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The ethics of medical patents

  1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
    cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago

    If the ethics of practicing medicine  are to focus on the benefit of humanity at large, why are Big Pharma , biotech companies, and universities allowed to maintain long-held patents for ridiculous profits which often prevent people from being able to afford proper treatment of illnesses and conditions?

    1. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Because they fund the research to discover the medicines in the first place.  Make them all free and medical research will grind almost to a halt.

      1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
        cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Great! We are extremely fortunate to have these researchers who develop life-saving  medicines and devices. I've no problem with paying them well for the discovery and even paying small percentages of profits, but why the extended patents ( 20 yrs from development stages) and exclusivity that make them unaffordable to many?  I object to the monopoly aspect.

        1. wilderness profile image93
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          How long a period would you give them, and how much profit in that period?

          Remember, it costs millions and millions to produce a new drug, and all that must be paid back, plus a reasonable profit for the risk taken, before the patent runs out.  Are you willing to triple or quadruple the cost of an already expensive drug?

          1. HowardBThiname profile image90
            HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I have no problem with them turning a profit. I have a problem with the govt. bedding Big Pharma, as Obamacare does, and then restricting other types of healing. If someone doesn't want to shell out the bucks for a Rx, they should have the right to seek help elsewhere. But suppose they go to the local herbalist, witch doctor or whomever...that person is acting against the law if they give the seeker an herbal potion. Practicing medicine without a license, they call it.

            Sure, some restrictions are in order, but when the govt. intentionally stacks the deck in favor of Big Pharma, it reduces the rights of the average citizen to seek alternate treatments that might not be mainstream.

            From my understanding, this topic is about "medical plants" and whether it's okay for pharma companies to restrict their usage. Because the companies often get their information for testing from old herbalist knowledge (to start), if a person wants to produce the same combination of herbs - who is to say it violates a patent?

            How can a patent on common knowledge be enforceable?

            1. wilderness profile image93
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Seems to me that the "restrictions" and "stacking the deck" that you reference are, plain and simple, the massive and extensive testing required by law to bring a drug to market. 

              We have decided that we want our drugs to be as foolproof as possible; to both do what they are designed to do AND to do it with as few side effects as possible.  Whether you agree with that philosophy or not, it's what the public wants.

              Would you then stack the deck in favor of the herbalist, claiming that this herb or that will heal an illness without ever testing it because that takes time and money?  On Pawn Stars the other day, some guy brought in a device to shock the patient - that was supposed to heal a whole variety of ailments.  Is that what you want to allow without testing?  Or the one that intentionally poisoned the patient with radioactives, again as a cure for dozens of illnesses? 

              We require testing for very good reasons; let's not throw that away because somebody with an herb garden in the back yard wants to make money from it.

              1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
                cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I understand your concern and appreciate your desire to see herbal remedies get more credit for their healing capabilities. That being said, I still want the FDA oversight. Drugs still show up from other countries in contaminated batches, and herbs can be toxic in the wrong amounts or combinations. The wait for approval does drive me nuts at times, but I know the reasons for delays are to insure safety to the consumer. I think alternative healing w/ Chinese herbs and even medical marijuana should be a legal and valid mainstream alternative w/o patents but still with FDA oversight.

                1. wilderness profile image93
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I agree, but there is a problem.  That FDA oversight is costly in the extreme, and few alternative healers could even begin to afford it.  It's why our drug costs are so often out of sight.

                  1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
                    cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Sadly, the FDA is understaffed and overworked, and reform is unlikely at this point w/ limited federal funds. Yes, herbalists and practitioners of alternative medicine must tread very carefully approaching their crafts more as educators than healers. I have always looked forward to the day when truly "blended medicine" becomes the norm. Although drug companies can pay fees to the FDA to help pass approval sooner through the hiring of more  researchers, this is may not be fiscally feasible for herbalists as you've already stated.

                  2. HowardBThiname profile image90
                    HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I think that's true, Wilderness, I doubt many, if any, small alternative healers could afford FDA approval. But that puts Big Pharma at a distinct advantage. And while the monetary advantage has obvious perks to the public, in the form of new meds, a lot of research is going on in state universities and small research firms that apply for and receive federal grants and private funding.

                    The taxpayers fund a lot of research, so should the taxpayers get something in return? The FDA is funded by the taxpayers. We all want safe and effective medications. Clinical trials performed at universities are often funded by taxpayers and private grants.

