Hepatitis C Remedies: New Hope on the Horizon?

 

Copywrite 2011, Written by Will Blesch

Some very interesting things are happening when it comes to Hepatitis C Remedies.

Four different, large pharmaceutical companies have paired up to develop new treatments for those suffering from a Hepatitis C infection. All four companies put out press releases just this month, so this is an exciting time for those interested in antiviral research. (Like me.)

According to Hepatitis Central there is now  “a collaboration between pharma giants Bristol-Myers Squibb and Tibotec … to investigate Daclatasvir plus TMC435 against Hepatitis C (HCV)genotype 1.”

Also this month, Canadian pharmaceutical company, Vertex and U.S. biotechnology company, Alios BioPharma teamed up to develop all oral regimens for the treatment of Hepatitis C.

In 2011 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that approximately 170 million people worldwide (17 per cent of the world population) are infected with hepatitis C virus. About 80 % of the newly infected people develop chronic infection.

When someone is diagnosed with a Hepatitis infection, or if they are waiting on a diagnosis, that person may feel very anxious. They may doubt their future, their health, or themselves.

While there is a safe and effective vaccine for Hepatitis B, there remains no cure for Hepatitis C.

Because of health scares and images of patients with extreme tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, swollen stomachs, and people with bruises all over their yellowed skin…many people with a Hepatitis infection imagine themselves ending up in a hospice or nursing home with no hope, and no future.

This is a subject that is near to me since my ex’s dad actually died of cirrhosis of the liver due to an HCV infection. That’s why I am in full support of biotechnology companies that pursue scientific, Hepatitis C remedies.

Considering the fact that in 2004, the FDA came out with a new category of drugs called “Botanical Drugs,” (a product that is used as a drug and that contains as ingredients vegetable materials, which may include plant materials, algae, macroscopic fungi, or combinations thereof. Botanical drug products may be available as (but are not limited to) solutions (e.g., teas), powders, tablets, capsules, elixirs, topicals, or injectables. – Center for Drug Evaluation and Research) new methods for fighting the Hepatitis virus should be explored.

By that, I mean that drugs that can be described as natural, or deriving from a plant source rather that chemically manufactured, should be researched and examined closely.

I don’t think that any of the above mentioned companies are developing botanical drugs, but I am still intrigued by the fact that these large pharmaceuticals are teaming up the way they are. I just personally wish that more pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies were working towards a natural, yet clinically effective Hepatitis remedy.

I know of only three companies that are working on botanical drugs at the moment. They are: BD Corp (Botanical Drug Corporation), PurGenesis Technology, and polyDNA.

Let’s wait and see what patented products they come out with, and whether any of them will end up FDA approved.

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Hepatitis C Drug Sales Soar as Incivek & Victrelis Duke It Out

Copyright 2011,  by Will Blesch

Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ new drug, “Incivek” has beaten Merck’s “Victrelis’s”  sales by a gigantic margin. According to an article in the New York Times, the tally was “$420 million for Incivek and $31 million for Victrelis.”

This is good news for the pharmaceutical companies.

However, because Incivek, also known as telaprevir, costs $49,000 wholesale for an entire course of treatment it is beyond the scope of most patients’ ability to pay. In addition, although Incivek and Victrelis both are major breakthroughs in the treatment of Hepatitis C, there remains no 100% cure.

Pretty expensive for something that doesn’t offer a full proof cure eh?

Still, a high cure rate is better than no cure rate. I applaud the fact that both Merck and Vertex have developed drugs that actually are highly effective as a Hepatitis remedy.

But come on. How is the little guy going to pay for a Hepatitis Remedy that costs more money than most make in a year?

Do Merck and/or Vertex have plans on how to bring their costs down? Do they plan on passing any savings on to the consumer? Or, are they going to maintain the image of the evil pharmaceutical giants that take advantage as long as they rake in the almighty dollar? Moreover, why do we constantly get treated to FDA approved drugs that have such gigantic side-effects?

