Blood plasma covid treatment and pharmaceutical industry reform. On August 23, 2020 the Food and Drug Administration’s announced a decision to grant blood plasma treatment for Coronavirus/Covid-19 patients with a fast-track authorization for its emergency use as a treatment for hospitalized COVID patients. This “emergency use authorization” triggered an outcry from scientists and doctors, who said the decision was not supported by adequate clinical evidence and criticized the FDA for what was perceived as bowing to political pressure.
News coverage about this potential treatment has done little to clarify whether its useful or not. The idea that there could be a motivation behind the fast track authorization for this potential treatment other than looking for a useful therapeutic is troubling. More to the point, who should decide what patients receive in treatment for their illnesses? To help us make sense of how reforms for the pharmaceutical industry could potentially help separate facts from spin and who we should all listen to is respected neurologist, Dr. Steven Goldstein. Click below to listen.
The Reforms Big Pharmaceutical Companies Need. On his regular podcast, Dr. Steven Goldstein advocated dramatic reforms for the pharmaceutical industry and with good reason. To hear the podcast go to: SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Backtracks, LibSyn, or the website at www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org. Dr. Goldstein insists that for the health and welfare of the American public, the congress must pass reforms that limit the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and its lobby.
What Has To Change – Ban Pharmaceutical Lobbying
“Corporate lobbying by pharmaceutical companies should be illegal,” Dr. Goldstein told his audience. “It isn’t right.” The companies who make more expensive treatments for ailments that could be treated with generic medicines spend millions of dollars lobbying the congress. According to a study by Brigham Young University, the health sector lobby’s spending increased more than 10% in the first quarter of 2020 while the non-health lobby sector increased 1%. Meanwhile, the number of new lobbyists registered in the health sector increased a staggering 140% while non-health sector registrations increased 63%.
Drug companies should not be permitted to obtain patents because of small modifications to already existing patented medication. “That is not what the spirit of patent protection was meant for,” Dr. Goldstein said. He also advocates that existing antitrust laws be enforced to stop price fixing. “An example is the predatory practice of larger drug companies paying off small generic manufacturers in order to eliminate competition,” Dr. Goldstein said.
Prescription Reform; Physicians Prescribe Not Pharmacists or Bureaucrats
Physicians should be free to prescribe drugs “off-label” without fear of lawsuit or sanctions from state or federal regulatory boards. “Full stop, no questions from non-physicians, pharmacists or government regulators,” Dr. Goldstein stated.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with making sure drugs are “safe and effective”. “If you think about it, there is no such thing as a drug that is 100% safe or 100% effective,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Even aspirin can cause gastritis and intestinal bleeding that in rare instances can cause death. Drugs used to treat epilepsy are only about 50% effective. How then does the FDA decide what drugs to approve? After randomized controlled trials are performed, a panel of “experts” decides which drugs to approve.”
About Houston Healthcare Initiative and Dr. Steven Goldstein
Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America. The Reforms Big Pharmaceutical Companies Need.
Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine. No one can un-ring a bell. No article can be ‘un-read’ or any eventual retraction definitely seen and understood. There are few more illustrative examples lately than when respected medical journals published information about the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 virus they later retracted.
On his podcast, respected, Houston based neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein describes how the well-established, inexpensive drug Hydroxychloroquine was mischaracterized. To listen to the podcast please visit: SoundCloud, Libsyn,iHeart, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.
Article Retracted But Damage Done
Early in the pandemic, Hydroxychloroquine looked like it could be a possible treatment for Coronavirus/Covid-19 ,but use of and studies about the drug quickly lost favor after articles in the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicinecast doubt. The later retracted study and reporting about it had an immediate impact. The World Health Organization (WHO) stopped their research into hydroxychloroquine. Multiple news web sites carried the message that Hydroxychloroquine was not effective, citing the New England Journal of Medicine as its source. One example was from the NBC News web site read, “Hydroxychloroquine fails to prevent COVID-19, large study finds.”
While the articles were retracted the information originally published, could not be ‘unseen.’ “The news media touted these articles, that falsely claimed there was no evidence that treatment with Hydroxychloroquine was effective,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “A French study published March 20, 2020 suggested the drug helped people with coronavirus, reporting it “is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in patients with COVID-19.”
The article and its author, French physician and scientist, Dr. Didier Raoult, who authored papers showing favorable results, were personally and professionally attacked (The New York Times) among others. Suffice to say that way more people saw and continue to see these refuted articles, even though they were retracted. But the harm from them remains.
About The Houston Healthcare Initiative
Houston Healthcare Initiative is a group of physicians and health conscious patients that have joined together in a Healthcare cooperative to maintain and improve the physical and mental health of each member of the group. Visit online at https://houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.
A Retracted Article Drove Misunderstanding of Hydroxychloroquine. No one can unring a bell. When articles published in the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine published and then retracted an article critical about the possible use of hydroxychloriquine as a treatment for Coronavirus/Covid-19 they may have shown good faith with the retractions but the damage was done. On his regular podcast, Dr. Steven Goldstein discusses how and why the use of an inexpensive drug was widely criticized. An article from Tablet magazine (Hydroxychloroquine: A Morality Tale) describes the issue in detail.
The criticisms were based on the retracted articles, but there was more to it. Political agendas and money both added to the manufactured confusion about a drug that was used to treat malaria, lupus and others without controversy. Dr. Goldstein believes that reforms for government and the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry were never more obvious than in this example. A Retracted Article Drove Misunderstanding of Hydroxychloroquine.