                    Herbalists are using remedies that are centuries old in many cases. Some are probably not effective - others might be. That's not the point. The point is - the American public has a "right" to seek out herbal remedies and bypass Rx med. Big Pharma is fighting, and to some extent, succeeding, in taking away that right.

                    Big Pharma was behind a huge push to make HPV vaccines mandatory, despite no long term testing. The vaccines run into the hundreds of dollars, they're controversial, and yet there were those wanting to force teens to get the shots.

                    The push failed, because we still have a few (very few) lawmakers with common sense, but it might not fail next time.

                    I understand that many people hang on the words of their doctors and believe that Rx meds are the only things keeping them alive. To each their own. It's when they start encroaching on the rights of others that we better sit up and take notice.

        2. psycheskinner profile image81
          psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          If I write a book I get copyright.  If they invent a new drug they get a patent.  They also have to do the 99% of studies that fail to invent a new drug. that is why the ones they do find have to earn the shitload of money.

          1. HowardBThiname profile image90
            HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            That's actually incorrect. I think you'll find that the majority of the studies are not done by pharmaceutical companies.

            For example, let's look at elderberry, one of few herbs actually tested.
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11399518

            The study indicates that elderberry has shown a positive effect on treating influenza, and it might be beneficial for cancer and AIDS patients. But, long before that study, people used elderberry to cure flu and cold symptoms.

            If you know that - and we have an H1N1 outbreak and Tamiflu is in short supply, which is what has been predicted, would you want to find some elderberry extract?

            The problem is - the FDA doesn't want you to know about or seek that remedy. If you're a little herbal company, they are likely to shut you down for making statements that coincide with the results of the study.
            http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementAct … 214909.htm

            Big Pharma will one day come along with an elderberry-based med, probably highly concentrated, and the FDA will likely approve it. Go ahead - give them a patent on their formula.

            But the FDA can do that without shutting down the little people who gave Big Pharma the idea in the first place.

            Since it involves our health - we should all have a right to seek out and buy anything we deem best for us.

            1. wilderness profile image93
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              If I got aids, would I want a chemical that people used a long time ago to treat the symptoms of the flue?

              No, why would I, anymore than I would want to be bled nearly dry or swallow a radium solution?  Our ancestors did a great many things to their bodies which we now recognize as contra-indicated for survival.  That  is not a reason to repeat the process - better that we do our studies and see if a proposed treatment is likely to be effective rather than rely on stories passed through a dozen generations.

              From your link: "such studies and investigations in vitro, in vivo and in clinical trials need to be developed.".  Let those studies happen and then ask if we should be taking the stuff for AIDS.

              Until that time, go ahead and shut down herbal companies that attempt to confuse by such statements as "may help...", "might heal" or similar things, knowing full well that eating a car tire might help, too.

              1. HowardBThiname profile image90
                HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Well, you completely twisted my words there. I didn't insinuate that you would ask for a flu herb to treat AIDS. The clinical studies showed that Elderberry might be beneficial for enhancing immunity of AIDS patients.

                I'm not advocating that you take elderberry to treat your AIDS. I'm simply citing studies that say it might be beneficial for enhancing the immunity of AIDS and cancer patients. You're free to do as you choose. I really don't want to have any control over what you think is good or not good. You're right that the herb should be more stringently tested. That's happening. But, you're wrong, in my opinion, when you advocate taking that choice away from those who might want it. It's simply not your (or my) business.

                I don't care what drugs anyone takes. But I do care about a govt. so bent on control (for our own good, of course) that it restricts the health methods we choose for ourselves.

                But I would ask you again whether the taxpayers should receive a benefit from the millions of dollars pumped into federal and state research funding and grants?

                1. wilderness profile image93
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  If you read into that study that the elderberry extract has a significant chance of being an effective treatment of AIDS then you fell into the spin cycle.  It most certainly does not, and in fact clearly states that all the study shows is that clinical studies may be warranted.   

                  Nor can I go along with requiring me (through the tax base) to pay for testing any and every wild herbal treatment thought up so some herbalist can legally sell something.  If they want to sell them, they can test them for efficacy and side effects themselves.

                  OR we can bring back the snake oil salesmen of the past, pushing any and all "treatments" an agile brain can dream up without having a clue if it is useful, deadly or anything in between.

