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Author: Shernide Delva
A drug intended to treat cancer could have another purpose: curing cocaine addiction. Recently researchers discovered that a drug used in cancer therapy trials might instead be the key to promising new treatment for cocaine addiction.
The research stemmed from Cardiff University in Wales. The trial drug, from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, may be able to wipe away memories that trigger cocaine cravings.
“We have demonstrated that a single administration of a trial drug from Pfizer can completely obliterate cocaine-associated memories and significantly accelerate the end of drug-seeking behavior in animals,” said Professor Riccardo Brambilla from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences. “With this drug currently being used in cancer trials, it could be easily repositioned for treatment of cocaine addiction and other drugs of abuse.”
Still, while these results show promise, the study has only been tested on mice. Until the researchers conduct the study in human trials, it will be quite some time before the drug potentially “cures” cocaine addiction.
Those who struggle with cocaine addiction know more than anyone how intense the cravings for the drugs can be. Just the mere sight of cocaine can trigger the desire to use. Numerous research studies confirm the phenomenon of craving. However, in recent years, scientists have pushed for developing drugs that could revolutionize treatment for cocaine addiction.
The 18-MC Drug
Back in 2014, Buzzfeed reported that Dr. Stanley Glick, former head of the Department of Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience at Albany Medical College, created 18-MC, a drug that has shown great success in animals. When tested on rats, the results were extremely promising. Rats strongly addicted to cocaine lost their desire to use after a few doses. Scientist soon conducted initial tests on human patients, and so far little side effects have been reported. Still, it could take years, even decades for these potential “cures” to hit the market if they ever do.
For now, the medical community is largely optimistic about the types of treatments that could soon revolutionize addiction treatment:
“We know that addiction is a disease and that ‘Just Say No’ is a delusion,” said Steve Hurst, founder, and CEO of Savant HWP who is collaborating with Glick on developing 18-MC. “If your brain tells you to go drink, or do cocaine, or shoot heroin—that’s not willpower. This whole notion is a reason I think addiction medicine is such an emerging field. We understand a lot about the disease we didn’t understand 10 years ago.”
Should Drugs Like These Exist?
With the constant influx of new treatments for addiction, some argue that the best way to give up an addiction is through seeking professional treatment and joining a support group (like AA). The notion of using drugs to rid one’s drug addiction may seem like a backward solution. However, addiction is a disease and drugs like these could be extremely viable options.
Whether you agree with it or not, the reality is drug addiction is a serious problem. Addiction is taking more and more lives away each year. The United States is in the midst of an overdose epidemic. While this might not be the ideal way of combatting addiction, these drugs offer the potential to save countless lives.
Still, it will take quite some times for many of these drugs to hit the market. Therefore, if you are struggling with addiction, understand that it is a disease, and you need to get treatment. We can help you acquire the tools to be successful. Stop trying to do this on your own. Call toll-free today.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Have mentioned enough the healing power of a solid and balanced diet? It seems as though we too often underestimate the ability to have a profound impact on our bodies and our minds just by eating better.
Modern medicine seems to take precedence over making better choices these days and for a long time many people have turned to a doctor for a prescription when they get ill instead of breaking down the other elements they are putting into their bodies.
Dr. Robert Weiss is one man who firmly believes that a revolution is mounting in the way we as a society approach health and medicine, or rather a re-connection with knowledge that was shunned with the onset of Big Pharma and the powers that be pushing chemicals instead of feeding our prosperity with the right food.
Story of a Doctor Farmer
Dr. Ronald Weiss is a graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) who says he had always dreamed of being a farmer, having grown up in a town with four farms in Fair Lawn. However but traditional medicine became his occupation.
Not long after Weiss completed formal medical training, his family was devastated by illness when Weiss’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1991 that had spread to other organs, including his liver.
The director of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center explained that chemotherapy only had a 15% chance of shrinking his father’s tumors, and that without the therapy he would only live one month.
