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WHO Wants To Run the World?

By Paul Frijters, Gigi Foster, Michael Baker | Brownstone Institute | July 11, 2022

In Geneva in late May at the 75th meeting of the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA), amendments to its International Health Regulations (IHRs) were debated and voted upon. If passed, they would grant the WHO the right to exert unconscionable pressure on countries to accept the WHO’s authority and health policy actions if the WHO decides that there is a public health threat that might spread beyond a country’s borders.

As Ramesh Thakur, the second man at the UN for years, noted, the amendments would mean “the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers and budgets will depend on outbreaks of pandemics, the more the better.”

This is the first clear instance of a globalist coup attempt. It would subvert national sovereignty worldwide by putting real power into the hands of an international group of bureaucrats. It has long been suspected that the authoritarian elites arisen during covid times would try to strengthen their positions by undermining nation states, and the this 75th jamboree is the first solid evidence of this being true.

What an opportunity then to see who is in the conspiring club. Who drafted the amendments? What was in them? Which individuals supported them or spoke out against them?

WHO were the conspirators?

The amendments on the table at the May WHA meeting had been transmitted to the WHO by the US Department of Health and Human Services on January 18, circulated by WHO to its member states (‘States Parties’) on January 20 and formally introduced to the WHA on April 12.

The proposals, according to an announcement on January 26, were co-sponsored by 19 countries plus the European Union. Even if some co-sponsors had little direct involvement in drafting them, they all would have approved in principle the overarching goal of tightening up the WHO’s authority over member states in the face of a public health event.

Loyce Pace, the HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs – the leading US official nominally responsible for the proposed amendments – arrived at the Biden administration fresh from a stint as executive director of an advocacy organization called the Global Health Council.

That council receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its members include Eli Lilly, Merck, Pfizer, Abbott Labs, and Johnson & Johnson. You get the idea. Via one of the foxes-turned-chicken-guard, it appears the HHS ‘worked closely’ on these amendments with large pharmaceutical companies, who will be chomping at the bit for a more proactive (read: profitable) response to any public health emergency, real or imagined.

So the conspiring club consists primarily of the US government and its Western allies in lockstep with Big Pharma, and they are looking to undermine both the sovereignty of their own governments and that of other countries, presumably with the idea that the Western elites would do the running.

What was in them? A blizzard of acronyms and euphemisms

To understand what the US proposed at the WHA, we need first to understand how things have worked in the WHO to this point.

The IHRs in their current form have been in force as international law since June 2007. Among other things, they impose requirements on countries to detect, report and respond to ‘public health events of international concern,’ or PHEICs. The WHO Director-General consults with the state where a possible public health event has occurred, and within 48 hours they are meant to come to a mutual agreement on whether or not it actually is a PHEIC, whether or not it needs to be announced to the world as such, and what counter-measures, if any, should be taken. It’s essentially an early-warning system on major health crises. This is a good thing if it’s run by people you can trust and if it has checks and balances to rein in expansionary tendencies.

The proposed amendments would greatly strengthen the power of the WHO relative to this baseline, in a number of ways.

First, they lower the threshold for the WHO to declare a public health emergency by empowering its Regional Directors to declare a ‘public health event of regional concern’ (PHERC, italics ours) and for the WHO to put out a new thing called an ‘intermediate public health alert.’

Second, they permit the WHO to consider allegations about a public health event from non-official sources, meaning sources other than the government of the state concerned, and allow that government only 24 hours to confirm the allegations and a further 24 hours to accept the WHO’s offer of ‘collaboration.’

Collaboration is essentially a euphemism for on-site assessment by teams of WHO investigators, and concomitant pressure at the whim of WHO personnel to enact potentially far-reaching measures such as lockdowns, movement restrictions, school closures, consumption of medicines, administration of vaccines and any or all of the other social, economic, and health paraphernalia that we have come to associate with the covid circus.

Should the state’s government acceptance of the WHO’s ‘offer’ not be forthcoming, the WHO is empowered to disclose the information it has to the other 194 WHO countries, while continuing to pressure the state to yield to the WHO’s invitation to ‘collaborate.’ A non-collaborating country would risk becoming a pariah.

Third, the proposal includes a new Chapter IV, which would establish a ‘Compliance Committee’ consisting of six government-appointed experts from each WHO region tasked with permanently nosing around to ensure the member states are complying with IHR regulations.

There are more crossings-out of the existing IHR language and new language added in, but the flavour of what the US-led alliance is shooting for is a WHO that can unilaterally decide whether there is a problem and what to do about it, and can isolate countries that disagree.

Compliant WHO member states could act as a supporting cast in the isolation effort, through the distribution of their own health budgets and their ‘health-related’ policies, which would include travel and trade restrictions. The WHO would become a kind of command-and-control center for globalist agendas, pushing the produce of (Western) Big Pharma.

Why and how would this work?

We learned during covid times why it would make sense that the US and its allies are insisting on these amendments.

Lowering the bar for declaring a global (or regional) public health threat triggers a huge opportunity for Western pharmaceutical companies. As legal experts have observed: “WHO emergency declarations can trigger the fast-track development and subsequent global distribution and administration of unlicensed investigational diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

This is done via the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing Procedure (EULP). The introduction of an ‘intermediate public health alert’ in particular will also further incentivise the pharmaceutical industry’s move to activate domestic fast-track emergency trial protocols as well as for advance purchase, production and stockpile agreements with governments before the existence of a concrete health threat to the world’s population has been detected, as is already the case under WHO’s EULP via the procedures developed for a ‘pre-public health emergency phase’.”

You can bet that the WHO ‘expert teams’ sent in to make on-the-ground assessments, under the banner of ‘collaboration’ with the host country experiencing the health event, will be chock-a-block with operatives from the CDC and who knows what other Western agencies, all poking around potentially sensitive facilities that a host government might justifiably claim a sovereign right to keep to itself. Likewise with the ‘Compliance Committee’ proposed by the US under the new Chapter IV of the IHRs: its government-appointed members have an open-ended brief, enshrined in international law, to be busybodies.

In layman’s terms, the WHO would be turned into an international thug, with its member states offered the role of backyard gang members.

As a bonus for Western elites, the proposals are a sneaky form of rewriting history. By cementing authority within an international organisation to determine the existence of public health crises and direct potentially draconian emergency responses, Western governments would get to enshrine and legitimise their own extreme responses to the covid outbreak, as we have pointed out previously. Their backsides would thereby be given some protection from legal challenges.

The refusniks: Developing countries

The proposals were pushed primarily by Western countries: the US was joined by Australia, the UK and the EU in arguing for passage. The resistance was led by developing countries who saw it as a colonialist ambush in which their ability to set policy and respond to health threats in a manner commensurate with their domestic situations would be overridden.

Brazil reportedly went so far as to threaten to withdraw from the WHO, and the African group of almost 50 countries, along with India, argued that the amendments were being rushed through without adequate consultation. Russia, China and Iran also objected.

Failure on the first try, but the US and its allies in the West will get more shots to push it through.

How do we expect them to do this? Well, when a proposal gets bogged down inside a giant bureaucratic machine like the WHO, the inevitable response is to set up committees to work in the background and circle back with a new set of proposals to be presented at a future meeting. True to form, a ‘working group’ and ‘expert committee’ are being assembled to accept member state proposals on IHR reform by the end of September this year. These will be ‘sifted through’ and reports will be prepared for review by the WHO’s executive board in January next year. The objective is to have a fresh set of proposals on the table when the WHA convenes for the 77th time in 2024.

Not all was lost

Salvaging something from the fact that the WHA failed to get a consensus around its biggest agenda item, the US and its allies got a small victory on the point of when they can try again – though in their desperation they needed to violate the IHRs’ own rules to accomplish it. Article 55 of the IHRs states unambiguously that a four-month notice period is required for any amendments.

In this instance, revised amendments were presented on May 24, the same day that the first lot were rejected. These were discussed, further amended on May 27 and then adopted on the same day. The approved amendments halve the two-year period for any (further) approved amendments to the IHRs to take effect. (The IHRs that came into force in 2007 were agreed to in 2005 – but under the new resolution, anything agreed to in 2024 would come into effect in 2025 rather than 2026.)

