Sunday, April 17, 2005

Yet more bullshit from the pharma industry

Majikthise reports yet more corruption involving big pharma here. Apparently, a Pennsylvania state official was accepting money from a drug maker and other outside sources. Another fine example of the people who's job is to make sure our medicines are safe taking money from the companies who make our medicines.
I do believe that the FDA needed an overhaul to move more quickly on getting drugs to market, but shit, it would have been nice if the legislature hadn't completely castrated them. Apparently our legislature thought it should be all or nothing. Of course it helped that big pharma helped to overhaul the FDA. The regulations involving an investigators dispensation of reports requires they file it with the drug's sponsor, not with the FDA. The drug sponsor is then supposed to be sent to the FDA but remarkably they don't always seem to get there. Section 21 of the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) explains that the drug sponsors are required to disclose which investigators are the sponsors employees. They also have to disclose which are not but as the investigative bodies are hired by the drug sponsor in effect everyone investigating the safety of new drugs are employed by the sponsor or manufacturer of the drug.

So now more than ever I am depending on the "twigs & roots" approach to medicine. Not only is plant medicine generally more affordable (though a lot of work if you extract, tincture or otherwise prepare yourself) it is also often safer and causes less adverse side effects. In many plants, from which our "modern" pharmaceuticals are derived, there are chemicals other than the desired medicine. Often these chemicals can be instrumental in alleviating negative side effects. There are a number of drugs in fact that come with a companion drug, derived from the same plant that will alieve some side effects of the original drug.

I happen to be blessed with a doctor who is happy to discuss plant options and the ability to make plant meds. I also have researched a lot of the companies that manufacture plant meds and have a good idea what the potency and quality of many on shelf plant meds really are. Most people are not so lucky. Self diagnose and medicating can be very dangerous. Using plant medicines does not mean one should avoid going to the doctor at all, this can be extremely dangerous even fatal in some situations. But it would be good to see more doctors concerned more about their patients than they are with pandering to big pharma.

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