Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Healthcare spending in US dwarfs other OECD countries

The Kaiser Family Foundation released a new report showing that the US spends significantly more on heathcare than other western countries and with poor results despite the growing expenditures.

"In 2000, the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. 37th in the world. In 2006, "the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy."

Liberal Group’s Video Assails Koch Brothers - NYT

The Times gives space to Brave New Foundation launch of a longterm activism campaign against the Koch brothers and their anti-worker, anti-environment agenda. In the initial strike of filming the BNF filmmakers shoot outside five of the Koch mansions across the country, and attempt to interview the industrialist brothers.

Genetically Engineered Food News Launches Website to Inform Consumers of GMOs

A new website dedicated to informing consumers of the dangers and effects of genetically modified and genetically engineered food has been launched. The link here is to a press release of the announcement from Genetically Engineered Food News.

Genetically Engineered Food News link with useful resources on all varieties of GE crops including vegetables, fruit and trees, as well as animals. There is also an impressive group of partners and friends among the detailed list of supporters including OCA and Food & Water Watch among many others.

The Deadly Corruption of Clinical Trials

This Mother Jones story is from October 2010 and examines the deadly risks of patients who enroll in pharmaceutical clinical drug trials.

"The danger lies not just in the particular circumstances that led to Dan's death, but in a system of clinical research that has been thoroughly co-opted by market forces, so that many studies have become little more than covert instruments for promoting drugs. The study in which Dan died starkly illustrates the hazards of market-driven research and the inadequacy of our current oversight system to detect them."

After Surviving War in Iraq, US Troops Now Being Killed by Big Pharma

The US Army apparently freely prescribes psychotropic drugs, sleeping pills and other medications to soldiers in the field, resulting in pharmaceutical addictions and disturbingly high suicide rates among veterans. One-third of the US Army is currently on at least one prescription drug many of which are psychiatric chemical treatments. This article from February examines a number of examples as well as the pervasiveness of pharmacological treatment for a host of problems facing these soldiers.

An excellent and thorough NYT article on this topic: 
For Some Troops, Powerful Drug Cocktails Have Deadly Results

Psychiatrists and Big Pharma Desperately Want to Diagnose and Treat Your "Mental Illness" with Addictive, Dangerous and Expensive Psychotropic Drugs

Over the past couple of days I carefully screened the documentary "Marketing of Madness" produced by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. The video is almost three hours long and I recommend watching it in parts as the information is stunning and difficult to absorb all at once. In short, this important and disturbing work painstakingly establishes how the field of psychiatry has become compromised by financial relationships with drug companies that have led practitioners to more broadly define mental illness through the peer-generated DSM guidelines, and prescribe drugs with dangerous side effects to treat symptoms of disease. These psychotropic drugs do not cure the diseases or conditions but rather suppress the symptoms, and at the same time dramatically increase most patient's risk of depression, suicide, heart attack and sudden death, depending on the drug in question. The mechanism of action for all psychotropic drugs as listed on the package insert is "unknown" and the results of clinical trials and post-marketing research demonstrate that such drugs are very dangerous indeed. The money involved in the psychotropic drug industry amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars in the US alone and this money has corrupted the profession and regulatory agencies. I cannot begin to touch on the compelling evidence that many millions are being victimized and exploited by pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists in the mental health field and strongly urge you all to watch this important film. The links below all connect to the same documentary and I will post articles on these very important issues shortly. A Quick Facts reference link from CCHR is also listed below.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights - The Marketing of Madness

The Marketing of Madness - YouTube

The Marketing of Madness - Dr.

CCHR - Quick Facts About Psychiatry

Note: The CCHR was established by the Church of Scientology and functions independent of that entity, as an international psychiatric watchdog group. I do not endorse the church but I do believe that the CCHR is an important critical voice with regard to abuses on the part of psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry. 

Wisconsin Voters Reject GOP Governor's Anti-Labor Agenda, Giving Key Election Win to Democrats

Democrats gained a seat in the Wisconsin Assembly as special elections to fill seats held by Walker appointees were held on Tuesday. The win was for a western district formerly held by Walker's right-hand man, Michael Huebsch, and indicates that the recall vote in that area against Dan Kapanke could well succeed this fall. If the Democrats can gain two more State Senate seats out of the six GOP recall elections, and not lose any in Dem recall votes,  they will achieve a majority in the Assembly.

New Study Shows Higher Mortality Risk at For-Profit Dialysis Chains

Diabetes is a cash cow in the US that affects many millions of Americans. A good part of the problem stems from the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup in many foods, particularly soda, the reliance of many on fast food for nutrition, and a reduced emphasis on exercise in our schools. Another hazard, it turns out, is that privatized dialysis operations are providing inferior care to many diabetes patients, greatly reducing the odds of patients for living with the disease. In fact, mortality rates of these treatment centers, when compared to not-for-profit providers, are as much as 24% higher for those receiving treatment in the privatized outfits.

Washington Already Considering Ways To Ruin Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Details on some new bills designed to weaken the mandate and regulatory impact of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has been targeted by the GOP and industry as a threat to profits as it seeks to protect consumer rights in financial matters by streamlining contracts and disclose true pricing in a host of financial transactions.

Feds Gave $220 Million In Bailout Bucks To Two Morgan Stanley Wives For Some Reason

I hadn't heard about this little deal that was part of the TARP bailout. It's just one little reminder of how the banking industry is making the public pay for their crappy derivative loan packages, and exploiting a broken system for personal and corporate gain.