                  1. HowardBThiname profile image90
                    HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    If you think I said, " elderberry extract has a significant chance of being an effective treatment of AIDS," then you're either not paying attention, or you're trying to deflect.

                    It's interesting that you don't want to pay (through taxes) to test "wild herbal treatments" yet you don't seem to care if the rest of us don't want to pay taxes to study drugs that line the pockets of Big Pharma.  That's amazing really.

                    I can understand your not wanting to bring back the snake oil salesman. I can't quite understand why you're marching in lockstep behind an industry that produces products that kills more than 20,000 Americans every year.

                2. cat on a soapbox profile image81
                  cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Since the NIH is also tax-payer funded and it gives grants to bio-tech scientists for the discovery of new remedies and cures, the research should also include the efficacy of herbal medicines. It should NOT be slanted toward Big Pharma just because they have more funds. Healing through medicines is for the good of humanity. That should be the focus NOT exclusive rights, monopolies, and profits. Unfortunately, money has become the incentive and Big Pharma will block others from getting a piece of their lucrative pie.

                  1. HowardBThiname profile image90
                    HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I'm sorry this discussion took a turn toward herbal remedies because your original topic is valid.

                    NIH funds drug research at nearly the same level that pharmaceutical companies fund research. There are smaller fundings, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well, but the big two are pharma companies and NIH.

                    That indicates to me that the tax payers have as much invested in the research as the pharma companies do. The problem is that once a discovery is made, the pharma companies secure the patent and the profit.

                    What has happened to the taxpayer's financial interest?

                    I would say that the taxpayers deserve something for their money. Let the drug companies make their name-brand meds, but let the citizens, through the federal govt., have the right to the non-name generic version.

                    For all intents and purposes, the taxpayer is a non-compensated venture capitalist in this industry.

            2. cat on a soapbox profile image81
              cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              We will still have access to natural remedies, but we have to educate ourselves as to their use or else read between the lines when seeing herbalists who are not allowed to make "scientific" or qualitative claims of efficacy in treatments. Natural products are not patentable unless modified in some way. Unfortunately, even slight changes in molecular structure can have ill effects on our bodies which no longer recognize them. Think GMOs.

              1. HowardBThiname profile image90
                HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Don't get Wilderness started on GMOs. wink

                1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
                  cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I agree with you Howard about the initial use of federal funds toward research. At one time, research was funded by the NIH and grants to universities and small biotech firms, but often the ball was dropped due to the lack of incentive (think money.)  The outcomes of this research were still in the public domain until the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980. The Hatch-Waxman Act in 1984 gave a little push for the makers of generics, but it is still a tough road through the Big Pharma super highway.
                  btw: I only referenced the genetic modification of natural substances as an example of what would result to qualify as patentable. Thanks for commenting. smile

          2. Don W profile image83
            Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, let's not blame the poor pharmaceuticals. They're just trying to make an honest living. Or perhaps "honest" isn't quite the right word.

            "In 2010, researchers discovered that seven trials had been conducted testing [Reboxetine] against a placebo. Nothing unusual there. But only one trial, the one with positive results, had been published. That trial dealt with just 254 patients. The other six trials, which tested on over 2,000 people,  all showed that the drug was no better than a placebo. The negative results never saw the light of day: the trials were not published."

            http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/bl … ur-health/

            "Part of the case made by U.S. prosecutors that led to GlaxoSmithKline‘s $3 billion settlement today is that the company used a network of paid experts, speaking to doctors and to the press, to promote uses of its drugs that had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. . . The government alleges that Pinsky was paid a total of $275,000 over just two months – March and April 1999 – to deliver messages about Wellbutrin SR, a Glaxo antidepressant, “in settings where it did not appear that Dr. Pinsky was speaking for GSK."

            Edit: this case resulted in a $3 fine after Justice department took GSK to court for illegal marketing and failing to report drug safety data.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherp … epressant/

            But that's okay, as long as they get to recoup their "shitload of money", doesn't matter what they have to do yo get it.

