Vaccines didn’t end smallpox

Many vaccine myths have been dismantled in recent years, most notably the idea that they were almost single-handedly responsible for the reduced incidence of many key infectious diseases in countries where vaccines were introduced. But what might be termed the ‘founding story’, even the ‘creation myth’, of widespread vaccination – that the scourge of smallpox was stopped dead in its tracks by Edward Jenner’s revolutionary use of cowpox inoculation – has so far stood firm in the minds of many. 

A new book might just change this.  In our view, the book and accompanying article by Roman Bystrianyk and Suzanne Humphries MD does a comprehensive job of demolishing this pillar of vaccination theory. While you await our full review of this important new book, why not take a trawl through its graphs, chapter previews and photographs?

Statins cause more harm than good

As researchers and media find new justifications for all over-50s to be prescribed a statin-containing ‘polypill’, it’s left to heart experts in Galway, Ireland to tell the oft-overlooked truth. In a paper published in the Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, consultant Mr Sherif Sultan of University Hospital Galway and Dr Niamh Hynes of the Galway Clinic conclude: “There is a categorical lack of clinical evidence to support the use of statin therapy in primary prevention. Not only is there a dearth of evidence for primary cardiovascular protection, there is ample evidence to show that statins actually augment cardiovascular risk in women, patients with Diabetes Mellitus and in the young. Furthermore statins are associated with triple the risk of coronary artery and aortic artery calcification.” Under-reporting and concealment of these data from the public is, say the authors, a “scientific farce”.

GSK gets rid of Lucozade and Ribena to focus on pharma interests

UK-based pharma behemoth GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced on 9th September that is would divest itself of two very long-standing UK drinks brands, Lucozade and Ribena.  The new buyer is the fast-growing Japanese company Suntory Beverage & Foods Ltd. Although it laughably describes the sugar- or aspartame-laden fizzy concoctions as “nutritional”, it’s clear that GSK has decided to ditch the brands after it has found it difficult to make them appeal to markets outside of the UK. GSK accepted a cool £1.35 billion cash for a quick sale and  intends to concentrate instead on, “Execut[ing] the delivery of our late stage pipeline of pharmaceuticals and vaccines”.


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