Wrong With America's Healthcare System?
and cancer may be thought of as a contradiction in terms. Surely
there can't be politics in cancer and healing; surely when breakthroughs
are made, the medical profession puts them to use. That's the
way it is, isn't it? It would be nice if it were that simple.
most fields, competition usually arranges for the best product
to prevailnot always, but usually. In ten stories, "The
Tragic Truth about Politics and Cancer" shows that a free market
in health products does not exist in the U.S. Effective products
(many for cancer) have been shoved aside during most of the 20th
century. Pushed forward in their stead have been "approved" therapies
which did not win their spurs in the open competition of a free
market. Instead, approval was dictated and administered from the
top down by "Official Medicine." Official Medicine consists of
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Medical
Association (AMA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which
contain the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In addition, there
are the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Memorial Sloan Kettering
Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, the M.D. Anderson in Houston, Roswell
Park in Buffalo, NY, and others. These organizations constitute
Official Medicine, the American medical establishment. It decides,
yes, pontificates what medicines and therapies will be available
to Americans, and harshly disciplines doctors who venture outside
in Healing is a collection of stories which should not have happened,
stories which will not be heard from Official Medicine, stories
about dark undercurrents in American medicine. Political patterns
of misuse of both public and private power are seen through what
happened to ten stories of little-known healers of the 20th century.
Many of them produced breakthroughs of Nobel Prize quality. Most
of these therapies are no longer available to help with our numerous
health challenges as we begin the new millenniumnot because
they didn't work, but for political reasons. These stories show
how governmental and prestigious private institutions have deliberately
misrepresented, held back, discouraged, ignored, and suppressed
important inexpensive and non-toxic healing breakthroughs. While
government can be expected to be inept, the decisions and actions
described in Politics in Healing were intentional and deliberate,
and many people have died as a result.
Politics in Healing puts it as a postulate that there is
a war going on (of which the public is largely unaware) between
toxic and non-toxic therapies, and that the non-toxic ones have
been getting clobbered. There has been a long attempt to sell
a bill of goods that the only real medicine is strong, toxic medicine,
almost always patented, and that only this should be used by doctors
or paid for by health insurance programs, either public or private.
Key to maintaining this status quo is the FDA, which tilts predictably
and continuously against non-toxic medicines. Created in 1906
by the visionary Dr. Harvey Wiley, the FDA throughout most of
the 20th century had little in common with what Dr. Wiley intended.
Its original purpose was to make sure that foods are pure and
drugs are safe, but it has drifted way off course. The FDA frequently
appears less interested in protecting Americans from harmful drugs
than from harmless ones, especially those capable of competing
with prescription drugs.
as we enter the 21st century, the fourth leading cause of death
in the U.S. is from reactions to FDA-approved drugs. On April
14, 1998, the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)
published a shocking report, a painstaking analysis of 39 studies
conducted over 30 years. The study showed that an average of 106,000
people die in hospitals each yearthat's one every five minutesfrom
drugs approved by the FDA. The study does not include cases where
drugs were mis-prescribed. When considering deaths from the same
cause outside hospitals, i.e., at home, the number rises to around
140,000 a year according to Centers for Disease Control statistics.
These are not deaths from illegal street drugs; those cause only
a small fraction of the deaths from FDA-approved drugs, which
kill three times the number dying each year from automobile accidents.
there's more. The fourth leading cause of hospital admissions
in the U.S. is from the reactions to prescription drugs. About
2.2 million Americans suffer severe side effects from FDA-approved
drugs that some are permanently disabled or require long hospital
stays, reported USA Today on April 24, 1998. These side effects
were estimated to have cost $78 billion in 1997.
When ABC News Director Peter Jennings announced the JAMA study,
he presented a doctor whose wife had complained that her pain
medication was not taking effect. "My words have come back to
haunt me," he told Jennings. "'Take another pill,' I told her.
'It won't kill you.'" But it did; the next morning she didn't
wake up. Only then did the doctor learn that the drug was capable
of causing heart problems.
cost of the American healthcare system has passed one trillion
dollars per yearabout 1/5 of the U.S. gross domestic product.
We spend more per capita on healthcare than any country on earth.
Despite that, some of our statistics are embarrassing: the infant
mortality rate in the U.S. is higher than that in Cuba. The number
of infants who died before their first birthday is 13.3 per 1000
births in New York City but 10.9 in Shanghai (Townsend Letter,
May 1998). A United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) study
issued in June 2000 measured a new concept: "healthy life expectancy."
