The opioid crisis and the devastation caused by the pharma industry

Drug Dealers in Lab Coats

“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.

Abstracts

… “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.”…

Put Down that Chicken Sandwich!

Animal Cruelty or the Price of Dinner?

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!

Related posts

Caitlyn Jenner meets Some of her Critics

Caitlyn Jenner goes to High School, May 2016

Video published on 5 May 2016 by KASH channel.

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.

More information

Risks to babies and mothers associated with everyday exposure to toxic chemicals

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics opinion on reproductive health impacts of exposure to toxic environmental chemicals

figo image
Two European health and environment groups strongly welcome the statement released by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) addressing the risks to babies and mothers associated with everyday exposure to toxic chemicals.

Abstract

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.

Pharma industry pushing for a First Amendment right to market its drugs for off-label uses

Drugs, Greed and a Dead Boy

drugs-and-marketing image
The recent court decisions could erode the F.D.A. approval process — put in place to protect the public — and threaten public health and patient safety,” warns Dr. Margaret Hamburg, until recently the Food and Drug Administration’s commissioner.

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.

Read Drugs, Greed and a Dead Boy and When Crime Pays: J&J’s Drug Risperdal, on NYtimes, by Nicholas D. Kristof.

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.

How poultry firms systematically feed antibiotics to flocks

Pervasive use fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs

Chicken factory farmer speaks out
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. ”

continue reading Reuters Investigation Farmaceuticals, The drugs fed to farm animals and the risks posed to humans, includes:

  • Pervasive use fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs
  • FDA has reviewed just 7 percent of animal antibiotics for superbug risk
  • Problems at Foster Farms plants emerged amid salmonella outbreak, documents show
More press releases
  • Abusing Chickens We Eat,
    nytimes, Nicholas D. Kristof, DEC. 3, 2014
  • Watch What It’s Like to Be a Factory-Farmed Chicken,
    motherjones, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Perdue Whistleblower Video Reveals Horrors,
    opednews, Martha Rosenberg, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Hoping to Change the Industry, a Factory Farmer Opens His Barn Doors, wired, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Better Chicken Initiative, CWIF.

Endocrine Disruptors permanent effect on Obesity through at least three Generations

Warnings From a Flabby Mouse

Warnings From a Flabby Mouse
Estrogens like DES permanently disrupt the hormonal mechanisms regulating body weight

A new study found that endocrine disruptors cause mice to grow obese and suffer liver disease through at least three generations.

This confirms the 2005 NIEHS Study where DES appears to permanently disrupt the hormonal mechanisms regulating body weight in mice – (see Elizabeth Grossman’s “Chemicals May Play Role in Rise in Obesity“).
The common thread is that the most important time for exposure appears to be in utero and in childhood. Should doctors do more to warn pregnant women about certain chemicals?

Read Warnings From a Flabby Mouse, by Nicholas D. Kristof
The NewYorkTimes, January 2013

Sources:

  • Transgenerational Inheritance of Increased Fat Depot Size, Stem Cell Reprogramming, and Hepatic Steatosis Elicited by Prenatal Exposure to the Obesogen Tributyltin in Mice,
    EHP1205701, January 2013.
  • Developmental exposure to estrogenic compounds and obesity,
    NIEHS Symposium Proceedings, 10.1002/bdra.20147, June 2005.
DES and Obesity

Endocrine disruptors are everywhere…

How Chemicals affect us…

Researchers warn that endocrine disruptors can trigger hormonal changes in the body that may not show up for decades.

How Chemicals Affect Us by Nicholas Kristof

Scientists are observing with increasing alarm that some very common hormone-mimicking chemicals can have grotesque effects.

Great article! DES was not banned though as mentioned in the article … I wish it had been banned …
Read How Chemicals Affect Us by Nicholas Kristof, MAY 2, 2012.