This may be a long email, but please bear with me. I have some grave news that I need to share with you about a beloved BBS Founding Member…but I need to start with some background information.
Every time we see an ad for a new medication on tv, we hear the long list of side effects at the end. Some of them sound horrible…but, we’ve heard them so many times, we often just tune them out. Most of these only affect a very small portion of those taking that prescription (Rx)…and if the benefit of the Rx outweighs the negative, some people will keep taking it. For others, it’s just not worth it, and they look for an alternative. And, sometimes, the side effects are found to be so bad, the medication is pulled off the shelf permanently.
You may recall in April, the FDA issued an order that “all ranitidine (Zantac) products be pulled from the market immediately. The recall includes all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs as ongoing investigations uncovered levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, increase over time.”
The FDA found that “NDMA levels increase in ranitidine under normal storage conditions, and NDMA has been found to increase significantly when stored at higher temperatures. The testing also showed that the older a ranitidine product is, or the longer the length of time in storage, the greater the level of NDMA.” You can read the FDA press release >>here<<.
The FDA found that some of the older samples that were isolated in storage were still ok (at or below the limit they considered “safe”). Some had degraded to double the limit…others to 6 x the limit. Apparently, they didn’t all respond the same way to isolated storage. But, the FDA considered it significant enough in those that did react poorly, to recall the medicine entirely.
And, we applaud that…right? When they found out the prescription may cause far more damage in the long run than the immediate benefit it was intended to provide…they pulled it.
Let me repeat that, so you don’t miss it: THE LONGER IT WAS KEPT ISOLATED IN STORAGE, some of it was ok, BUT SOME OF IT WAS SEVERELY DAMAGED…and even though it didn’t kill people immediately, IT WOULD CAUSE DEATH LATER.
We didn’t know that we were trading immediate relief of heart burn for cancer down the road, or we never would’ve prescribed it. Thank goodness we stopped it the moment we figured that out. Right?
There’s an article by Dr. Scott Atlas of Stanford University (and contributors from 5 other Universities) that discusses some of the side effects of the “prescription” we’ve been following to fight the virus. You’ll find the full text of the article >>here<<.
The authors note that our governmental mitigation policy (aka, prescription) of broad societal lockdown was originally implemented for 2 weeks to “flattening the curve” and prevent hospital overcrowding. The 2 week “prescription” was NOT intended to reduce the number of people infected…it was intended to spread them out over a longer period of time, so that hospitals could prepare for waves of patients. However, at some point, the purpose shifted from “flattening the curve” to “stopping the spread of the virus at all costs”.
The reason the FDA knows that NDMA can cause cancer is because of the empirical research that has been done with millions of people over years and years of time. It’s allowed us to determine than when people ingest too much of it, those people are more likely to get cancer and die. In the same manner, the authors of this article reference numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access publications, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data to give us just a glimpse of what the side effects have been so far, from our current “prescription” to stop the spread of the virus.
Please understand this, NO ONE can place a price tag on a person’s life…and then refuse to pay it if the cost is too high. This is not about reducing lives to a dollar figure. This is about using the data that’s been collected from millions of people, over years and years, to make sure we’re not trading immediate relief of heart burn for cancer down the road.
The article provides support for their estimates regarding lives lost as a result of unemployment, lost income, and the stresses of providing basic needs (that also increase the incidence of suicide, alcohol or drug abuse, stress-induced illnesses and deaths of despair). With a bias toward erring on the low side, the statistics from the NIH, CDC, and BLS indicated the economic shutdown will translate into 65,000 lives lost in the U.S. for each month it continues.
You’ll have to read the article for yourself and review the data cited to determine for yourself if you agree with that. But, even if you don’t, there’s more…lives lost due to delayed or foregone health care, imposed by the shutdown and the fear it created among patients. Here are just a few of the major health segments affected…and this is just the tip of the iceberg:
60% fewer Ambulatory visits.
61% fewer Cardiology visits.
50% fewer Oncology visits.
50% fewer Neurosurgery visits.
60% fewer Pediatric visits.
49% fewer Primary Care visits.
79% fewer Ophthalmology visits.
73% fewer Dermatology visits.
63% fewer Urology visits.
70% fewer of ALL in-person, face-to-face visits.
40% fewer Emergency Stroke Evaluations.
85% fewer living-donor transplants.
325,000 cancer patients stopped receiving chemotherapy in the U.S.
100,000 new cancer cases were not discovered because of cancelled routine screenings in the U.S.
And, the World Health Organization has reported that at least 80 million children under the age of one are now at risk of diphtheria, polio and measles, after the pandemic disrupted programs in at least 68 countries.
[email truncated due to length, please go to next email: Side Effects Part 2]