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01.18 Learning From Cuba’s ‘Medicare for All’

01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

01.17 Studies Show Ice Melting and Ocean Warming Both Happening Much Faster Than Previously Thought

01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic [charts]

01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]

01.15 Australia could hit 100% renewables sooner than most people think

01.15 Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

01.15 Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

01.15 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

01.15 Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total  per-capita costs]

01.14 Saudi Arabia Increases Solar Targets To 20 Gigawatts By 2023 & 40 Gigawatts By 2030

01.14 Solar + Storage Half The Cost Of Gas Peaker Plants — 8MinuteEnergy

01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]

01.14 Air pollution 'as bad as smoking in increasing risk of miscarriage'

01.09 Dutch eco initiative halves energy bills in first UK homes

01.09 'It's a nightmare': Americans' health at risk as shutdown slashes EPA

01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]

01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less  Great Again]

News Media Matters

01.19 How conservative media became a “safe space”

Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

01.19 The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?

01.19 Donald Trump Has Never Cared About Workers, and Never Will

01.19 Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth [Sociopaths have little or no conscience, empathy or morality...]

01.19 Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants [morality is against the law]

01.19 Mueller breaks silence to dispute parts of bombshell report on Michael Cohen

01.18 “Are We Really Where We Are?”: Trump, Putin, and Washington’s Unbelievable New Normal

01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]

01.18 The Right’s Case Against Soaking the Rich Is Dirt Poor

01.18 Trump Worsens the Border Crisis

01.18 Impeach Donald Trump

01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]

01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don't be fooled by their progressive veneer

01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]

Justice Matters

01.15 The US apparently kept no detailed notes of Trump-Putin meetings for the past 2 years

01.15 California’s largest utility just declared bankruptcy. Hello, climate change.

12.28 Mueller closes in: what will the Trump-Russia inquiry deliver in 2019?

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]

International & Futurism

01.19 The Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo is moving toward a major city. That’s not good.

01.19 Ahead of Third Annual Women's March, Group Releases Far-Reaching 'Intersectional Feminist Policy Platform'

01.17 +++ Brexit crisis: Germany and Europe react — live updates +++

01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]

01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]

01.16 How Governments React to Climate Change: An Interview with the Political Theorists Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann

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  Docs and the Drugs They Push

COMMENTARY:

Docs and the Drugs They Push

The problem is horrendous.

by James Ridgeway
First published in his blog Unsilent Generation Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Hopefully the Sunshine Act, which is part of health reform legislation, and which requires drug companies to disclose who they buy research from and for how much, will help put a stop to doctors as drug salesmen.

As I wrote earlier in the week, members of the medical profession are moaning and groaning about how once again they are taking an unfair beating at the hands of the mad socialists in Washington. For years now docs have been acting as salesmen for drug companies, in some cases, working with the drugsters to outmanuever FDA regulations–not that it’s very difficult to outmanuever that regulatory body which has become little more than an industry pr shop.

Hopefully the Sunshine Act, which is part of health reform legislation, and which requires drug companies to disclose who they buy research from and for how much, will help put a stop to doctors as drug salesmen. The problem is horrendous. On March 14, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a lengthy detailed account of the relationship between Wisconsin doctors and the drug industry. It is well worth reading in full. Here are a few bits:

When looking for a doctor to travel the country and tout its costly prescription fish oil pill, GlaxoSmithKline didn’t select a heavyweight university researcher.

Instead, it wrote checks to Tara Dall, a Delafield primary-care doctor who entered private practice in 2001.

For just three months of speaking engagements last year, GlaxoSmithKline paid Dall $45,000, ranking her among the most highly paid of more than 3,600 doctors nationwide who spoke for the company, which released records for only one quarter of the year.....

Dall hedged when asked in an interview if she fully disclosed her financial relationship with GlaxoSmithKline to all the patients for whom she prescribes the company’s high-priced fish oil product, known as Lovaza.

“I think I would (disclose) if I was going to do anything off-label,” she said. “Whether I tell every single patient, I’m not sure.”

The next day she called back and made a short statement, but hung up without answering questions.

“It is absolutely disclosed to patients that I am a speaker and that I speak for pharmaceutical companies, and it is listed on my Web site,” she said.....

The story describes the cozy dealings between companies and docs, citing other cases, before returning to Dall:

According to her résumé, Dall does talks for five other drug and medical companies in addition to GlaxoSmithKline as well as community talks, including an unpaid speech on heart disease she gave to General Electric Co. employees in Wisconsin last August.

There, she made an eyebrow-raising statement about heart disease.

“As soon as we identify what puts you at risk, we can absolutely fix it,” Dall assured them in the talk, a video of which is posted on her Web site. “We can totally prevent cardiovascular disease from happening. We can completely trump genetics.”

That’s wrong, according to Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, and Raymond Gibbons, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

At best, cholesterol-controlling statin drugs reduce heart attacks and strokes by about one-third, Nissen said.

“We cannot trump genetics,” Nissen said. “If she was right, we could wipe this disease out just by giving drugs to people. Even if we put statins in the water supply, cardiovascular disease would still be the leading cause of death.”


Born in 1936, James Ridgeway has been reporting on politics for more than 45 years. He is currently Senior Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones, and recently wrote a blog on the 2008 presidential election for the Guardian online. He previously served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice; wrote for Ramparts and The New Republic; and founded and edited two independent newsletters, Hard Times and The Elements.

Ridgeway is the author of 16 books, including The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11, It’s All for Sale: The Control of Global Resources, and Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. He co-directed a companion film to Blood in the Face and a second documentary film, Feed, and has co-produced web videos for GuardianFilms.

Additional information and samples of James Ridgeway’s work can be found at JamesRidgeway.net and at his newest web site, Solitary Watch.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on March 31, 2010.
 

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