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Protecting The Monopoly of Pharmaceutical Drugs

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We are nice

Posted by gimpygimpy on 17/02/2010

It’s quite tough being little moi, at the forefront of the battle against those crazy homeopaths. Having run out of real things to say it’s getting harder to come up with good stuff against those weirdos and I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel. Still, good thing I’m anon (or at least I hope I still am), cause the amount of people’s copyright material, baseless facts and slander I’ve had to use on mon blog lately could put me in hot soup (hope that would be French onion!)

You see, I’m really a nice guy! It’s just that those homeopaths keep attacking us. And what have we done to them? Nothing! We were just sitting here minding our Latte’s when out of the blue they launched a hate campaign against us. They are vicious and hate filled conspiracy theorists. They even targeted Evan Harris MP, and a nicer more neutral guy you could not find. I’m so nice I was going to leave them alone but then they had to go and defend themselves against our 10:23 campaign. Can you believe that! Why can’t they just shut up and die quietly?

But what CAN I say when homeopaths go out to help in Haiti. Difficult to complain about that really. Placebo? False hopes? Hmmm… I just don’t think that would cut the mustard. So I just rehashed the same old no evidence stuff, but on a week that a trial like this comes out its a bit difficult, n’est-ce pas? And from no less than the Department of Molecular Pathology, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. I mean those are serious dudes. Pa!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20043074

Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells. The use of ultra-diluted natural products in the management of disease and treatment of cancer has generated a lot of interest and controversy. We conducted an in vitro study to determine if products prescribed by a clinic in India have any effect on breast cancer cell lines. We studied four ultra-diluted remedies (Carcinosin, Phytolacca, Conium and Thuja) against two human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) and a cell line derived from immortalized normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMLE). The remedies exerted preferential cytotoxic effects against the two breast cancer cell lines, causing cell cycle delay/arrest and apoptosis. These effects were accompanied by altered expression of the cell cycle regulatory proteins, including downregulation of phosphorylated Rb and upregulation of the CDK inhibitor p27, which were likely responsible for the cell cycle delay/arrest as well as induction of the apoptotic cascade that manifested in the activation of caspase 7 and cleavage of PARP in the treated cells. The findings demonstrate biological activity of these natural products when presented at ultra-diluted doses.

And the cheeky buggers go on to say: Further in-depth studies with additional cell lines and animal models are warranted to explore the clinical applicability of these agents.

I mean on what basis does that warrant more research? Just cause it worked a bit?! Anyway no problem; you may not know this but in my daytime job I’m a researcher, so I’ll find some holes in that research pretty pronto. Just watch this space!

Posted in Rezearch | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Primum non nocere

Posted by gimpygimpy on 03/02/2010

Mon Dieu, it’s good to be back in France. I had enough of the silly season in Slushy old England. In the end I had no choice but to publicly distance myself from the 1023 campaign. Of course they were all claiming I support them, letters from Andy the duck and all! Maybe all those remedies he swallowed did get to him in the end. Brrrr…. I shudder to think.

Still, can’t complain. Blogging out the homeopaths was easy as usual. It’s just that I keep having to use the tired old arguments like ‘Shang et al’. Shang et al, Shang at al. Even I’m getting sick of it. I know no one buys that tired old piece of manipulated research any more, but you’ve got to use what you’ve got and ignore the rest, I say. Still, difficult to stop them doing any more research while claiming they don’t have enough of it, but I manage, somehow.  Lucky the Faculty plays into our hands so easily though; they need to keep the Doctors happy! As for the Society of homeopaths, a few white lies go a long way. As if they could sponsor Research in Africa, ha-ha! Everyone knows they couldn’t afford a piss up at an AGM. Still, a white lie is ok, isn’t it- just like those little sugar pills- ‘Nothing in it’ – see!

The thing that worries me is that the homeopaths have stopped responding on my comments. It’s only the old faithful now, a bit boring really. What’s going to happen to my Google rating? Come back guys, we miss you! Really.

Regarding research, I have been requested to ask my colleagues not to mention the following research: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jan/19/children-given-wrong-prescriptions-hospital

Hospital doctors make mistakes in more than one in 10 prescriptions they write for children, far more than was previously thought, according to an authoritative study published today.

