Today, Kevin explains how advertising is being forced down your throat at every turn and how the information you are hearing is far from truthful. Plus, find out how international conglomerates & politicians make sure outsiders never get into the White House.
Axelrod On Sanctioning Secretly Funded Groups
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December 30, 2009
By Ritu Bhatia
Women’s groups and doctors slammed advertisements issued by two pharmaceutical majors that claimed vaccination against (HPV) was the best way of preventing cervical cancer.
The objection from Sama Resource Centre for Women and Health and Saheli Women’s Resource Centre to Glaxo-SmithKline (GSK) India and Merck marketing HPV vaccines as a “protection against cervical cancer” comes a few days after the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) also took notice of the advertisements.
In a showcause notice issued to GSK India, the CDSCO cited objections raised by experts who said that the advertisements claiming that a vaccine can prevent cervical cancer were inaccurate and misleading. According to doctors, the drug majors appear to have oversimplified the complexity of cervical cancer and this could mislead consumers.
Researchers also point out that protection from HPV need not always translate into protection from cancer. “The vaccination doesn’t always protect women from cervical cancer because this virus isn’t the only cause of cervical cancer,” said Dr Sidharth Sahni, a surgical oncology consultant at Artemis Health Institute.
The available HPV vaccines protect against only two types of viruses associated with cervical cancer. “There are several types of HPVs associated with cervical cancer, and vaccines have not been proved to be effective against all of them,” said Bhudev Chandra Das, former director of the Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology and now a professor of biomedical research at Delhi University.
Ideally, the HPV vaccine should be administered to adolescent girls. Over the past year, paediatricians across the country have been urging parents of teenagers to administer them this vaccine.
But what many fail to mention is that this should only be given to those who have had no sexual exposure. “We first need to identify the target group for this vaccination,” Sahni added.
Vani Subramaniam of Saheli said the pharmaceutical companies were hiding information about the side effects of the vaccines. According to Anjali Shenoy of Sama, the health lobby should concentrate more on increasing awareness on screening the cancer rather than its vaccines.
December 9, 2009
Los Angeles Times
By Melissa Healy
Peter D. Kramer, the psychiatrist and author of the path-breaking 1993 book “Listening to Prozac,” said in an interview today that he felt “vindicated” by a newly published study (“Personality Change During Depression Treatment,” by Tony Z. Tang et al) finding that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants cause dramatic personality changes in depressed patients who take them.
“It’s hard not to feel justified” in the view–offered long before it became fashionable–that antidepressants now taken by 7% of American adults do more than lift depression: They nudge underlying personalities–even those of healthy people–into brighter, more appealing territory, and in so doing, raise ethical concerns about “cosmetic psychiatry.”
The study offers evidence that people who are unassertive, pessimistic, prone to worry and prefer to be by themselves or in small groups are more likely to develop depression, and that, when they take SSRIs, those underlying personality traits change more than most peoples’ change in an adult lifetime–in the span of 16 weeks. That change in basic outlook not only seems to be the thing that lifts them out of depression; it may even reduce the likelihood that they’ll relapse. (You can read our detailed account of the study and its findings here.)
While a group of subjects undergoing cognitive therapy had some of the same effects, they weren’t nearly as powerful as those that came from a pill–which in this case was paroxetine, marketed as Paxil.
Kramer found one possible inference from the study particularly striking: that it might turn on its head the view that many clinicians have of the value of drugs and/or cognitive therapy for their patients. “It looks like medicine is good for chronic personality traits and cognitive therapy is good for acute illness,” he said. Translation: Maybe any of us who are given to sad or worried rumination should be on SSRIs, and then, if we fall into depression anyway, we can get some time-consuming and expensive cognitive therapy. (That DOES sound like a treatment algorithm that would appeal to insurance companies.)