Yet, what was achieved in terms of fast-tracking the force of new amendments was lost in slow-tracking their implementation. Nations would have up to 12 months – double the previous suggestion of six months – to implement any IHR amendments that newly enter into force of law.

State of play

Where is all this going?

If the WHO takes the reins on decisions about what constitutes a health crisis, and can pressure every country into a one-size-fits-all set of responses that it, the WHO, also determines, that’s bad enough. But what about if its invitation to ‘collaborate’ with countries is backed up with teeth, such as sanctions against those who demur? And what about if it then broadens the definition of ‘public health’ by, for example, declaring that climate change falls under that definition? Or racism? Or discrimination against LBTQIA+ people? The possibilities thereby opened up for running the world are endless.

A global ‘health’ empire would bring huge harms to humanity, but a lot of power and money is pushing for it. Don’t think it can’t happen.

Paul Frijters is a Professor of Wellbeing Economics at the London School of Economics: from 2016 through November 2019 at the Center for Economic Performance, thereafter at the Department of Social Policy

July 11, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pfizer Document Dump Shows Doctor With Ties to Gates Foundation Deleted Trial Participant’s Vaccine Injury

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | May 18, 2022

An 80,000-page cache of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine documents released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sheds light on Pfizer’s extensive vaccine trials in Argentina, including the unusually large size of the trials and the story of a trial participant whose vaccine reaction was “disappeared.”

The case of Augusto Roux in Argentina suggests that in at least one instance, a trial participant whose symptoms were determined to be connected to the COVID-19 vaccine was later listed, in official records, as having experienced adverse events that were not related to the vaccination.

Vaccine trials in Argentina also appear to have glossed over adverse events suffered by other trial participants, and the potential connection between the adverse events and the vaccine.

The FDA on May 2 released the latest cache of documents, which pertain to the Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine, as part of a court-ordered disclosure schedule stemming from an expedited Freedom of Information Act request filed in August 2021.

As previously reported by The Defender, the documents included Case Report Forms from Pfizer COVID vaccine trials in the U.S., and the “third interim report” from BioNTech’s trials conducted in Germany, both of which listed adverse events sustained by participants in the U.S. and German trials.

Many of these adverse events were indicated as being “unrelated” to the vaccines — even in instances where the patients were healthy or otherwise had no prior medical history related to the injuries they sustained.

Story of ‘disappeared patient’ goes public

Several bloggers and online investigators called into question various aspects of the Argentine vaccine trials, pointing out the number of participants in the Argentine trials dwarfed that of other, typically smaller trials at other locations in different countries.

They also pointed out the large number of participants appeared to have been recruited to the trial in a remarkably short time, and questioned the connections between one of the key figures of the Argentine trial to vaccine manufacturers, Big Pharma and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The large number of trial participants in Argentina may be related to the fact that the trial appears to have been held simultaneously in 26 hospitals.

The large number of participants is revealed in another of the documents released this month, where on page 2,245, the list of randomized participants at trial site 1231 begins, while on page 4,329, the list of participants at trial site 4444 begins.

Site 1231 refers to the main trial site location and 4444 (page 24) most likely refers to the disparate hospitals participating in the trial outside the main location.

Commenting on the revelation, blogger David Healy wrote:

“About 5,800 volunteers were enrolled, half getting the active vaccine. This is almost 4 times more than the next largest centre in this trial.

“Amazingly 467 doctors were almost instantly signed up and trained as assistant investigators in the study.”

In all, 4,501 patients participated in the Argentine trials, representing 10% of all Pfizer trial participants worldwide.

Complete information about adverse events during this extensive trial in Argentina does not appear to have been released as of this writing.

However, Roux’s experience has since become public.

Roux, often referred to as the “disappeared” patient, volunteered for the trial (volunteer number 12312982) and received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Aug. 21, 2020.

According to Healy, Roux “felt pain and swelling in his arm right after the injection. Later that day he had nausea, difficulty swallowing, and felt hungover.”

After a series of symptoms, Roux — during a clinical trial visit on Aug. 23, 2020 — was classified as experiencing a “toxicity grade 1 adverse effect.”

He nevertheless received his second dose on Sept. 9, 2020.

According to Healy:

“On the way home by taxi, he started feeling unwell. At 19:30, he was short of breath, had a burning pain in his chest and was extremely fatigued. He lay on his bed and fell asleep. He woke up at 21:00 with nausea and fever (38-39 C) and was unable to get out of bed due to the fatigue.

“Over the next two days, he reports a high fever (41 C) and feeling delirious.

“On September 11, he was able to get out of bed and go to the bathroom when he observed his urine to be dark (like Coca-Cola). He felt as if his heart expanded, had a sudden lack of breath and fell unconscious on the floor for approximately 3 hours.

“Once he recovered, he felt tired, was uncomfortable, had a high heart rate on minor movement, was dizzy when changing posture. He had a chest pain which radiated to his left arm and back.”

On Sept. 12, 2020, Roux was admitted to the Hospital Alemán, where he stayed for two days. It was initially believed he had COVID-19, but he tested negative for the virus. His symptoms also were found to not correspond with viral pneumonia.

After a series of X-rays, CT scans and urine tests, Roux was discharged Sept. 14, 2020, after being diagnosed with an adverse reaction — specifically, an unequivocal pericardial effusion — to the coronavirus vaccine (high probability), according to his discharge summary.

Doctor who altered Roux’s record had ties to Gates, NIH, Big Pharma

However, on Sept. 17, Dr. Fernando Polack, Pfizer’s lead investigator for the Argentine trials according to a Pfizer document released in December 2021, reported in Roux’s record that his “hospitalization was not related to the vaccine.”

Even after Roux’s discharge, his health difficulties continued. As reported by Healy:

“On November 13 [2020], he had negative IgG and IgM SARS COV-2 (QML technique), which is unusual post vaccine.

“On February 24, 2021, a liver scan showed a minor degree of abnormality. In March 2021 and February 2022, his liver enzymes remained abnormal.”

Ultimately, Roux lost 14 kilograms (30.8 pounds) in a period of three to four months, and continued to suffer from fever and bouts of breathlessness for several months afterward.

Polack, who reported Roux’s hospitalization as unrelated to the vaccination, is known for his close ties with various vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For instance, he is listed as the lead author in a Dec. 31, 2020, New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) article on the purported efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Healy, Polack also appears to be the founder of iTRIALS, a trial site management company, and another organization located at the same physical headquarters, the Fundación INFANT.

Healy wrote:

“When COVID struck Argentina, [Polack] and his Fundación became involved in a trial of immune plasma, taken from patients who had recovered from COVID, given to patients who had recently acquired the disease.

“In May 2020 he speculated that this would make COVID like an ordinary cold, and the Gates Foundation would offer financial support. He used high-profile press conferences to disseminate his exciting message.”

The conclusion of the study published in the NEJM following the plasma study reads:

“Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Fundación INFANT Pandemic Fund; Dirección de Sangre y Medicina Transfusional del Ministerio de Salud number, PAEPCC19, Plataforma de Registro Informatizado de Investigaciones en Salud number, 1421, and ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04479163.”

According to Healy, “[a] subsequent systematic review and meta-analysis failed to confirm these findings, noting ‘very serious imprecision concerns.’”

Healy pointed out that Polack, in his NEJM disclosure statement, did not indicate any conflict of interest or financial interest in the COVID-19 vaccine trials in Argentina, but:

“Polack reported grants from Novavax and personal fees from Janssen, Bavarian Nordic A/S, Pfizer, Sanofi, Regeneron, Merck, Medimmune, Vir Bio[technology], Ark Bio, Daiichi Sankyo outside the submitted work.

“At least eight of these companies are engaged in RSV vaccine research in babies and pregnant women. Fernando has mentioned a combined RSV, flu and COVID vaccine.”

And, in relation to Polack’s relationship with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Healy reported:

“[Polack] also doesn’t mention his extensive financial involvement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This organization supports industry vaccine trials including Covid and RSV. Fernando is heavily involved through his Gates-sponsored Fundación INFANT in Buenos Aires in RSV trials and research.

“Gates sunk $82,553,834 into Novavax’s RSV vaccine ResVax which was shown to be ineffective in clinical trials in pregnant women.”

