s The Vaccine Court - Weighing all the Evidence | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

Comments: 1

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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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The Vaccine Court - Weighing all the Evidence

Neil Johnston

articles by this author...

Neil Johnston is a pharmacist who trained as a management consultant. He was the first consultant to service the pharmacy profession and commenced practice as a full time consultant in 1972, specialising in community pharmacy management, pharmacy systems, preventive medicine and the marketing of professional services. He has owned, or part-owned a total of six pharmacies during his career, and for a decade spent time both as a clinical pharmacist and Chief Pharmacist in the public hospital system. He has been editor of i2P since 2000.

I recently touched on aspects of vaccine damage (mainly in the areas of autism) in an earlier article.  Vaccination Warfare - With Already High Rates What is the Issue?”and   Vaccination Intensity
To further research the topic I had to look at activity in the US where more facts and figures are available.
For those people who make regular claims that vaccines are safe, and that the autism link has been put to rest, I think you need to evaluate your scientific method.
Evidence should not be based on a single source, nor should it follow an extreme party line dogma.

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There is overwhelming evidence that vaccines injure children and adults and more recent research indicates that vaccines are directly implicated in mitochondrial damage that sets up affected people for one of the conditions within the autism spectrum disorders.
I find it strange that mainstream media does not cover this issue more in-depth and that friends of science in medicine are not out there campaigning for a more restricted use of vaccines.
As I have said earlier, vaccines are a great defence against a number of serious illnesses, provided they are safe.
That they are not safe is evident when you read the cases published in the links below the section on the Vaccine Court.

Some pharmacists are thinking of expanding their service offering into vaccine clinics. My comment is that you should get an ironclad guarantee from your professional indemnity insurer that you are, in fact, fully covered against all eventualities, because you may have to live with some of the impacts.
Such as (all data is from the US):

* Currently 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism

* Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S

* More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than Cancer, Diabetes, Downs Syndrome and AIDS combined

* Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of most prevalent childhood disorders

* The annual cost of autism is $137 Billion a figure expected to significantly increase over the next decade

* 49% of families have reported that their child is in danger of wandering from home.

* Income of families with children with autism spectrum disorders are 28% less than those of families whose children do not have autism.

* Autism spectrum disorders are estimated to affect more than 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide.

It’s a great business model when you can induce disease on a scale of the magnitude noted above, then turn around and research and market new drugs to combat the medical consequences,

Typically, autism affects individuals in five key areas:

* Communication – verbal or non-verbal, echolalia (repetitive speech patterns), monochromatic tone, repetitive or rigid language, poor conversational skills.

* Social skills - difficulties with non-verbal cues such as gestures, facial expressions, display little or no eye contact.

Behaviors - stimming (performing repetitive body movements such as hand flapping, rocking or tip-toe walking), self-injurious (head banging), wandering, lack of sensitivity to pain.

Learning - cognition, visual and auditory processing difficulties

Medical issues - gastrointestinal distress, allergies, seizures, immune dysfunction.

The "Vaccine Court"

The United States federal court has presided over landmark cases for the autism community, filing official court decisions that have linked vaccinations as an environmental trigger of autism.  The court in which all of these decisions are rendered is the Office of Special Masters of the United States Courts of Federal Claims, otherwise known as “Vaccine Court.”

The U.S. government created this specific court in 1986 to protect pharmaceutical companies from the direct lawsuits that were arising due to the preponderance of illnesses and injuries that were stemming from the company’s vaccination products.  By establishing the Vaccine Court, the government now protects the pharmaceutical industry by trying the cases and awarding damages from a federal excise tax added to the cost of each dosage of a vaccine.

In the "Vaccine Court," the burden of proof lays squarely on the claimant.  In other words, a family must show a clear causal connection between a vaccination and its adverse effects.  For the autism community, this standard is made more challenging because the "Vaccine Court" does not accept “autism” as a legal determination. 
This is because autism is a clinical diagnosis, labelled on the basis of a collection of clinical features and created by causes that are still unknown.  But the autism community has still persevered, and compelled the court to acknowledge the link between their children’s autism diagnoses and vaccinations’ environmental triggers.

* Judicial Commentary
This link leads to a number of stories published by the Huffington Post and describes (in pdf links provided) some landmark Vaccine Court findings that are likely to impact on official government policy regarding vaccines.

* Bailey Banks
The judge ruled that the Banks family successfully demonstrates that “the MMR vaccine at issue actually caused the conditions from which Bailey suffered and continues to suffer.” This includes Bailey’s diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, which has long been recognized as an autism spectrum disorder by the CDC and other federal health agencies.

