“The other day I was invited to a gala celebrating a leader of the pharmaceutical industry as a moral leader. I nearly threw up. That’s because the pharma industry bears huge responsibility for the opioid crisis that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.”
Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times.
… “One reason our efforts have failed is we ignored the biggest drug pushers of all: American pharmaceutical companies. Our policy was: You get 15 people hooked on opioids, and you’re a thug who deserves to rot in hell; you get 150,000 people hooked, and you’re a marketing genius who deserves a huge bonus.” …
… “Today, 75 percent of people with opioid addictions began with prescription painkillers. The slide starts not on a street corner, but in a doctor’s office.”…
…”Our pattern of opioid addiction points to a tragedy, driven by the greed of some of America’s leading companies and business executives, systematically manipulating doctors and patients and killing people on a scale that terrorists could never dream of.”…
Read ‘Drug Dealers in Lab Coats’, nytimes, OCT. 18, 2017.
If you’re reading this post while munching on a chicken strip or chicken sandwich, a word of advice: put the chicken down. Now. Nicholas D. Kristof‘s column is about what actually goes on in the chicken barns and the way the industry is bad for chickens, for the farmers and for consumers.
When even chicken farmers say that the system has failed, it’s time for consumers to use their buying power to push for food that causes less harm to everyone.
Read Animal Cruelty or the Price of Dinner?, nytimes, APRIL 16, 2016!
The reality star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner, who has been denounced for her politics by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, visited a high school in Brooklyn with Nicholas Kristof to meet some of her critics.
One national study found that 41 percent of trans people surveyed had attempted suicide, 57 percent had experienced family rejection and almost one-fifth had endured homelessness.
Caitlyn Jenner Goes to School, NY Times, MAY 5, 2016.
From Caitlyn Jenner to a Brooklyn High School, NY Times, JUNE 11, 2015.
International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics opinion on reproductive health impacts of exposure to toxic environmental chemicals
Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals during pregnancy and breastfeeding is ubiquitous and is a threat to healthy human reproduction. There are tens of thousands of chemicals in global commerce, and even small exposures to toxic chemicals during pregnancy can trigger adverse health consequences. Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and related health outcomes are inequitably distributed within and between countries; universally, the consequences of exposure are disproportionately borne by people with low incomes. Discrimination, other social factors, economic factors, and occupation impact risk of exposure and harm. Documented links between prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals and adverse health outcomes span the life course and include impacts on fertility and pregnancy, neurodevelopment, and cancer. The global health and economic burden related to toxic environmental chemicals is in excess of millions of deaths and billions of dollars every year. On the basis of accumulating robust evidence of exposures and adverse health impacts related to toxic environmental chemicals, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) joins other leading reproductive health professional societies in calling for timely action to prevent harm. FIGO recommends that reproductive and other health professionals advocate for policies to prevent exposure to toxic environmental chemicals, work to ensure a healthy food system for all, make environmental health part of health care, and champion environmental justice.
Sources and more information
Contaminating Our Bodies With Everyday Products, nytimes, NOV. 28, 2015.
International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics opinion on reproductive health impacts of exposure to toxic environmental chemicals, sciencedirect, doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2015.09.002, 1 October 2015.
Global Obstetrics and Gynaecology group warn of harm to babies from toxic chemicals in consumer products, HEAL, 1 October 2015.
Children with emotional or mental disorders have become a gold mine for the drug industry. Psychiatric medicines for children account for billions of dollars in sales annually, and the market has boomed.
And now the industry is getting even greedier. It is pushing for a First Amendment right to market its drugs for off-label uses… …pharmaceutical executives see it as a tool to market drugs for unapproved uses.
In a recent column, I recounted how Johnson & Johnson deceptively marketed an antipsychotic medicine called Risperdal, concealing for example the fact that it can cause boys to grow large, pendulous breasts (one boy developed a 46DD bust). J&J got caught, pleaded guilty and paid more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements — but also registered $30 billion in Risperdal sales. The executive who oversaw this illegal marketing effort was Alex Gorsky, who then was promoted to chief executive of J&J. If you’re a pharmaceutical company, crime sometimes pays.
See study National Trends in the Office-Based Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults With Antipsychotics, Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69(12):1247-1256. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2012.647, JAMA Dec 2012.
See Embracing 21st Century Information Sharing: Defining a New Paradigm for the FDA and Communications with Health Care Professionals, Food and Drug Law Journal, 2015.
Pervasive use fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs
” Major U.S. poultry firms are administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to human health.
Internal records examined by Reuters reveal that some of the nation’s largest poultry producers routinely feed chickens an array of antibiotics – not just when sickness strikes, but as a standard practice over most of the birds’ lives.
In every instance of antibiotic use identified by Reuters, the doses were at the low levels that scientists say are especially conducive to the growth of so-called superbugs, bacteria that gain resistance to conventional medicines used to treat people. Some of the antibiotics belong to categories considered medically important to humans. ”