            1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
              cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              This is a blatant example of greed corrupting ethics, and specifically why I don't like the large financial incentives of approved drugs. Yes, a brand new innovative drug, not reconfigured formulations, cost approx. 1 billion from start to finish. There has to be a recoup of expenses plus some profit, but let's be reasonable!
              In 1982  there was a proposal to allow the release of incompletely tested drugs for life-threatening conditions or those with no effective alternatives. A bill was passed in 1987.  It allowed for the accelerated FDA approval of certain drugs IF the drug company could verify their clinical benefits.  Reboxetine, in a era of SSRI anti-depressants which selectively targeted serotonin, was designed to target norepinephrine in a selective way UNLIKE anything else at the time. This selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor ,SNRI, professed to treat depression without the side effects of drowsiness, loss of libido, nausea, dizziness, etc. It was given accelerated status based on positive tests in the lab , but failed in the European market where it was allowed to be used. It was later discovered that other unfavorable clinical trial results had been withheld. 
              Standards should NEVER be relaxed, certainly not for monetary gain. In the event of life-threatening conditions,  patients can sign up for clinical trials at their own risks. Incompletely tested drugs should not be approved for release anywhere in the world until  their safety is clearly known.

      2. cat on a soapbox profile image81
        cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        You are correct. I don't know what the profit margins are, so I have no idea what should be paid to the developers of new drugs. I am aware though of the multi millions in research costs and understand the legal ramifications in spite of all the drug disclaimers. I also know that the same drugs are cheaper anywhere else in the world. Pharmaceutical companies spent nearly 32 million in campaign/committee contributions in 2010-11.  Big Pharma and biotech industries spent 700 million in lobbying Washington between 2009-11. It has been recently reported in the British Journal of Medicine that self-promotion costs now exceed those of research by 19:1. Most new drugs are tweaked versions of older formulations.
        I've sat in doctor's offices watching and listening to throngs of pharmaceutical reps giving away weekend getaways and perks in exchange for attending a 3 hr. seminar. Samples of new drugs are given out by docs w/ no discussion of pros and cons.. A patient may start on these "feebies" not realizing the high cost of the inevitable prescription which has a 10 year patent and no generic counterpart.

        1. wilderness profile image93
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          If Pharm companies lobby/spend at a 19:1 ratio and lobbied with 32 million, that means the industry spent less than 2 million on research and development last year.  I think your figures need a little work to be believable.

          As far as ending lobbying that will help the poor, probably best to end the farm/food lobby work.  It is by far the largest in the country.

          Whether drugs are tweaked versions of older ones or not, it still requires huge amounts of money to develop and test, let alone cover the liability of issuing any new drug. 

          You don't like drug companies advertising, especially through a seminar?  How would you suggest they sell their product, then?  Let each doctor google the best drug for each patient?  It is necessary to educate doctors and it is necessary to have a sales force.  I don't like either one, but it IS necessary in spite of that.

          Drug companies give away drugs, yes.  When I had cataract surgery done without insurance the Dr. gave me eyedrop samples; one bottle for each eye that would have cost a little over $100 each (I priced them).  Can't say as I found much fault with that.

          I just think that our drug companies are vilified for making a reasonable profit.  Other countries do not always recognize our patents, which is why it is cheaper there and why our companies can't sell effectively overseas.  Did you know that most of the world depends on the US for new drugs - that we develop far more new drugs than anyone else?  Maybe because companies in other countries, that don't give long patents, can't afford to.  At least that's the complaint I've heard (but never looked into).

          1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
            cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            The campaign contributions sited were given in 2010. Lobbying stats refer to 2009-11. The self-promotion stats are 2012-present when most "new" drugs are revamped versions rather than innovative ones. Nevertheless, they will have extended 20 yr. exclusivity. The industry also saw a big boost to its profits with the enactment of the Medicare Prescription Drug Act in 2006 because legislation doesn't allow for government negotiation.  My figures are not skewed and come directly from respected scientific journals.

            1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
              cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Seminars are a fine way for educated groups of people. It's the elitist perks for the hotels, fine dining, golf, massage, etc. that irks me. It's just one example of the bloated self-promotion budget that I feel is being funded by excessive drug pricing.. Another is the barrage of TV and magazine ads that are only legal here in the U.S. and New Zealand, God only knows how much these companies are spending to lift the ban on advertising in other global locales.

              1. wilderness profile image93
                wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                There are strict legal repercussions to giving away massages, hotel rooms and such.  I rather doubt that it is anywhere near what you are projecting.

                1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
                  cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes, I am exaggerating. There are current limits in place where gifts are not to exceed $100; however, doctors are still being offered weekends at resorts in exchange for attending seminars.