Polack’s own bio from a 2017 medical conference states “[h]is work is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health [NIH], the Thrasher Research Fund, the Optimus Foundation and other international organizations.”

That same year, Polack testified at an FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) meeting, where he “acknowledged having financial interests in or professional relationships with some of the affected firms identified for this meeting, namely Janssen [producer of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine], Novavax, and Bavarian Nordic.”

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, Polack “also happens to be a consultant for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC),” and “a current adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.”

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., is an independent journalist and researcher based in Athens, Greece.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Data Show FDA Process for Emergency Authorization of Pfizer, Merck COVID Pills Not Based on Science

By John Droz, Jr., M.S. | The Defender | March 7, 2022

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2021 granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to two COVID-19 early treatment oral drugs: Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir.

This was a major milestone, as until then, there were no FDA-endorsed pharmaceutical pill options for people diagnosed with COVID-19.

The standard medical therapy for a newly diagnosed person was: Go home, rest, drink water and go to the hospital if things get dire.

Now, after almost two years, people diagnosed with early stages of COVID-19 can be prescribed a pill!

As background, there are three stipulations a drug must meet in order to obtain EUA from the FDA:

  • There must be an emergency.
  • The treatment in consideration must be safe and offer 50% efficacy.
  • There must not be an alternative available treatment that is safe and effective.

Pfizer and Merck oversaw clinical trials that attempted to prove their products were safe and effective. In the letters of authorization issued to Pfizer and Merck, the FDA outlined what tests were done, what the results were, what some of the limitations and concerns are, etc.

The FDA then generated more detailed advisories to healthcare providers (doctors) for Paxlovid and molnupiravir. These documents give more specifics about use restrictions (e.g., not to children), potentially adverse effects of each drug (e.g., not to be used by pregnant women, etc.), potential conflicts with other drugs (quite a few), etc.

Here are four key points to consider regarding the Paxlovid and molnupiravir data:

  • The tests were conducted by the pharmaceutical companies themselves (not an unbiased entity).
  • No long-term testing was done on either of these drugs (the trials lasted a few months).
  • The effects on patients with many other diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s) were not evaluated and remain unknown.
  • The reported effectiveness of each drug (hospitalization or death: 88% and 30%) are relative not absolute. (See this explanation about this important point.)

OK, kudos to the FDA for giving consumers some early treatment options for dealing with COVID-19. It’s especially good that they are non-hospital, take-at-home therapies.

However, the question remains: How do these FDA-endorsed drugs compare to other over-the-counter (OTC) and non-patented drugs — especially ivermectin (IVM) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) — that are reported to have some early treatment effectiveness against COVID-19?

As a scientist (physicist) I try to be careful in analyzing data, to not only be accurate but to present it objectively and understandably.

In that light, see this table where I juxtapose Paxlovid and molnupiravir to IVM, HCQ and three OTC drugs: curcumin, Vitamin D and zinc. The comparisons made are based on about 20 COVID-19 factors (effectiveness, safety, cost, etc.).

Comparison of Major COVID-19 Early Treatment Oral Pharmaceuticals

Click here to increase the size of the chart and access the hyperlinks.

COVID chart

6 takeaways from comparison of Paxlovid and molnupiravir to IVM, HCQ, and OTCs

  • Pfizer’s Paxlovid is reported to have very high effectiveness.
  • HCQ and the curcumin have effectiveness comparable to Paxlovid.
  • Merck’s molnupiravir has very low effectiveness.
  • IVM, Vitamin D and Zinc have effectiveness far superior to molnupiravir.
  • Paxlovid and molnupiravir have more serious side effects than the others.
  • Paxlovid and molnupiravir cost considerably more than the non-patented options.

Are Pfizer and Merck oral treatment EUAs legal? 

Remember, federal law stipulates that an EUA can not be granted unless: “There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition.”

The data in this analysis indicate there are “adequate and available alternatives for treating” COVID-19. If the data are accurate, then these EUAs have questionable legality.

Adequate and available alternatives for treating COVID-19 do, in fact, exist — the FDA has no scientific justification for ignoring IVM, HCQ, Vitamin D and zinc.

Further, if these FDA-issued EUAs for Paxlovid and molnupiravir violate federal statutes, a closer examination of the FDA’s COVID-19 vaccine EUAs seems warranted.

If the Pfizer and Merck EUAs are legal, then why haven’t HCQ and IVM also been given EUAs?

Considering the six takeaways listed above — plus the fact, as noted in the above table, that there have been successful HCQ and IVM studies much larger (~10x) than those done for Paxlovid and molnupiravir — exactly why has the FDA not issued EUAs for IVM and HCQ?

The comparative in Table 1 adequately demonstrates there is no justification for the FDA’s refusal to grant EUAs to IVM and HCQ.

If the FDA had granted EUAs for HCQ and IVM a year ago, hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 deaths would have been prevented.

What FDA policy, procedure or precedent took priority over preventing hundreds of thousands of American deaths?

What about monoclonal antibody therapies?

Let us now expand our comparisons to include current monoclonal antibody therapies:

Comparison of Major COVID-19 Early Treatment Pharmaceuticals

Click here to increase the size of the chart and access the hyperlinks.

Early treatment chart

Note that the four key points identified above, regarding the Paxlovid and molnupiravir data, all apply here.

Some of the main takeaways from this comparison are:

  • Sotrovimab has the highest effectiveness — but the least amount of data.
  • HCQ and curcumin have effectiveness comparable to the bamlanivimab+ and casirivimab+ combinations.
  • The first FDA EUA given to bamlanivimab turned out to be a mistake (as health issues were discovered).
  • All the monoclonals have more serious side effects than the non-EUA options.
  • All the monoclonals cost considerably more than the non-EUA options.
  • All the monoclonals have much less safety data than the non-EUA options.

Again, this comparison shows that IVM, HCQ, curcumin, vitamin D and zinc compare very favorably to all of the early treatments that received EUA from the FDA.


John Droz, Jr. is an independent North Carolina physicist.

© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Molnupiravir: Covid Wonder Drug or Money-Making Scam?

By Ryan Matters | OffGuardian | October 28, 2021

What happens when you fail in your attempts to create a vaccine for “Covid-19” and then realize you’ve just missed out on a billion-dollar profit-making opportunity?

You hurriedly develop a new drug, rush it through a clinical trial (which you yourself design to ensure good results), and then announce it to the world as the Covid cure we’ve all been waiting for, except no one’s been waiting for it because Covid isn’t any more deadly than the flu, and can be treated by easy-to-procure, inexpensive means (if it exists at all).

But governments are too stupid to know that and you own most of the corrupt politicians making the decisions, so who cares? As long as they’re willing to invest in your new concoction, it doesn’t even have to be necessary, or safe, or effective, or ethical…

Yes, I’m talking about “Molnupiravir”, Merck’s latest poison being promoted as an effective treatment against covid-19 (hang on, I thought that’s what the vaccines were for?).

This unapproved (yes, unapproved) drug costs $700 per course and the US government has just agreed to buy 1.7m courses. That’s a 1.2 BILLION dollar investment.

The deal is part of the Biden administration’s pledge to “respond to the health needs of the public”, but, in actuality, it’s simply a money-siphoning operation, with the American public coming off second best.

Molnupiravir is being sold to the public as the next big breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment off the back of what appears to be a SINGLE study, which was never even completed. Furthermore, the study was conducted by Merck (the makers of the drug), who chose not to disclose any adverse events. If that isn’t suspicious enough, the study was never published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Media press releases are apparently the new standard when it comes to evaluating medical treatments. After all, why would you wait for independent confirmation of your results or objective peer-review when you can get paid journalists, without a shred of medical expertise, to convince the public that they need your new drug?

If government scientists with integrity were in charge of assessing Molnupiravir, not bribed pharma shills, they may be alarmed at the lack of testing or the failure to disclose adverse events, they may even notice that vitamin D has had FAR superior results in combating “Covid-19”. In fact, one study, published in the highly respected and influential Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that vitamin D reduced mortality among severe covid-19 patients by 79%.

