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Awareness

Study Reveals Big Pharma Paid Doctors Millions of Dollars To Push Opioids

A new study revealed that between August 2013 and December 2015, doctors were paid a total of $46 million by Big Pharma to help push opioids. This is an issue that contributes to the ever-growing opium epidemic in North America.

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It’s no secret that there’s an opium epidemic plaguing North America, and it’s been a growing issue for decades. Many people often picture drug dealers as these scary individuals selling pills on streets, when in reality, the drug pushers responsible for the abuse of opioids, opium, and heroin are largely the U.S. government and doctors.

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That’s right: The U.S. government and physicians are deeply connected to the opium trade. You have physicians heavily pushing and marketing opioids, and then you have the U.S. government governing the opium trade.

A recently published study in the American Journal of Public Health actually proved just how deep this problem runs in regards to the doctor-opioid relationship, proving that opioids represent a lucrative business for both physicians and Big Pharma.

Here’s How Much Doctors Were Paid to Push Opioids

It’s no secret that Big Pharma is a money-making machine. Many even suggest that they design drugs with negative side effects so you remain sick, thus growing their market of sick consumers — a view supported by the reality that doctors get compensated for selling you drugs, not for getting you off of them.

You can even figure out exactly how much your personal doctor gets paid to sell you drugs. You can read more about that in our CE article here and discover how much Big Pharma pays your doctor to prescribe you drugs.

According to this new study, 1 in 12 doctors has received money from drug companies marketing opioid pharmaceuticals. Between August 2013 and December 2015, researchers at Boston Medical Center found that 68,177 doctors were paid a combined amount of $46 million from drug companies marketing these drugs.

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Within that timeframe, the total number of opioid-related non-research payments to physicians was 375, 266, and the top 1% of doctors (about 700) received 82.5% of the total amount paid. Family physicians were found to have been given the highest number of payments.

That’s a lot of money to be paying doctors to push drugs on you, which begs the question: How many people actually need the painkillers they’re being prescribed, and how many of these prescriptions are just a money grab?

Scott Hadland, a pediatrician and author of the study, explained that for those addicted to opioids, “It’s very common that the first opioid they’re ever exposed to is from a prescription.”

We see more and more overdoses and addictions related to these drugs occurring every year, and it all stems from a combination of the U.S. government controlling the opium drug trade, and Big Pharma and doctors overprescribing medication and understating their side effects and addictiveness. This issue isn’t new, however; it actually started decades ago.

Big Pharma, Doctors, and the U.S. Government Linked to Opioids 

So, we’ve established doctors’ link to Big Pharma and their incentive to sell drugs, but how did this all start?

To clarify, heroin is made from opium. Opium is removed from the poppy plant, which is then refined into morphine, and can then be refined into heroin. So, if you’re an opium supplier, you could also be considered a heroin supplier. This is an important fact when it comes to the role the U.S. government has played in the opioid epidemic.

The term opioid refers to any substance that binds to our opioid receptor sites, and so both heroin and morphine qualify as opioids and opiates. Opiates are made from those same poppy plants as well, though not all opioids are; for example, some are entirely synthetic, and others are semi-synthetic (made from both chemicals and opium).

The U.S. government is actually heavily involved in the opium drug trade. In Southeast Asia (SEA) during the Vietnam War, the CIA worked alongside Laotian general Vang Pao in an effort to help make Laos the world’s largest exporter of heroin. In fact, the CIA owned and operated a covert drug smuggling airline, referred to as Air Americawhich was used to transport numerous goods, including heroin. The CIA then flew drugs all over SEA, allowing the Golden Triangle (parts of Burma, Thailand, and Laos) to become the world hub for heroin. You can read more about Air America in our CE article here.

According to a New York Times article written in 1993, the CIA’s involvement with the heroin industry actually began slightly before the Vietnam War. During the Korean War, in 1950, the CIA allegedly traded weapons and heroin in exchange for intelligence.

However, the CIA’s “heroin problem” didn’t start nor end in SEA.

Afghanistan is another country with a complicated history of involvement in the opium and heroin industries, much of which implicates the CIA. In the 1980s, CIA-supported Moujahedeen rebels were heavily involved in drug trafficking heroin. The CIA supplied trucks and mules, which were used to transport opium.

Despite the fact that Afghanistan supplied approximately 50% of the heroin used by Americans, the U.S. failed to intervene or investigate the Afghan drug industry for years. Instead, many of the individuals trafficking the drugs in Afghanistan were actually trained, armed, and funded by the CIA at the time.