The WHO found Japan leading the world, with the United States,
at #20, falling behind almost every country in Europe as well
as Canada, Australia, and Israel.
its costliness results from the fact that the U.S. has one of
the most beaurocratically controlled and over-regulated medical
systems in the world. Manufacturers are not free to produce effective
non-toxic products or to inform the public on what their products
can do. Doctors are only free to prescribe for their patients
what has been approved or accepted by Official Medicine.
of overuse of antibiotics, many strains of bacteria have developed
resistance against any antibiotics. When Jim Henson, creator of
the Muppets, lay dying from just such a bacterium, Official Medicine
had nothing for him. In Texas in early 1998, eight people were
suddenly dead from a new strain of Strep A, and doctors were helpless
to save them. Old types of bacteria have mutated: new strains
of the tuberculosis bacillus do not respond to existing antibiotics.
Of those who go into hospitals, 14% come out with infections they
did not have when they were admitted. Some don't come out21,000
die each year from such infections (USA Today, April 14, 1998).
Do effective medicines for such situations exist which could never
make it out of the closet in the current over-regulated environment?
FDA tries to control more than it needs to. It claims regulatory
authority over drugs, but defines a drug as anything that is used
for diagnosis or treatment of disease. Carried to the logical
extreme, prune juice could be considered a drug, since it definitely
affects the body. A 1997 study by Tufts University found that
the cost of getting FDA approval for a new drug costs upwards
of $200,000,000 and may take ten years or longer. In May, 2000,
an article in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that
getting a new drug approved could cost between $300 and $500 million.
The pharmaceutical industry is the richest in the worldyes,
richer than the oil industry. However, given such rules, even
the richest drug company cannot afford to introduce a new medicine
without patent protection. Consequently, more than ever before,
we live in the era of Patent Medicine, once not a very complimentary
term. Securing FDA approval allows a manufacturer to advertise
what the approved product will doi.e., to make health claims,
which are forbidden without FDA approval. For instance, it is
well established through clinical studies that the saw palmetto
herb is more effectiveand saferat shrinking a swollen
male prostate gland than the "approved" brands whose advertisements
are everywhere (Health and Healing, June 1999). If a manufacturer
of saw palmetto wished to state this known truth on its label,
the FDA would haul that manufacturer into court in short order
for having committed the sin of making health claims. The fact
that they might be true is beside the point, for the FDA has arrogated
unto itself the right to censor them. In a nation which finds
it cannot censor pornography under the free speech right of the
First Amendment, the FDA finds it can censor the manufacturer
and prevent it from telling the public the truth about a product.
On January 15, 1999, the U.S.D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held
that the FDA had violated the First Amendment of the Constitution
by denying four health claims conveying information; the Court
also held that the FDA cannot constitutionally deny a health claim
conveying information. Paying no attention to the Constitution
or the Court, on November 30, 1999, the FDA denied a health claim
concerning the herb saw palmetto's ability to reduce a swollen
prostate, stating that it considered the claim to be one requiring
the filing of a new drug application. Congressman Peter DeFazio
wrote the FDA a stern letter protesting its unconstitutional acts.
For the FDA, if you want to make health claims the solution is
simple: get in line, spend your $200,000,000+, and in ten years
or so perhaps you can do so. Since the saw palmetto herb cannot
be patented, the American male consumer is out of luck at learning
about that effective, harmless, and far cheaper product.
many countries, people think that if they want the best medicine
in the world, they need to come to the United States. This is
certainly the case for catastrophic injuries. If you're broken
to pieces, you've got a much better chance of being put back together
properly in the U.S. However, most Americans do not die of accidents
but of degenerative diseases. One American dies of cancer every
minute, 1,500 a day, 10,000 a week, 500,000 a year. This is the
equivalent of three fully-loaded 747s crashing and killing everyone
aboard every day, all year long. An American Cancer Society study
of cancer mortality rates in 46 countries shows the U.S. as #25,
just a little below the middle. The cost of the cancer epidemic
has risen to 2% of the American gross domestic product (Newsweek,
Pretty regularly, someone makes an appeal for more money for medical
research. But what about the effective, non-toxic therapies already
discovered which have been suppressed, discouraged, outlawed or
driven out of the U.S. by Official Medicine? Politics in Healing
deals with those medicines, all non-toxic and mostly not availablenot
because they didn't work, but for political reasons. But if something
is non-toxic, why should the government (FDA) need to "protect"
us from it? Or is the protection for companies who do not want
competition from inexpensive, effective, non-toxic therapies?
