What some people are terming ‘Marketing Based Medicine’ has just won a huge victory in the state of Victoria, trampling rough shod over medical ethics and good science.
The Labor government plans to exclude children from daycare and kindergarten, who are partially or fully unvaccinated, marking a big departure from the more considered approach of the preceding government.
Whipped into a hysterical frenzy by a media that is at times irresponsibly selective in its reportage, there is little doubt that the ‘herd’ has now stampeded, and it may take a while to calm them down.
Whilst the mainstream media’s narrative that vaccines are ‘safe and effective’ may make this seem like a simple issue, it is more complex, and it seems that policy makers and the general public have a very short memory.
There is no argument amongst the world’s peak medical bodies that vaccines can have side effects and as the World Health Organisation states, they can be ‘serious’ and require a ‘life time of care’.
In some cases they can kill.
Writing in ‘The Australian’ in 2012, Walkley award winning journalist Natasha Bita revealed a number of deaths attributed to the flu vaccine.(1)
In 2010 a number of children were permanently injured and now require ongoing case. After having to undertake private legal action, the family of Saba Button eventually received some compensation. (2)
But what gets little attention is the fact that Australia has no compensation scheme, so if someone is injured by a vaccine they have no recourse except expensive private legal action.
So a big question revolves around liability. If a family now feels that the proposed legislation leaves them no choice but to fully vaccinate their child, and that child suffers an injury, who is liable?
The state Labor government for enacting this policy?
The pharmaceutical company that made the product?
The medical staff who administered it?
If the Saba Button case demonstrated anything it is that a lot of hand balling goes on when someone is injured, and no one wants to accept responsibility.(2)
Dr Tom Jefferson from the independent Cochrane Collaboration is a world authority in vaccine trial evidence.
He is critical of how pharmaceutical funded trial data is used to justify some mass vaccination campaigns, and points out that drug companies can hide negative data, and inflate benefits to assist their marketing goals.
He states that, “vaccines have become like a religion.
They are not something you question.
If you do, you are seen as being an anti-vaccine extremist.
The authorities do not want to hear “side-effect”. (3)
A submission to parliament by the WA based Health Consumers Council paints a dire picture.
It states that “…. the operations of our safety regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is far from transparent and effective. When licensing drugs for marketing the TGA relies on research funded and controlled by pharmaceutical companies. Too often pharmaceutical companies‘ cherry pick favourable evidence and hide or ‘spin’ unfavourable evidence to support their commercial interests”.
It also states:
“TGA’s post market monitoring of drugs is equally as problematic. Voluntary reporting, inadequate disclosure, and a lack of systematic analysis of adverse events results in an overly optimistic perception of the safety and efficacy of many drugs. Furthermore privacy provisions in the Health Act (1953) effectively exempt dealings between pharmaceutical companies and Commonwealth Government agencies from Freedom of Information requirements.” (4)
In essence consumers are being asked to asked to accept that products are safe on trust. A proper risk assessment can not be undertaken because there is inadequate data on adverse events.
And incredibly information about drug company dealings is almost completely exempt from the scrutiny of Freedom of Information provisions.
The situation is made even worse by the widely acknowledged assault by pharmaceutical marketing on the medical evidence base, which informs the opinions of medical professionals and policy makers. The All Trials campaign has shown that clinical guidelines, and even some of the articles published in medical journals are being written by people paid by pharmaceutical companies. Dr Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet states, “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest……science has taken a turn towards darkness.”(5)
Drug companies have an appalling record. In the last two decades they have been fined over $30 billion for a range of crimes including bribing officials and committing widespread fraud.
Right now Merck is being sued by two of its former scientists for a range of alleged frauds relating to its MMR vaccine. According to the writ the fraud includes almost every aspect of the development and certification of the vaccine. (6)
The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics states that the “…..proportion of new products with clinical advantages seems to have moved from about 1 in 8 down to 1 in 12, while the proportion with serious harms has gone up from 1 in 5 towards 1 in 3 ….” (7).