For instance, Incivek, on their own website, lists the following as side effects:

“The most common side effects include itching, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anal or rectal problems (including hemorrhoids, discomfort or burning around or near the anus, itching around or near the anus), taste changes, and tiredness.”

Yeah…I want diarrhea, vomiting and anal itching and burning. What about Victrelis? Their site says their drug’s side effects include: fatigue, anemia, nausea, headache, and dysgeusia (the distortion of the sense of taste.)

Let’s change the subject just for a moment. Are there natural alternatives? Is there natural Hepatitis remedy on the market? If there is, is it affordable? Effective? Safe?

What else is out there other than FDA approved drugs? (All of which have side effects by the way as you saw above.)

According to WebMD and an article written by Stephanie Watson, there are a number of controversial, herbal remedies for Hepatitis C.  Remember that side effects are possible even with herbal, natural remedies so you should talk with your doctor before buying.

According to this article, natural remedies include “milk thistle, licorice root, ginseng, and thymus extract, to therapies like massage, chiropractic care, and relaxation techniques. Up to 40% of people with hepatitis C who have failed conventional treatment say they have tried other therapies, and many report less fatigue, an immune system boost, and better gastrointestinal function as a result.”

Another, newer Hepatitis remedy on the market is Gene-Eden-Blue. According to the makers, “Gene-Eden Blue is extremely safe. To date, there have been no reported side effects whatsoever. Each Gene-Eden capsule contains a patented formula of six natural ingredients including selenium, phylanthus amarus, curcumin, quercetin, cinnamon, and licorice… each at a uniquely selected dose. In addition, each bottle is GMP certified.”

People can learn more about that product at http://www.hepatitis-remedy.com/.

In any case, even though there are side effects, WebMD says that Incivek and Victrelis “greatly boost the chances that hepatitis C treatment will result in a cure — that is, a “sustained viral response” or SVR. Although hepatitis C virus (HCV) may not be totally eliminated, an SVR essentially means a person will never have to worry about developing complications of hepatitis C disease.”

I’m personally glad to see advancements against viral diseases of any kind. Incivek and Victrelis certainly exemplify that.

 

 


New FDA Approved Treatment for Scorpion Stings

(C) 2011, Written by Will Blesch

Over the course of my life I have been stung by scorpions twice. Nasty little buggers! Thankfully, I was never stung by one of the 25, deadly species of scorpions known to man. Each time I was stung, I was living in the south western United States. I don’t know what the exact species was…I just know I got stung…and then the scorpion got dead.

The only deadly species that’s found in New Mexico is the Bark Scorpion…and I believe it is only found in the western part of the state.

(It also happens to be the only deadly scorpion native to North America.)

Good news for me since I lived, at the time, in the eastern portion of New Mexico. Gawd awful, ugly place. Never want to live there again.

But, I digress.

Since scorpions can be found on almost every major land mass, they pose at least some medical risk to the people that live there. That risk is mostly to the very young, the very old, or those with compromised immune systems.

I wouldn’t normally talk about scorpions, spiders or any other creepy crawly sort of thing, but the FDA just approved a new treatment for scorpion stings. Since I normally write about general and alternative health matters, I felt that this was a worthy topic for today.

The treatment is called Anascorp. It’s Manufactured by Instituto Bioclon.  Anascorp, is an injection made from the plasma of horses immunized with scorpion venom.

FDA approval is based on results from a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 15 children with neurological signs and scorpion stings. The injection will be distributed by Accredo Health Group, a subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions.

The interesting thing about this treatment is that it is designed specifically (to my knowledge) to deal with the stings of scorpions from the Centruroides family of scorpions of which the Bark Scorpion is a member.

ok…now that I am thoroughly creeped out just by talking about these creatures, I’m going to go do something else and try to forget about them.

*Shudder.*


Gardasil Vaccine: Safe for Girls?

(c) 2011, Written by Will Blesch

Gardasil is currently one of two vaccines on the market to fight against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection. Merck & Co., Inc manufactures Gardasil. The FDA approved it for use in 2006. Since then, over 23 million doses of Gardasil have been shipped.

