BUGGED BY DRUGS

January 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

THE MEDICINE CABINET — This is a warning about your health, money, and overly hyped, totally useless bad things we are doing to our body, because Big Pharma, in cahoots with some doctors, is making a fortune selling snake oil, and we are buying it by the billions. I’m taking vitamin A for reduced anger. B for induced bellicosity which is why I take A. Then I take C to counter cancer. Next I take D through U daily for reasons I can’t remember. However, I also take newspapers, and here is an article saying that a new study is out by five world-renowned scientific researchers who say, and I quote: “Stop wasting your money.” The scientists have gone through other studies and made their own on the value of us taking vitamins, and we do take them. Between 1988 and 1994, some 42 percent of us swallowed these supplements daily. Between 2003 and 2006, that figure rose to 50 percent, where it stands today — one out of every two of us. In 2011 that came to $30 billion worth of mostly worthless pills.

Indeed, the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says some of these pills may actually do more harm than good. (Dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries that turn up in hospitals, up from 7 percent a decade ago.) The researchers give a neutral to vitamin D because they can’t prove its usefulness either way. As for the others, there is no doubt, or as they say, scientifically, “The message is simple. Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified and they should be avoided.” Adding, if there is any doubt, “The case is closed.” So is my vitamin cabinet.

Does your child have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Do you? Absolutely. ADHD is running through our society in epidemic proportions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the diagnosis has been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared from 600,000 in1990 to 3.5 million today. Why? A hint: The most prominent medical publication in the field, The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, went from no ads for ADHD medications between 1990 and 1993 to about 100 pages per year a decade later. Almost every full-page color ad was for an ADHD drug. “The numbers (of pills) make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous,” said Dr. Keith Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University. “This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels.”

Why have we been taking all these pills? Yet another clue: The prosperous international pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (one word) said it will no longer pay doctors and health care professionals to speak on its behalf about its products or the diseases they treat “to audiences who can prescribe or influence prescribing.” Apparently this is common practice in Big Pharma — paying doctors and scientific researchers to tell other docs how good the company’s $100-a-pill is. Wow, is that an eye-opener (UJ-8 Eye-Openers, $45 a pop). Next time your doctor prescribes some wonder pill, ask about his/her all-expense-paid trip to Monaco for that medical convention and panel discussion.

After all this pill popping I need to wash my hands. But first let me finish this other article in the paper: “After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common antibacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks to consumers.” Huh? The FDA lab rats say they are taking a second and third look at triclosan and other sanitizing agents found in soap in America’s kitchens and bathrooms. That includes yours. It’s not just Dawn and Dial that are suspect. Tricolsan is used in all sorts of household cleaning products for its allegedly germ-killing power. The FDA says it may be no better than hot water and soap, and may even be worse: Recent studies show triclosan and similar substances can spur the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Spur the growth? We’re actually fertilizing the little bugs.

What we are seeing is a TV-commercial-led juggernaut telling us to take this or that pill or underarm jell or use some antibacterial soaps to be healthy and live longer and cleaner. But what these researchers have found is that so much of it is snake oil sold by con artists whom we believe to have our best interests at heart. They put someone in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around his or her neck, gray hair, maybe a mustache, (on the women) and they’ve got gravitas, telling us to pop this pill. Be careful when you hear, “Some studies suggest. . .” Suggest? These studies right here declare just the opposite. We are being conned. “Stop wasting your money.”

Men, are you a bit tired after running a 24-mile marathon? Do you sweat in a sauna? Then you might have Low T! Yes, I’ve saved the worst for last. We  now live in a testosterone time, when billions of dollars are spent telling men over 40 that they are over 40. TV ads cover sports and the evening news, where the geezers dwell. It’s working. Between 2001 and 2011, American males 40 years or older increased their use of the hormone testosterone as a topical gel more than five times. IMS Health, a health care information company, says the marketing of Low T helped propel sales of testosterone gels, patches and such to about $2 billion in the U.S. last year. In 2002, sales were a mere $324 million. I’d take a skeptical pill, but they tell me I’m too tired.

