Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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September 03, 2003

Pharma profits do not equal health - Berkely Prof advocates alternative

As reported in BBC News today, Nobel-prize winner and Berkely Prof Sydney Brenner, an expert on molecular biology, said people should be told to look after their health instead of expecting science to "come to their rescue with a pill".

"There are two kinds of health care. There's taking care of the health of the public and there's taking care of the financial health of the drug companies," added Brenner.

Of course regular readers of my site know that I have been saying much the same things for some months now. Also others, most notably Dr. Mathias Rath of the Netherlands, have called attention to the "pharmaceutical business with disease" and demanded changes in the attitude of public health authorities.

But it is good to see that we are not alone in this quest. Maybe government officials are more inclined to listen to the words of a Nobel-prize winning academic. It would be good to see serious discussion on how to spend public health funds and what we actually get for them.

BBC News Tuesday, 2 September, 2003

Research bill hits public health

A Noble-prize winner has said people should be told to look after their health instead of expecting science to "come to their rescue with a pill".

Professor Sydney Brenner, said more money should be invested in health education than in designing genetically tailored drugs.

He said focussing on healthy living messages would save lives.

The molecular biology expert said only drug companies benefited from the current emphasis on medical research.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Everything is being driven into the support of the pharmaceutical industry.

"There are two kinds of health care. There's taking care of the health of the public and there's taking care of the financial health of the drug companies.

"You hear all these things about the human genome or personalised medicine and newer and safer drugs.

"Maybe what we ought to think about is maybe there is a new public health to be created. Maybe we should start to think of other ways of doing it."

'Saving lives'

Professor Brenner, of the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California, added: "Today everybody does what they like with their bodies and at the end of the day they think the drug companies or medical science will come to their rescue with a pill. That's the standard assumption.

"What we may need is a new appraisal of the relationship of all these things."

He said the growth in obesity in Europe and America was an example of how people looked to science for an answer instead of looking at how their lifestyle might affect their weight.

"Of course all the drug companies are working hard on a pill, but effectively the obesity is self-induced."

He said people were increasingly eating badly and not exercising enough, but Professor Brenner added: "That's treatable by health education, by measures like that - this is government spending which would actually save more lives than anything else."

"Nobody is lobbying for it and that is why I think somebody right at the top has to sit down and say this is going to be national policy."

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posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Wednesday September 3 2003
updated on Thursday December 2 2010

URL of this article:


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Pharmaceutical manufacturers cannot promote the use of drugs for other uses than those approved for the label, however it has become normal practice to dishonestly slant the reporting of scientific studies to suggest such unapproved use of drugs or to hype the supposed benefits of certain medicines, while hiding their adverse effects. GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of the antidepressant Paxil, released on its company Web site the reports of clinical tests... [read more]
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According to the ARHP - Alliance for Human Research Protection, Merck knew about vaccine damage but did little or nothing to either alert the public or change vaccine formulation for years. The information comes from a leaked memo written in 1991, referred to by the Los Angeles Times in an article on 8 February. The memo, written by a former Merck scientist calculated that 6-month-old children who received their shots... [read more]
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Pharma giants Abbot and Wyeth have been named defendants to face a potentially ruinous claim by the courts of California for what has been described as a "fraudulent and illegal scheme, defendants and their customers have reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits at the expense of the State of California and directly contributed to Med-Cal's soaring cost of providing prescription drugs for the State's needy...." One of... [read more]
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Pharma Financing Front Groups: Political Lobby
Drug companies have been known to spend millions of dollars to influence Congress and government, but recently, a new twist has been added to the story. Public Citizen says that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has quietly given $ 41 million to "stealth PACs" in 2002 and failed to mention most of it to the IRS. The pharma-funded groups, which have innocent sounding names, such as 60... [read more]
September 30, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Government advisers linked to pharma interests
It has always been somewhat of a mystery how those in government who just know they have to protect us from the supposed dangers of supplements have come to be so certain of their views. If they looked at the actual statistical evidence, there should be no question where some urgent protecting needs to be done. A recent article published by The Observer, gives clues to the resolution of the... [read more]
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Pharma: Tame Watchdogs Not Protecting Public Health
In a recent article, The Guardian has exposed the unhealthy relationship between Big Pharma and the UK "watchdog", the MHRA or Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which appears to be a pharma-controlled promotional agency, rather than a provider of checks and balances on the work of this incredibly profitable industry. The "revolving door syndrome" which Professor Abraham sees in the UK, closely parallels the analogous situation in the US,... [read more]
October 07, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger




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