                  1. wilderness profile image93
                    wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes, I hate seeing that kind of thing, too - it is not limited to the pharma industry, but rampant throughout all large corporations. 

                    And the worst of it is that your tax dollars are paying for a good bit of it.

            2. wilderness profile image93
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              You do understand that these "respected scientific journals", that are reporting not on science but on profits of drug companies, is claiming an industry wide R&D expenditure of under 2 million?  And you believe it?

              1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
                cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Psycheskinner,  I'm not suggesting that drugs be free. I just object to the exclusivity that I feel harms the public interest. You point is well taken that medical research would grind to a halt w/o incentives. This is the reason the Bayh-Dole Act on patents was passed in 1980. The problem is that federally funded (tax-payer) research through the NIH was being given to universities and biotech firms who'd then hold the private patents . I think they should be in the public domain.

              2. cat on a soapbox profile image81
                cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                ??? Did I miss something?  I didn't cite advertising/promotion budget figures or total revenues.   Look at the Annual Financial Reports for each company of interest.

                1. wilderness profile image93
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Seems we have a discontinuity in communication. 

                  Neither did I.  I took your earlier post that self promotion vs R&D was 19:1 referred to lobbying in congress (topic of the prior sentence).  You also said that 32 million was spent on that endeavor, from which I deduce that under 2 million was spent on R&D.

                  I probably misunderstood that and you meant 700 million in lobbying, but even that means only 35 million in R&D for the entire industry; a ludicrously low figure for such a research oriented industry.

    2. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      1.  Because Big Pharma, biotech companies and universities do not practice medicine.

      2.  Although you are claiming that every patent results in "ridiculous" profits, in truth you have no idea at all how much individual drugs earn the companies.  Given the cost of producing a new drug, and the low percentage of drugs that ever go to market, those patents do not result in "ridiculous" profits at all.  Drug companies operate on about the same profit margin other companies do; it should be obvious that profits are not "ridiculous".

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    Their profit margin is about 10% which is low for a very high risk industry with uncertain cashflow, and that save a lot of lives.

    If the government of charities would support drug development maybe I would think differently.  But they throw in only petty cash, and I want a cure for cancer and Parkinsons.  So let them have their parties.

  3. Lee Tea profile image94
    Lee Teaposted 3 years ago

    Wilderness...ouch.  How can you have a name like "wilderness" and not uphold the value of what's found within it?  Just because the clinical trials aren't there for you to read doesn't mean they don't exist...
    Herbs are shunned by mainstream American; however, herbs and herbal teas are PRESCRIBED by many European countries.  These herbs are recognized in parts of the Western world as having health benefits.  The German Commssion E is a reliable source of the medicinal benefits of herbs. 
    Before you tell us the public has no way of knowing something, make sure we don't.  The USDA and the FDA have far less information available to us on herbs than European sources.  It's intentional censorship, so you have to be aware of it to get around it.  Maybe now that you're aware, you can find some real information on the medical value of our healing herbs - the medicine granted to us from Earth (and her wilderness...) herself.

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You seem to have difficulty between knowing a herb has benefits without negative side effects and believing it doesn't, based on grandma's tales. 

      Being "recognized in parts of the Western world" means almost nothing; radium, as a treatment for a dozen ailments, was too.  http://www.museumofquackery.com/devices/radium.htm

      From the Commission E: "However, herbs often rely on tradition and testimonials, not on extensive scientific testing".  This is a problem for me.  A testimonial from a dozen people, all pleased with the product and thinking it did something whether it did or not, is not worth even one clinical test.  Yet it is usually more than needed to accept a herb as useful for a particular use.  Although I cannot be sure, the commission E report seems to be compiled with such testimonials and is thus of limited use to anyone looking for more than that.

      The vast majority of useful drugs come from nature with only slight processing.  So do the drugs claimed to cure everything under the sun but that do nothing of value.  Personally, I like to know the difference.