Errors were made in 13.2% of prescriptions written for children, according to the study covering five London hospitals and carried out by the School of Pharmacy, University of London. Even more mistakes were made by nurses who had to administer drugs, a task often entailing mixing up a solution to be injected. The study found that almost one in five drugs (19.1%) were wrongly administered.

… most of the errors that did get through led to no long-term harm, though some could have been lethal.

Primum non nocere indeed. Mums the word. Nuff said!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Disappointing!

Posted by gimpygimpy on 30/01/2010

What a disappointment! I told them, I told them, I told them. But they had to go along with that childish prank 1023, and now it’s sure to backfire. Just who is going to buy that performance? Not Boots! And the British public might be naïve not knowing who sponsors us and all, but they aren’t dumb. Well most of them, anyways.

The concept was just totally naff from the start. I mean who’s going to buy them swallowing a whole bottle of homeopathic pills and then running off to drink coffee, when everyone knows that coffee antidotes ‘nothing pills’. Whats more I told them that a homeopathic overdose is taking lots of doses separately, not all together. Even I know that, and I know bugger all about homeopathy. I suppose they were scared. I mean so many of them called into homeopathic pharmacies just to check it was safe, and of course everyone heard about that. Fools!

People aren’t stupid are they? I mean what were they trying to show, that they didn’t drop dead in 10 minutes? That wouldn’t have happened if they swallowed a mix of chemotherapy and sleeping pills. No wonder homeopathic remedy sales go through the roof after every one of our campaigns.

Worst of all, just look at the people who showed up. Who’s going to take that bunch seriously? I mean hallo!!! You have to look or speak intelligently to be taken seriously. I said it in the best way I could at the pub meeting, I just didn’t want to offend anyone, you know.  Better to stay at home and write blogs or comments; just don’t show your faces. What bunch of ragamuffins, with all the eloquence of 17 year olds.

Well that’s what you get for planning campaigns in the pub. Next time just carry on commenting on MY blog, OK? Leave the jobs for the pro’s- like me. Cause I’m a research scientist!

Posted in 1023, Sense about Science | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

The homeopaths are on our side

Posted by gimpygimpy on 24/01/2010

Well guys n’ girls, you’re going to find this one difficult to believe, I know. So do I. The homeopaths are on our side. Yesterday, this old bird calling herself Hunney Samuelman or something like that, calls to tell us that her homeopathic organisation is supporting our ‘Overdose Demonstration’. In case you don’t know, this is a stonking idea we came up with at the pub the other night.

It goes like this. We all meet at at 10:23am on January 30th (10.23- see, just like the name of our campaign, which I’m sorry to say I still think is a bit dumb), more than three hundred homeopathy skeptics nationwide will be taking part in a mass homeopathic ‘overdose’ in protest at Boots’ continued endorsement and sale of homeopathic remedies, and to raise public awareness about the fact that homeopathic remedies have nothing in them. Brilliant init?! I get excited just fantasising about it – Hurummph!

So this Hunney chick says she thinks it’s a great idea, but if we do it we got to do it properly. What do you mean, I ask. Well, she says, first of all you aren’t going to impress anyone like that, cause I mean what do you think people expect – that you take the remedy and turn green or sprout extra ears or fall down dead on the spot? I mean even if you stood there taking Valium or Lithium or Chemotherapy nothing much would happen unless you repeat it three times daily for a few days. Hmmm…the old birds’ got a point you know. OK, so we repeat it three times daily for a week, no harm done, there’s nothing in there, see!

Then she says, you aren’t going to impress anyone by each taking different remedies, are you? We aren’t? No, says Miss Hunney, you see homeopathy is based on something called the law of similars, have you heard of it? Can’t say I have really. I mean all I care about is that the silly cult is based on giving nothing, and that’s how I make a living, ha-ha.

Well yeah, She says, like duh, you have to choose the remedy you take carefully if you want to make a real impression. OK, what do you suggest, says I. So she says, you know we support you, so to really make this work I suggest you all take Lachesis 30C three times a day for a week or two, that should make a media impact. Lachesis, I say, what’s that? Oh don’t worry about it she says, nothing in it, right? Right!

Anything else, I ask her. Well, if you want some variation, some of you could try Glonoine 30C, again three times daily for a couple of weeks. And after that you could all try Plb 9 Millimetre.

