Follow the Money

Following the insidious and pervasive profit motive in the medical system

Mediterranean Diet, Not Statins, reduce all cause mortality

By | August 10th, 2017|First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

World J Cardiol. 2015 Jul 26; 7(7): 404–409. Published online 2015 Jul 26. doi:  10.4330/wjc.v7.i7.404 PMCID: PMC4513492 Cholesterol confusion and statin controversy Robert DuBroff and Michel de Lorgeril This paper highlights something that I don't stress enough.  I understand why people want to take a medication for health issues.  It's easy to do and it's [...]

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Statins’ Side Effects: Doctors get a taste of their own medicine

By | June 6th, 2017|First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

Are Pills the Answer? As some of my patients know, I have reservations about statins.  The side effects are real, and they are over prescribed, in my opinion. This recent study (sorry for the unwieldy abstract) looked at physicians attitudes about statins when they, themselves suffered from the side effects. " Statin AEs [...]

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Cracking Down on Unreported Clinical Trials

By | May 19th, 2017|First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

from statnews.com This is a crucial step in being able to make informed decisions about different medications, procedures and therapies.  Until now, groups were able to bury their negative results and only publish the positive ones.  This is, of course, because not only because of incentives of industry funded trials to find that their product/device [...]

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Hormonal Contraceptives Increase Depression

By | October 6th, 2016|Big Pharma, First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

Kuan Yin Goddess of Compassion Danish study shows that hormonal contraceptives lead to depression in 40% of patients.  This was a study of over one million patients!!  The Mirena IUD increased risk 300%.  This is a huge problem.  I've certainly noticed it anecdotally in patients and personal contacts, but just wow.  That's a [...]

Research Casting Doubt on Acupuncture

By | July 30th, 2016|Acupuncture research, Big Pharma, First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

Through some web searching, I was able to find a copy of this paper that's not behind a subscription firewall. These kinds of papers have been coming out for decades.  It's a safe bet as a journalist to criticize acupuncture, it's a kiss up kick down, comforting the comfortable gambit. There are no heavy hitters [...]

Theranos (I told you so)

By | April 22nd, 2016|First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

I'm actually not gloating.   We discussed Theranos here and here. I don't like what's happening to Elizabeth Holmes and her ambitious company.  She flew too close to the sun, but there were older statesmen (literally) who should have tempered the youthful exuberance, and told her to stay closer to earth.  But she will pay the [...]

Neuromodulation Tremor Device

By | March 1st, 2016|Fitness and Health, Follow the Money|

What a very, very strange coincidence.  After dropping off my rent check yesterday (gratitude abounds for my own private, lovely office) on the fourth floor, and I was looking around and low and behold, the "International Neuromodulation Society."  I've been interested in this field for awhile, since clearly, acupuncture is a sort of neuromodulation.  Has [...]

Indwelling Electrical Stimulation at St36 in Mice

By | February 6th, 2016|Acupuncture research, Autonomic Nervous System, Fitness and Health, Follow the Money, Heart Rate Variability|

Ancient Wisdom Through the Ages This study is by the same group that looked at rectal distension and HRV in dogs.  In this study in rats, the stim at St 36 increased sympathetic, not parasympathetic activity.  So I have an email in to the author to try to get a copy.  Usually a [...]

AMA seeks to ban direct consumer advertising

By | December 8th, 2015|Big Pharma, First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

I think this is a good first step to reign in Big Pharma. "Last year, the pharmaceutical industry spent $4.8 billion pitching its products and messages to Americans, a 17 percent increase from 2013, according to the market research firm Kantar Media." "But the AMA is now seizing on another reason for a ban. The organization [...]

Freakonomics: Starting a Healthcare Revolution

By | December 2nd, 2015|Big Pharma, First Do No Harm: Risks, Fitness and Health, Follow the Money|

From Freakonomics radio. Podcast here. Transcript here. "Brenner: The major imperative for most organizations in health care is to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And money is like fertilizer. And the way you get bigger is getting more money, more market share, more customers. DUBNER: Brenner believes that the practice of medicine has been [...]

Big Pharma Hazards

By | December 2nd, 2015|Big Pharma, First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

Danish Dr. Peter Gotzsche makes his case for the dangers of the pharmaceutical companies. "The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs. This is what makes drugs so different from anything else in life… Virtually everything we know about drugs is what [...]

Probiotics and Acne

By | August 4th, 2015|First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

A case for probiotics for acne. Acne. Small studies from Italy, Russia and Korea have found that probiotics from food or supplements used in conjunction with standard acne treatments may increase the rate of acne clearance, and also helps patients better tolerate acne treatment with antibiotics, Bowe told Live Science. Some probiotic strains found to [...]

More Medical Research Fraud

By | May 26th, 2015|Big Pharma, First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

Who do you trust? Follow the Money. "These days, of course, medical research is not just a scholarly affair. It is also a global, multibillion-dollar business enterprise, powered by the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries. The ethical problem today is not merely that these corporations have plenty of money to grease the wheels of [...]

When Medical Devices Spread Superbugs

By | March 31st, 2015|Big Pharma, First Do No Harm: Risks, Follow the Money|

 Germs that are resistant to antibiotics are cropping up with alarming frequency at American hospitals. A lethal “superbug” known as CRE infected seven patients at the Ronald Reagan U.C.L.A. Medical Center and killed two of them. The germs were apparently transmitted on inadequately sterilized medical scopes. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/23/opinion/when-medical-devices-spread-superbugs.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0