Compare that to the alleged 50% reduction offered by Molnupiravir for “mild-to-moderately ill” patients. Not to mention the difference in cost. As stated earlier, Molnupiravir runs at $700 per course, while vitamin D costs a fraction of that (probably less than $10!).

Furthermore, while Merck chose not to disclose adverse reactions, years worth of reliable data shows that vitamin D supplementation is extremely safe. And not only is taking vitamin D safe, but it also has a wealth of benefits for a variety of conditions including depression, anxiety, pain, inflammation, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and more.

As was obvious from the very beginning of the “pandemic” when nutritional medicine experts were slandered in the press for recommending “lethal” doses of vitamins, world health has been hijacked by the profit-hungry, empathy-dead, toxic cartel of Big Pharma “medicine”, and our governments have been in bed with them all along.

Furthermore, this has been going on longer than most people think. In fact, more than a decade earlier, governments were locking in billion-dollar deals to buy stockpiles of “Tamiflu”, an equally useless influenza drug that was later found to have no effect on reducing hospitalizations, deaths or complications from influenza.

In fact, Tamiflu was subsequently found to cause a raft of serious adverse reactions including delirium, panic attacks and even hallucinations. The “milder” side effects include nausea and vomiting.

In 2020, an unsealed whistleblower lawsuit revealed that drug company Hoffman-La Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, misrepresented clinical studies and made false claims regarding the effectiveness of the drug to treat influenza. In a 2020 article, Nasdaq quotes attorney Mark Lanier as saying that:

As alleged in the complaint – Tamiflu does not do what Roche promised… Roche hid this fact for many years by selectively citing its studies and suppressing the data about Tamiflu. The company utilized lobbyists, key opinion leaders and ghostwriters to promote Tamiflu with a deceptive promise to governments fearful of an influenza pandemic.”

Nonetheless, the medicine remains on the World Health Organization’s “essential medicines” list. The US and UK governments spent $1.3 billion and $703 million respectively buying “strategic reserves” of Tamiflu in preparation for a global flu pandemic.

At the time, the media (which had not yet totally sold out to Mr. Global) condemned the investments as a waste of money.

Governments made these outlandish investments off the back of “incomplete” data, which is exactly what has occurred with the latest deal to procure Merck’s Molnupiravir. And I’ll bet that when more data comes out, it will be found, once again, that governments wasted millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

Bribed politicians would rather deepen their pockets than institute sensible health policies or invest money into procuring and promoting vitamin D, which would not only save lives but help to improve mental health in a woefully deficient population ravaged by anxiety and depression.

As functional medicine expert, Dr. Alex Vasquez states in his latest blog,

… viral infections and the fear and ignorance around them have become a great way for drug companies to sell worthless drugs to their bribed politicians. If we spent that money on heath-promotion rather than fear-promotion, we’d be freer, stronger, healthier, and we’d emancipate ourselves from the mental slavery of fear, ignorance, and dependence.”

Furthermore, the importance of sunlight cannot be overstated, for apart from being our principal source of Vitamin D, it also induces the production of several powerful antiviral metabolites that aid the body in fighting off illness.

This article would not be complete without at least mentioning some of the corrupt dealings, legal cases and blatant crimes that Merck has been involved in over the years. The most egregious of these offenses, and one of the largest scandals in medical history, was the company’s promotion of its anti-inflammatory drug, Vioxx.

During its height, Vioxx was earning Merck $2 billion in revenue per year and estimations have found that around 25 million patients were prescribed the drug. In September 2004, Merck was forced to recall Vioxx on account of it being shown to cause adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and stroke.

Merck was slammed with a massive class-action lawsuit that was eventually settled for $4.85 billion in 2007. Not only did Merck cover up data suggesting its drug was dangerous, they illegally promoted it as an “off-label” treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, without any indication of its effectiveness.

According to the testimony of Dr. David Graham, the Associate Director for Science and Medicine in FDA’s Office of Drug Safety, Vioxx caused 55,000 premature deaths from heart attacks and stroke.

Even years after taking the medication, patients often still experience problems, indicating that Vioxx may have killed far more people than the conservative estimate made by Dr. Graham, who, after all, works for the FDA, the organization that was responsible for assessing the drug’s safety.

In fact, after analysing US national mortality data starting from the year Vioxx was released up to the year it was withdrawn, Ron Unz, [former] publisher of The American Conservativecame to the startling conclusion that Vioxx may have been responsible for up to 500,000 deaths, mostly in the elderly (age 65+) population.

After the scandal, Merck hired the services of PR company, Burson-Marstellar (whose past campaigns include covering up genocide in Nigeria, fighting health authorities on the issue of second-hand cigarette smoke, and playing down Apple’s abuse of Chinese factory workers), to help clean up its public image and assert them as an “ethical player in the healthcare arena”.

And it seems to have worked, for here we are, 15 years later with another worthless – and possibly quite dangerous – Merck drug being promoted around the world as a treatment for “Covid-19”. Predictably, the UK government has now expressed interest in Molnupiravir, with many more countries expected to follow suit.

But Merck’s criminal history stretches further back than 1999 when Vioxx hit the shelves, for, as early as the 1960s, Merck faced controversy regarding its arthritis medication, Indocin. Although the drug had been approved by the FDA, it was later revealed that the medication had not been adequately tested for efficacy or side effects.

Less than a decade later, Merck’s drug DES (diethylstilbestrol), alleged to prevent miscarriages, was found to be carcinogenic, causing cases of cervical cancer and other gynaecological disorders. And last (but certainly not least), in 2007, Merck’s cholesterol drug, “Zetia” was shown to cause liver disease, a risk that was known to Merck who intentionally concealed the damning trial results.

Before ending this article, I would like to quote a section from one of my previous articles titled Big Pharma Power Vortex vs Zero Deaths From Vitamins, as I believe it’s particularly pertinent here:

For those who think the media are simply biased towards pharmaceutical drugs, this is a naive assumption. Behind the headline-making newspapers, magazines and television programs is a coordinated socio-political power vortex seeded in Big Pharma/Big Money corruption.

Drawing on the work of Dr. Alex Vasquez, I present here a brief summary of how the system works:

    1. Medical journals are inherently biased towards publishing pro-drug articles. These then serve as advertisements for the pharmaceutical industry which pays millions of dollars for journal reprints.
    2. Mainstream media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, TV shows and online publications then republish the pro-drug information, much to the delight of the pharmaceutical industry.
    3. Medical science and mainstream media then become a pro-drug echo chamber for biased, Big Pharma propaganda.
    4. Drug companies increase their sales, gaining profits and building influence to the point where they have more power than governments.
    5. Pharmaceutical companies infiltrate medical education, media, and health policy; they pay “researchers” to publish and teach information favourable to the pharmaceutical paradigm.
    6. Governments then write policies and make investments that favour drug companies rather than the citizens of that country.

At the time of writing, Molnupiravir has not yet been FDA approved. However, Merck has asked the FDA to grant “emergency” approval on account of the drug’s alleged effectiveness. Considering the decisions made by the FDA thus far, along with the fact that funding from pharmaceutical companies like Merck makes up 75% of the FDA’s drug review budget, what do you think the chances are of Molnupiravir’s approval being granted?

And would you trust a doctor who prescribed it to you?

October 31, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Doctor defends ‘80 clinical studies’ showing ivermectin ‘89% effective’ at preventing COVID

‘People are trying to scare us from taking ivermectin. It’s one of the safest drugs in the world.’

Life Site News | April 29, 2021

A doctor from the Philippines strongly defended the use of ivermectin for preventing and treating COVID-19, pointing to “80 clinical studies” which support his arguments, and alluding to “bias” and conflicts of interest, which have led medical bodies to be reluctant about promoting the drug.

Appearing on Philippine television channel ABS–CBN, Dr. Benigno Agbayani answered a range of questions about the efficacy and safety of the drug, as well as the peculiar reticence to recommend it for treating COVID-19.

Agbayani, the president of Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines, revealed that since last year, he had spent over five hours a day studying scientific literature on all things pertaining to COVID-19, including the non-effectiveness of lockdowns. “I think I’ve read more than anyone on COVID-19,” he stated.