OK, says I, whatever, but do we have your support?

Definitely she says. You’re going to have a blast!

`

Posted in 1023 | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

10:23

Posted by gimpygimpy on 15/01/2010

Well guys and girls, isn’t this exciting! we are about to start our ultimate anti Homeopathy campaign 10:23, and our Twitters are quivering with anticipation. Yes I know it’s really naff name and all, but nothing perfect. We were all sitting down at the old Pub on Thursday night , bored and wondering what to do next, and we get to thinking about our next move against those mad, mad, crazy, maniac, insane, murdering, rabid homeopaths (OK, we’d had a few pints by then). And then old Col says how about ‘10:23’, and we are, like, WHAT???. So his says, yeah you know Avogadro’s number and all. So we kind of like say, Hey Col, chill man, like maybe you’ve had one too many, easy on the old G and T’s old man. But you know what he’s like, once stuck on something that’s it. And he’s the guy with the connection and all, so like, the name stuck. A bit embarrassing, I know.

So anyways, there we were , like, discussing when to start, and the guys say why not now, no time like the present and all that, let’s get them while they’re low after we nailed the, with the old WHO- BBC trick (Ha-ha, that was a great, those Beeb bods will swallow anything we feed them!). But inside I’m thinking like, noooooo, cause It’s Mercury in retrograde right now, s’not gonna work. Well I couldn’t say that out loud with all those skeptiks around, but I’m a bit freaked out. You see I’ve had some bad experiences with Merc in retro, and strange enough I buy into that stuff, even though I’m a research scientist (Did I mention that before?)

So I’m lying in bed later that evening with an early hangover, and I start to think, like, after we Kill, kill, kill, mutilate, smash, annihilate, obliterate or at least maim all the homeopaths, where’s all the funding gonna come from. I got a cold sweat sudden like. You know I’m up at 6 every morning on the old Google alert and twitter, following every lead there is, blogging and sending nasty emails all day long. It’s a full time job, and I deserve every penny I get. But I realised suddenly, hey I got to leave some of these homeopaths around for bashing, cause I don’t fancy a round with the Chiropractors after the bloody nose that Singh got, and like no one’s gonna fund me against the church, and lets face it they make similar claims to the hom’s – think about it – healing and belief and prayer and energy and holy virgins and all that). Who’s going to fund that? I mean I don’t really fancy getting back to experimenting on all those mice in cages. Even worse, whose gonna read my blog!? Who’s going to even notice little me? Nightmare.

Note to self for the morning: Leave a few homeopaths alive!

Yours, in 10:23ness, G

Posted in 1023 | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Journalist for a Change

Posted by gimpygimpy on 14/01/2010

I do love it when journalists make a change. Here we are warming up to our little campaign, and the first spring flowers are starting to show in the papers. Nothing to do with us, of course, but today’s article in the ‘independent’ by Jeremy Laurance, is so aptly titled: “The terrible harm that alternative medicine can do”. Couldn’t have put it better me old self! That’s Eloquence. Mind you, having it tucked between articles on ‘The 10 best office chairs’ and ‘the 10 best sex toys’ doesn’t do it any favours.

Never mind that he has cobbled together a whole lot of ‘cut and paste’ from stuff that’s so old it has a thin fungal layer growing over it. And obviously he can’t much tell the difference between his elbow, herbalism, nutrition and homoeopathy. Who cares! It’s the headlines that do the damage, and that’s what we get paid for.

Anyways, I got to thinking about it, and maybe that level of article is just a bit too simplistic. I mean even Joe Public, or come to think of it even an Independent reader, would find that article a bit naive. Especially when any one with two pence of brain can see the damage that pharmaceuticals do every day – I mean that’s what I call REAL damage.Laurance talks about some Ugandan doctor’s therapy using vitamins for cancer. Well the only negative proof he has is that the Government refused to give him a license (surprise!). So I liked the way he converted that into ‘The Terrible Damage of Alternative Medicine’- must remember to use that trick. Good thing most of the readers don’t look at articles like this one, cause then they would really see damage, Rambo style, ha-ha! (Oh go on, have a look, just don’t pass it on, ok):

http://www.cancerfungus.com/pdf/cancer-treatments-nexus.pdf

But the real genius stroke is mixing homoeopathy in with beetroot therapy! Now that’s journalism – bring it on.

