Propecia Causes Permanent Impotence in Some Men: Merck and FDA Knew About It

America First

Big Pharma, Merck in this case, is well aware of the problems some of their “wonder drugs” cause. It’s disturbing how our government approves drugs that regularly ruin the lives of a small minority of those prescribed, yet has declared an all out war on natural products like marijuana and raw milk.

This story also shows how vain Americans have become. What’s more important, a full head of hair, or your sexual function, ambition, and overall happiness?

Kevin Malley was almost 30, and he was starting to lose his hair. He went to his doctor to see if there was a way to keep from going bald, and his doctor prescribed Propecia.

“I looked young for my age, so I wanted to hold off my hair loss for a little bit,” Malley said. “I didn’t plan on taking Propecia for more than a year.”


Malley started taking the drug in May 2011, and by October he was completely impotent and had no sex drive whatsoever. His body changed, even his genitals shrank, and he slipped into a mental fog that he just couldn’t clear. His doctor told him the side effects would go away if he stopped taking the drug, so he did. But nothing changed.


“I kept expecting the side effects to go away, but they did not, they only got worse,” he said.


For 96 percent of the men, the sexual problems lasted for more than a year after they stopped taking the drug.


“Our findings make me suspicious that this drug may have done permanent damage to these men,” said Dr. Michael Irwig, the author of the study. “The chances that they will improve? I think it’s lower and lower the longer they have these side effects.”
http://news.yahoo.com/video#video=29966302

Later in the story we learn that the FDA and Merck knew that some men would face long-term impotence by taking Propecia:

FDA, Merck Know of Drug’s Side Effects


Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into a more potent form, called DHT, which contributes to hair loss. It was originally developed in 1992 by drug giant Merck as a treatment for enlarged prostates and sold as the drug Proscar.


Propecia was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997, and at that time Merck noted that a few men reported sexual side effects during clinical trials of the drug. On its website, the agency said those side effects were resolved when patients stopped taking the drug.
http://gma.yahoo.com/men-propecias-sexual-side-effects-may-long-lasting-215732153–abc-news-wellness.html

The moral of the story? Don’t trust big companies and the FDA with your health. Only take drugs and supplements that are absolutely necessary. Find natural relief and cures when possible.

CEO Who Oversaw Mass Vioxx Deaths Now Teaching at Harvard and on Microsoft Board of Directors

AllGov

Raymond Gilmartin’s landing was a soft one after leaving behind an embattled Merck. The one-time top executive of the leading pharmaceutical company, which was engulfed in the Vioxx controversy last decade, splits his time these days between teaching part-time at Harvard and serving on the boards of major corporations.

Gilmartin served as Merck’s president and CEO for 12 years (1994-2006) during troubles that stemmed from the company’s anti-arthritis medicine Vioxx. Despite knowing that Vioxx was potentially lethal, Merck put it on the market in 1999. Although a Food and Drug Administration study showed that perhaps 55,000 Americans died from heart attacks and strokes after using Vioxx, other sources indicated that upwards of 500,000 people—almost all of them older adults—may have died from the drug, which produced lawsuit after lawsuit against Merck. The company wound up settling for $4.85 billion.

Before it was pulled from the market in 2004, the drug was very profitable for Merck, earning about $2 billion per year in revenue at its peak. It also paid handsomely for Gilmartin, who reportedly made $50 million in just five of his years at the corporate helm.

After retiring from his post, Gilmartin joined the faculty of Harvard Business School, where, according to the school’s Web site, he still serves as an adjunct professor, teaching second-year MBA candidates to run businesses just like he did in a course called Building and Sustaining Successful Enterprises.

Gilmartin also serves on the boards of General Mills, Inc., and the Microsoft Corporation.

When Half a Million Americans Died and Nobody Noticed

OpEdNews

Was the US drug Vioxx responsible for far more deaths than has been acknowledged so far?

RE American lives cheaper than those of the Chinese? It’s a question raised by Ron Unz, publisher of The American Conservative, who has produced a compelling comparison between the way the Chinese dealt with one of their drug scandals – melamine in baby formula – and how the US handled the Vioxx aspirin-substitute disaster.

The Chinese scandal surfaced in 2008, shortly before the Beijing Olympics. Crooked dairymen diluted their milk products, then added a plastic chemical compound called melamine to raise the apparent protein content back to normal levels. Nearly 300,000 babies across China suffered urinary problems, with many hundreds requiring lengthy hospitalisation for kidney stones. Six died.

Long prison sentences were handed down and a couple of the guiltiest culprits were tried and executed for their role. Throughout these events, American media coverage was extensive, with appropriate sneering about the Chinese leadership’s indifference to human life.