Weiss had experience with patients affected by pancreatic cancer during his medical training, and given his father’s affliction Weiss began searching for alternative treatments when he came across a practice instituted by Japanese doctors called a macrobiotic diet. Weiss sought out Michio Kushi, a doctor advocating the diet as a cure for cancer who was actively practicing in the northeast.
After meeting with Kushi, Weiss began the diet treatment with his father immediately. Weiss’s father experienced a gradual relief of pain and his body began to recover, he even went back to work full-time as an attorney. Weiss’s father did eventually succumb to the disease, but not until 18 months after being diagnosed! Over a year longer than the initial expert had predicted.
It was then that Weiss said he knew something was missing from the medicine he was practicing.
Farmacy of the Future
Eventually Weiss sold off his practice in New York and built the first farm-based medical practice. 25 years into the practice he purchased a 348-acre farm in Long Valley, New Jersey and began his endeavor to change the way we heal. It has been cleverly called a “farmacy” by some, described as a place that explores and utilizes plant-based nutrients as medicine.
Weiss has stated:
“Plant-based whole foods are the most powerful disease-modifying tools available to practitioners — more powerful than any drugs or surgeries,”
In our country a seemingly limitless stream of revenue has fed into the production of synthetic chemicals to treat the symptoms of disease, while more comprehensive research of plant-based medicine has gone largely overlooked.
The priority in plant-based diets being used for medical treatment is prevention through proper diet, including:
It’s “paleo” plus the best parts of human agriculture before they were turned into processed foods. However, this strict diet regimen can also be used to treat those already afflicted with ailments. Weiss admits a plant won’t solve everything, like a broken foot, but has said,
“I am talking about treating and preventing chronic disease — the heart attacks, the strokes, the cardiovascular disease, the cancers … the illnesses that are taking our economy and our nation down.”
Weiss and others like him believe the nutrients in fruits and vegetables prevent inflammation, which is believed to be the cause of many chronic diseases. Ultimately the hope driving this whole ‘Farmacy’ idea is to reduce the reliance on dangerous pharmaceuticals that can be more devastating than the diseases in some cases, causing problems such as:
Also, he strives to avoid unnecessary surgeries which can also be very dangerous depending on the circumstances.
Healing His Community
So far Weiss’ ‘Farmacy’ already has 90 families involved in this exciting new treatment. These families pay a membership fee and volunteer time picking weeds and harvesting vegetables. This plays into another important part of the undertaking by getting people more interested in their diet through getting them involved in the production of the foods the consume.
Weiss knows his stuff in more areas than just modern medicine, he also earned an undergraduate degree in botany at Rutgers College of Arts in Science in Newark.
“Human health is directly related to the health of the environment, the production of food and how it is grown. I see this farm as an opportunity for me to take everything I’ve done all my life, all the biology and chemistry of plants I have studied, and link them to the human biological system.”
According to some scientific research the theory of being involved in producing your food is vastly beneficial. Working in the garden and making contact with soil bacteria is said to actually make you smarter and happier by triggering the release of serotonin in the brains!
We have noted before the power of a healthy diet on mental health as well, and it seems that with thinking like this our capacity to heal ourselves and our fellows can be found simply in the way we take care of our bodies and our environment.
What if as a society we were able to rid ourselves of a vast portion of our drug problems just by committing to a healthier practice of food production? What if instead of promoting potent painkillers, sedatives and stimulants we rolled up our sleeves, planted some crops and treated our ailments with the fruits of our labors?
What if substance abuse and addiction were issues thousands of people could easily avoid just by stepping away from Big Pharma and standing by big farmers?
Addiction treatment centers like Palm Partners that recognize the important nutrition plays health living, and in addition to addiction treatment we use this knowledge to help clients not only to sustain a healthy recovery but also a healthy mind and body. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Are there any good guys left in the business of medicine?