 

Ashby is High T at ashby2@comcst.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lynn Ashby                                             6 Jan. 2014

 

BUGGED BY DRUGS

 

THE MEDICINE CABINET — This is a warning about your health, money, and overly hyped, totally useless bad things we are doing to our body, because Big Pharma, in cahoots with some doctors, is making a fortune selling snake oil, and we are buying it by the billions. I’m taking vitamin A for reduced anger. B for induced bellicosity which is why I take A. Then I take C to counter cancer. Next I take D through U daily for reasons I can’t remember. However, I also take newspapers, and here is an article saying that a new study is out by five world-renowned scientific researchers who say, and I quote: “Stop wasting your money.” The scientists have gone through other studies and made their own on the value of us taking vitamins, and we do take them. Between 1988 and 1994, some 42 percent of us swallowed these supplements daily. Between 2003 and 2006, that figure rose to 50 percent, where it stands today — one out of every two of us. In 2011 that came to $30 billion worth of mostly worthless pills.

Indeed, the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says some of these pills may actually do more harm than good. (Dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries that turn up in hospitals, up from 7 percent a decade ago.) The researchers give a neutral to vitamin D because they can’t prove its usefulness either way. As for the others, there is no doubt, or as they say, scientifically, “The message is simple. Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified and they should be avoided.” Adding, if there is any doubt, “The case is closed.” So is my vitamin cabinet.

Does your child have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Do you? Absolutely. ADHD is running through our society in epidemic proportions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the diagnosis has been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared from 600,000 in1990 to 3.5 million today. Why? A hint: The most prominent medical publication in the field, The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, went from no ads for ADHD medications between 1990 and 1993 to about 100 pages per year a decade later. Almost every full-page color ad was for an ADHD drug. “The numbers (of pills) make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous,” said Dr. Keith Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University. “This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels.”

Why have we been taking all these pills? Yet another clue: The prosperous international pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (one word) said it will no longer pay doctors and health care professionals to speak on its behalf about its products or the diseases they treat “to audiences who can prescribe or influence prescribing.” Apparently this is common practice in Big Pharma — paying doctors and scientific researchers to tell other docs how good the company’s $100-a-pill is. Wow, is that an eye-opener (UJ-8 Eye-Openers, $45 a pop). Next time your doctor prescribes some wonder pill, ask about his/her all-expense-paid trip to Monaco for that medical convention and panel discussion.

After all this pill popping I need to wash my hands. But first let me finish this other article in the paper: “After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common antibacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks to consumers.” Huh? The FDA lab rats say they are taking a second and third look at triclosan and other sanitizing agents found in soap in America’s kitchens and bathrooms. That includes yours. It’s not just Dawn and Dial that are suspect. Tricolsan is used in all sorts of household cleaning products for its allegedly germ-killing power. The FDA says it may be no better than hot water and soap, and may even be worse: Recent studies show triclosan and similar substances can spur the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Spur the growth? We’re actually fertilizing the little bugs.

What we are seeing is a TV-commercial-led juggernaut telling us to take this or that pill or underarm jell or use some antibacterial soaps to be healthy and live longer and cleaner. But what these researchers have found is that so much of it is snake oil sold by con artists whom we believe to have our best interests at heart. They put someone in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around his or her neck, gray hair, maybe a mustache, (on the women) and they’ve got gravitas, telling us to pop this pill. Be careful when you hear, “Some studies suggest. . .” Suggest? These studies right here declare just the opposite. We are being conned. “Stop wasting your money.”

Men, are you a bit tired after running a 24-mile marathon? Do you sweat in a sauna? Then you might have Low T! Yes, I’ve saved the worst for last. We  now live in a testosterone time, when billions of dollars are spent telling men over 40 that they are over 40. TV ads cover sports and the evening news, where the geezers dwell. It’s working. Between 2001 and 2011, American males 40 years or older increased their use of the hormone testosterone as a topical gel more than five times. IMS Health, a health care information company, says the marketing of Low T helped propel sales of testosterone gels, patches and such to about $2 billion in the U.S. last year. In 2002, sales were a mere $324 million. I’d take a skeptical pill, but they tell me I’m too tired.

 

Ashby is High T at ashby2@comcst.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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