Four years earlier, in September 2004, Merck, one of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies, issued a sudden recall of Vioxx, its anti-pain medication widely used to treat arthritis-related ailments.

The recall came just days after Merck discovered that a top medical journal was about to publish a study by an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) investigator indicating that the drug in question greatly increased the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes and had probably been responsible for at least 55,000 American deaths during the five years it had been on the market.

It soon turned out Merck had known of potential lethal side effects even before launching Vioxx in 1999, but had brushed all such disturbing tests under the rug.

With a TV ad budget averaging a hundred million dollars per year, Vioxx swiftly became one of Merck’s bestsellers, generating over $2 billion in yearly revenue. Twenty-five million Americans were eventually prescribed Vioxx as an aspirin-substitute thought to produce fewer complications.

There was a fair amount of news coverage after the recall, but pretty slim considering the alleged 55,000 death toll. A class-action lawsuit dragged its way through the courts for years, eventually being settled for $4.85 billion in 2007.

When the scandal first broke, Merck’s stock price collapsed, and many believed that the company could not possibly survive, especially after evidence of a deliberate corporate conspiracy surfaced. Instead, Merck’s stock price eventually reached new heights in 2008 and today it is just 15 per cent below where it stood before the disaster.

The year after the scandal unfolded, Merck’s long-time CEO resigned and was replaced by one of his top lieutenants. But he retained the $50 million in financial compensation he had received over the previous five years. Neither he nor any other Merck executives was charged with corporate malfeasance.

Senior FDA officials apologised for their lack of effective oversight and promised to do better in the future. The Vioxx scandal began to sink into the vast marsh of semi-forgotten international pharmaceutical scandals.

Then in 2005, as he now remembers it, Ron Unz “was reading my morning newspapers, as I always do, and noticed tiny items about an unprecedented drop in the American death rate. Hmm I said, I wonder if that might have anything to do with all those other stories about that deadly drug recently taken off the market and all the resulting lawsuits.”

The year after Vioxx was pulled from the market, the New York Times and other media outlets were running minor news items, usually down-column, noting that American death rates had undergone a striking and completely unexpected decline. These were what Unz, a dedicated news browser, was reading.

Typical was the headline on a short article that ran in the 19 April 2005 edition of USA Today: ‘USA Records Largest Drop in Annual Deaths in at Least 60 Years.’ During that one year, American deaths fell by 50,000 despite the growth in both the size and the age of the nation’s population. Government health experts were quoted as being greatly “surprised” and “scratching [their] heads” over this strange anomaly, which was led by a sharp drop in fatal heart attacks.

For his Chinese melamine/Vioxx comparison, Unz went back to those 2005 stories. Quick scrutiny of the most recent 15 years worth of national mortality data provided on the US Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website offered Unz some useful clues.

“We find the largest rise in American mortality rates occurred in 1999, the year Vioxx was introduced, while the largest drop occurred in 2004, the year it was withdrawn,” says Unz. “Vioxx was almost entirely marketed to the elderly, and these substantial changes in the national death-rate were completely concentrated within the 65-plus population.

“The FDA studies had proven that use of Vioxx led to deaths from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, and these were exactly the factors driving the changes in national mortality rates.”

The impact of these shifts, Unz points out, was not small. After a decade of remaining roughly constant, the overall American death rate began a substantial decline in 2004, soon falling by approximately five per cent, despite the continued ageing of the population. This drop corresponds to roughly 100,000 fewer deaths per year. The age-adjusted decline in death rates was considerably greater.

“Patterns of cause and effect cannot easily be proven,” Unz continues. “But if we hypothesise a direct connection between the recall of a class of very popular drugs proven to cause fatal heart attacks and other deadly illnesses with an immediate drop in the national rate of fatal heart attacks and other deadly illnesses, then the statistical implications are quite serious.”

Unz makes the point that the users of Vioxx were almost all elderly, and it was not possible to determine whether a particular victim’s heart attack had been caused by Vioxx or other factors. But he concludes: “Perhaps 500,000 or more premature American deaths may have resulted from Vioxx [my italics], a figure substantially larger than the 3,468 deaths of named individuals acknowledged by Merck during the settlement of its lawsuit. And almost no one among our political or media elites seems to know or care about this possibility.”

I remarked to Unz that it seemed truly incredible that a greater than expected death rate of this dimension should scarcely have caused a ripple.

“I’m just as astonished,” he said. “From 2004 onwards, huge numbers of America’s toughest trial lawyers were suing Merck for billions based on Vioxx casualties – didn’t they notice the dramatic drop in the national death rate?

“The inescapable conclusion is that in today’s world and in the opinion of our own media, American lives are quite cheap, unlike those in China.