However, Agbayani did not spend long defending his medical credentials, but instead advocated the use of ivermectin by referring to the wealth of scientific studies with which he was by now very familiar. He already prescribed ivermectin to over 300 of his own patients, but despite the success he has experienced so far, Agbayani stated that he looks “at the success rate of studies, rather than my personal experience, because that’s where I base my recommendations.”

“As much as anecdotal [pieces of evidence] are good, and we have many, I really prefer that we stick to the science,” he said. “People are trying to scare us from taking ivermectin. It’s one of the safest drugs in the world.”

Mentioning a study from September 2020, Agbayani stated that ivermectin had been shown to actually block “the receptor sites of the virus onto our cells, therefore blocking it from ever getting to the cell.”

“You have over 26, as of today, randomized control trials showing effectiveness, even as high as 89% for prevention, and as high as 80% for treatment. So I think regardless of what the other groups are doing, you have so much science behind it, I do not see why we have to be so concerned.”

Some studies mentioned ivermectin in conjunction with accompanying treatments, but Agbayani noted that even with this, it was possible to prove the effectiveness of ivermectin on its own. Pointing to the evidence found by Dr. Tess Lawrie, Agbayani explained that the drugs accompanying ivermectin in the studies were there, “but not all the time,” and that they “have already been proven not to work, so if you have two drugs given with ivermectin, and one drug doesn’t work, then you have to conclude that it must be ivermectin,” which produces the result.

He alluded to the peculiar antagonism which has been levied against ivermectin, noting how scepticism regarding studies promoting ivermectin is not mirrored with other drugs: “[T]he same thing can be said of every drug that we tried. Even people who are taking remdesevir, they also try other drugs, and yet you don’t question that.”

Continuing, he noted that “most” of the drugs accompanying ivermectin in the trials were “not even anti-virus [drugs], most of them are supportive of your immune systems.”

“There are 80 clinical studies [about the use of ivermectin]. If the 80 clinical studies show positive response, and maybe about 2% only showing no response to ivermectin, in clinical studies, of the doses that we give, I think that should be enough proof that it works.”

Drawing once more on the scientific data, Agbayani promoted ivermectin both as a prophylactic, and as a treatment once infected with COVID-19. Conclusions drawn from “at least 12 clinical studies,” of which 3 were randomized, controlled trials, revealed “an 89% rate of preventing COVID-19.”

Global Reluctance Regarding Ivermectin

Yet despite this, medical bodies have been consistently reluctant to promote the use of ivermectin, with Big Tech even weighing in and deleting videos which defended the drug. Thanks to the efforts of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) upgraded their recommendation for the “miraculous” drug ivermectin, making it an option for use in treating COVID-19 within the United States, but only since January.

Agbayani suggested two reasons for the global reticence regarding the drug. Dealing first with the NIH, he suggested that “the NIH, the U.S. I mean, just needs to update their data. I think the last time they gave an update was February. They said it could be useful, it may not be useful.”

But he also mentioned that there was some deliberate avoidance at properly promoting ivermectin, commenting on how the World Health Organization’s March 3 recommendation of the drug did not include preventative use, but “only mentioned treatment and for severe cases. For severe cases and early treatment.”

“They did not include prophylaxis, because I think they’re afraid to recommend it, that’s why they did not make a comment,” he continued. “If you look at the way they studied it, they did include so many other studies … there seems to be a bias in those recommendations and we feel that they do not want to look at certain studies preferentially, and this was observed even before this recent announcement.”

“There is some kind of bias going on that we’d like to question. This is the time in our history when we should look at conflicts of interest.”

Such a conflict of interest could exist in the vaccine company Merck, Agbayani added, in answer to why the company even issued a statement advising against the use of ivermectin for COVID, despite having developed it some 30 years prior. This was an “excellent example of conflict of interest,” stated Agbayani.

“Merck is coming out with a new drug for the early treatment of COVID-19. How can Merck make money out of ivermectin, if the patents already expired in 1996, so even if it tries that, I don’t think they’ll make money at all, when so many other companies are making ivermectin. So they have to put their mouth on their research expenses on their new drug.”

Despite Merck joining other vaccine companies in pushing out speedily developed new drugs, ivermectin was still being side-lined, although it has been “used for 25 years,” said Agbayani. Even taking a dose, “ten times” the NIH daily recommended amount, would “have no [side] effect.”

“Compare that to other drugs that we are now using that are fairly new, where you are getting so many reports of side effects. So it’s really amazing that people still say it’s an unsafe drug when it’s been used for 25 years, over 3.7 billion doses have been given.”

Dr. Agbayani is by no means alone in his promotion of ivermectin for treating and preventing COVID-19.

Back in December, intensive care specialist Dr. Pierre Kory, a founding member of the FLCCC, delivered an impassioned address to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, defending the “miraculous effectiveness of ivermectin,” and stating that it “basically obliterates transmission of this virus.”

“It literally destroys the virus in most people within 48 hours,” agreed fellow panelist Dr. Jean-Jacques Rajter, whose peer-reviewed study found 60% fewer deaths among patients given the drug.

In fact, the efficacy of ivermectin with regard to COVID-19 was already hinted at in April 2020, when researchers in Australia pointed to a dramatic effect the drug had on the virus. “We showed that a single dose of Ivermectin could kill COVID-19 in a petri dish within 48 hours, indicating potent antiviral activity,” stated Dr. David Jans, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Monash University in Melbourne.

Even after just 24 hours, “there was a really significant reduction” in the virus, added Dr. Kylie Wagstaff, a senior research fellow in biochemistry and molecular biology at Monash University.

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

COVID-19: RDIF Points to Absence of Long-Term Studies on Vaccines Based on Monkey Adenoviral Vectors

By Aleksandra Serebriakova – Sputnik – 09.09.2020

The third round of trials for the AstraZeneca anti-COVID-19 drug is now on pause over “potentially unexplained illness” in a participant in the UK. On 11 August, Russia registered its own Sputnik V anti-coronavirus vaccine, which is said to have been developed in a different way.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) the investor which has funded the development of Russia’s Sputnik V anti-coronavirus vaccine, could not comment on the halt of AstraZeneca trials, it said in a statement.

However, RDIF pointed out that the fund’s CEO Kirill Dmitriev had previously discussed the differences between the human adenoviral vector-based platform used in Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and those used by some of their international colleagues, that rely on “novel unproven technologies such as monkey adenoviral vectors or mRNA”.

“The safety of the human adenoviral vector used in Sputnik V has been proven over decades in over 250 clinical studies, as human adenovirus has been shown to be the safest vaccine delivery mechanism and the most ‘organic for humans’, as human adenovirus has coexisted with humans for over 100,000 years,” RFID said.

Meanwhile, “mRNA and monkey adenoviral vector-based platforms have not been studied over a long period of time,” RDIF CEO Dmitriev pointed out this Tuesday.

Commenting on the so-called “pledge of safety” earlier voiced by the CEOs of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer and Sanofi in relation to the development of the first COVID-19 vaccines, Dmitriev stressed that this plea was “insufficient” as it did not “discuss the lack of long-term studies on the carcinogenic effects and impact on fertility of newly-developed vaccine technologies”.

“Since some of the companies developing these vaccines have taken the ‘pledge of safety’, we would like to stress that public health and safety requires not only short-term evidence of a lack of serious adverse effects, but also the safety and efficacy proved by the results of long-term studies,” Dmitriev added.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Trials on Pause

It was revealed this week that the third round of trials for the AstraZeneca anti-COVID-19 vaccine has been halted due to a “potentially unexplained illness” which had developed in a participant in the United Kingdom, without further specifications about the nature of possible side effects. The vaccine in question was developed in partnership with Oxford University and has reportedly involved around 30,000 participants in the UK, US, Brazil and South Africa. AstraZeneca described the pause as “routine” so as to allow for a “standard review process” of “safety data”.

Russia’s First Anti-Coronavirus Vaccine

On 11 August, Russia registered the world’s first vaccine against COVID-19, called Sputnik V, which was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the RDIF after several rounds of clinical trials. On Monday, the vaccine was made available to the public.

According to RDIF, Russia has now received requests for 1 billion doses of the vaccine; at least 20 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil and India, have expressed an interest in obtaining Sputnik V.

