Democracy in Adversity

This post stands in stark contrast to EU-nuch in the Humira-m.

There could not be a greater contrast between the way companies now sell drugs globally and the way they attempt to restrict the reporting of adverse events. The infographic below from Kayla brings out the point.

Sales are now global. AbbVie’s plans for Humira and the plans other companies have for their Biologicals will now include the middle classes of Africa, India and China in a way they would not have done only a few years ago. It is this that will make Humira the biggest selling drug of all time.

Adverse event reporting needs to be global also.

Better Die than Offend

In addition to company efforts to sabotage adverse event reporting, they can avail of another factor to hide problems. Adverse event reporting did not happen in the West before Thalidomide and the 1960s. Thalidomide and Western democracy almost go hand in hand in this sense.

In the 1960s people got out on the street and tore down the hierarchies that had separated us – women demanded they be seen in their own right, the young refused to bow to the wisdom of their elders, a range of ethnic groups challenged notions of ethnic supremacy. The disabled, none more than the Thalidomiders, demanded to be seen and heard on an equal footing with the able-bodied. All of this is necessary to adverse event reporting.

In hierarchical societies, decent people smile sweetly and talk ingratiatingly to those higher up the hierarchy but can be bullies to those just below them. Status is everything. This was commonplace in the West until quite recently in a way that would seem unimaginable to most people now.

The problem with status is that you cannot have an adverse event to something given to you as a gift from someone higher in the hierarchy. Better die than offend.

We need to spread Democracy

For this reason, adverse event reporting will be very slow to take off in Africa, or India – at least among an older generation. Good adverse event reporting is likely one of the best indicators there is of genuine democracy – a state where everyone feels they have a stake in or can contest the reality in which they live. Fostering adverse event reporting is a way to foster democracy.

While Western societies are less hierarchical than they once were, there is always the risk of slipping back into Fascism. The push to democracy in healthcare that began in the 1960s is now under siege. We are ruled by Brand Fascists - whose central goal is to deny adverse events.

One of the big problems this brings is that our New Rulers have co-opted many well-meaning doctors to their purposes. Doctors have a new Status as scientists. They are deafened by the trumpet of controlled trials and cannot hear the quiet voices of their patients. We need to spread Democracy.







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  1. The problem with status is that you cannot have an adverse event to something given to you as a gift from someone higher in the hierarchy. Better die than offend.

    They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

    A film about assisted suicide.

    *Multiple* assisted suicide, is a phenomenon relating to ssris and the difficult situation of assessing where the blame lies when an individual needlessly goes through an ssri induced suicidal situation, or worse.

    They ALL Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

    That sick feeling that cuckolded people *with status* are in control of your destiny.

    Who is in the shark fin soup? Hint – it starts with W.

    Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance
    Confucius, The Analects

    Why were words such as suicide and killing bandied about as if they were normal everyday functions of an everyday woman for six months after a woman was left traumatised, stigmatised and bullied and left for dead….by a prescription drug. Why?

    I know why, do you know why? Bongo Bongo…..

  2. Thanks for this chart. It’s the most depraved thing I have seen all week. Especially its approach to the people of Africa, who are 15% of humanity but have 24% of the burden of disease.

    Most of that burden is in the form of diseases we have known how to cure for seventy or eighty years at least: diarrheal infections in kids, childbirth infections in women, etc. Much of it could be cured by giving people access to clean drinking water, food, mosquito control, condoms, basic antibiotics. But that’s obviously not the “burden” global Pharma wants to make money on.

    Their priorities are obvious from looking at their “top ten cities”, five of which are in South Africa – Africa’s richest state with its only big concentration of white folks. Pretoria with 1.4 million people is a “bigger” town than Lagos with over 8 million it seems. Luanda and Khartoum, Accra and Dar es Salaam with over four million people each? Kinshasa, with close to ten million? They don’t even exist on this perverse “map” which registers only dollar demand.

    It falls to international charities (and a few governments like Cuba) to fund research on devastating tropical diseases like malaria or river blindness. Global pharma can’t be bothered. Given that indifference it’s kind of chilling to imagine them pushing their very pricey and very dicey biologic medicines for arthritis, psoriasis, etc., which suppress the immune system. Do they have the slightest idea how to safely use these agents in a tropical country full of bacteria, etc. they’ve never studied? Do they even care? I doubt it.