  4. Lee Tea profile image94
    Lee Teaposted 3 years ago

    "You seem to have difficulty between knowing a herb has benefits without negative side effects and believing it doesn't, based on grandma's tales."
    Nope, I don't have difficulty between these two at all.  I KNOW an herb has benefits, and my Gramma never used any herbs.  Stop discrediting that which you are simply not aware of.
    I know because I research herbs that are proven effective, and why, because I DO blend and sell organic herbal teas for effect.  For instance, Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy that has been used since ancient Egypt.  It can be used as a tea, extract, capsule, poltice, cream, and bath soak amongst other uses to sooth skin, calm stomach and help achieve restful sleep.  Why does it work?  The US Dept of H&HS dismisses it's value explicitly, saying it is "not well studied in people so there is little evidence to support its use".  We've used it for over 3,000 years...nobody bothered to ask "WHY does this work?".  This just isn't interesting enough to study? Nobody paid attention to it's effects?  Or they don't want you to know because you'd stop taking Valium and stop buying Pepto.  Yeah.  Turns out chamomile's constituents include Bisabolol, which helps  burns heal faster under experimental conditions. Bisabolol is also shown to have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects in animal lab tests.  Chamomile's flavanoids like apigenin has been shown to prevent heart disease in high doses and also to calm stomach and to allieviate insomnia.  In one study, it put 80% of patients awaiting a heart cath to sleep.  I think I'll save the rest of my research for a hub.  But please recognize that just because the info isn't readily available, or in some instances like the US Dept of H&HS told that it's NOT available, doesn't mean it isn't.

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You KNOW that "Chamomile...helps...sooth skin, calm stomach and help achieve restful sleep".

      How many people did you test to verify each claim?  How many blind tests did you make, and what placebo's did you use in your tests?  Say what?  You took the word of the patient, without ever observing the process, that the Chamomile helps?

      See, that isn't KNOWING anything at all, except that somebody says they got a good night's sleep.  It's a major problem with herbalists; they commonly claim knowledge they don't have (and no I'm not picking on you specifically).  The exact same way the snake oil salesmen of the old west did.  So how do you tell which is which; which drug dealer has actual knowledge and which simply has something to sell?  By using the FDA to regulate the testing processes; the FDA which will tell you it hasn't been tested even though it has been used for 3,000 years.  And will tell you that because it hasn't been tested.  Just used, maybe with an effect and maybe without.

      1. Lee Tea profile image94
        Lee Teaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        No, see, I've offered you the SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE you claimed DIDN'T EXIST behind why an herb (in this case, Chamomile) works (what I was willing to give up in one post anyways).  I KNOW it works because I've used it on myself, my friends, my family and children over the past 10 years and have sold it to dozens of people with a 100%, 5-star rating satisfaction feedback.  I get how book info doesn't equate to personal knowledge, but I have offered you BOTH for the checkmate here. 

        I'm not getting into this any further with you.  I'm infuriated at the HubPages community for being a bunch of naive know-it-all a**holes.  Your beliefs or your skepticism do NOT make up for your lack of knowledge or ability to find it.  These discussions aren't productive nor are they enjoyable - there's no reason to continue them anymore.  I've given you the proof you need to swallow your words, everyone here can see that, I'm going to just have to let that be that.

        Seriously, do you guys just come here to argue?  What if you actually tried to LEARN something instead of just prove how RIGHT you are all the time?!  I can't waste my time on this anymore.  Way to be a friend and great HP company, you jerk.

        1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
          cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Forums are for debate and not personal attack. Discussions can get contentious  and are not for everybody. I jokingly tell my husband before posting, "I'm putting on my fire-retardant suit and chain-mail and going in!" haha.  No one has to convert to the other's way of thinking, it is really all about making good points and best supporting your argument.  Please, let's try not to personally attack one another. if the heat is too much, just walk away. Thanks!

          1. Lee Tea profile image94
            Lee Teaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I'm into progress, creating, and capability, not arguing for the sake of argument.  These forums (and now the questions too) are turning into one big clusterf*ck of testosterone and ego.  Who would choose to waste their time this way?  Funny how my info, research and experience don't amount to anything but name calling gets attention.  You're right, this is not for me.

            1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
              cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I'm sorry. I really do appreciate your point of view. Thank you for posting your thoughts and comments.
              Cat smile

              1. Lee Tea profile image94
                Lee Teaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Don't be sorry.  Between today's jerk and yesterday's butth*le, I have to learn not to respond to people's misunderstandings of things, even when I have taken the time to conscientiously learn the answer and am excited to share it.  Most of these responses aren't about learning, they're about arguing, and that's not my scene.  Arguing distracts from anything worthwhile we could be doing now. 

                This was the first forum I ever posted in!  Not a good experience at all - I won't be back.