However, is Gardasil safe? Is it really, really safe for your daughter? Your son?

Absolutely not.

Because of the potentially harmful and even downright deadly side effects of the Gardasil vaccine, you as a parent of a preteen girl (or boy) would do well to learn as much as possible before giving your consent for a vaccination.

Vaccinations are recommended most often for girls between the ages of 11-12, and to date, vaccinations of boys against HPV are not urged in the same way that vaccinations for teenage girls are.

In April 2010, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tracy Wolf showed Action 7 News all her daughters’ doctor records after getting the Gardasil vaccine.

Wolf’s daughter Alexis has been sick for the past three years with uncontrollable vomiting and seizures that left her brain damaged. – Tracy Wolf has since filed suit against Merck & Co., Inc. (Action 7 News)

Although FDA approved, Gardasil is suspected in 21,474 adverse events and 93 deaths reported after HPV vaccinations, as reported by Radha Chitale in an article for ABC News entitled, “CDC Report Stirs Controversy for Merck’s Gardasil Vaccine.”  (ABC News Online)

Moreover, in 2008 the public interest group Judicial Watch got hold of thousands of reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Those reports told of, “everything from massive wart outbreaks to seizures, paralysis and death.” (LifeSiteNews.com)

According to Gardasil’s own website, side effects of the vaccine include, “pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, fainting.” (Gardasil.com)

A VAERS report (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) from a physician stated a female patient was inoculated with a dose of Gardasil and, “Subsequently, the patient experienced a coma and is now paralyzed.” (LifeSiteNews.com)

One has to wonder how a drug with so many side effects, and reported adverse events…and deaths…could gain FDA approval in the first place! Moreover, once these adverse events and deaths were reported, why did this drug remain approved? Why wasn’t approval withdrawn?

One might argue that out of 23 million doses, which were shipped between 2006 and 2008, there were only 93 deaths.

“Only?”

If you were the parent of one of those 93 girls that died, would you be happy that “only” 93 girls had died? One death is too many.

Of course, if you are making the kind of money that Merck & Co., Inc. has been making off the Gardasil vaccine…the cost of these 93 human lives is worth it.

In any case, if you don’t want to take such a pessimistic view on the matter, you still have to ask yourself why the FDA together with Merck & Co., Inc. have made such a giant marketing effort geared towards lawmakers and healthcare providers. This is especially the case when there are obviously very serious questions that  Merck Pharmaceutical (and the FDA) should be forced to answer before Gardasil is forced into the systems of a million more young girls!

Amazingly, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “Debate is heating up about whether or not to require girls to be vaccinated against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer and genital warts.

This flurry of state activity stems from the June 2006 recommendation by the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that routine vaccination is recommended for girls between ages 11 and 12.”

This debate has gone so far as to mandate vaccination with or without parental approval.

“The Michigan Senate was the first to introduce legislation (S.B. 1416) in September of 2006 to require the HPV vaccine for girls entering sixth grade, but the bill was not enacted. Ohio also considered legislation in late 2006 to require the vaccine (H.B. 703), which also failed.  Legislators in at least 41 states and D.C. have introduced legislation to require, fund or educate the public about the HPV Vaccine and at least 20 states have enacted this legislation, including Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,  Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.”  (NCSL)

“On February 2, 2007, Texas became the first state to enact a mandate-by executive order from the governor-that all females entering the sixth grade receive the vaccine, with some exceptions.  Legislators in Texas passed H.B. 1098 to override the executive order and the governor withheld his veto.” (NCSL)

Are these legislators simply ignorant? Has Merck & Co., Inc. bought them off?

The push to vaccinate every young woman entering the sixth grade is simply horrifying in light of the documented adverse effects, side effects, and deaths surrounding the use of Gardasil.

Every parent should make themselves aware…read the literature…and then take on those that would take away their parental right of consent, take on the FDA and Merck & Co., Inc. and demand that this dangerous drug be removed from the market immediately.

