] niacinamide has been widely used for a variety of purposes for more than 60 years, and its safety is well known:
[7] A study from Oxford University:


This certainly is not a new subject, but certainly welcome in terms of the number of adverse problems with drugs that are marketed to be more than they really are.
Benefits are constantly over estimated and proves the urgent need for publication of trial data. Other problems is that adverse effects are not usually found until the drug has been marketed and profits are high.  Post marketing trials are not being done as required and this certainly can be tracked tot eh drug approval Fast Track process.
Fast Track was introduced many years ago to allow for pharmaceutical firms to pay a fee to get their drug approved quickly.  This has been a major criticism of FDA practices and certainly one that has yet to be changed.
Just yesterday I provided a client with some information to take to their doctor. Basic information  about her drugs had not been given to her, and it is likely that her doctor and pharmacist never gave her the information as is required by law.
I am sure that if you are taking prescription drugs you may experience similar situations.
And I'd suggest you ignore  the drug ads like the plague, just like the stupid political ads running on channels near you.

'Public misled' by drug trial claims

Drugs need to undergo extensive testing in trials before approval
Doctors and patients are being misled about the effectiveness of some drugs because negative trial results are not published, experts have warned.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, they say that pharmaceutical companies should be forced to publish all data, not just positive findings.
The German team give the example of the antidepressant reboxetine, saying publications have failed to show the drug in a true light.
Pfizer maintains its drug is effective.
Reboxetine (Edronax), made by Pfizer, is used in many European countries, including the UK.
But its rejection by US drug regulators raised doubts about its effectiveness, and led some to hunt for missing data.
This is not the first time a large drug company has come under fire about its published drug trial data.
Trial informationPharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was criticised for failing to raise the alarm on the risk of suicidal behaviour associated with its antidepressant Seroxat.
GSK rejected claims that it improperly withheld drug trial information.
"Our findings underline the urgent need for mandatory publication of trial data”
But GSK has also been forced to defend itself over allegations about hiding negative data regarding another of its drugs, Avandia, which is used to treat diabetes.
Now researchers from The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care say there is unpublished trial data for Pfizer's antidepressant reboxetine that should be made public because it could change views about the drug.
Dr Beate Wieseler and colleagues carried out their own assessment of reboxetine, looking at the results of 13 trials, including eight previously unpublished trials from the manufacturer Pfizer.
They found the drug was no better than a placebo in terms of remission and response rates. And its benefit was inferior when compared with other similar antidepressants.
Furthermore, a higher rate of patients had side effects with reboxetine than with placebo. And more stopped taking the drug because of side effects compared with those taking a placebo or a different antidepressant. Continue reading this story

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just goes to prove once again that its probably best to stay away from conventional medicine altogether unless your seriously ill. They all follow the establishment and so are much easier to sucker in to the newtonian medicine paradigm.