The FDA spent eight years of effort and untold millions trying
to jail Dr. Burzynski (Chapter 11), discoverer of an effective
and NON-toxic cancer therapy.
FDA's involvement with pharmaceutical companies has been called
the most notorious "revolving door" in Washington; upon retirement,
about 65% of FDA employees go to work for drug companies. Upon
hearing this, one person commented: "What's wrong with this picture?"
of the stories in Politics in Healing deal with cancer therapies.
These may of interest to many, since one American dies of cancer
every minute. Money for cancer research goes to those trying to
perfect "approved" therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation,
but both are very harmful. Those researching such therapies might
be out of business and have to find another way to pay the mortgage
if an effective, non-toxic therapy were to come on the market.
As will be seen in Politics in Healing, a great deal of effort
has been made to make sure that doesn't happen.
possible loss of Health Freedom in the U.S. was foreseen by one
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin
Rush of Philadelphia, one of the most famous doctors in colonial
America. Rush wrote:
Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for
medical freedom as well as religious freedom. To restrict the
art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privilege to
others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such
laws are un-American and despotic."
every other kind of freedom is fought for by both liberals and conservatives,
there's strange silence when one brings up Health Freedomfreedom
for anyone to consult the doctor of their choice, to obtain any
therapy of one's choice, toxic or non-toxic, and to have it paid
for by one's health insurance. Our talk and preaching about free
markets helped to bring down the Soviet Union. But we don't practice
what we preach, for we have no free market in non-toxic therapies
in the U.S.-in things which by definition can't hurt us.
a layman, it is hard to conceive that some of the most basic organizations
in our health establishment would lie and cheat, but lie and cheat
they have. Political pounding befell some very remarkable medicines
and their proponents, with both governmental and non-governmental
institutions brazenly lying as they squelched them. The late Sen.
Paul Douglas of Illinois declared on the Senate floor on December
6, 1963: "It's a terrible thing that we cannot really trust either
the FDA or the NCI!" He was talking about Krebiozen (Chapter 5),
one of the most shocking stories of all. People picketed the Kennedy
White House in 1963 demanding to retain access to Krebiozen, lest
they die. Having bemoaned listening to the "experts" after the Cuban
missile crisis, the President apparently was still listening to
them, for Krebiozen was lost and forgotten, and shouldn't have been.
And people died.
there is the story of Dr. William F. Koch of Detroit (Chapter 3).
From the 1920s to the 1950s, he was curing cancer with one shot
of Glyoxylide, a substance he discovered. While the cancer epidemic
rages on, Dr. Koch is virtually forgotten. Persecuted relentlessly
by the FDA in two trials in the 1940s, he was repeatedly denounced
as a quack by the editor of the AMA's JAMA after he refused to sell
his discovery to the AMA. Yet there are people still alive at the
beginning of the 21st century who were expected to die momentarily
until treated with ONE Koch shot. With one American dying of cancer
every minute, many might wish that Official Medicine had not thrown
away the Koch therapy and the brilliant science that produced it.
National Cancer Institute (NCI) steadfastly refused to test the
Koch therapy, or the Hoxsey therapy, or Krebiozen, but did test
hydrazine sulfate (HS), a very cheap non-toxic chemical which cured
many terminal patients after conventional therapy had failed to
do so. It might have been better if NCI had not tested hydrazine
sulfate, for it cheated in the trials. Dr. Joseph Gold, the chief
proponent of HS, has warned for years that certain substances (alcohol,
tranquilizers, and barbiturates) were incompatible with HS and would
cancel its effector even make a harmful combination with it.
In the Soviet Union and in four trials within the U.S., Dr. Gold's
warnings were scrupulously observed, and the average results were
40-50% success in terminal cancer patientspeople got better.
However, the NCI maintained that the "incompatibles" were a "non-issue"
and gave barbiturates to 94% of the 600 patients it treated with
HS from 1989 to 1993. Instead of the 40-50% recovery, there were
more survivors of the Titanic than there were of the NCI's trials,
where no one got better, all died. Penthouse magazine blew the whistle
on the scandal and suggested that the families of the deceased patients
should sue the NCI for genocide. As a cancer treatment, hydrazine
sulfate costs about 60 cents a day. Dr. Gold estimates that the
cost of one session of chemotherapy would pay for a year's supply
of HS (Chapter 10).