It is not safe, and has been out there doing damage for far too long.

Gardasil makes the claim on their site that, “Only a doctor or health care professional can decide if GARDASIL is right for you or your child.” (Gardasil.com)

That is not true. You’re the parent. You make the decision.

 

References:
Chitale, Radha “CDC Report Stirs Controversy for Merck’s Gardasil Vaccine” ABC News, 19 August, 2009 WEB

HPV Vaccine: State Legislation and Statutes, NCSL.org, WEB

Local Parent Files Lawsuit against Makers of Gardasil

Mother Warns Parents against Vaccine Dangers, Action 7 News, KOAT.com, 18 April, 2010 WEB

Smith, Peter J. “Controversial HPV Vaccine Causing One Death per Month: FDA Report” Lifesitenews.com, 3 July, 2008 WEB

Gardasil Side Effects, Gardasil.com, WEB


The FDA Goes on the Attack Against Natural Health Products

(c) 2011, written by Will Blesch

The FDA went on the attack against companies they assert are making unproven claims regarding certain products that are marketed to treat, prevent, or cure sexually transmitted diseases.

On May 3, 2011the FDA put out a consumer update on at least 30 different products made by about 12 different companies that the FDA claims are “bogus” and “Fraudulent.”

These are some big claims.

The list of products the FDA is warning against includes: ImmuneGlory, Viruxo, Disintegrate Formula, Echinacea/Golden Seal, Detox Formula, Burdock Extract, Oil of Oregano P73 Physician’s Strength, Essaic Tonic Liquid Drops, Colloidal Silver 500ppm Liquid, Gene-Eden, Herpeset, Wartrol, H-Stop Dx, H-Guard Dx, Molluscum Dx, Wart Dx,, H-Stop Dx, H-Guard Dx, Molluscum Dx, Wart Dx, Medavir, ViraBalm, Vyristic Immune Support, Medavir H-Elimination Kit, O2xygen Force (Oxygen Force/OxyForce), DMSO Cream, DMSO Roll-on, DMSO Cream w/Aloe, AlkaLif, EverCLR3, C-Cure.

But people need to ask themselves, “Is this the equivalent of The People Vs. Larry Flynt?” Whose side is the FDA on? Are they acting purely as a benign nanny to all the poor, misinformed masses? Whose interests are the FDA looking out for? Why the witch hunt and crusade against these herbal, or otherwise natural, products?

The FDA’s “expert” spokesman, Debbie Birnkrant, M.D is featured on the FDA’s website denouncing these companies. Some of the things she says of these products is the following:

“Let me be clear. These products won’t work, and…they could hurt you.”

How does she know this? How does she know they don’t work? Does she have clinical evidence to say that these products are bogus? Oh! That’s right…none of these products have undergone a double blind clinical trial.

Some, or all, of these products like the Gene-Eden product listed above, have scientific papers published for everyone to see on Pubmed.gov and elsewhere…but because the companies that manufacture these products don’t have the gigantic monetary resources of the big pharmaceutical companies…they can’t pay for double blind clinical trials.

Therefore it is illegal in theU.S.for these companies to claim that their products “treat”, “prevent”, or “cure” any disease.

It’s purely legal, and purely technical.

Some of these products may indeed be bogus, but some of them may also have real health benefits that simply haven’t been fully evaluated.

(As if the drugs made by Pfizer among others have been completely, fully, 100% evaluated and found to be “good for you.” In fact, most FDA approved drugs have horrific side-effects…but hey, they’re FDA approved and your doctor can prescribe them. Trust the FDA…they love you. Er…they love the money the big pharmaceutical companies [such as Pfizer] dish out in order to get their drugs FDA approved.)

Dr. Birnkrant continues in the video to say that, “There’s no way around it. You’ve got to go to a doctor’s office or clinic to find out if you’ve got an STD and to get treated.”

Can I just say, “No shit, Sherlock?”