Might not seem so considering we have talked a lot recently about Martin Shkreli and how he ultimately became infamous via online and every media outlet that would show his face as one of the most hated men online thanks to an almost deliberate demonstration of opportunistic business tactics at the expensive of the customer, who just so happens to be wrought with cancer and/or AIDS… yeah, he’s a real charmer. Being referred to as the ‘Big Pharma Bro’ I would call him something else… but I digress.
Spoiler Alert: Shkreli is NOT too popular these days. If you’re tired of reading about him, skip ahead to the good news at the bold words.
Shkreli is the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, and now his name is on its way to going down in history with infamy after his company acquired a life-saving medication used to treat patients deathly sick with AIDS or cancer, and then gouged the price of the drug up to $750 a pill.
Then came current CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, J. Michael Pearson, who was shamed through his comments in regards to outrageous price gouging, implying that the companies allegiances were to the shareholders who put made money and invested in them instead of the sick and suffering customers who desperately depend on their medications.
And don’t even get me started on how one of the companies behind the supply of naloxone is slowly but steadily raising their prices in the face of one of the worst periods of death and destruction in the heroin epidemic… OR how Purdue Pharm has stood to make ridiculous amounts of money from the FDA approving OxyContin for kids!
Needless to say, the Big Pharma industry lately has been looking an awful lot like warlords of the dark ages when it comes to caring about the customer.
Just when you thought all hope was lost, this piece of news might just help restore your faith in humanity… as long as it’s not too good to be true. A drug company in San Diego actually announced on Thursday that it would make it a mission to compete with Martin Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals by offering the same drug used to help AIDS and cancer patients for $1 a pill!
Imprimis to the Rescue
Imprimis Pharmaceuticals is a compounding-drug firm based out of San Diego, California. Recently company officials stated the Big Pharma company would now start selling its own version of the generic drug pyrimethamine, which Turing was advertising under the name Daraprim.
The big difference here is that the version Imprimis provides is actually a combination method of treatment, and included in this cheap alternative method of treatment are two generic drugs:
Leucovorin is a medication typically utilized in an effort to help treat cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy.
But Imprimis has a game plan built on the grounds that these two drugs are actually the same active ingredients in the Turing Pharmaceutical version of Daraprim. Mark Baum, who essentially sounds like a Bruce Wayne of heroic Big Pharma proportions, is the CEO of Imprimis. Baum said that his company plans to offer similar compounded drugs soon, so hopefully Imprimis is making a big part of its product and business development strategy taking some shots at the price gouging companies we have seem stepping all over the consumer to capitalize on the market.
Braum told the Associated Press,
“We are looking at all of these cases where the sole-source generic companies are jacking the price way up. There’ll be many more of these.”
Now full disclosure here… there is a catch… kind of…
Baum has admitted in his statements that his company’s mix of the two drugs has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, both the ingredients themselves and the company’s compounding work have been approved! There are still some limits being imposed on access to the medications, and the drug can only be sold after being prescribed by a doctor to a specific individual.
Still, the company is selling a bottle of 100 pills for $99 through its website. At $1 a pill, it seems like they are at least making an effort to take some of the fight out of the Big Pharma bullies and put more power back in the hands of people who actively advocate for innovative and effective treatment. Maybe the medications haven’t earned their access to be mainstream quite yet, but just knowing there is a company out there that wants to deflate the bloated budgets of these Big Pharma monopolies to change the standard is remarkable.
Fingers crossed Baum and his company can deliver on these ideals.
Like I said before, it’s lucky people are starting to pay more attention to the bullies of Big Pharma and their greedy tactics. Big Pharma may not be the only problem, and some might even be the good guys, so hopefully we can all push for more solutions and less schemes. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
This is a disturbing example of how Big Pharma companies and those in charge of them are taking advantage of the system. In my personal opinion, it kind of shows us where we are at as far as allowing drug companies to take hostage the ones who desperately need their medications.
Martin Shkreli is a 32 year old former hedge fund manager turned pharmaceutical businessman who is the founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, and according to recent reports that have been all over the internet the past few days, he is getting a lot of bad attention after he purchased the rights to a 62-year-old drug used for treating life-threatening parasitic infections… and then raised the price overnight… by 5,500%!!