Opium production came to a gradual halt thanks to Taliban rule. By 2000, the Taliban had completely banned opium production, practically eradicating 90% of the world’s heroin. The following UN diagram outlines the history of opium production in Afghanistan:

As you can see, after 9/11 occurred and the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, opium production suddenly skyrocketed. There have been tons of photos of U.S. soldiers guarding the opium fields, yet today, more than a decade later, they still have not destroyed them and the business is booming (view some of the photos here).

It’s no secret that 9/11 was an inside job, otherwise referred to as a false-flag terrorist attack. If you didn’t know that, please read this CE article. Many have speculated that one of the main reasons the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attack is so that they could gain full control over the opium trade in Afghanistan. You can read more about that in our CE article here.

The government is even using taxpayers’ dollars to create a heroin vaccine, which is relatively ironic given their relationship to the drug trade. You can read more about that in our CE article here.

Given all of this information, it’s clear to me that the U.S. government is knee deep in the opium/heroin drug trade, directly linking them to the opium epidemic we’re experiencing in North America.

So, how does Big Pharma relate to all of this?

When you think about it, Big Pharma companies are just like any other business: Their main goal is to provide consumers with products they want or need, and in turn make a profit. Well, how can Big Pharma companies ensure that their market grows and demand increases? By creating products that are not only addictive, but that have negative side effects as well, so they can keep people sick and encourage them to take more drugs.

How will these potential customers end up taking more drugs? They will get prescriptions from their doctors, and so Big Pharma pays doctors to prescribe medications to their customers, or patients. Then, if they become addicted or are told they need to continue to take these drugs to mask symptoms rather than treating the underlying issue, they’ll become repeat customers.

It’s a never-ending cycle of keeping people sick so they can profit. Doctors aren’t paid to cure you, they’re paid to get you to take drugs. Yes, that’s a generalization, but it’s also a key aspect of how our healthcare system works. It’s no different when it comes to opioids; Big Pharma heavily marketed these drugs, and they paid doctors to help distribute them.

“[The marketing effort for opioid sales] was a promotional campaign unlike we have ever really seen,” explains Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the Chief Medical Officer for the Phoenix House treatment centers and co-founder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. “Drug reps were going to family care doctors, and insisting that OxyContin had no real risks—only benefits. What they were selling was the idea that pain was a disease, and not a symptom.”

This problem can be seen all over North America. In the U.S. and Canada, pharmaceutical giant Purdue has made over $30 billion USD from OxyContin alone since the mid-1990s. Purdue was actually largely responsible for the marketing campaign in support of these drugs, and in 2001, spent $4.6 million on OxyContin advertisements in medical journals.

Final Thoughts 

It’s clear that the relationship the U.S. government, doctors, and Big Pharma have to one another and with the opium trade runs deep. The best thing we can do is educate people on the matter so we can become more aware of what’s going on in the world!

I’m not saying that Big Pharma is the enemy, but I am suggesting that you take a deeper look at the drugs you’re prescribed rather than blindly following doctors’ orders. Yes, many physicians and drug researchers have your absolute best interests at heart, but others may not, and many of these people may not even understand the full scope of the issue at hand. Doctors aren’t always educated on the adverse side effects of these drugs, just as consumers aren’t either.

At the end of the day, the best we can do is to conduct our own research and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about more natural alternatives or about the potential negative side effects of specific pharmaceutical drugs.

Much love!

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Awareness

Is Doctors’ Cash Incentive Sidelining the Hippocratic Oath?

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California likes to brag about its “outsized influence” on the rest of the United States and its vaunted tendency to “experience the future earlier than other parts of the country.” However, having just passed the most draconian vaccine law in the nation—one that decimates the doctor-patient relationship and tells medically fragile children that they have no right to bodily integrity—it would appear that the state’s lawmakers and the medical trade groups that were only too happy to co-sponsor the legislation think it is trend-setting to model medical tyranny and the overthrow of the Nuremberg Code.

Within hours of the California Assembly’s 48-19 passage of SB 276, California Senators followed with their approval (28-11)—with all “ayes” in both chambers being Democrats—and the Democratic governor signed it along with last-minute companion bill SB 714. Illustrating the arrogant attitude prevailing among officialdom, the state health director (who recently resigned) casually dismissed the thousands who showed up to oppose the bill as “flat-earthers” and “booger-eaters.”

The editor of the independent news website California Globe called attention to the unseemly haste with which antidemocratic lawmakers “jammed through” legislation that essentially eliminates vaccine medical exemptions, quoting one dissenting Republican Senator as saying, “This Legislature is even scaring our medical community.” Is the Senator right? Just what doCalifornia doctors think about the unprecedented legislation that disses their sacrosanct relationship with patients and allows state bureaucrats to “illegally practice medicine over the top of the doctors”?