  3. I would like to thank the good doctor for not only his bravery, but his obvious rightios heart. Another man to stand up for the truth. We need more men like you sir. Ive been though hell, had to learn medicine, for we have people pheshcibing meds they dont understand..nor do they have responsibility/ Thank you.

  4. the young refused to bow to the wisdom of their elders,
    re adverse event reporting: The young are still bowing to the wisdom of their elders in the GPs surgeries around Ireland and no doubt elsewhere in the developed world.
    When a 16yr old presents at the surgery in a distressed state- call it teenage angst, exam worries, bullying, low self esteem, family difficulties and the GP sets up 6-7 counselling sessions that do not address the problems of life in this Facebook age, what next? A diagnosis of Depression followed by a prescription for an SSRI. Problem solved? Yes and No. The teenager and her mother trust their family GP. The teenager follows the instructions hoping it will all go away and she will be her happy old self again. There is no discussion and no checking for adverse events by the GP, her job appears to consist of writing prescriptions. After 3 years medication with two withdrawal attempts of (1) stopping dead, (2)1 day on and 1 day off over a short period, something breaks. A verdict follows of death by ligature. GP SAYS ITS NOT THE MEDICATION IT’S THE DEPRESSION. The hierarchy is still alive and well and won’t/cant be questioned or held responsible. Why?

  5. Ah, well, they will be held responsible at some point in the future, Chris.

    Once, all the pharmas are sued, once, it is evident that pharma pulled a fast one, once, people realise that drugs are not the answer, once, talking therapy exists in prime time, not, no time.

    I learnt a new word today. Iatrogenic.

    adjective Referring to a physical or mental condition caused by a physician or health care provider–eg, iatrogenic disease, due to exposure to pathogens, toxins or injurious treatment or procedures

    McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

    I don’t know about you, but my intentions are to:

    a) Question the NHS Policy Procedure re my psychiatrist not warning me about Seroxat and ‘abrupt discontinuation symptoms’ and a wee talk about litigation.
    b) Advise them that their response will be added to my report to the SFO
    c)Advise them that my surgery commited fraud, but that is no excuse.
    d)Gently put the frighteners on, in a detached, factual, evidence based way and let them run around, like they made me run around.

    I am not sitting here doing nothing, while the world of drugs explodes around me. I exploded; it’s my turn now.

    Think about it………do something……

  6. We may be less hierarchical now, but we are still very lazy and silly.
    We need to remind ourselves, we are not sheep.
    Sadly, when we are around doctors and research scientists, we seem to behave like sheep.
    David is right to warn of the dangers of hierarchical society and our default responses to those who dish out the drugs, advice etc
    We need to take the management of our health and well-being seriously and into our own hands, that is – if we’re lucky enough to have hands (we thalidomiders don’t tend to have much in the way of hands thanks to Grunenthal’s thalidomide!).
    We need to question how the whole system works, and insist on scientists and doctors taking proper ethical responsibility right across the board – not just on adverse event reporting, but they need to reconsider their apparent acceptance of the insidious influence of pharma’s many and varied ‘tentacles’ – advertising/promotion of pharmaceutical solutions in all their journals etc, funding relationships, sponsorships of individuals and events. And so on.
    Our medical establishment in the UK has a fundamentally unhealthy relationship with pharma, if they can’t see that, and we don’t insist that it gets improved – god help us, and those in Africa, India, South America are going to suffer on a scale unimaginable.
    Its not just AbbVie going global – Grunenthal, the company who developed and made thalidomide are at it too. Oh, and sadly – thalidomide is still being used and out of control in Brazil, Africa and India – everyone is in denial about it, as evidenced by various loopy ‘denial’ pieces in papers and the scientific press recently, written by the drug’s apologists (and guess who they’ve been funded by etc).
    Pictures of limbless thalidomide children in Brazil are shown on national TV as the Brazilian doctor talks about the ‘ghosts’ and myths around thalidomide being in the past, and nobody does anything.
    We are not sheep.
    Oh yes we are.

  7. Thanks Annie. I do do something as often as possible but your response has given me more to work with. Hopefully somewhere in the future those made to suffer for Pharmaceutical gain will no longer be ignored. If the hierarchy of the Catholic Church could be forced to be accountable so will GPs, Psychiatrists and the Pharmaceutical Companies.

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