Shkreli purchased the rights to Daraprim, a medication used for treating toxoplasmosis — a cunning parasitic infection that often causes serious or even fatal problems for infants or people with compromised immune systems like patients battling AIDS or cancer.
He bought Daraprim for $55 million on the same day that Turing announced it had raised $90 million from Shkreli and other investors in its first round of financing! Now he has admitted that it barely cost anything to produce Daraprim, but claims that the necessary increase in price also has to do with various other aspects of marketing, distribution and FDA costs, but does that really make sense?
To put this in perspective, this is a medication that sold for slightly over $1 a tablet several years ago. Now of course with most medications the prices have increased as the rights to the drug have been passed from one pharmaceutical company to another, but never has that increase been th devastating and newsworthy increase since Shkreli acquired it from $13.50 per tablet to $750.
For a bottle of 30 pills, it used to cost $450… now, it will cost around $22,500! This once commonly utilized treatment will now register hundreds of thousands of dollars for the millions of people who need it, and the sickening part is that Shkreli doesn’t see anything wrong with it.
Sounds familiar… like another ridiculous price problem I wrote about last week with Naloxone companies. I think we are starting to see a serious problem with patterns in Big Pharma.
Shkreli’s Side of the Story
According to Shkreli, his company will use the money it earns through this drastic price spike in order to develop better treatments for toxoplasmosis, with fewer side effects. Shkreli claimed,
“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,”
Many argue that this makes no sense, but Shkreli is saying that many patients use the drug for far less than a year, so basically what I hear is the company needs to squeeze as much as they can out of each sick and suffering patient?
Shrkeli also defends his marketing strategy by saying this new price is more akin to other drugs used for rare diseases.
This is not the first time Shkreli has found himself in the depths of a scandal for his strategies in the area of medications and their price changes. He has been accused in the past with previous ventures of urging the FDA to not approve certain drugs made by companies whose stock he was shorting.
Shkreli also worked to form Retrophin back in 2011, which also acquired old drugs and immediately raised their prices. Retrophin’s board fired Shkreli a year ago and has filed a complaint in Federal District Court, sueing Shkreli for $65 million in damages last month for his actions, claiming he used Retrophin like his own private Big Pharma piggy-bank, burning through $3 million in personal assets even as he dismantled the company from within.
In a joint letter from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association, the organizations described this recent and incredibly high spike in drug price as
“unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population”
“unsustainable for the health care system.”
Currently Shkreli is justifying the companies decision to raise the prices by insisting the company has implemented protocols for co-pay assistance programs to help eliminate costs, as well as expanding the free drug program to help patients. As someone who has worked in the past with prescription assistance companies, I can say from experience these companies and their prescription assistance programs can be notoriously tricky to enroll in and get approved for.
Shkreli has also stated that half of their produced medication they are giving away for $1, and that the company is adamant about providing the medication to those who cannot afford it through various prescription assistance programs.
His claim goes on to state the companies aim is to put this drug, which is life-saving BUT toxic, out of business by giving a serious incentive for the development of a new treatment. So wait… you raise prices to force people to find alternatives? Why is that any better than allowing them what little help they can have while looking for it?
So he says he’s raising prices, to turn a profit, and so that his company can put the money into 3 or 4 new drugs they are currently trying to develop to replace Daraprim. Shkreli has also cited that there are various drug companies out there raising prices who are NOT putting money into research and development, and he thinks the spotlight on him is unfair scrutiny.
Really? Well when a generic drug is making plenty of money at $13 a pill, and you skyrocket it for “research and development” while pushing for big profits, people are going to notice, and they won’t take kindly to your logic.
Let’s just pretend his reasoning sounds as if it could be somewhat (and I mean this in the loosest possible way) logical, even though it is grossly insensitive and utterly lacking in compassion… even if he could somehow come up with a more reasonable explanation as to why he and his company have jacked the price of an important AIDS medication up so high, still the guys track record leaves more than a few eye-brows raised as to whether or not any explanation he offers could even be trusted… especially with any kind of million dollar operation this vital to public health care.