Like I said, it is good to see a journalist making a change. Just compare his previous article re drug company sponsorship – see below. I mean he mentions SAS but he obviously forgot to look at our sponsor page. Way to go, Laurance!

Why NICE gets blasted – and drugs companies get a free pass

By Jeremy Laurance

Drug companies have always bought influence by sponsoring patient groups (see today’s page one story in the Independent). How much influence do they wield? If your charity depends for half its income on the industry then it is harder to argue, as Timothy Statham, chief executive of the National Kidney Federation, does in a comment posted below my story, that “the receiving charity would never allow such sponsorship to influence the way it represents its patients’ interests.”  To most people that would represent a conflict of interest at the very least, which ought to be declared.

Larger charities, such as the Royal National Institute for the Blind and the Alzheimer’s Society, now make the sources of their funding clear. But the smaller charities, who often make the most noise, are less transparent. Is transparency enough? It is a good first step, but the question still remains whether groups that accept funding from the drug industry are prepared to challenge it. The evidence suggests not (and this is as true of the large charities as of the small ones). How else can one explain the one sided nature of the debate about the cost of cancer and other drugs, which has seen opprobrium heaped on NICE while the drug industry and the prices it charges have escaped criticism?

Posted in Sense about Science | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Friends in deed

Posted by gimpygimpy on 07/01/2010

Friends

Isn’t it good to have friends!

You see, recently some dude attacked my chums from Sense about Science. I really don’t know what he’s on about; I mean SAS are really a great bunch of guys. They love their science and they love their sponsors who allow them to do their science.

You might be interested in looking at the list of donors, because alongside the pharmaceuticals there are lots of others, though of course we don’t specify who gives how much. But that’s not the point. The thing is, this guy attacked us from our own paper! The Gaurdian!  I mean he’s not going to last there, is he, cause they are one of our sponsors, and they more or less tow our line.

So I really don’t understand what the problem is. OK, so we all belonged to an ultra leftist movement that specialised in trashing other organisations, such as anti Nazi and anti GM, see here. Well, that’s what were paid for and alls fair in love and war, well war really.  It just that once we steam rolled the way for GM (Monsanto were so pleased with us!), a man’s got to make a living, n’cest pa (did I tell you I work in France, as a research scientist no less!)

Anyway, that’s not the point. Thing is, all my pals came up to support us on the comment page. Good friends like LeCanardNoir, Imogenblack and Warhelmet and a couple more old faithfuls, the same guys that always support me on my site, and a good thing too, cause to be honest I don’t have that many readers, mostly recycled you know (Hey who says I’m not ecological!). They don’t have much new to say, but they’re always there recycling with me.

I like to call them ‘my goons’, but  don’t tell them that. Most of them are spotty faced teenagers really, and they know nothing about science except that they are pretty good at regurgitating all that bunk about the ultra high dilutions, but that does the trick, I think. Enough to forgive them for the silly names and poor grammar. Anyway, amazing what loyalty you can get for a couple or rounds at the pub on a Thursday night. (Of course I get paid much more, cause, did I say- I’m a research scientist!)

But here’s the real secret: it’s really those dumb alternative hippies that come to the rescue every time, ha-ha. If it wasn’t for them I would be page 50 on Google. In they trot, like lambs to the slaughter, give me the few tired old arguments which we can easily answer with our tired old arguments, but meanwhile, up I go in the search engine rating. I have just got to laugh; these guys just keep me going up and up, and they seem to be too thick to realise it.  Thanks Pals!

Posted in gimpyblog, Sense about Science, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Strange Norwegians

Posted by gimpygimpy on 01/01/2010

I’m puzzled

I really can’t understand the Norwegian health policy. Just think of the amount of money they are losing every year. I mean, like, can’t these people do their accounts properly?

OSLO, Norway (Dec. 30) — Aker University Hospital is a dingy place to heal. The floors are streaked and scratched. A light layer of dust coats the blood pressure monitors. A faint stench of urine and bleach wafts from a pile of soiled bedsheets dropped in a corner.

Look closer, however, at a microscopic level, and this place is pristine. There is no sign of a dangerous and contagious staph infection that killed tens of thousands of patients in the most sophisticated hospitals of Europe, North America and Asia this year, soaring virtually unchecked.