Some physicians were clearly concerned, turning out to testify against SB 276 or writing letters to ask the governor to veto the legislation. One physician wrote that the two bills “have created a climate of fear and anxiety,” leaving practicing physicians “afraid to speak up for fear of retribution, of being targeted by the state, for public censure and loss of professional respect.” Another doctor agreed that the legislation imposes “tremendous risk and liability—personally, professionally and financially”—on physicians who write valid medical exemptions, yet physicians bear “NO liability for giving contraindicated vaccinations, even if they cause foreseeable yet preventable harm.”

The climate of intimidation is one consideration. However, vaccination also offers doctors numerous financial incentives to toe the line. In fact, the majority of physicians appear to be willing participants in the U.S. vaccine program, no matter how many vaccines the CDC tells them to administer and no matter the evidence of vaccine damage that may be playing out before their eyes. Why not, when—as a private-practice physician affiliated with the CDC wrote a few years ago—nationally recommended vaccinations not only furnish “steady revenue” but can also improve a practice’s “financial viability.”

Follow the money

In 2015, the physician then serving as liaison to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on behalf of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) wrote an article reminding fellow AAFP members that “minimizing costs and maximizing reimbursement can make immunizations profitable.” In addition to offering tips on how to be a “savvy vaccine shopper” and obtain manufacturer discounts for ordering multiple vaccines, the doctor discusses how physicians can make money on administration fees for pediatric vaccines by “properly coding for the service.”

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Every two-year old is worth $400 if they meet the “Combination 10 Criteria” (View full size graph.)

As he explains, “proper coding” involves not just billing for the vaccine itself (and including a diagnostic code that “reminds the insurance company that this is part of the routine immunization schedule”), but also billing for the fee that “is supposed to cover the time, energy, and supplies required to administer the vaccine as well as the overhead associated with managing the vaccines.”

The good doctor then goes on to describe the pediatric vaccine administration codes that he considers the “most important” from a “financial point of view”:

These codes, which include a counseling component…can be used only for patients 18 years old or younger. The reason these codes are so valuable is that they pay per vaccine component. For example, if you administer an MMR vaccine, you may bill for three components (measles, mumps, and rubella). If you administer a DTaP/IPV vaccine (Kinrix) you may bill for four components (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio).

He notes that the codes were new as of 2011; prior to that year, combination vaccines actually resulted in lower rather than higher physician reimbursement.

Giving a “real life” example and again emphasizing that “the results are most dramatic for vaccines with multiple components,” the AAFP member describes billing for a two-month well-child visit at which the baby receives a five-component combination vaccine (DtaP/IPV/HepB) as well as three other vaccines—Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pneumococcal conjugate (PSV13) and rotavirus.

Without any vaccine counseling, the practice would only be able to bill for $125 total, but with additional billing codes for “brief counseling,” the total reimbursement (as of 2015) would shoot up to $300—an extra $175 for a few minutes’ effort. Noting that the counseling codes do not cover counseling provided by nurses, he adds that he can also make the extra $175 by providing “a short vaccine-counseling visit” himself, when possible, in lieu of scheduling a nurse visit. Proudly, he notes that vaccine reimbursement often exceeds reimbursement for the rest of the visit.

When it comes to the number of vaccines, the sky’s the limit

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is a leading vaccine front group that receives significant funding from both vaccine manufacturers and the CDC and lobbies for the removal of vaccine exemptions. On its “Ask the Experts” webpage, the IAC tells physicians, “There is no upper limitfor the number of vaccines that can be administered during one visit.” Even though researchers have never tested this assertion—with zero studies on the safety of the full vaccine schedule or the effects of so many simultaneous and cumulative vaccines—the AAFP rep’s description of the financial benefits accruing from “proper” coding provides one reason why so many physicians may be willing to pile the vaccines on without question.

At a time when Medical Boards are going after doctors who overprescribe opioids, one might expect doctors to have concerns about inflicting vaccine injuries through over-administration of vaccines. Not to worry, says the IAC, which reassures doctors (on the same “no upper limit” webpage) that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program confers medical professionals with liability protection for “all vaccines that are routinely administered to children.”

Bolstered by the Hippocratic oath, patients generally “trust that the physician will act in their interest, or at least will do no harm.” The first principle of the Nuremberg Code emphasizes voluntary consent and interventions free of “any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion.” As Children’s Health Defense General Counsel Mary Holland writes, “SB 276 is a clear example of government overreach.” However, while doctors who support compulsory vaccination and the revocation of vaccine exemptions are on the wrong side of history where the Nuremberg Code and their Hippocratic oath are concerned—clearly the case for the physician-author of SB 276 who has never acknowledged vaccine-injured children—for many, the absence of liability and the financial payoffs appear to be acceptable tradeoffs.


Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Awareness

Box Top$ For Education Is Not Supporting Education (Here’s Why)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Box Top$ For Education program has kicked off yet again with messaging to suggest it helps schools across the country. However, when you go beyond the surface it's far from what it seems and promotes itself as.

  • Reflect On:

    What labels and initiatives do you let impact your behavior as a consumer?

National Box Tops for Education Week kicks off coast-to-coast fundraising.  For over 20 years, the Box Tops for Education program has provided families a way to help raise money for their school. The program was created to “help support education and benefit American schools” by providing a small amount of money from each item purchased. Does this program truly benefit education and support learning?

Who’s Really Benefitting?

General Mills, Inc., an American multi-billion-dollar multinational manufacturer, and marketer of branded consumer food is genuinely the benefactor. Giving a school 10 cents for every item bought is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money General Mills earns at the expense of our health. At first glance, it appears this company has been extremely generous, donating $719,000,000 in the last 20 years. If you do the math and divide each year’s totals by the 80,000 plus schools in the United States, it equates to a whopping $449 per school. As one can see, General Mills has done a fantastic marketing job, encouraging our kids to eat their garbage. Sure, we can buy school supplies, Kleenex tissues, and a few toxic cleaning products on the list, but what’s the fun in that.

Crappy, Overly-Processed “Food-Like” Products Do Not Support Learning

Diet and nutrition deeply affect a child’s learning ability. Sadly the qualifying products on the Box Top list including Hamburger Helper, Lucky Charms, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Fruit Roll-Ups, and alike do not achieve this.

Did You Know? The ingredient list for strawberry fruit roll-ups doesn’t include strawberries!

Instead, it contains genetically modified corn syrup and dextrose (refined sugar derived from GM corn, and artificial food dyes – red 40, yellow 5&6, blue 1 (derived from coal tar and petroleum).

Nutrient-rich homemade meals are being replaced with boxed, frozen, and canned foods due to higher prices of healthy food, our hectic lifestyles, and brainwashing tactics, such TV ads and campaigns such as the Box Top program.

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The Truth

Processed food lacks essential whole food nutrients the brain needs to function correctly. They contain ingredients such as genetically modified corn syrup, refined sugar, synthetic salt, unhealthy fats, artificial colors and flavors, chemical preservatives, and unrevealed heavy metals and pesticides. All of these ingredients work against a child’s ability to learn. 

Pesticides and antibiotics found in food today are detrimental to our healthy gut microbiota which are essential to brain function and development. Both are designed to kill bugs. So, we are destroying our gut bugs that help regulate and keep our immune systems strong and healthy to support our brain.

Studies have also shown that the high sugar content of processed foods may contribute to diabetes, which can affect a student’s learning in many ways. Blood sugar levels can affect cognitive functioning and school performance. According to many scientific journals and newsletters from prestigious universities like Harvard Medical School, processed food consumption are also linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, sleep problems, hyperactivity, attention; and mood symptoms including depression and anxiety.

Boxed foods are also linked to other severe health issues like obesity and high blood pressure. Two extensive European studies published by BMJ in May 2019 links processed foods with a range of health risks, including cardiovascular death. Another scientific study conducted by scientists from Yale University in the U.S. and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany indicated that “excess refined salt used in fast-food restaurants and the over-consumption of sodium from other processed foods may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases.”  Processed foods can also trigger cancer.  The researchers warn that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods “may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades.”

Don’t Be A Victim To The Marketing Ploy

We are poisoning ourselves, and the consequences are starting to show with the incredible rise of neurodevelopmental, mental illness, and diseases like cancer, asthma, diabetes, and many autoimmune disorders. So, let’s forgo the Box Top’s and find healthier and more productive ways to raise money for our schools. These big ag companies have no interest in changing current practices no matter how sick they’re making all of us. Or how many medications we are all dependent on. These companies are generating trillions of dollars of their products, and creating customers for life. General Mills and most food companies are owned by Monsanto/Bayer. They are adhering to FDA guidelines and are not violating any federal laws because they fund the FDA (Industry User Fees).

Fighting big lobbyist groups can seem like an impossibility for most of us, so we need to take our power back by voting with our dollar. We must refuse to purchase products with barcodes that are making 10 cents for our schools. And choose healthy instead.


Looking to help your family overcome ADHD, autism, anxiety and more without medication? Get access to download my FREE eBook ‘Every Parent’s Starter Kit to a Healthy Family’ by signing up HERE.

 

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Awareness

Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.

  • Reflect On:

    What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?

The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.

The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.

If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.

You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.

One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.

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Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?

There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.

It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.

More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”

It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.

Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.

I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”

The Takeaway

Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.

The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.

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