Globalization is not a word that’s in favor at the moment. In the face of this very recent economic development that seemed to be sweeping the board in the 1980s and 1990s, we now want to reassert national boundaries, hang onto “our” jobs, and keep out others – sometimes those who have done a great deal to create our prosperity in the first place.
This is understandable. There is another side to globalization as this map of over 300 PSSD, PFS and PRSD cases reported to RxISK shows. Enduring sexual dysfunctions following treatment are a global problem – Korea and Iran and the USA are in the same boat. See the Table below for a detailed breakout of countries.
The same is true for all drug wrecks (significant adverse events). What’s a drug wreck? Companies are happy to talk about side effects and adverse effects which sound minor and relatively innocuous. They are less keen to talk about Drug Wrecks – now the greatest source of death and disability on the planet – as well as events that isolate the person whose life is wrecked as much as Crusoe’s shipwreck isolated him.
Drug Wrecks are not problems arriving on our shores in boatloads. These are torpedoes being launched at America’s Cup yachts along with all boats under any flag and none. These are landmines being exported from the West to everywhere else.
The plague millennium
Health has been global for over a millennium, with disorders like the plague, and syphilis following trade routes and conquests – as both the Aztecs and the Spanish found out to their cost.
The increasing amount of contact between peoples meant this globalization picked up pace in the last two centuries first with Cholera, and Consumption (later called Tuberculosis) and then with Influenza and more recently with AIDS, SARS and the looming specter of multidrug resistant infections – especially tuberculosis. These plague are generally seen by the West as coming from unclean places “out there” to infect “us”, leading us to retreat into gated and vaccinated “communities”.
From the nineteenth century an increasing number of diseases linked to industrialization began to spread out from the West to infect others. These were linked to factories, pollution with lead, mercury and arsenic, followed later by tobacco, vinyl chloride and dioxin poisoning.
With Infective Plagues, people, politicians and doctors worked together – with the help of business. Infections were good for business. All sorts of people like plumbers installing hygienic toilets, fridge and other gadgets makers, as well as the makers of disinfectants, scientific laboratories and ultimate pharmaceutical companies stood to gain from working together. And the “final” result was like the movie Independence Day – Earth won – temporarily anyway.
With the new corporate diseases, things were different. People, doctors and scientists were up against businesses who could manufacture their own research and sow doubt, as well as intimidate, sue, and exert pressure on politicians by moving jobs elsewhere. The in movie was the Insider.
Still, there was a strong inclination to believe chemicals aren’t that good for us, and when the same disorders pop up all over the world close to the same kinds of factories, there is something of a clue, and finally doctors don’t make a living out of prescribing Marlboros and PVCs. Still it took fifty years and a bunch of Californian consumers to get to grips with the greatest corporate killer – until recently – tobacco.
The new consumption
In addition we now have a new set of diseases from hypercholesterolemia, osteoporosis and osteopenia, as well as depression, ADHD etc – conditions that measuring instruments create. If your peak flow is below this you have asthma even if you feel fine. If you’re young and male and aren’t permanently erect, you have erectile dysfunction. If you check so many boxes on a checklist you have a depression, ADHD or bipolar disorder you never new about but Good News – we have pills for that.
When the disease is real, little marketing is needed to get the product to the consumer. These new disorders are vehicles created to bring consumers to the product and need a huge marketing effort to scare people and their doctors and politicians into submission.
This marketing was in full swing by 1980, when AIDS crashed the party, confronting us with something both real and Biblical – caused by a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The 1980s also so the emergence of a Clinical Immunodeficiency Virus (CIV), now the greatest source of death and disability on the planet.
CIV attacks clinical medicine’s immune system through ghostwritten articles, and lack of access to clinical trial data, along with intimidation of journals and doctors and anyone who mentions anything to do with any harms a drug can cause. Did someone mention harms – we don’t talk about harms here.
All medicines are combinations of chemicals and information. The chemicals are inherently dangerous. The information is supposed to reduce the risks. But the greatest hazard now lies in the information which for all on patent drugs is now essentially fraudulent.
Some Drug Wrecks are unavoidable but with a weakened clinical immune system Drug Wrecks have become the greatest source of death and disability on the planet.
Over a decade ago one of the greatest medical triumphs ever was the Access to Medicines campaign that brought treatments for HIV within reach of everyone – globally. We now need a new Access to Medicines campaign to reverse the effects of CIV.
The problems are immense. Doctors earn a living out of these viruses. The viruses caused cravings – everyone wants more just the way children in the 1850s wanted the brightly colored sweets in London, colored with lead and mercury, that killed them and led to the first Food and Drugs Act. We think the viruses are a treatment for the conditions we have, not realizing for the most part that we don’t have a condition in the first place.
And its no longer a case of pitting our research against company research – our research is run by companies who take our data and hide it and tell us none of us were injured in “their” trials. And after the trials are over, if we report conditions like PSSD, our reports get dumped into shredders labeled anecdote or hearsay.
When it comes to these disorders the BMJ, Lancet, NEJM, JAMA and all “our” journals line up on the company side. They want the ghostwritten accounts of clinical trials where no-one not even the ghostwriter has access to the data rather than an account of any harms caused by a treatment. They are scared silly about being put out of business were they to publish anything significant about the single greatest cause of death facing us at the moment.
Where have all the doctors gone?
PSSD, PFS and PRSD map onto Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) in that they often appear after the treatment stops and can last for decades. The contrast in the way to two groups of disorders are being handled is instructive. In 1960, when TD was reported there was still discussion of harms in medical journals and at medical meetings. Now…
- 1954 – General Launch of Chlorpromazine
- 1960 – First English description of TD in major journal
- 1966 – Major International Clinical Symposia feature TD
- 1968 – American Journal of Psychiatry has an issue devoted to all points of view on TD
- 1973 – FDA Task Force on TD
- 1974 – First legal settlements for TD
- 1982/97 – Launch of SSRIs, Accutane & Finasteride
- 2006 – First publication of PSSD in obscure journal
- 2011 – First publication of PFS in obscure journal
- 2014 – First publication of PRSD in obscure journal
- Major Journal?
- Major Clinical Meetings?
- Task Force?
In the case of TD, there were comparatively few patients and they were hidden away. They and their families had little political clout, and there was almost no media interest in health. While worried about compromising a much more important treatment than the SSRIs, Accutane or Finasteride, and in the face of some clinical blowback, the recognition of what was happening was driven by doctors concerned about patients.
Where are the doctors now that we have problems facing vastly more people, who are not hidden away, who are often teenagers at risk of having their lives destroyed, when health has become the second commonest feature in the media and on the web – after sex?
This is a great indication of how much the CIV virus has weakened clinical medicine.
And where are…
The updated metrics on the RxISK Prize page show we have donations from 13 countries.
Most of Europe is missing – where is France and Italy, Poland and Hungary and Russia.
Korea is at present the only Asian representative. South America is not yet on the Map.
Within the US, we have 14 States – where are the other 36? All bar Oregon lag behind Canada and Oregon is only ahead of Canada on a technicality.
Spreading the word…
Remains more important that raising money. With this in mind, we would like your thoughts on other Donate options. Would up take up the following options to donate or can you suggest others:
- Contact another person
- Contact ten others
- Contact twenty others
- Contact a doctor or pharmacist
- Contact ten doctors or pharmacists
- Contact a journalist
- Contact five journalists
The global PSSD, PFS and PRSD map
Country,Number of Reports