Really, who is the FDA kidding? Is the public really stupid enough to think that any of the products listed as bogus are saying you DON’T need to go to a doctor to get diagnosed? Hmmm…well, the public may not be stupid, but apparently the FDA thinks they are.

Dr. Birnkrant continues: “Why? Because these diseases CAN be treated, and only healthcare providers can prescribe FDA approved medications and vaccines proven to treat and prevent STDs.”

Did you get that? She’s lying through her teeth.

For diseases such as Herpes and HPV, there is NO cure, and NO prevention through the use of drugs. There is no FDA approved drug that cures these diseases. Any treatment is designed to treat the symptoms rather than the cause of the disease. The only proven prevention is through barrier methods such as condom use.

She’s right that only healthcare providers can prescribe FDA approved drugs to treat these diseases…but like I’ve noted elsewhere…most of these drugs have heavy duty side effects that harm the body, and these drugs are pushed heavily by the drug companies who manufacture them.

It’s all about power and money. It’s not REALLY about your health. Good health is a side effect.

Dr. Birnkrant continues, “And, some STD treatments that you can buy over the counter without a prescription have untested ingredients that could make you sicker…”

Again, “untested” means there have been no double blind clinical trials done on these particular products. Forget about any other scientific literature which has been published…just drink the FDA’s coolaid.

One of the things that just blew my mind was when she said the following, “If you’re not using an FDA approved medication, you’re not only putting your health at risk, but that of your partner.”

So…with all the side effects, and nasty things that FDA approved drugs can potentially do to a person…you’re NOT putting your health at risk? At all? Not even a little?

The author of a blog entitled “Wonder Ponder” said: “What the fuck is wrong with people? Did you really think that bottle of AIDS-Away was going to work?”

The poor darling has apparently dropped her IQ by a significant factor by thinking that everything the FDA does is really for the benefit of the general public. Of course there are products out there that make outrageous claims.

But, shouldn’t the public have the right to make choices for themselves?

Can’t consumers do some research and reading for themselves? Or does everyone need Big Brother to tell them what to think, eat, and drink?

The fact of the matter is that there are products that don’t work. The fact of the matter is that even with double blind clinical trials there are drugs approved by the FDA that only marginally work, or that work but have terrible side effects…and the fact of the matter is that some of these products deserve to have double blind clinical trials done if they could only get the money to do so.

But then, Big Pharma has a monopoly, the FDA is their mouthpiece, and they don’t want natural health and alternative medicine moving in on their territory.

Money and Power…

…The FDA has too much of it!

 


MSG, Cinnamon, and Bad, Bad Food

(c) 2011, Written by Will Blesch

Asian food is one of my favorites. I love going to Chinese buffets, I love going to sushi places, and I love Mongolian barbecue joints where they cook your food in front of you.

It’s awesome. The bad part is that it is a well known fact that almost all of these restaurants use MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) as a flavor enhancer. Actually, to be perfectly blunt…almost all processed foods inAmericahave one form of MSG or another added to them. Often, it’s added in under a very sneaky name so that you won’t know that the company has actually added MSG to the product.

Some other names companies use to fly MSG in under your radar are the following:

“soy extract, natural flavoring, carrageenan, and hydrolyzed proteins.”

Why is all of this bad?

It’s bad because MSG (no matter what you call it) is a neurotoxin that kills brain cells. It also has been shown to increase one’s chances of becoming obese.

According to Dr. Blaylock, “MSG destroys neurons in the hypothalamus of the brain that the hormone leptin, which regulates metabolism and appetite, needs to control obesity.”

Great. So MSG can cause you to become both fat, stupid and possibly dead. Great product. Wonderful!

Despite knowing this, the FDA allows food manufacturers to include it, as I mentioned above, in almost all processed foods. So, what do you do when you are dying for wanton soup?