7 on colostrum (a mother's first milk) tells how former Congressman
Berkley Bedell of Iowa was cured of lyme disease, after antibiotics
proved ineffective, by a colostrum "targeted" against the spirochete
which causes lyme disease. This was achieved by injecting a killed
lyme spirochete into the udder of a cow three weeks before her calf
was born. The cow's colostrum then contained antibodies against
the lyme spirochete, and this cured the Congressman. There is no
known limit to what can be produced by the targeted colostrum method;
it presumably could provide a cure for TB, or for various bacteriaeven
protection against anthrax. It has been used successfully against
cancer in animals. The NCI and the NIH have shown no interest in
this method, and the FDA discourages the private sector from developing
it. When a colostrum drink was shown to be effective against arthritis,
the FDA squelched it. The trial of the Minnesota farmer who helped
Congressman Bedell to recover is described.
fact, there is a trial in almost every chapter of the book, as the
stories tell what befell the protagonists of various non-toxic,
lessons of the ten stories show that there are two principal impediments
to non-toxic health breakthroughs: 1) the FDA, and 2) doctors' fear
of losing their licenses for using unapproved medicines. There are
two simple solutions: 1) remove the FDA's regulatory authority over
anything no more toxic than aspirin (everything in the book would
pass that test) and 2) pass the Access to Medical Treatment Act,
which is already introduced in both houses of Congress. This bill
was conceived by Congressman Berkley Bedell so that all Americans
might have access to the sorts of unconventional therapies which
he believes saved his life twice: lyme disease, as noted, and then
from a threatened recurrence of prostate cancer, described in Chapter
8. The "Access" Act provides a procedure for putting on the market
medicines not approved by the FDA and protects from prosecution
doctors who use them. Doctors would need to obtain the "informed
consent" of a patient, who signs a statement that he/she realizes
the treatment to be given is not approved by the FDA.
these two changes been the law of the land, Politics in Healing
would not have been written, for the stories that follow would not
have happened. Legislating these two simple changes would permit
the return of most of the therapies described except for those which
have been lost. Since all were inexpensive, with their return and
the appearance of other breakthroughs waiting in the wings, the
costs of American healthcare would plummet.
changes would permit open competition and a free market in NON-toxic
therapies. The U.S. has had a rigidly controlled market in health
products, including non-toxic ones, (to "protect" us) for most of
the past century. The results are a high toll from cancer, the absence
of effective medicine against many bacterial infections, and the
most costly health system on the planet. How could we do worse with
Health Freedom? While American emergency medicine is indeed the
best in the world, most Americans do not die from accidents, but
from degenerative disease. Many treatments for the latter are excluded
from the market, or their capabilities censored by the FDA, which
has usurped for itself the right to dictate to manufacturers what
they can say about their products. Gradually, before anyone realized
it was happening, the FDA clamped upon the U.S. a harsh regime of
censorship and repression of anything that could compete with the
giant drug companies. Prescription drugs have become so expensive
that it has been proposed that the government pay for them, instead
of forcing the drug companies to reduce prices to the level charged
in other countries such as Mexico and Canada. But there's a better
idea: let's give the drug companies some real competition by removing
all governmental controls over anything non-toxic. Since this would
permit truthful advertising of what non-toxic medicines (nutritional
supplements, herbs, etc.) can do, it would not be surprising to
see the cost of prescription drugs come down, way down, corrected
in the way that free markets and open competition regularly do.
We have been warned many times about socialized medicine. The problem,
we're told, is that its overly centralized control stifles innovation.
With too much dictation from the top down, with over-regulation
by the FDA, with doctors not free to use effective non-toxic therapies,
a form of socialized medicine is just what we have, functioning
just as badly as we were warned to expect. While the computer industry
is free to make breakthroughs that are the envy of the world, and
which happen so rapidly as to leave people breathless, no such freedom
exists in the medical field. Instead, such discoveries as the antineoplaston
cancer treatment of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski in Houston are discouraged:
the FDA tried very hard to put him in jail; in contrast to so many
FDA-approved drugs, antineoplastons never hurt anyone, but instead
put many cancers in remission. In addition, here too, the NCI cheated
in trials of antineoplastons, diluting them to the point of ineffectiveness.
NCI even filed for and obtained a patent on one of Dr. Burzynski's
compounds when it discovered he had not patented it (Chapter 11).
competition and a free market in non-toxic health products will
solve a multitude of problems. In such a market, wondrous things
can and will appear, many returning from the oblivion to which they
have been cast. How could there be politics in cancer and healing?
Surely, one presumes, the best medical discoveries are adopted and
the doctors use them. The tragic truth is that it is not that simple.
in Healing - The Suppression and Manipulation of American Medicine
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