Big Pharma has seen more than enough scandals in the past year to know that people are starting to pay a lot more attention to their every unsavory action, and with this move gaining the media momentum in such an unattractive way, drug companies desperately need to be on their best behavior. Big Pharma needs to stop contributing to problems, and contribute more to solutions. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
New synthetic psychoactive drugs are hitting the streets and congesting the underground market somewhere every day, many of which can even be ordered legally and with great ease over the internet under the guise of incense blends or other ‘natural’ herbs or supplements. Others have been passed off as bath salts or plant fertilizers.
Synthetic cannabinoids are very deadly, but they are also increasingly difficult to identify chemically, especially with the smallest piece of the formula being altered frequently. Therefore investigating all the possible unwanted toxic effects that can occur following their consumption has barely been an exact science.
Between 2005 and 2012, the European Union’s early warning system established:
- Just under 240 new psychoactive substances
- Around 140 of them contained synthetic cannabinoids
All this and more have fueled a synthetic epidemic that has started to gain more and more recognition as the damage being done becomes progressively visible.
Now, new research is suggesting some disturbing ideas on how these dangerous compounds could actually contribute to cancer.
SPICE I and II Seeking Signs of Damage
SPICE I and SPICE II Plus are international cooperation projects at EU level that have been led by the Institute of Medical Jurisprudence at the University Hospital of Freiburg (Prof. Volker Auwärter) and which have also involved the MedUni Vienna and the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the University of Helsinki, the Institute of Therapy Research in Munich, as well as input from partners such as the Federal Criminal Office of Wiesbaden.
As part of the international the European Union (EU) project “SPICE II Plus” teams of scientists from the MedUni Vienna’s Institute for Cancer Research have reportedly found evidence synthetic substances do serious damage to human cell’s DNA, which therefore means there is a possibility synthetic drugs have an impact fundamentally cancer-causing.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana. It is also the ingredient synthetic cannabinoids mimic when binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, triggering similar neurophysiological effects.
Siegfried Knasmüller from the Institute for Cancer Research at the MedUni Vienna warns,
“The substances are directly active, in other words they are not activated via enzymes that metabolise foreign substances. The respiratory organs and the digestive tract especially are subjected to increased concentrations of these drugs.”
Knasmüller goes on to explain his times investigations on human cell lines in the laboratory have demonstrated synthetic cannabinoids are likely to trigger damage to the DNA that may have significant consequences for the consumers of such substances. This especially relevant in the high concentrations found in cells in the oral cavity or in the lungs.
Again, what points to their impact on developing cancer is that they damage chromosomes, which is directly associated with cancer.
Difficult Differences in Dangers
A huge hurdle to try and overcome when comparing and connecting these drugs and their effects to the symptoms and signs of cancer is most synthetic cannabinoids bind very differently and some have different but profound effects even in very small quantities.
Consumers have absolutely no information about the varying levels of effect thanks to the devious efforts made by manufacturing entities, making people purchasing these products unaware of the detailed composition of unnaturally chemical drugs.
As we had mentioned before, even with “known” products the makers will change the type and quantity of ingredients added constantly to slip through loopholes in the system. The risk of an unwanted overdose is congruently great, with an increasing number of deaths being credited to overdoses of synthetic drugs.
With the added possibility that synthetic drugs could be causing cancer these is no doubt more will be done to combat this issue. Still, with such a growing popularity and being so difficult to track it could take a long time to prove which chemicals are causing cancer. What is even more disheartening is will it even matter to the producers or consumers?
One thing is for sure, with all the detrimental side-effects already known, adding that these drugs destroy your DNA at a cellular level should be more than enough.
Legal or not, synthetic or ‘designer’ drugs are much more lethal than far too many people give credit. Although they are relatively new and not all details are understood, there are still effective rehabilitation programs built to help. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135