Well, at least one study has shown that cinnamon extract blocks the brain killing effects of glutamate. (Phytotherapy Research)

Outside of grabbing cinnamon bark off the tree and chewing it each time you want an egg roll, you could also consider taking a cinnamon supplement, or a supplement that contains cinnamon on a daily basis.
It is very hard inAmerica to avoid all processed foods. Thus, it is hard to avoid MSG consumption altogether. A great way to try and counter balance that intake is to make sure you are taking an MSG antidote.

Just one brand that carries cinnamon in their supplements and which I urge you to google for more information are: Gene-Eden formula VX-101.

There are many other brands out there, but the above not only helps guard against MSG brain death, but all the ingredients are also natural antivirals…and so help to lower the numbers of latent viruses many people are chronicly infected with.

My advice…stear clear of MSG unless you, like me, have insane cravings for Chicken Lo Mein. Then be smart about it and make sure you do something to counter the poison you’re downing.

Then enjoy.

References:

Shimada Y, Goto H, Kogure T, Kohta K, Shintani T, Itoh T, Terasawa K., “Extract prepared from the bark of Cinnamomum cassia Blume prevents glutamate-induced neuronal death in cultured cerebellar granule cells.” Phytotherapy Research,14 Sept. 2000


Wellness Controversy

Caring Doctor

(c) 2011, Written by Will Blesch

I grew up in a medical family and topics around the dinner table often had to do with things people outside the medical community might find a bit gross. An amputated limb here, a pregnant woman that wasn’t hygienic before finding herself in a delivery room there…maybe something about a boil or sexually transmitted disease waaaay over there…the topics ran the health and wellness gamut. As I grew up, those topics eventually encompassed issues of debate within the medical community itself and became, shall we say, much more refined. Dinner table discussions soon broached the subjects of alternative medicine vs. Western medicine.

My aunt is a pediatrician, and my mother was a nurse (now a professor with a doctorate in nursing education) and they both encouraged us to examine natural ways of healthy living. Wellness was always a top priority! The fact that their conversations revolved around conventional medicine versus what was considered then to be wild, risky and controversial holistic healing methods interested me a lot.

Though I decided on a career path as an artist and rejected a profession in medicine, the observations that have continued to be made around the family dinner table have had an effect on me.

Who doesn’t want to be more in control of their health and to know exactly what the medications they’ve been prescribed are doing to their bodies? Becoming informed therefore is essential.

With modern medicine filled with examples of drugs that have harmed or killed the patients they were intended to help… the “accepted” medical community continues to look down on alternative, natural supplements that may have the same benefits as the prescription drug…but with little to no side effects.

It doesn’t seem to me that there is any question that the roots of controversy between alternative and Western medicine go back thousands of years. That argument which started off as largely philosophical in nature has carried on up until the present day.

Now, one of the largest issues proponents of Western medicine bring against their alternative medicine counterparts in general (and herbal or botanical medicine specifically) has to do with what medical pundits decry as alternative medicine’s significant lack of documented, double blind clinical studies.

For those that don’t know, “a double blind study is a clinical trial design in which neither the participating individuals nor the study staff knows which participants are receiving the experimental drug and which are receiving a placebo (or another therapy). Double-blind trials are thought to produce objective results, since the expectations of the doctor and the participant about the experimental drug do not affect the outcome; also called double-masked study.” (“Glossary.” Clinicaltrials.gov. March 18, 2008. Web)

In 2011, with over 15,298 scientific papers published on just 5 herbs and trace elements, there is plenty of substantiated, scientific evidence in favor of alternative medicine’s claims. (“Studies.” gene-eden.com/studies.php 2008-2011. Web) Unfortunately, without the funding to conduct the FDA mandated double blind clinical studies, alternative medicines are unable to compete with FDA approved pharmaceuticals. Much of this has to do with antiquated, U.S. patent laws. I’ll get into that issue next time when I also want to take a look at comparative side effects of conventional medicines versus alternative supplements.

 

Will Blesch is a freelance copywriter, professional blogger and media professional. If you’re looking for an experienced copywriter to take on a project, (ranging from full product launches to ghostwriting your organization’s blog) please get in touch and tell me how I can help.

will AT willblesch DOT com