Writing Pharmageddon in 2008 – 4 years before it was published, I described the effects of a virus which is destroying medicine – a clinical immuno-deficiency virus.
In this domain there is another factor not found with tobacco or industrial chemicals that isolates doctors who attempt to bring the hazards of a drug to light. The problem is that the medical body has now been infected with a clinical immuno-deficiency virus (CIV). The infection enters in the drip feed of science. With industrial chemicals, the best studies systematically point to hazards where they exist, with a number of inferior, often company-sponsored “pseudo-studies” vigorously promoted to create doubt. But with pharmaceuticals, often the only studies are those of the drug companies themselves, and these studies, as one might expect, all seem to point to the benefits of an ongoing use of the very chemicals that may in fact be causing the problem.
If the free market worked properly, given the amount of chemicals being pumped into patients in medicine, doctors eager for their 15 minutes of fame should be hovering above their patients ready to write articles on any signs of problems stemming from treatment. But instead the literature on treatment-induced hazards is drying up, even though there are estimates that medical treatment is now one of the leading causes of death in hospitals. Instead there is a growing silence, and the censorship that brings about this silence is all but invisible.
Earlier in the book it had been made clear that pretty well the entire literature on current pharmaceuticals is ghostwritten and there is close to a total lack of access to trial data.
So I was very interested to find Emily Maitlis on BBC’s flagship news program Newsnight on September 19 talk about a healthcare virus.
Emily Maitlis: Hello good evening. It’s been 20 years since the discredited and mendacious doctor Andrew Wakefield published findings in the Lancet that sought to link the vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella with autism. The data had in fact been fabricated. The Lancet published a retraction. Wakefield himself had his licence to practice medicine in the UK revoked. The story should end there. But it doesn’t. The shadow he cast was long and dangerous.
An immediate drop in vaccinations did recover but now 2 decades on the take up of the MMR jab has fallen for the 4th year in a row. Experts say the impact is already playing out – 876 cases of measles confirmed in England this year, 3 times the number for the whole of last here. And an increasing scepticism towards vaccinations for other diseases that can be life changing or even fatal.
Tonight, we are not going to rehash the debate about autism and MMR, we are going to ask why the anti-vaxers as they are known across the pond seem to be regaining the upper hand in telling us when facts can simply be dismissed. Have we had enough of experts or do we genuinely believe science is now up for debate. Here’s David Grossman.
DG – David Grossman, BD – Brian Deer
DG: This is the story of a virus and how it spread round the world infecting countless millions. This is not though a biological virus but an idea that is now blamed by some doctors for the deaths and illness in children on every continent.
BD: You get these messages rippling through society, completely unmediated by the traditional gate keeper the TV producer or the newspaper journalist and these messages are now out of control.
(video clip- ‘Thousand cue for vaccination as a small outbreak of small pox hits Brighton.)
DG: Vaccines have been one of humanity’s success stories. Smallpox was wiped out after 2 centuries of diligent vaccination started by English doctor Edward Jenner.
Even in Jenner’s day there was huge resistance to his ideas. People were naturally repulsed with the thought of injecting themselves with a disease supposedly to inoculate them against something else. Our instinct to protect ourselves and our children is after all highly evolved and yet we’ve flattered ourselves as a species that we’ve overcome this irrational fear. The latest statistics though tell a different story.
Coverage for the MMR vaccine for children reaching their 2nd birthday fell to 91.2%, the 4th consecutive year that MMR coverage has decreased. The WHO recommends that coverage is at least 95%. But England wide MMR coverage for children reaching their 5th birthday has now fallen to 94.9%. It is another English doctor now former doctor Andrew Wakefield who is blamed for the fall. He was struck off the medical register for research that the GMC called dishonest in its methods. He falsely connected the MMR vaccine with autism in children. No matter that every study since has shown no such link the virus was released and spread. Journalist Brian Deer uncovered the Wakefield fraud but nothing it seems can kill off its impact.
BD: I think it’s down to individual identity of people for whom it’s important to believe they are smarter than doctors. So you see big clusters of unvaccinated children in Northern California close to San Francisco where you have immensely prosperous, highly educated community who simply believe they are cleverer. It is also an area where people are much more into new age thinking.
DG: So medical research becomes a matter of opinion. Everyone gets to have their own take.
American Woman: I did a lot of research and ultimately made the decision that the risk factors of getting the vaccination outweighed the risk factors of the measles outbreak.
DG: So what can governments do? Well given that people are going to search the internet for facts. Brian Deer says the authorities need to build easily discoverable websites where the truth can be found and shared.
BD: I think the government needs to play and public health generally needs to play a rather cleverer game than the one they’re playing at the moment – respecting parents to be capable to be doing their own research. If you talk to the public health doctors they are a bit of a one trick pony really. They do measles scare and after a while I think that constant sort of drum beat begins to wear off in itself.
DG: But this isn’t just a rich nation problem. In India vaccination rates are down. Video scare stories spread by WhatsApp have infected the population.
Indian Man: I am scared after seeing this video that if my children take this vaccine they won’t be able to reproduce when they grow up.
DG: It’s clear then that medical science doesn’t have to counter just one type of virus. There are those that affect our bodies and those that affect our minds.
Is Emily Infected?
Everyone seemingly agrees there is only a small pocket of people, around Silicon Valley mostly, affected with this horrific Anti-Vax virus – oh the schadenfreude if they all died of measles. Nearly 100% of the rest of the population still gets vaccinated.
But pretty well 100% of the medical population world-wide who use any pharmaceuticals brought on the market since 1990, whether on-patent or now off-patent have a CIV and actively give us Clinical Acquired Immune Deficiency Disorder every time we meet them.
Ironically – but not mentioned by Emily – one of the biggest factors in vaccine hesitancy has to be the stubborn refusal of these same medics to get their Flu shots. And come to think of it they are pretty slow to take many of the drugs they all but force on us from statins to the latest MAB.
But why do I think Emily has caught my virus? Well because the BBC are completely unwilling to go anywhere near addressing the role of CIV infections – even with life expectancy now falling in the UK, the US and other developed countries.
The Right leaning media (Mail-Fox) are more likely to run with details of CIV infections than middle ground (BBC-PBS) or Left leaning outlets (Guardian-New York Times). Why? They seem less likely to believe the global climate is changing dangerously but more likely to believe the healthcare climate is changing for the worse. As it stands, the changing healthcare climate is likely to kill more of us off sooner than global climate change.
To be continued with an example of how the BBC responds when the issue is raised…