These are terrible odds for consumers from companies that seem to have no reservations about committing fraud.
But what they are really good at is marketing.
Currently they paint a picture of the recent past as being something out of medieval times with a huge body count from measles, mumps and chickenpox.
The reality is that these illnesses were considered entirely routine, with a short period of discomfort resulting in lifelong natural immunity.
Any illness can kill, but typically in Western countries they had almost negligible mortality.
Whilst many people would argue it is prudent to prevent them, most would expect that any prevention of illnesses with a low mortality should entail approaches that are entirely safe and effective.
Multi award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Atkisson has written extensively on the marketing tactics of pharmaceutical companies.
She can cite legions of independent research scientists from credible institutions who have published work questioning aspects of the safety and efficacy of vaccines, their ingredients, and some schedules, but “their work is, at best, ignored by the media; at worst, viciously attacked by the predictable flock of self-appointed expert “science” bloggers who often title their blogs with the word “science” or “skeptics” to confer an air of legitimacy…….. “Weak,” “too small,” “haphazard,” “not replicated,” “junk science,” “flawed,” “unrelated,” declare the propagandists, without exception.
Just as attackers spent years challenging any study that linked tobacco to lung cancer. They know that reporters who don’t do their homework will conduct an Internet search, run across the blogs with science-y sounding names, and uncritically accept their word as if it’s fact and prevailing thought.” (8)
With their control of the content of medical journals, huge lobbying power, vast internet presence, and a compliant media, it is no wonder that so few question the repeated mantra of ‘safe and effective’.
In terms of medical ethics, the concept of ‘informed consent’ seems to have been forgotten.
The pros and cons of any procedure are meant to be explained and people are meant to be able to make a decision free from coercion.
How often do healthcare providers read the package inserts to patients before they administer vaccines?
How often do they warn patients of the possible side effects which are clearly listed in the package inserts?
And given that working parents will now have little choice, isn’t this coercion by any other name?
It is also recognised that each person’s physiology is unique.
We all respond to things a little differently. Which is why ‘one size fits all’ medical approaches violate patients’ rights. Professor Yehuda Shoenfeld spoke in this country in 2013 about autoimmune dysfunctions caused by adjuvants.
He believes there are genetic predispositions which can lead to serious health problems when a patient is exposed to some vaccine ingredients.
This government makes no allowance for this.
The state Labor government has never presented a risk analysis based upon credible, agreed upon figures.
The fact is there has never been a study of the long term health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. We don’t have agreed upon figures that would help us decide if vaccines present more or less risk than the diseases they are meant to prevent.
The previous government adopted a more considered approach.
They withdrew the whooping cough ‘cocooning’ program because the vaccine was ineffective, and may have been making the problem worse, because people receiving it thought they were protected and that wasn’t always the case.
Now it seems that all vaccines have magically become entirely effective and completely safe.
It represents the victory of a mob mentality over the more measured and critical approach needed to ensure public health and safety.
It ignores the many regulatory, and monitoring shortfalls in this country.
It asks us to forget deaths and injuries caused by vaccines only a few years ago. It sidesteps the lack of transparency the whole industry suffers from.
It pretends the medical evidence base is immune from pharmaceutical marketing, and it diminishes medical ethics.
Most of all it shows that drug company marketing has complete dominance over policy, and most public opinion.
If this was really about concerns over immunity, wouldn’t the government be mandating breast feeding which experts agree is the single best way to boost infant immunity?
Imagine the outrage if breast feeding was mandatory unless you had a medical exemption!
The fact is that pharmaceutical companies spend twice as much on marketing as they do on research and in the last ten years profits from vaccines have increased over 400%.
This is about using fear and public hysteria to drive profits.
It is about marketing diseases, some of which were previously considered entirely routine, to promote an ever expanding schedule.
We might reasonably ask what is next?
Mandatory psychiatric drugs for specified ‘conditions’?
Who knows, but it is a slippery slope. ‘Marketing Based Medicine’ reigns supreme in Victoria.