* FDA Conflicts of Interest
* Drug Company Seduction — Is Your Doctor a Victim?
* Third Opinion — Awesome Resource For You

FDA Conflicts of Interest

In my browsings around the ‘Net recently I ran across a very
interesting web site. It is called “Optimal Wellness Center”
and belongs to Dr. Joseph Mercola. He is an osteopath. As
you know, I pay almost no attention to the letters after a
medical professional’s name. What matters is their ability
to help you get well and stay well.

You will be in awe, as I was, at the enormous amount of in-
formation at Dr. Mercola’s site. Over 15,000 pages of news-
letters. It is all free. There are four years of weekly
newsletters archived with a search engine feature. Click on
his web site link at the end of this article and explore it.

One article in particular caught my eye. As you know, I feel
strongly that you must understand the drug industry to co-
doctor effectively. It is a major theme in my book. The
newspaper USA Today did a series of articles in October, 2000
exposing the conflicts of interest in FDA drug approvals.
Here are some excerpts:

“More than half of the experts hired to advise the government
on the safety and effectiveness of medicine have financial
relationships with the pharmaceutical companies that will be
helped or hurt by their decisions.”

“The experts are supposed to be independent, but USA Today
found that 54% of the time, they have a direct financial
interest in the drug or topic they are asked to evaluate.
These conflicts include helping a pharmaceutical company
develop a medicine, then serving on an FDA advisory com-
mittee that judges the drug.”

“Federal law prohibits the FDA from using experts with finan-
cial conflicts of interest, but the FDA has waived the res-
triction more than 800 times since 1998.”

Our medical system is CORRUPT, folks. If you sense that my
anger meter is rising, you’re absolutely right. Daily now
I hear from victims of our cancer “establishment.” Each one
makes me more angry — and more determined to try to help
you and your loved ones avoid this fate.

Need more proof of our system’s inadequacy and mendacity?
Please read the next article. Meanwhile, here’s a great
resource for you:


Drug Company Seduction — Is Your Doctor A Victim?

Dr. David Williams, my favorite medical professional, re-
cently published an article he titled “Respectability for
Sale.” Allow me to quote briefly from it:

“CBS news recently exposed a scam by the major drug firms.
Apparently, it has become common practice for drug firms
to ‘ghostwrite’ articles covering medical studies performed
by their in-house research staffs.

These articles are then submitted to outside physicians for
their ‘review.’ Once a doctor reviews the article, his or
her name is included as one of the authors of the article
and it is submitted for publication in a medical journal.

The result is that the pharmaceutical companies get some of
the best, most reputable advertising possible at very low

If the article is published, the pharmaceutical company gets
a favorable and seemingly unbiased writeup in a peer-reviewed
medical journal. It doesn’t get any better than that. And
the reviewing doctor gets the prestige associated with having
a journal article published.

Other doctors reading the study view the results as totally
above-board. Naturally, they feel comfortable giving their
own patients more prescriptions for the drug. The pharma-
ceutical companies reap the profits from the new publicity
and increased sales, and the unsuspecting doctors and
patients are none the wiser.”

We’re dealing with expert marketers here. If you haven’t
noticed the deluge of TV ads for specific drugs lately, you
haven’t been watching much TV (good for you!). The object
of these ads is obviuosly to brainwash the American public
(you and me) that there is a prescription solution available
for every malady.

A personal anecdote: Last week, I developed a case of pros-
tatitis (infection of the prostate gland). It had been many
years since my last bout with this “kick in the butt.” It
didn’t take me more than 15 minutes, though, to recognize it.
The aching in your lower back, legs and spine is a unique
signature of this problem.

I called my urologist’s office. It was a Sunday. The on-duty
doctor called me back. He called in a prescription for me to
my pharmacy.

When I went to pick up the prescription, I was stunned at the
price: $120 for 30 tablets of an antibiotic called Cipro, 500
mg. It is a product of Bayer. I’m lucky enough to have a
Medicare supplement program that pays most of the cost. My
co-pay was just $15.

I called the pharmacist and asked him why a doctor would pre-
scribe such an expensive antibiotic for such a common disorder.
He said two reasons: without a “culture,” the doctor went for
a “broad spectrum” antibiotic; and the doctor wanted to be sure
to give me an antibiotic I wasn’t “resistant” to.

Hmmmmm. I called one of my doctor friends (a pediatrician I
play golf with). He said there were at least 30 antibiotics
for which generics were available. Relative cost: about 15
cents per tablet vs the $4.00 per tablet I (my insurance) paid.

Questions: How do you fault your doctor for prescribing the
“best” medication for you? Do you see the influence of drug
company patents on the cost of our medical care?

Bottom line: We MUST take charge of our own medical care. We
MUST avoid prescription medication as much as possible.

Dr. Atkins (of “Diet Revolution” fame), another of my favorite
medical professionals, says that 30% of his patients (not just
dieters, but heart patients, etc.) have “candidiasis.” This
proliferation of the Candida Albicans bacteria throughout one’s
system causes a myriad of symptoms. Rarely is it diagnosed

Here is a short list of the symptoms: lethargy, fatigue, depres-
sion, inability to concentrate, headaches, gastrointestinal dis-
orders including constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas and
bloating, respiratory ailments and disorders of the urinary
tract and reproductive organs.

Heard of “yeast” infections? That’s what we’re talking about.
But all over your insides.

The cause? Actually, there are four, according to Dr. Atkins.
All have risen in our population dramatically in the last 30
or so years:

1. A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
2. Antibiotics (more than 20 weeks in a lifetime would make
Candida overgrowth a probability).
3. The mercury in silver dental fillings.
4. Birth control pills, prednisone, and other steroids.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for your doctor to diagnose
this condition. It is not a “popular” diagnosis. Could be
because most of the causes are “iatrogenic” (caused by medical

To read more about this topic, I recommend the following two
web sites:



Third Opinion — An Awesome Resource for You

John Fink has compiled for you an “International Directory
to Alternative Therapy Centers.” He calls it “Third Opinion.”
Looking through it again this week, I was awed by the scope
of his work in compiling this reference book.

In his introduction, he points out that all these therapies
are aimed at the cause of the cancer and not just its symp-
toms (size of the tumor, etc.). As he says:

“The entire field of alternatives is vast and encompasses
territory ranging from prayer to electromagnetic treatment.
Although some may not be represented here, this book covers
the majority of the better-known alternative therapies.”

It certainly does. There are sections on Treatment Centers,
both in North America and overseas, as well as Educational
Centers, Support Programs and Information Services.

He lists phone and fax numbers, costs of treatment, directions
to the clinics, and names and qualifications of the practic-
tioners. This third edition was published in 1997, but the
information seems to be quite current and useful.

The Bibliograhy has the most complete list of resources on
alternative cancer treatment I have seen.

The book is available from both online and traditional book
stores for $14-$16. The title again is “Third Opinion” by
John M. Fink.


Bill Henderson

As for the legal stuff — Disclaimer: The author of this
newsletter is a researcher and writer, not a doctor. Any
treatment for an illness should be shared with your doctor
before you attempt it.