Doctors--and their patients--have much more to fear from Wall Street than from the government, says Wendell Potter, former director of corporate communications for CIGNA health insurance. Following a crisis of conscience during the debates on the Obama administration's health care reform plan, Mr. Potter left CIGNA and went public with everything he knows about the insurance industry's "Dark Arts." His goal? To wake people up to the ways in which corporate interests manipulate health care policy. His book, Deadly Spin, is as fascinating as it is frightening. In this exclusive interview, Mr. Potter spoke with Holistic Primary Care about the long history of collusion between organized medicine and Big Insurance---an uneasy alliance that has ultimately been detrimental to patients and physicians alike.
The Institute of Medicine’s Nov. 30 consensus statement claiming most Americans do not need supplemental vitamin D—a position that runs counter to the views of many clinicians and researchers⎯has some folks wondering if committee members had preexisting biases or vested interests against supplementation.
It turns out that at least two members of the committee hold patents on synthetic vitamin D analogs in development or already on the market as prescription drugs, and significant relationships with companies involved in vitamin D drug development.
Data from Holistic Primary Care's first annual survey of primary care physicians reveal that some very positive changes are going on in the trenches of clinical practice these days. A lot more physicians are turning toward holistic approaches, with nutrition taking a much more prominent place in day-to-day practice. It seems that the "integration" we've been hearing so much about is really happening!
Holistic Primary Care was born ten years ago, with a simple mission: to build an information bridge between the medical mainstream and the holistic disciplines and to foster a more health-centric approach to health care. A LOT has happened since that first issue rolled off the presses!
Grassroots pressure forced Sens. John McCain and Byron Dorgan to withdraw their bill to tighten supplement industry regulation. But leaders in the field say the war has only just begun. Rep. Henry Waxman, an outspoken critic of supplements, has written language in the Wall Street Reform bill that would give the Federal Trade Commission new authority over the industry. Meanwhile Rep. Ron Paul is pushing bills that would curb federal power over health information.
A new program from the Food & Drug Administration is calling on physicians to report about misleading messages from pharmaceutical company reps, especially during private "detailing" visits.
The first wave of data from FDA's new Adverse Events Reporting System for dietary supplements shows two important things: The system works, enabling the FDA to act quickly when there's evidence of life-threatening side effects; and serious adverse events are rare given how widely supplements are used.