Eric Lassiter 

The Lassiter family presented Eric’s diptheria-pertusis-tetanus vaccination as the cause of his injuries, a diagnosis described as “static encepalopathy with autistic tendencies in addition to delayed development.” The judge ruled that the Department of Health & Human Services’ “respondent’s evidence and proffered explanations were weak, unconvincing and insufficient” and that the Lassiter family “has presented a better case in support of. . injury. The Court concludes that a preponderance of the evidence requires a finding for the petitioner."

* Richelle Oxley

The Oxley family presents their case that Richelle’s disabilities, including encephalopathy and autistic behaviors, are a result of the pertussis vaccine. The judge rules in their favor, stating that their “claim is strongly supported” by the presented evidence, and that there is “not a preponderance of the evidence that Richelle’s condition is due to factors unrelated to the administration of the vaccine.”

Even with the brake on claims flowing from the Vaccine Court, we still find that settlements are being awarded in the $’s multi-million for injuries that do not officially exist.
At what point does decency kick in to stop this type of madness?
For all those people who hysterically vent about the parents of a child, not vaccinated against whooping cough, compared to the rising tide of kids who have been vaccinated, only to find they have a form of autism that can make their life a misery on a permanent basis?
Not much of a choice!

Return to home

Submitted by Martin smith on Wed, 04/09/2013 - 10:17.

The USA vaccine court has never awarded damages for autism.

The rulings in fact specifically deny the claims for autism.

Encephalitis and mitochondrial disease are not autism, nor do they cause autism.

That you continue to perpetuate this myth is beyond ridiculous.

Please learn some science.

Submitted by editor on Fri, 26/07/2013 - 18:13.

Hi Peter,
Thank you for your comment.
In my haste to publish on the due date I actually inserted the wrong links.Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
However, Generation Rescue was one of the sites I researched.
What was intended for the links was the actual court record or a newspaper- researched report, for just a handful of cases heard by the Vaccine Court.
This has now been corrected.
Restating what is happening in the Vaccine Court is that people who are damaged are able to put their circumstances on trial in an open court (US Federal Court) and argue their case for a proper finding and a claim for damages.
The findings of the court, while available, are rarely found in the headlines of mainstream newspapers and therefore little is known of these activities in medical or pharmacy circles, or for the general public.
Because the adverse vaccine events are detailed in a properly constituted court of law, court findings sit well above any arguments or evidence presented by Pharma companies, medical groups or any other lobby activity.
In other words Vaccine Court findings becomes the real evidence.
While provision exists for parents of children in Australia to conscientiously object for their child not to receive a vaccine, they are discriminated against in respect of government benefits e.g. childcare supplements they would otherwise receive.
Front organisations such as the FSM shriek hysterically about this subject, particularly in respect of whooping cough vaccines, ignoring the fact that some batches have used strains that were over 40 years old and that the largest outbreaks occurred in communities that had been regularly vaccinated.
Global Pharma's see vaccines as the "cash cow" to replace expired patented blockbuster drugs.
I personally deplore what mainstream medicine has become having massive fines levied for the marketing of drugs using fraudulently generated "evidence".
Nowhere is there imprisonment for drug company executives who have not only committed fraud, but can be implicated in the death of patients (manslaughter?)- Remember Vioxx?
Also, the massive fines paid by Big Pharma get booked as marketing expenses that are incorporated in the cost of new drugs, paid for by future patients and our taxpayer-funded PBS.
There are many prominent health professionals involved in this web of deceit.
Why do you think that Medicines Australia has been reluctant to disclose the payments made by their members to health professionals.
My comments about accepting medical evidence from a single source remain the same.
Evidence accepted by a Vaccine Court and incorporated in a finding can be accepted without hesitation.
Many claims for drug safety exist in medical literature.
The fact that these claims have not been examined (for vaccines) among the Vaccine Court findings.
That is irrefutable and the main point I was trying to get across in my article.
Regards, Neil

Submitted by Peter O'Loughlin on Fri, 26/07/2013 - 15:59.

I was amazed at your recent series of articles on vaccines and
Your most recent article ‘The Vaccine Court - Weighing all the
Evidence’ goes against your advice not to follow an extreme party
line dogma.
Your references for the article take one to the Generation Rescue website which in turn cites your other references.
Generation Rescue is a non-profit organisation that advocates
the view that autism and related disorders are primarily caused by
environmental factors, particularly vaccines. These claims are biologically implausible and lack convincing scientific evidence.
Who needs to evaluate their scientific method ?

Peter O’Loughlin

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