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The Champix/Chantix saga

The Champix/Chantix saga

Nov 1, 2014

Please don’t operate a missile battery while reading this article DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs In mid October, the US Food and Drug Administration convened a special meeting to look at whether or not varenicline, the controversial drug to stop smoking – called Champix in Canada and Chantix in the US –...

Data fracking

Data fracking

Oct 1, 2014

A quagmire rife with rhetoric DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs It pollutes our water, warms our planet and destroys the environment. Or…it provides jobs, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and delivers economic growth. It’s either a godsend or evil incarnate. What’s the “it” we’re talking about...

Is health data mining the Next Big Thing?

Is health data mining the Next Big Thing?

Sep 1, 2014

What’s getting buried may surprise you DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs British Columbia is indeed a wondrous, resource-rich place. We’ve got oil. We’ve got minerals, trees, fish, and, of course, liquefied natural gas (LNG). We’ve got all kinds of natural resources here in BC to exploit. And exploit them...

“Choosing Wisely” is anything but wise

“Choosing Wisely” is anything but wise

Aug 1, 2014

DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs If you want some reliable advice about which medical procedures, screening tests or drug therapies are unnecessary, useless or even downright dangerous, one of the best sources is the medical professionals themselves. After all, the people delivering the procedures and prescribing...

The $1,000-pill heist

The $1,000-pill heist

Jul 1, 2014

You’ve got hepatitis C, now you’re my hostage DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs A friend of mine who works in the Canadian insurance industry told me they’ve seen their first claim for the new drug called Sovaldi. New drugs come along all the time, but not drugs like this one, which claims to eradicate a...

Censorship in Lipid Land

Censorship in Lipid Land

Jun 1, 2014

Stories from Australia and Britain reveal the dangers of telling the truth about statins DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs When policy dooms you, start telling stories – stories so fabulous, so gripping, so spellbinding that the king forgets all about a lethal policy. – Karl Rove (one of George W. Bush’s...

Mammography’s days numbered

Mammography’s days numbered

May 1, 2014

DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs • The headline that landed like a drone strike on the medical world asked one simple question: “Time to stop mammography screening?” The editorial by Dr. Peter Gotzsche, a Danish physician and one of the world’s experts on the science behind breast cancer screening, was...

Youth under the influence

Youth under the influence

Apr 1, 2014

Mental health drugs based on biased sources DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs A November 2012 press release from the BC Ministry of Health presented us with a bold and hopeful headline: “New program helps BC family doctors treat mental health challenges in children and youth.” This announcement was...

Dr. Warren Bell on the cannabis conundrum

Dr. Warren Bell on the cannabis conundrum

Mar 1, 2014

DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs Dr. Warren Bell is a physician in Salmon Arm, BC and one of the co-founders of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. He has never seen a pharmaceutical sales rep in nearly 40 years of practising medicine and has a depth of knowledge of complementary and...

Time for a wellness smackdown

Time for a wellness smackdown

Feb 1, 2014

DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs Alan Cassels: Good evening, my name is Alan and I’ll be your Wellness Concierge for the evening. Employer (Startled): “Say what?” AC: Your Wellness Concierge. I’m here to help guide you and your employees to the services of our Wellness Program™....