I refer to the following eight articles as the beginning of my "Anecdotal" Medical Treatment Series. It is my intention to turn it into a book. Included in the book will be lots of information that is critical of the pharmaceutical industry, as well as of the very expensive clinical trial system -- both of which I believe play a huge role in keeping important treatments like the ones I describe here from being prescribed by American doctors.
1) ♦ Silverlon and Surgery: Our Search for Healing -- (Published in the National Brain Tumor Foundation’s Newsletter, SEARCH, Winter, 2003, Issue #54, as their cover article), I wrote this article in an effort to let the world know about Silverlon, so that other brain tumor patients wouldn't have to suffer the way my husband Tim did, when his suture line wouldn't close for eight months following his 2001 brain surgery. (Silverlon is the inexpensive, FDA-approved product that finally healed Tim's skin, which had become infected, and was leaking cranial fluid.)
Unfortunately, by the time I found Silverlon for him, Tim was already severely brain injured, as a result of the numerous "standard of care" surgeries his doctors had performed, in a vain effort to achieve the same result that Silverlon achieved almost instantaneously!
THE RESULT? As far as I know, Silverlon is still not being used in hospitals on post-operative brain tumor patients, like Tim, with non-healing head wounds. In these cases, doctors continue to operate on their patients' skin -- often over and over again, until the skin closes.
Why do they refuse to try something different? Because, they say, without “the studies,” Silverlon will continue to be an “anecdotal” treatment.
Here, I tell "The Rest of the Silverlon Story," about how my husbands’ doctors -- and the many other doctors who read our story -- were not at all eager to learn anything about how Silverlon saved Tim’s life. They preferred to just dismiss the product, and our success with it, as being “anecdotal.”
I decided that there must be other treatments that -- like Silverlon -- were saving lives, but that, also like Silverlon, doctors were NOT recommending to their patients.
I was right!
In this article, I also tell about three other treatments -- all of them lifesaving, all of them relatively inexpensive -- that doctors also call "anecdotal." In each of these cases, most doctors continue to prescribe and recommend the more expensive, more toxic (Pharma-based) treatments.
3) ♦ How Calling Lifesaving Treatments “Anecdotal” Keeps Doctors From Being Curious -- In this article, I criticize the use of the word “anecdotal” to describe treatments that I believe should be taken very seriously by the medical profession, even though they don’t have randomized double-blind clinical trials to back them up. After all, only wealthy pharmaceutical companies can afford to conduct these very costly "gold standard" clinical trials. And big pharmaceutical companies are not at all interested in conducting such trials, because they would NOT be able to earn big money from these treatments. As a matter of fact, if more people were to use the kinds of “anecdotal” treatments I describe, pharmaceutical companies would actually LOSE money, because they wouldn't be able to sell lots of their less effective, more expensive drugs.
4) ♦ Audio Interview: Burt Berkson, MD, PhD, Talks With Honest Medicine About His Work With Alpha Lipoic Acid and Low Dose Naltrexone -- In this interview (both audio and transcribed), you'll learn about how Dr. Berkson began using innovative, non-toxic treatments in the mid-1970s, when he was a medical resident -- only to be admonished by his supervisors for not following the "standard of care." (This, after he saved two people from dying from mushroom poisoning!) You'll learn how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported his work for several years, but because no pharmaceutical company could foresee earning large profits from Dr. Berkson's work, no costly clinical trials (randomized, double-blind, etc.) were ever ultimately done. (However, Dr. Berkson's work has been written up in prestigious European medical journals.) This interview is perhaps one of the most paradigm-shifting of all the interviews I have conducted for Honest Medicine.
5) ♦ Julia Schopick’s Comment on the Institute of Medicine's Proposed Panel: Comparative Effectiveness Research of Medical Treatments -- Here, I write about WHY leaving so-called "anecdotal" treatments (such as those I have written so much about), as well as so-called "alternative" treatments, OUT of the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) that is being proposed by the Obama Administration, will compromise the quality of the healthcare America eventually gets. So far, not one integrative physician has been even mentioned for placement on a CER panel. I hope this omission is corrected. (I have also left several comments on other high-traffic websites and blogs about the necessity of having these so-called "anecdotal" treatments be included in the research. You may read my comments here, hereand here.)
6) ♦ Financial Ties Between Big Pharma and the Medical Establishment: 37 Articles Published Between 2005 and 2008 -- This article contains links to 37 articles I’m hoping patients will share with their doctors -- especially with those doctors who refuse to prescribe "anecdotal" treatments, such as Low Dose Naltrexone and Silverlon. Each of these 37 articles describes some aspect of the financial connections between physicians and researchers, and Big Pharma.
7) ♦ Is It Possible Some Doctors Still Don’t “Get” the Extent of Big Pharma’s Financial Ties to “Standard of Care” Research? --In this article, I give more evidence of Big Pharma’s duplicity, including a really interesting section from Dr. John Abramson’s book, Overdosed America, describing how Big Medicine -- and medical research -- lost its way, and became inextricably tied to Big Pharma and to the profit motive.
In this article, I also recommend that we use two new terms -- instead of “anecdotal” and “evidence based” -- to describe the different kinds of treatments:
1) Patient Evidence-Based Medicine (PaEBM), suggested by a friend and colleague, to describe not-so-anecdotal treatments, like those I write about.
2) Pharmaceutical Evidence-Based Medicine (PhEBM), to describe treatments whose “evidence” has been provided to the FDA primarily by the pharmaceutical companies, which have also funded the studies.
8) ♦ David Servan-Schreiber’s New Book Gets Slammed by the New York Times for Citing “Anecdotal” Evidence -- This article shows how mainstream media absorbs the prejudice about “anecdotal” evidence. This prejudice, of course, is fed to them directly by Big Pharma!