September 9, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class

By Martha Rosenberg | CounterPunch | February 16, 2018

Bisphosphonate bone drugs are among the most harmful and misrepresented drug classes still on the market. But that has not stopped Pharma-funded medical associations like the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Bone Health Alliance from periodically wringing their hands over low sales. [1]

This week the New York Times repeats the industry lament. “Currently, many people at risk of a fracture — and often their doctors — are failing to properly weigh the benefits of treating fragile bones against the very rare but widely publicized hazards of bone-preserving drugs, experts say,” it writes. Hip fractures among women 65 and older on Medicare are rising says the piece and Medicare reimbursements for bone density tests are falling. “Doctors who did them in private offices could no longer afford to [do them] which limited patient access and diagnosis and treatment of serious bone loss,” says a doctor quoted in the article which sounds like a Pharma plea for tax-payer funding.

But here is the back story.

The first bisphosphonate bone drug approved for osteoporosis, Merck’s Fosamax, received only a six month review before FDA approval. When its esophageal side effects were revealed, the FDA tried to unapprove it but Merck got the FDA to settle for a warning label that told patients to sit upright for an hour after taking the drug. Six months after Fosamax was approved, there were 1,213 reports of adverse effects including 32 patients hospitalized for esophageal harm. One woman who took Fosamax but remained upright for only thirty minutes was admitted to the hospital with “severe ulcerative esophagitis affecting the entire length of the esophagus” and had to be fed intravenously, according to the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Soon bisphosphonates (which include Boniva, Actonel and Zometa) were shown to weaken not strengthen bones by suppressing the body’s bone-remodeling action. Yes bone loss is stopped but since the bone is not renewed, it becomes brittle, ossified and prone to fracture. More than a decade ago, articles in the NEJM, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma and Injury warned of the paradoxical drug results. One-half of doctors at a 2010 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting presentation said they’d personally seen patients with bisphosphonate-compromised bone. “There is actually bone death occurring,” said Phuli Cohan, MD on CBS about a woman who’d been on Fosamax for years.

By 2003, dentists and oral surgeons found that after simple office dental work, the jawbone tissue of patients taking bisphosphonates would sometimes not heal but become necrotic and die. They had received no warnings though Merck knew about the jawbone effects from animal studies since 1977.

“Up to this point, this rare clinical scenario was seen only at our centers in patients who had received radiation therapy and accounted for 1 or 2 cases per year,” said the authors of an article titled “Osteonecrosis of the Jaws Associated with the Use of Bisphosphonates: A Review of 63 Cases,” published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Despite reports of ulcerative esophagitis, bone degradation, fractures and jawbone death Merck aggressively promoted Fosamax. It hired researcher Jeremy Allen to plant bone scan machines in medical offices across the country to drive sales and to push through the Bone Mass Measurement Act which made bone scans Medicare reimbursable paid by you and me. Hopefully that is changing.

Blaming hip fractures on not enough people taking bisphosphonates is not a new tactic for Pharma. It blamed increasing suicides on not enough people taking antidepressants (even when as much as a fourth of the population takes antidepressants). Get ready for Pharma to blame obesity on not enough people taking prescription obesity drugs. The ruse is even more dishonest because many popular drugs people are taking like GERD medications really do thin bones. First do no harm.

Notes.

[1] According to the British Medical Journal, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is funded by Bayer Healthcare, Lane Laboratories, Mission Pharmacal, Novartis, Pharmavite, Pfizer, Roche, Warner Chilcott and Eli Lilly. The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research is funded by Pfizer and Eli Lilly. The National Bone Health Alliance is a public- private partnership that is an offshoot of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , | Leave a comment

TPP: Big Pharma’s Big Deal

By Joyce Nelson | CounterPunch | October 7, 2015

We still don’t know all the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal tentatively agreed to on Oct. 5 by negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries, but already critics are slamming it for many reasons, including its generous concessions to the pharmaceutical industry.

Doctors Without Borders claims the TPP will “go down in history as the worst trade agreement for access to medicines in developing countries.” [1] That’s because the TPP will extend patent protection for brand-name drugs, thereby preventing similar generic drugs (which are far less costly) from entering the market. This will drive up the prices.

Judit Rius Sanjuan, legal policy adviser for Doctors Without Borders, told vox.com that TPP creates patent-related obligations in countries that never had them before. People in “Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Mexico” will be especially affected, she said. “They’ll face higher prices for longer periods of time.” [2]

Ruth Lopert, a professor at George Washington University, told Bloomberg News that provisions in the TPP agreement will affect health-care budgets and drug access in all signatory countries, but especially the poorest. “She said as many as 40,000 people in Vietnam, the poorest country in the agreement, could stop getting drugs to fight HIV because of provisions that will boost the price of [pharmaceutical] therapy.” [3]

Other countries like Canada will also be hit with higher costs. The Council of Canadians says that if the TPP is ratified, “[p]harmaceutical patents will be extended, delaying the release of more affordable generic drugs and adding $2 billion to our annual public health care bill.” [4] In the U.S., many people already cannot afford to pay for the expensive medicines that could save their lives, and they try to access generics available elsewhere.

Extending patent rights for life-saving drugs is an obvious gift to Big Pharma. Conor J. Lynch at opendemocracy.net has called it “a clear corporate handout that would greatly affect international access and most definitely cause preventable deaths. The clear objective here is to increase industry profits, plain and simple. This is not surprising, that’s what private industry does, but there is a serious moral dilemma here.” [5] That moral dilemma is made even more apparent by recent findings.

Tax Cheats

In an ironic coincidence, the TPP agreement was reached on the same day that a damning report on corporate tax-avoidance – Offshore Shell Games 2015 – was released by Citizens for Tax Justice and the US Public-Interest Research Group Education Fund. The report reveals the extent to which top U.S. companies use tax havens like Bermuda, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, and the Netherlands to set up “tax haven subsidiaries” that are usually little more than a post-office box.

Of the top 30 Fortune 500 companies with the most money held in offshore tax-havens, nine are pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer ($74 billion held offshore), Merck ($60 billion), Johnson & Johnson ($53.4 billion), Proctor & Gamble ($45 billion), Amgen ($29.3 billion), Eli Lilly ($25.7 billion), Bristol Myers Squibb ($24 billion), AbbeVie Inc. ($23 billion), and Abbott Laboratories ($23 billion). [6]

Concerning Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker (declared profits of $22 billion in 2013), the report states: “The company made more than 41 percent of its sales in the U.S. between 2008 and 2014, but managed to report no federal taxable income for seven years in a row. This is because Pfizer uses accounting techniques to shift the location of its taxable profits offshore. For example, the company can transfer patents for its drugs to a subsidiary in a low- or no-tax country. Then when the U.S. branch of Pfizer sells the drug in the U.S., it ‘pays’ its own offshore subsidiary high licensing fees that turn domestic profits into on-the-books losses and shifts profit overseas.”

Overall, the study found that the 500 largest U.S. companies hold more than US$2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore. “For many companies, increasing profits held offshore does not mean building factories abroad, selling more products to foreign customers, or doing any additional real business activity in other countries,” but simply establishing a PO box.

Some companies use the money supposedly “trapped” offshore as “implied collateral” in order to borrow funds at negligible rates for investing in U.S. assets, paying dividends to shareholders, or repurchasing stock.

Of course, as the report makes clear, “Congress, by failing to take action to end this tax avoidance, forces ordinary Americans to make up the difference. Every dollar in taxes that corporations avoid by using tax havens must be balanced by higher taxes on individuals, cuts to public investments and public services, or increased federal debt.”

The report finds that, through a variety of tax-avoidance measures, an estimated US$620 billion in U.S. taxes is collectively owed by the 500 largest companies with headquarters in the U.S.

Corporate Coup

Now the TransPacific Partnership – which is being called “NAFTA on steroids” – would award Big Pharma and other multinationals even more corporate “rights” in more countries, including the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism by which they can sue signatory governments for regulatory changes that affect their profits.