The reason: Norwegians stopped taking so many drugs.

Twenty-five years ago, Norwegians were also losing their lives to this bacteria. But Norway’s public health system fought back with an aggressive program that made it the most infection-free country in the world. A key part of that program was cutting back severely on the use of antibiotics.

Now a spate of new studies from around the world prove that Norway’s model can be replicated with extraordinary success, and public health experts are saying these deaths — 19,000 in the U.S. each year alone, more than from AIDS — are unnecessary.

Read more here


Perplexed… G

Posted in Lovely Drugs | Leave a Comment »

I love ARV

Posted by gimpygimpy on 14/12/2009

ARV for AIDS. Who needs anything else?

As you all know, I am totally opposed to the use of CAM for the treatment of AIDS, especially in Africa where Antiretroviral therapy is available to all (well nearly all). It just a shame that the budgets for drugs have been reduced by 25%-50% lately- less drugs for them, less money for us.   I mean you do the maths – Big pharma sell them the ARV which they buy with our government support funds; money out, money in. Neat Huh?  And a nice little slice of that comes into my bank account every month. Now I know there have been a few glitches lately, as you can read here, but live for today I say!

Once-curable diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria are coming back, as germs rapidly mutate to form aggressive strains that resist drugs. The reason: The misuse of the very drugs that were supposed to save us has built up drug resistance worldwide.

Ten years ago, between 1 percent and 5 percent of HIV patients worldwide had drug-resistant strains. Now, between 5 percent and 30 percent of new patients are already resistant to the drugs. In Europe, it’s 10 percent; in the U.S., 15 percent.

In sub-Saharan Africa, where the drugs only started arriving a few years ago, resistance is partly the unforeseen consequence of good intentions. There are not enough drugs to go around, so clinics run out and patients can’t do full courses. The inferior meds available in Africa poison other patients. Misprescriptions are common and monitoring is scarce.

The story of HIV mirrors the rise worldwide of new and more deadly forms of killer infections, such as tuberculosis and malaria. These diseases have mutated in response to the misuse of the very drugs that were supposed to save us, The Associated Press found in a six-month look at soaring drug resistance worldwide.

But, look on the bright side; more mutated virus, more research. Hey hey!

Your pal, G

Posted in Lovely Drugs, Rezearch | Leave a Comment »

Bad Science out!

Posted by gimpygimpy on 12/12/2009

Today I’d like to talk about research, one of my favourite subjects, cause hey, I’m a research scientist! One of the things you learn as a research scientist (like me!), is that you can knock holes in any research, or on the other hand, you can prove anything you want. That’s really convenient. When it comes to CAM, it’s not much of a problem really, cause you just keep feeding the public with ‘There isn’t any CAM research’, and they just keep repeating it. Really easy! Jolly good thing most of them, even the Doctors, don’t bother to check here for instance: http://www.library.nhs.uk/cam/SearchResults.aspx?tabID=289&catID=12423 But even if they do, like I said, it’s no big problem to knock em’ out of the sky. You just pick and mix the worst ones, make a meta analysis of your choice, and presto, down they go. Then you push it onto a few eager journals (they’ll print whatever the hell my boss tells them to), and on to the BBC which is also in our pocket. Once that’s out, you make a media splash, and bingo, case closed. Like I said, I love research (did I say? I’m a research scientist!) Most important though is my firm belief that any good medicine should be able to prove itself with convincing clinical evidence, and if they can’t, well then it should be goodbye to that medicine! Let me give you one outstanding example (you just must read this, I think it is the right URL) or http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/about/knowledge.jsp Anyway check it out, or see quote below. Out with bad science I say!

From the British Medical Journal, for Christ’s sake. Couldn’t they just squash it?

So what can Clinical Evidence tell us about the state of our current knowledge? What proportion of commonly used treatments are supported by good evidence, what proportion should not be used or used only with caution, and how big are the gaps in our knowledge? Of around 2500 treatments covered 13% are rated as beneficial, 23% likely to be beneficial, 8% as trade off between benefits and harms, 6% unlikely to be beneficial, 4% likely to be ineffective or harmful, and 46%, the largest proportion, as unknown effectiveness (see figure 1)

Gigo- Garbage in Garbage out

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