“Besides,” says Unz laughing, “it shows the stupidity of our political leaders that they didn’t seize upon this great opportunity. They should have just renamed Vioxx the ‘Save Social Security Drug,’ and distributed it free in very large doses to everyone, starting on their 65th birthday. Maybe they should have even made it mandatory, three times per day. At sufficiently large levels of national consumption, Vioxx could have almost singlehandedly eliminated all our serious budget deficit problems. ‘Vioxx – The Miracle Anti-Deficit Drug’.”

300,000 Flu Vaccines Recalled Over Serious Adverse Reactions

Natural Society, Nov. 10, 2011

Baxter Healthcare Corp. has announced it is recalling around 300,000 doses of its Preflucel flu vaccine due to an ‘excessive’ amount of adverse reactions. Recalled from thousands of pharmacies and surgeries across Europe, the 300,000 units are to be immediately withdrawn. With seasonal flu vaccines already linked to nerve disease Guillain-Barre Syndrome and narcolepsy and still being given out liberally to citizens worldwide, the adverse reactions must be quite serious in order to prompt a recall.

Even more concerning is the fact that vaccine makers actually have been given legal immunity thanks to a law signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

Of course Baxter representatives are urging the public to stay calm, while also downplaying the risks associated with the shot. In the past NaturalSociety has revealed how Merck uses similar tactics to downplay the true side effects of the Gardasil vaccine, listing only minor side effects and ignoring the death link completely.

“The vaccine is being recalled because these side effects have been reported more frequently with this specific batch,” said a Baxter spokesmen. This spokesman also attempted to reassure the public that those who have already been vaccinated with Preflucel “should not be concerned (for their safety).”

Only time will tell what serious reactions are associated with this batch of Preflucel. In response to why the vaccine was recalled, Baxter states that “most of the side-effects are those usually associated with flu vaccines – they have started shortly after the vaccination and have been mild and short-lived.”

The problem with this statement is the fact that the seasonal flu shot has been repeatedly tied with serious adverse reactions. Therefore, it is not very reassuring that ‘most of the side-effects’ occur in the regular seasonal flu shot as well. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that Baxter would not recall flu vaccines, or at least investigate them further, after it was found that they are virtually ineffective and linked to nerve disease if they truly cared about your health. Therefore, it seems reasonable that despite the reassuring language of the Baxter spokesmen, this batch of Preflucel must be linked to something quite nasty.

Full story

Related: Immune System Protects Against Flu, Not Vaccines

Gardasil: Still not tested or proven to prevent cancer

PPJ Gazette, Feb. 6, 2011

Gardasil is the vaccine promoted as protection against various types of cervical cancer supposedly caused by the HPV virus, and obviously is intended for other purposes. Even with the number of deaths and injury from the vaccine the ads ran non-stop on TV while state and federal governments tried to find ever newer and more invasive ways of making mandatory vaccination a reality. They got their wish; Obamacare calls for mandatory vaccination and proof of updates to vaccinations in order to get any healthcare.

Please note in this next article that Gardasil has been expanded to include far more than cervical cancer and includes the observation that “HPV is THOUGHT to be the cause”…not, is the cause or, we know it’s the cause, or we can prove conclusively, or there is substantial evidence,…they just think it could be. This is a broad and vague claim and totally without any conclusive supporting evidence.

Gardasil contains extremely high levels of aluminum and polysorbate 80, a known cause of sterility in lab tests on mice, and also known to cause sterility in humans. High levels of other neurotoxic chemicals and the presence of thimerosal, a derivitive of mercury is said to be present although MERCK continues to deny that allegation.

Full story

HPV Vaccine Requirement May Be Repealed

Funny how Big Pharma always finds their vaccine to be more “successful” if it is given in several doses instead of one. Perhaps they mean more financially successful? -Ed.

Capital News Service, Jan. 30, 2011

RICHMOND – A Senate panel is considering a House-approved bill to eliminate the requirement that girls in Virginia receive the vaccine against the human papillomavirus before entering sixth grade.

Delegate Kathy Byron, R-Lynchburg said she proposed HB 1419 to return medical decisions to families. She said households should determine what vaccines to give children.

The HPV vaccine, called GARDASIL, was approved in 2006 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent cervical cancer in females. Last year, the FDA approved the vaccine to guard against genital warts in males.

The vaccine, which requires three doses, was found to be most successful against cervical cancer when given to girls at a young age.

Virginia is the only state with a law requiring girls to get the HPV vaccine.

Byron said the 2007 law requiring girls to get the HPV vaccine was spurred by an intense lobbying campaign by Merck & Co., the manufacturer of GARDASIL.

Full story