Setting the scene In April 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released its “Global Report on Diabetes” (1). It spells out the awful truth about the extent and impact of these diseases. Here are some of the key facts: It has been estimated that in 2014 there were 422 million adults with diabetes, which compares with 108 million in 1980. There were 1.5 million deaths attributed to diabetes in 2012. In addition there were a further 2.2 million deaths from other causes such as cardiovascular disease. Of these, 43% occurred before the age of 70 years. Those with diabetes may suffer other complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, leg amputation, vision loss and nerve damage. In pregnancy, poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of foetal death and other complications. Economic aspects It has been estimated that the direct annual cost of diabetes to the world is more than US$ 827 billion. Because of the increased number of people with diabetes and the increased spend per capita, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has estimated that total global health-care spending on diabetes more than tripled over the period 2003 to 2013. Although the costs of hospital care are significant, another important contributor to rising costs is increased expenditure on patented, branded medicines used to treat people with diabetes, including both new oral treatments for type 2 diabetes (T2D). The increase...Read More
Failure of public health policy Despite repeated attempts to persuade the politicians, the leaders of the mainstream medical and healthcare professions to accept that the current diabetes policy is a complete failure, there are no positive signs of any movement. The same old strategies that clearly do not work continue to be implemented. Consequently patients are given the wrong advice, which invariably causes the condition to deteriorate. This means a very poor quality of life, a reduction in life expectancy and for some unfortunates, loss of sight and/or amputations of limbs. We must tackle this issue at the grassroots As I explained in the previous blog, if we are to make progress it will have to be through initiatives at the grassroots. If more people appreciate the definite benefits to health that can be achieved by consuming a diet low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats (LCHF) this would be a significant step forward. In particular those with both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes (T1D, T2D) would be able to control these diseases. For those who are apparently healthy the LCHF diet would help to prevent T2D and many other common chronic diseases. As more and more discover the advantages, the word will spread and pressure for political action will build up. The Skipton course Following the successful “Diet and Diabetes” event held in Skipton in September...Read More
The market town of Skipton is the “Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales”. It is located within commuting distance of Leeds and Bradford. Like everywhere else it has its fair share of people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). In September we had a wonderful event in The Rendezvous Hotel at which Dr. David Unwin, Dr. Trudi Deakin and Marika Sboros were the keynote speakers (1). The speakers described and explained the benefits of consuming a diet which is low in sugar and carbohydrates but high in healthy fats (LCHF). There is now convincing evidence, reinforced by numerous personal case histories that T2D can be controlled very successfully with this type of diet. The big problem is that advocating LCHF is in direct conflict with the official advice from the Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS. The tragedy is that the majority of those with T2D are presented with recommendations to REDUCE fat and INCREASE carbohydrates. The inevitable result is that their condition deteriorates and they become dependent on drugs. Most of them suffer from poor health and die prematurely. This is an absolute scandal that is affecting millions of people here in the UK. The position is similar in many other countries including Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Governments are oblivious to requests for a complete re-vamp of the official dietary advice. Progress...Read More
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) In 2012, GSK agreed to plead guilty and to pay $3 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from the company’s unlawful promotion of certain prescription drugs, its failure to report certain safety data, and its civil liability for alleged false price reporting practices. This blog is based on the press release issued by the USA Department of Justice on 2 July 2012, updated on 22 May 2015 (1). The drugs involved were Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia. CRIMINAL PLEAS Paxil The government alleged that, from April 1998 to August 2003, GSK unlawfully promoted Paxil for treating depression in patients under age 18, even though the FDA has never approved it for paediatric use. The United States alleged that, among other things, GSK participated in preparing, publishing and distributing a misleading medical journal article that misreported that a clinical trial of Paxil demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of depression in patients under age 18, when the study failed to demonstrate efficacy. At the same time, GSK did not make available data from two other studies in which Paxil also failed to demonstrate efficacy in treating depression in patients under 18. The United States further alleges that GSK sponsored dinner programs, lunch programs, spa programs and similar activities to promote the use of Paxil in children and adolescents. GSK paid a speaker to talk to an audience...Read More
Johnson & Johnson In November the USA Department of Justice announced that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) would pay more than $2.2 billion as a result of criminal and civil offences in the way certain drugs were promoted and marketed. This blog has been prepared using material from the official press release issued on 4 November 2013 and updated on 22 October 2014 (1). Risperdal Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug that was approved for the treatment of schizophrenia. However the sales representatives of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a J&J subsidiary promoted the drug to physicians and other prescribers who treated elderly dementia patients by urging the prescribers to use Risperdal to treat symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, depression, hostility and confusion. It was alleged that the company created written sales aids for use by Janssen’s ElderCare sales force that emphasized symptoms and minimized any mention of the FDA-approved use, treatment of schizophrenia. The company also provided incentives for off-label promotion and intended use by basing sales representatives’ bonuses on total sales of Risperdal in their sales areas, not just sales for FDA-approved uses. In a plea agreement resolving these charges, Janssen admitted that it promoted Risperdal to healthcare providers for treatment of psychotic symptoms and associated behavioral disturbances exhibited by elderly, non-schizophrenic dementia patients. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Janssen will pay a total of $400 million, including a criminal fine...Read More
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