As the Canadian website rabble.ca notes: “The Canadian government is currently being sued through NAFTA by Eli Lilly, an American pharmaceutical company, for invalidating the firm’s patent extensions on two mental health drugs. A Canadian Federal Court decided in 2010 that the patent extensions had not delivered the promised benefits and the drugs should therefore be opened up to generic competition. Generic drugs significantly reduce the cost for end users, but Eli Lilly cried foul and launched an ISDS claim against the government, demanding US$500 million in compensation for lost profits. The case is still in progress, but regardless of the outcome we can expect the TPP to lead to similar ISDS disputes. Powerful multinational pharmaceutical companies will use any available means to cling to over-priced drug monopolies. Greater intellectual property protections in the TPP will give these companies an even stronger quasi-legal basis to sue governments and crowd out generic [drug] competition.” [7]

The final text of the TransPacific Partnership agreement won’t be available for at least a month, likely weeks after the Canadian federal election on October 19. The details will undoubtedly reveal more generous concessions to the multinationals. It will be up to the elected legislators in all twelve countries to approve or reject the TPP. In Canada, NDP leader Tom Mulcair has pledged to scrap the deal if elected as Prime Minister, explaining that the Stephen Harper government had no mandate to sign it during an election campaign when it is merely a “caretaker” government.

The U.S. website zerohedge.com calls the Trans-Pacific Partnership “a Trojan horse” and “a coup by multinational corporations who want global subservience to their agenda.” In no uncertain terms, it adds: “Buyer beware. Citizens beware.” [8]

Footnotes/Links:

[1] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/latest/tranpacific-partnership-deal-reached/story-e6frg90f-1227558154056

[2] Julia Belluz, “How the Trans-Pacific Partnership could drive up the cost of medicine worldwide,” Vox, October 5, 2015.
http://www.vox.com/2015/10/5/9454511/tpp-cost-medicine

[3] “Pacific Deal Rewrites Rules on Trade in Autos, Patented Drugs,” Bloomberg News, October 5, 2015.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-05/pacific-deal-rewrites-rules-on-trade-in-autos-patented

[4] Council of Canadians, “Tell party leaders: Reject the TPP,” October 6, 2015.

[5] Conor J. Lynch, “Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Big Pharma giveaway,” Open Democracy, February 14, 2015.
http://www.opendemocracy.net/conor-j-lynch/transpacific-partnership%E2/80%/99s-big-pharma-giveaway

[6] http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2015/10/orrshore_shell_games_2015.php//executive

[7] Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood, “Trans-Pacific Partnership a big win for corporate interests,” Rabble.ca, October 6, 2015.

[8] Tyler Durden, “Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Struck As ‘Corporate Secrecy’ Wins Again,” Zero Hedge, October 5, 2015.
http://www.zerohedge.com

October 7, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

After First Drug Injures Patients Shameless Drug Company Pursues Follow-up Drug

By Martha Rosenberg | Dissident Voice | October 22nd, 2012

The year 1999 was a good one for the drug company Merck. In its 64 page annual report, it predicted that the arthritis medicine Vioxx (“Our Biggest, Fastest, and Best Launch Ever!”) would also prevent Alzheimer’s disease and colon cancer. It announced it was seeking approval to market the asthma drug Singulair to two-year-olds. And it forecast that 40 million women would take its new osteoporosis drug, Fosamax, as Merck continued to “help educate both doctors and patients” about the bone disease.

It turned out Merck spoke too soon. Vioxx was withdrawn in 2004 for doubling stroke and heart attacks in long-term users; Singulair now carries FDA warnings about “neuropsychiatric events” and Fosamax is suspected of doubling the risk of esophageal cancer, causing bone fractures instead of preventing them and causing heart problems, intractable pain and jawbone death. Oops!

There’s plenty of ka-ching in selling “strong bones” products for the same reason there was plenty of ka-ching in selling “hormone replacement” products: one-half the population is female, and no one wants to look old. Of course, “avoiding hot flashes” really means “still looking hot” in hormone marketing terminology, and “avoiding fractures” really means “still looking hot” in bone product marketing lingo. That’s why attractive women like Meredith Vieira from the Today show and former Charlie’s Angel Cheryl Ladd and actress Sally Field push bone drugs, just as model Lauren Hutton pushed hormone replacement therapy.

To cash in on Fosamax, the first in the bisphosphonate bone drug class, Merck decided to market the dangers of osteoporosis “far beyond ailing old ladies.” It hired researcher Jeremy Allen to whip up fears of “osteopenia,” the risk of osteoporosis, as a health epidemic to sell bone drugs and planted bone scan machines in medical offices across the country, says National Public Radio. Allen created the faux “Bone Measurement Institute” which also maneuvered Medicare reimbursement for the scans. By 1999, there were 10,000 bone scan machines in medical offices, said the Associated Press, when there had been only 750 before Fosamax.

Like its trouble-laden drug Vioxx, Merck’s Fosamax flew out of the FDA. It received only a six month review before its 1995 FDA approval. (The government also helped its promotion with the HHS secretary herself, Donna Shalala, participating in a 1998 rally kicking off free bone density screenings to be offered in 100 cities.)

But the wheels soon came flying off the bone drug. Patients experienced esophageal “irritation”  and the warning to stay upright for one full hour after taking Fosamax, eating or drinking nothing was added after approval. One woman who took Fosamax but remained upright for only 30 minutes, not 60, had to be admitted to the Mayo Clinic with “severe ulcerative esophagitis affecting the entire length of the esophagus” and had to be fed intravenously, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Next, dentists and oral surgeons discovered after simple tooth extractions and other in-office dental work, the jawbone tissue of patients on bisphosphonates would sometimes not heal but become necrotic and die — a condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw(ONJ), The necrotic condition did not take long to manifest “even short-term oral use of alendronate [Fosamax] led to ONJ in a subset of patients” — wrote a dental journal, but it somehow slipped through Fosamax’s two, three-year clinical trials on which its FDA approval was based. Doctors, dentists, and pharmacists were enraged at what looked like deliberate obfuscation by Merck.

And there were second, third and fourth opinions about Fosamax! According to an FDA epidemiologist writing in New England Journal of Medicine in 2009 there were 23 incidences of Fosamax-associated esophageal cancer in the US and eight deaths and 27 incidences of cancer in Europe and Japan and six deaths.

Next reports in medical journals linked bisphosphonates to the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, or a chronically irregular heartbeat and to severe bone, joint or muscle pain. “In the most serious cases, the pain was so severe that patients could not continue their normal activities,” wrote the FDA in a press release. “Some patients have complete relief of symptoms after they stop taking the drug, while others have reported slow or incomplete resolution.” Clearly, the FDA was trying hard to avoid the word irreversible.

Finally, in a development that suggests tremendous medical ineptitude if not duplicity, bisphosphonates were found to sometimes cause the very fractures they were supposed to prevent. The thigh bones of patients on bisphosphonates have “simply snapped while they were walking or standing,” after “weeks or months of unexplained aching,” reported the New York Times in an article called “Drugs to Build Bones May Weaken Them.”

It should be embarrassing to the medical establishment that a prominent drug company and the FDA “discovered” severe side effects after years of patient use and that bone scans are still merchandised though they are of no value to 90 percent of women, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. It should be further embarrassing that Merck was allowed to make $3 billion a year off a drug that many say would not have been approved had clinical trials lasted longer. Its patent expired in 2008.

Now Merck is about to launch a new drug for osteoporosis called odanacatib which has already intrigued the money men on Wall Street. “Odanacatib may be a viable alternative for patients who need continued therapy and who want benefits beyond what they received from bisphosphonates,” a senior Merck research executive told Reuters without a hint of irony.

Martha Rosenberg is a columnist/cartoonist who writes about public health. Her first book, titled Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health, has just been released by Prometheus Books. She can be reached at: martharosenberg@sbcglobal.net.

October 22, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on After First Drug Injures Patients Shameless Drug Company Pursues Follow-up Drug

Chinese Melamine and American Vioxx: A Comparison

By Ron Unz | The American Conservative | April 18, 2012

In contrasting China and America, pundits often cite our free and independent media as one of our greatest strengths, together with the tremendous importance which our society places upon individual American lives. For us, a single wrongful death can sometimes provoke weeks of massive media coverage and galvanize the nation into corrective action, while life remains cheap in China, a far poorer land of over a billion people, ruled by a ruthless Communist Party eager to bury its mistakes. But an examination of two of the greatest public-health scandals of the last few years casts serious doubt on this widespread belief.

