Friday, November 20, 2009

Swine Flu Peaks?

But somehow it's STILL important to get your vaccine and take Tamiflu. I want a big scoreboard of the 200 million doses the government ordered for the US that ticks down as the vaccines are actually delivered to clinics and pharmacies. So we can see how many are left over and ask for our money back.

Even better let's see a running total of vaccines actually administered to people.

Great use of health care resources "leaders".

While I'm at it wishing for stuff, I also want to see a total of the profits generated from the sales of Tamiflu and vaccinations.

OK go ahead and include the money wasted on advertising the "pandemic".

Notice how the mutations in H1N1 variety of flu virus occur so consistently with Tamiflu? Yeah H1N1 is really good at mutating into a Tamiflu resistant form. So when the worry was "if swine flu mutates it could be more deadly" why would we promote the use of Tamiflu so widely? So widely that the company ramped up production so high that they surpassed their total production adding up the past 9 years? Yeah the company that makes Tamiflu is making more Tamiflu this year than they have in all of Tamifu history.

A drug without proven benefit other than decreasing the natural course of some flu strains a day.

Well at least the swine flu is decreasing before seasonal flu hits but you wait when seasonal flu hits. We'll hear something like "we can't tell if this is yet another wave of more severe swine flu!"

Who writes this stuff?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Creative Piggy Flu Profits

Talks about pharmacies jacking up prices on Tamiflu for children. Mentions that there are 2.2 million children without health insurance. I wonder how many families had to sacrifice some other purchase to cover the cost of this worthless medicine.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Associated Press on the new recommendations re screening mammograms

It's interesting how the potential harms listed talk about unnecessary biopsies and other false alarms but in my mind it would be much more harmful to be diagnosed with breast cancer unnecessarily.  As stated earlier in this blog,  the best estimate we have state that for every one woman saved by a screening mammogram 10 women are diagnosed with a cancer they didn't need to know was there.   

What exactly do we mean by an "unnecessary diagnosis":
A cancer that would resolve on its own or a "pre-cancer" called DCIS that would resolve on its own or a cancer that was so slow growing that it would never grow large enough to affect the person's life or health or even become clinically apparent.  

So for every woman who has her life saved from screening mammography,  there are 10 women walking around who think of themselves as breast cancer survivors.  They spend the rest of their lives following strict follow up with oncologists and surgeons and getting yearly mammograms waiting for the cancer to "come back".   Most of them underwent surgery, radiation and sometimes chemo to treat their "early cancer".  

The magnitude of harm done over 30 years by screening mammograms will have to be admitted at some point in these disclosures and discussions.  

Interesting also how the title of the article is "new advice".  And throughout the article there's this impression that women between the ages of 40 and 50 are somehow not worth all those resources mammograms represent.  What they don't say is screening mammograms HARM HEALTHY WOMEN.  

The radiology organizations fought successfully to reverse a report by the national cancer institute in 1997 when the NCI's expert panel suggested that there was no proof mammograms between the age of 40 and 50 did more good than harm.  

We'll see if there's a similar backlash this time.  

the US Preventive Task Force Changes Mammogram Recommendations!

The new recommendations reverse longstanding guidelines and are aimed at reducing harm from overtreatment, the group says. It also says women age 50 to 74 should have mammogramsless frequently — every two years, rather than every year. And it said doctors should stop teaching women to examine their breasts on a regular basis.

Just seven years ago, the same group, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, with different members, recommended that women have mammograms every one to two years starting at age 40. It found too little evidence to take a stand on breast self-examinations.

While many women do not think a screening test can be harmful, medical experts say the risks are real. They include unnecessary tests, like biopsies that can create extreme anxiety. And mammograms can find cancers that are better off not found. Some cancers grow so slowly that they never would be noticed in a woman’s lifetime. When they are found, women end up being treated unnecessarily.

This is huge!   The US Preventative Task Force has a lot of impact on what screening tests get done and what doesn't.  After nearly 30 years of recommending a test that does more harm than good,  it's starting to look like there's going to be some recognition and improvement.  This will result in an immediate drop in the number of women needlessly diagnosed with breast cancers that posed no risk to their health.  It will cut the needless anxiety from a false alarm dramatically as well.  

All you hospitals out there that budgeted to make more money on screening mammograms next year compared to this year,  you might want to redo the budget. 

Just sayin'



I'm going to be out of town for the week of Thanksgiving

Will still be checking emails but probably not as often 

Won't be around for house calls,  so no one get sick that week.

Drug Companies Price Gouging to Prepare for Health Care "Reform"

Since the pharmaceutical giants *promised* to shave 80 billion in costs from the national health care bill over 10 years,  they have been increasing prices in preparation.  

Brilliant move on their part.  But hard to imagine how the people will afford the increases during the great recession.  

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kiva Hits 100 Million Today

Kiva Fast Facts

months old


repayment rate

entrepreneurs funded

Kiva users

countries represented

Thursday, November 5, 2009

CDC Flu Charts

Let's look at the laboratory confirmed influenza hospitalization rates for children during different flu seasons and compare it to this year using the CDC's own data.   Now pay attention to the X axis which gives you an idea of the risk of children being hospitalized with the flu.  We're talking around 3 our of 10,000 children for a lot of these seasons.  

This 1st graph shows several years including 2003-4 season where around 8 out of 10,000 children ages 0-4 were hospitalized.  

Compare that to the swine flu, pictures on the left and some recent seasons on the right.  For children ages 0-4 so far we're still below 3 out of 10,000 hospitalized.  This is despite the fact that swine flu infects more children than the regular flu.

So this far into the outbreak,  we're still dealing with a virus that hospitalizes fewer children that most of the seasonal flu viruses for the past several years.  

Interview with an influenza Guru,1518,637119,00.html

SPIEGEL: For a number of years, as part of the Cochrane Collaboration, you have been systematically evaluating all the studies on immunization against seasonal influenza. How good does it work?

Jefferson: Not particularly good. An influenza vaccine is not working for the majority of influenza-like illnesses because it is only designed to combat influenza viruses. For that reason, the vaccine changes nothing when it comes to the heightened mortality rate during the winter months. And, even in the best of cases, the vaccine only works against influenza viruses to a limited degree. Among other things, there is always the danger that the flu virus in circulation will have changed by the time that the vaccine product is finished with the result that, in the worst case, the vaccine will be totally ineffectual. In the best of cases, the few decent studies that exist show that the vaccine mainly works with healthy young adults. With children and the elderly, it only helps a little, if at all.

SPIEGEL: But aren't those the exact groups that influenza immunization is recommended for?

Jefferson: Indeed. That's one of the contradictions between scientific findings and practice, between evidence and policy.

SPIEGEL: So, what's behind this contradiction?

Jefferson: Of course, that has something to do with the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. But it also has to do with the fact that the importance of influenza is completely overestimated. It has to do with research funds, power, influence and scientific reputations!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Homeland Security involved in swine flu "control"

The ironic thing to me is that all these products being sold to treat and prevent the swine flu are probably of similar efficacy to Tamiflu and the '09 H1N1 vaccine; ie they don't go much. Additionally, odds are that these "fakes" are less prone to cause side effects or toxicity than Tamiflu and the vaccine. I bet those silver shampoos never cause teens to commit suicide unlike Tamiflu, and I bet the "photon genie" doesn't give you a dose of mercury unlike the vaccine drawn from multi-dose vials.

Movie Night

"The Future Of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade"

Free to watch online but you have to suffer through about 8 commercials
The stuff about Monsanto can be confirmed through other sources and other documentaries. The Bovine Growth Hormone shenanigans aren't touched on in this movie but there are similar themes with that history.