                1. wilderness profile image93
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Probably best, at least if you are unwilling to control your anger and language.  Because if you won't, HP will.  As has been noted, personal attacks and name calling are not permitted.

                  1. Lee Tea profile image94
                    Lee Teaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Oh trust me, I wayyy controlled my language and anger...
                    HP edits me all the time lol...your threats don't concern me.

        2. wilderness profile image93
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Jerk, eh?

          I guess that because you don't understand what proof or truth are, anyone questioning your "knowledge" is a jerk.

          But that's OK.  Just another voice on the net, without a clue as to what constitutes proof and truth.  That thinks their opinion constitutes proof.  That thinks because ignorant barbarians 3,000 years ago thought something was true that it must be.  You're not the first I've seen and I'm sure you won't be the last.

          So you have a nice day finding someone else to insult.

          1. Lee Tea profile image94
            Lee Teaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I gave you scientific evidence and personal experience. If neither of these constitute proof or truth, then you're right, I have no idea.  Clearly my problem was with you questioning me, not your complete ignorance of the info I provided and your decision instead to turn the whole conversation into how you think I'm offended you didn't agree with my opinion, instead of discussing the info at hand. 

            I'm not sure where your accusations are coming from.  They're entirely inaccurate.  I didn't say people used it 3,000 years ago.  I said people have been USING it for 3,000 years.  That's 3,000 years of experience.  You said I think my opinion constitutes proof.  Please provide examples. You said I said anyone questioning my "knowledge" is a jerk.  Please provide examples.  You won't find any, because nothing I've written was based on my opinion.  Sure I think chamomile great, but what I think doesn't belong in a discussion like this.  Credible, citable facts only - that's all I offered was credible informtion.  Seriously, you sound like your in an old fight with your ex wife or something...

            Regardless, yeah, you're a jerk:
            Jerk: (slang): Slang. a contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person.
            Proof enough for you?  Or should I recount my personal experience with you...

          2. Lee Tea profile image94
            Lee Teaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            "Just another voice on the net, without a clue as to what constitutes proof and truth."

            No, I totally get it:
            Proof (n.): the act of testing or making trial of anything; test; trial: to put a thing to the proof.

            Truth (n.):
            1. actuality or actual existence.

            Even your assessment of ME is wrong.  Ok, I have all I need to know your words aren't worth a bean.

    2. HowardBThiname profile image90
      HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, Lee Tea, you'll be happy to learn that when someone finally DID get around to testing chamomile, they found that it had a modest soothing effect on anxiety.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19593179

      Meanwhile, the FDA was passing Fen-Phen as safe.

      Gee - glad we have that FDA around to watch out for us.

      1. Lee Tea profile image94
        Lee Teaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks, I did know that, but your considerate post still made me feel better smile
        Did you know Bayer, with approval.of the FDA, was allowed to sell HIV laden- injections to hemopheliacs in third world countries, infecting thousands, including children, with HIV? Meanwhile, a different version was sold here in the states.

        Once the FDA began approving drugs who's side effects may include "death", they lost their purpose to me.  I started gathering and researching my own info at that point.  Can't trust no one, especially an impersonal company. Good lesson to learn.

        1. cat on a soapbox profile image81
          cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          That 1983 incident w/ the distribution of HIV tainted plasma when a safer version was available in the Western world is inexcusable and really did irreparable damage to the FDA's reputation of trust and ethics. Sadly, listing death as a possible side-effect of an approved drug is necessary because it is a rare but possible outcome of anything including herbs. One size does not fit all in a world of differing metabolisms and conditions.

    3. cat on a soapbox profile image81
      cat on a soapboxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I have learned from my own experience that herbal teas, including chamomile, work really well. Bach's Rescue Remedy flower extract formula is great for calming my tension and anxiety. Arnica crème and capsaisin soothe my arthritis pain. Ginger works well when I'm queasy too. Marijuana can reduce eye pressure in glaucoma and can help to stimulate appetite and boost mood in very ill people. I've seen it.
      The problem is that the FDA doesn't want to expend the time on what they see as folkloric cures even though aspirin comes from willow (salix),  digitalis comes from foxglove, and so many other now mainstream treatments come from botanical sources. All being said, I STILL think there needs to be standards for consumer safety through clinical trials. Each person can react differently, dosages need to be consistent for dispensing drugs, and most importantly, one needs to know about dangerous interactions and contraindications.

 
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