First, consider the details of the Chinese infant formula scandal of 2008. Unscrupulous businessmen had discovered they could save money by greatly diluting their milk products, then adding a plastic chemical compound called melamine to raise the apparent protein content back to normal levels. Nearly 300,000 babies throughout China had suffered urinary problems, with many hundreds requiring lengthy hospitalization for kidney stones. Six died. A wave of popular outrage swept past the controlled media roadblocks and initial government excuses, and soon put enormous pressure on Chinese officials to take forceful action against the wrongdoers.

China’s leaders may not be democratically elected, but they pay close attention to strong popular sentiment. Once pressed, they quickly launched a national police investigation which led to a series of arrests and uncovered evidence that this widespread system of food adulteration had been protected by bribe-taking government officials. Long prison sentences were freely handed out and a couple of the guiltiest culprits were eventually tried and executed for their role, measures that gradually assuaged popular anger. Indeed, the former head of the Chinese FDA had been executed for corruption in late 2007 under similar circumstances.

Throughout these events, American media coverage was extensive, with numerous front-page stories in our leading newspapers. Journalists discovered that similar methods of dangerous chemical adulteration had been used to produce Chinese pet food for export, and many family dogs in America had suffered or died as a result. With heavy coverage on talk radio and cable news shows, phrases such as “Chinese baby formula” or “Chinese pet food” became angry slurs, and there was talk of banning whole categories of imports from a country whose product safety standards were obviously so far below those found in Western societies. The legitimate concerns of ordinary Americans were fanned by local media coverage that sometimes bordered on the hysterical.

However, the American media reaction had been quite different during an earlier health scandal much closer to home.

In September 2004, Merck, one of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies, suddenly announced that it was voluntarily recalling Vioxx, its popular anti-pain medication widely used to treat arthritis-related ailments. This abrupt recall came just days after Merck discovered that a top medical journal was about to publish a massive study by an FDA investigator indicating that the drug in question greatly increased the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes and had probably been responsible for at least 55,000 American deaths during the five years it had been on the market.

Within weeks of the recall, journalists discovered that Merck had found strong evidence of the potentially fatal side-effects of this drug even before its initial 1999 introduction, but had ignored these worrisome indicators and avoided additional testing, while suppressing the concerns of its own scientists. Boosted by a television advertising budget averaging a hundred million dollars per year, Vioxx soon became one of Merck’s most lucrative products, generating over $2 billion in yearly revenue. Merck had also secretly ghostwritten dozens of the published research studies emphasizing the beneficial aspects of the drug and encouraging doctors to widely prescribe it, thus transforming science into marketing support. Twenty-five million Americans were eventually prescribed Vioxx as an aspirin-substitute thought to produce fewer complications.

Although the Vioxx scandal certainly did generate several days of newspaper headlines and intermittently returned to the front pages as the resulting lawsuits gradually moved through our judicial system, the coverage still seemed scanty relative to the number of estimated fatalities, which matched America’s total losses in the Vietnam War. In fact, the media coverage often seemed considerably less than that later accorded to the Chinese infant food scandal, which had caused just a handful of deaths on the other side of the world.

The circumstances of this case were exceptionally egregious, with many tens of thousands of American deaths due to the sale of a highly lucrative but sometimes fatal drug, whose harmful effects had long been known to its manufacturer. But there is no sign that criminal charges were ever considered.

A massive class-action lawsuit dragged its way through the courts for years, eventually being settled for $4.85 billion in 2007, with almost half the money going to the trial lawyers. Merck shareholders also paid large sums to settle various other lawsuits and government penalties and cover the heavy legal costs of fighting all of these cases. But the loss of continuing Vioxx sales represented the greatest financial penalty of all, which provides a disturbing insight into the cost-benefit calculations behind the company’s original cover-up. When the scandal broke, Merck’s stock price collapsed, and there was a widespread belief that the company could not possibly survive, especially after evidence of a deliberate corporate conspiracy surfaced. Instead, Merck’s stock price eventually reached new heights in 2008 and today is just 15 percent below where it stood just before the disaster.

Furthermore, individuals make decisions rather than corporate entities, and none of the individuals behind Merck’s deadly decisions apparently suffered any serious consequences. The year after the scandal unfolded, Merck’s long-time CEO resigned and was replaced by one of his top lieutenants, but he retained the $50 million in financial compensation he had received over the previous five years, compensation greatly boosted by lucrative Vioxx sales. Senior FDA officials apologized for their lack of effective oversight and promised to do better in the future. American media conglomerates quietly mourned their loss of heavy Vioxx advertising, but continued selling the same airtime to Merck and its rivals for the marketing of other, replacement drugs, while their investigative arms soon focused on the horrors of tainted Chinese infant food and the endemic corruption of Chinese society.

This story of serious corporate malfeasance largely forgiven and forgotten by government and media is depressing enough, but it leaves out a crucial factual detail that seems to have almost totally escaped public notice. The year after Vioxx had been pulled from the market, the New York Times and other major media outlets published a minor news item, generally buried near the bottom of their back pages, which noted that American death rates had suddenly undergone a striking and completely unexpected decline.

The headline of the short article that ran in the April 19, 2005 edition of USA Today was typical: “USA Records Largest Drop in Annual Deaths in at Least 60 Years.” During that one year, American deaths had fallen by 50,000 despite the growth in both the size and the age of the nation’s population. Government health experts were quoted as being greatly “surprised” and “scratching [their] heads” over this strange anomaly, which was led by a sharp drop in fatal heart attacks.

On April 24, 2005, the New York Times ran another of its long stories about the continuing Vioxx controversy, disclosing that Merck officials had knowingly concealed evidence that their drug greatly increased the risk of heart-related fatalities. But the Times journalist made no mention of the seemingly inexplicable drop in national mortality rates that had occurred once the drug was taken off the market, although the news had been reported in his own paper just a few days earlier.

A cursory examination of the most recent 15 years worth of national mortality data provided on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website offers some intriguing clues to this mystery. We find the largest rise in American mortality rates occurred in 1999, the year Vioxx was introduced, while the largest drop occurred in 2004, the year it was withdrawn. Vioxx was almost entirely marketed to the elderly, and these substantial changes in national death-rate were completely concentrated within the 65-plus population. The FDA studies had proven that use of Vioxx led to deaths from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, and these were exactly the factors driving the changes in national mortality rates.

The impact of these shifts was not small. After a decade of remaining roughly constant, the overall American death rate began a substantial decline in 2004, soon falling by approximately 5 percent, despite the continued aging of the population. This drop corresponds to roughly 100,000 fewer deaths per year. The age-adjusted decline in death rates was considerably greater.

Patterns of cause and effect cannot easily be proven. But if we hypothesize a direct connection between the recall of a class of very popular drugs proven to cause fatal heart attacks and other deadly illnesses with an immediate drop in the national rate of fatal heart attacks and other deadly illnesses, then the statistical implications are quite serious. Perhaps 500,000 or more premature American deaths may have resulted from Vioxx, a figure substantially larger than the 3,468 deaths of named individuals acknowledged by Merck during the settlement of its lawsuit. And almost no one among our political or media elites seems to know or care about this possibility. A recent Wall Street Journal column even called for relaxing FDA restrictions aimed at avoiding “rare adverse events,” which had been imposed after the discovery of “unanticipated side effects of high-profile drugs like Vioxx.”

There are obvious mitigating differences between these two national responses. The Chinese victims were children, and their sufferings from kidney stones and other ailments were directly linked to the harmful compounds that they had ingested. By contrast, the American victims were almost all elderly, and there was no means of determining whether a particular heart attack had been caused by Vioxx or other factors; the evidence implicating the drug was purely statistical, across millions of patients. Furthermore, since most of the victims were anyway nearing the end of their lives, the result was more an acceleration of the inevitable rather than cutting short an entire young life, and sudden fatal heart attacks are hardly the most unpleasant forms of death.

But against these important factors we must consider the raw numbers involved. American journalists seemed to focus more attention on a half-dozen fatalities in China than they did on the premature deaths of as many as 500,000 of their fellow American citizens.

The inescapable conclusion is that in today’s world and in the opinion of our own media, American lives are quite cheap, unlike those in China.

April 20, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments