Featured Articles

A Date That Should Live In Infamy

"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." — Thomas Jefferson

by: Christopher C. Barr

Bu$ine$$ as u$ual
This past week Senator John McCain (Arizona Republican) announced a not yet relased bill with Byron Dorgan (North Dakota Democrat) titled 'Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010'.  Though promoted as bipartisan this bill is not good news.

"This bill has as much to do with safety as pigs with space travel," noted a press release from the National Health Federation which has been looking out for consumers and their dietary supplements for more than 50 years.
"Now, this bill would create a Euro-style ‘positive list’ of ‘acceptable’ new dietary ingredients.  And by ‘acceptable,’ the bill means acceptable to an appointed bureaucrat.  This is completely unacceptable," stated Scott Tips, president of the National Health Federation.
Bureaucrats don't bite the hands that feed them and they are very well fed by Big Pharma.  The vast majority of all dietary supplements come from Big Pharma by way of their USP (government sanctioned) man-made, synthesized nutrients.
However, the market share of Big Pharma is being increasingly decreased the past few years by 100 per cent whole food nutrients and herbal products outside the confines of Big Pharma.
FDA bureaucrats promoted as watchdogs for the public against Big Pharma have in practice acted as watchdogs for Big Pharma against the public.
One need look no further than the 7th day of this month for a notable — and deadly — example of this.  That is the 6th anniversary of the sudden death of a young woman with everything going for her.
Tragically, little if any attention has been placed on the virtually anonymous Traci Johnson who was a healthy and happy teenager.  In fact, it is specifically being healthy and happy that brought this Indiana Bible College student volunteer who was a leader of her church youth group to her most untimely death.
Teenaged Traci Johnson died during the final “safety trial” of a new drug seeking FDA market approval.  Testing of the drug on healthy and happy individuals was required before it could be approved for those sickly and unhappy individuals targeted for its use.
Drug company officials immediately noted that they did not believe the drug was related to the young woman's death. The hastiness of the company statement did not sit well with family and friends as well as with others.
“All the pathological reports, the toxicity reports, those things don't come back for weeks. And I am shocked that they have taken such a deliberate defense to distance themselves from any responsibility," said Joel Barnaby, pastor of the church where Traci Johnson served as a youth leader for several years.
“I am troubled to the core of my spirit that Eli Lilly has taken such a defensive posture and been so quick to deny any responsibility," Barnaby said.
Weaving a tangled web
The pharmaceutical company spokesman said the drug being studied was “a treatment for stress, urinary incontinence and depression”.
The final item the spokesman mentioned — depression — was actually the primary purpose for the drug study though it was mentioned last. That at least appears deceptive. Factually speaking the study was for a planned replacement for that company's drug for which their patent was running out. This new drug was projected to take the place of the wildly profitable psychotropic drug Prozac.
The safety trial was the last step before marketing the drug in this year with annual sales then projected – and since met – in the amount of billions of dollars.
The company assured stockholders that this death would not delay release of the drug.
How could they know that?
A half-truth
The company spokesman immediately noted that Traci Johnson's death "took place while she was taking sugar pills". That makes it sound like her death had nothing to do with the drug as perhaps a part of the placebo group in the study.
The company spokesman did not reveal the whole truth. A primary purpose of the drug trial was to test reactions when the drug is stopped. Traci Johnson was given six times the normal dosage of the drug and then quickly weaned off that exceedingly high level over only four days.
On the third day off the overdose level of the drug, Traci Johnson, a previously happy Bible college student, hung herself leaving no note. This was right within the period of time that reactions are most expected. Traci "was taking sugar pills" at that time to check for withdrawal reactions. Is hanging oneself without a suicide note or even so much as a mention a normal occurrence?
The company spokesman told a half-truth, and half of a truth is a whole lie.
Turning a blind eye?
Slightly more than six months later the FDA announced that the drug, named Cymbalta, could not be linked to the suicide of Traci Johnson and granted approval to the drug for immediate marketing.
The FDA declined (or refused) to release written documentation of its investigation.
Cymbalta is yet another of the multi-billion dollar drugs in the Eli Lilly stable highly profitable drugs.
SINbalta may be a more appropriate name for that variety of this drug.
WElie Really may be a more appropriate name for the company grimly reaping blood money at the expense – both financially and otherwise – of countless numbers of untold people.
The giant New York Times (NYT) is credited with breaking the news on teenaged suicide links to antidepressants even though their story came out several days after this column wrote on the same matter.  However, there was no mention of the Traci Johnson portion of the story in the NYT piece.
Sometime later the NYT even lauded Eli Lilly for forthrightness regarding study details on antidepressant clinical trials.  Yet Traci Johnson  and others are not included in those “details”.
It bears repeating over and over and over again that the unholy trinity of BIG Government, BIG Pharma and BIG Media continue to act together as one for their own vested interests without regard for the very best interests of you and yours.
Mourn, America, for Traci Johnson, and for the vast majority of Americans deluded in a pharmaceutical gulag of phantasy rather than being firmly based in reality.

Leave a Reply