Beverly Blanchard Beating the Drum on drug info

Beating the Drum

Conflicting medical 'info' and the profits they smokescreen

By Beverly Blanchard
True North Perspective
Beverly Blanchard is an Ojibway First Nation from Northern Ontario. She holds a degree in Economics. During the last twenty-two years, she has worked as a consultant to First Nation and Inuit organizations in a variety of disciplines including: homelessness, suicide prevention, violence prevention, childcare, HIV/AIDS, women’s issues, business planning, and economic development. She has also designed and delivered Aboriginal awareness and stress management workshops to Federal government employees. Currently, Ms Blanchard is a life strategy coach, author and energy healer in Ottawa.

Have we all just become sacrificial lambs on the altar of the pharmaceutical industry? Every day new studies appear in the media that offers the solution to all that ails you, and weeks later another study comes along that refutes the findings. The problem is, many of the studies refuting the findings get lost in the information shuffle. Information falls down the memory fox hole.

Part of the problems deals with the media’s need to churn out information. It does not matter whether the information is true. Investigative journalism is all but obsolete. All that matters is that there is something to report on and in the reporting we are bombarded with conflicting information.

The other half of the equation deals with the consumer’s belief in whatever they are told through the media. By the media I am not just referring to the news, I am also including the commercials that are on the television. For many individuals, the first piece of information delivered by the media becomes the truth and it becomes ingrained in their beliefs about the world of health.

This week there was a news article dealing with the testing for prostate cancer. Apparently the testing produces a false positive 80% of the time, and a false positive leads to more testing. The additional testing leads to more invasive procedures and more stress for men. Yet, how many more men will undergo the testing because they believe that prostrate test is beneficial for them?

Last week I came across an article that informed me that ‘new research’ published in the Lancelet suggests that everyone over 50 should be given Statins because they can prevent a heart attack or stroke. Yes, healthy individuals should be taking Statins as a preventive. They use a fancy term called a reward-risk choice. Now, I worry when I am told that the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to health matters.

Being over 50, I thought I should investigate this a little further so I looked up the side effects of Statins. And what do I find? The side effects of Statins can include: chronic fatigue, muscle aches, stomach disturbances, and altered liver and kidney function. Patients have also reported sleep and memory problems, depression and headaches. There is also research that even suggests if you are physically active then these side effects can be more extreme.

The good news I am told are the side effects will disappear when I stop taking the drug. I will be back to my old normal self. So why take them to begin with? Once again, Big Pharma uses the fear factor and the biggest fear we all have is that we may croak.

When I looked at the forum boards about Statins I am taken back by the amount of individuals who are telling me a different story with regards to their experiences. The pain didn’t disappear and some of the other side effects were permanent. I also discovered that there were people who had taken Statins and ended up having a heart attack.

I know my research is not scientific but with all the conflicting information who am I to believe? The big corporations who are concerned with the bottom line profit or people who have had their lives disrupted by these drugs? Now there is a reward-risk choice!

I guess what I am trying to say is that with anything regarding your health you have to do your own research. We do this in other parts of our lives so why shouldn’t we do this in matters related to our health.

Many of the drugs that we are told we need have not been adequately tested and each researcher has their own interpretations. Perhaps that is why there are so many conflicting reports. There is also a rarely discussed fact that many of the researchers have been financed by the company who has developed and is looking to market the drug.

Taking a pill is not always the only alternative, and we have to accept the fact that sometimes doctors are not up-to-date on the research. In addition, many doctors are educated by the sales people representing the pharmaceutical company. I think there is a little bit of a conflict of interest in that relationship.

You are the authority of your health; don’t be reckless with that responsibility.




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