(Subjects: Religion/Worship, Lightworkers, Food, Health, Prescription Drugs, Homeopathy, Innate (Body intelligence), New Age movement, Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)

“…… Should I use Doctors and Drugs to Heal Me or Spiritual Methods?

"Dear Kryon, I have heard that you should stay natural and not use the science on the planet for healing. It does not honor God to go to a doctor. After all, don't you say that we can heal with our minds? So why should we ever go to a doctor if we can do it ourselves? Not only that, my doctor isn't enlightened, so he has no idea about my innate or my spiritual body needs. What should I do?"

First, Human Being, why do you wish to put so many things in boxes? You continue to want a yes and no answer for complex situations due to your 3D, linear outlook on almost everything. Learn to think out of the 3D box! Look at the heading of this section [above]. It asks which one should you do. It already assumes you can't do both because they seem dichotomous.

Let's use some spiritual logic: Here is a hypothetical answer, "Don't go to a doctor, for you can heal everything with your mind." So now I will ask: How many of you can do that in this room right now? How many readers can do that with efficiency right now? All of you are old souls, but are you really ready to do that? Do you know how? Do you have really good results with it? Can you rid disease and chemical imbalance with your mind right now?

I'm going to give you a truth, whether you choose to see it or not. You're not ready for that! You are not yet prepared to take on the task of full healing using your spiritual tools. Lemurians could do that, because Pleiadians taught them how! It's one of the promises of God, that there'll come a day when your DNA works that efficiently and you will be able to walk away from drug chemistry and the medical industry forever, for you'll have the creator's energy working at 100 percent, something you saw within the great masters who walked the earth.

This will be possible within the ascended earth that you are looking forward to, dear one. Have you seen the news lately? Look out the window. Is that where you are now? We are telling you that the energy is going in that direction, but you are not there yet.

Let those who feel that they can heal themselves begin the process of learning how. Many will be appreciative of the fact that you have some of the gifts for this now. Let the process begin, but don't think for a moment that you have arrived at a place where every health issue can be healed with your own power. You are students of a grand process that eventually will be yours if you wish to begin the quantum process of talking to your cells. Some will be good at this, and some will just be planting the seeds of it.

Now, I would like to tell you how Spirit works and the potentials of what's going to happen in the next few years. We're going to give the doctors of the planet new inventions and new science. These will be major discoveries about the Human body and of the quantum attributes therein.

Look at what has already happened, for some of this science has already been given to you and you are actually using it. Imagine a science that would allow the heart to be transplanted because the one you have is failing. Of course! It's an operation done many times a month on this planet. That information came from the creator, did you realize that? It didn't drop off the shelf of some dark energy library to be used in evil ways.

So, if you need a new heart, Lightworker, should you go to the doctor or create one with your mind? Until you feel comfortable that you can replace your heart with a new one by yourself, then you might consider using the God-given information that is in the hands of the surgeon. For it will save your life, and create a situation where you stay and continue to send your light to the earth! Do you see what we're saying?

You can also alter that which is medicine [drugs] and begin a process that is spectacular in its design, but not very 3D. I challenge you to begin to use what I would call the homeopathic principle with major drugs. If some of you are taking major drugs in order to alter your chemistry so that you can live better and longer, you might feel you have no choice. "Well, this is keeping me alive," you might say. "I don't yet have the ability to do this with my consciousness, so I take the drugs."

In this new energy, there is something else that you can try if you are in this category. Do the following with safety, intelligence, common sense and logic. Here is the challenge: The principle of homeopathy is that an almost invisible tincture of a substance is ingested and is seen by your innate. Innate "sees" what you are trying to do and then adjusts the body's chemistry in response. Therefore, you might say that you are sending the body a "signal for balance." The actual tincture is not large enough to affect anything chemically - yet it works!

The body [innate] sees what you're trying to do and then cooperates. In a sense, you might say the body is healing itself because you were able to give it instructions through the homeopathic substance of what to do. So, why not do it with a major drug? Start reducing the dosage and start talking to your cells, and see what happens. If you're not successful, then stop the reduction. However, to your own amazement, you may often be successful over time.

You might be able to take the dosage that you're used to and cut it to at least a quarter of what it was. It is the homeopathy principle and it allows you to keep the purpose of the drug, but reduce it to a fraction of a common 3D dosage. You're still taking it internally, but now it's also signaling in addition to working chemically. The signal is sent, the body cooperates, and you reduce the chance of side effects.

You can't put things in boxes of yes or no when it comes to the grand system of Spirit. You can instead use spiritual logic and see the things that God has given you on the planet within the inventions and processes. Have an operation, save your life, and stand and say, "Thank you, God, for this and for my being born where these things are possible." It's a complicated subject, is it not? Each of you is so different! You'll know what to do, dear one. Never stress over that decision, because your innate will tell you what is appropriate for you if you're willing to listen. ….”

Monsanto / GMO - Global Health

(Subjects: Big pharma [the drug companies of America] are going to have to change very soon or collapse. When you have an industry that keeps people sick for money, it cannot survive in the new consciousness., Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)
"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)
"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS" – Sep 29, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: ... I'm in Canada and I know it, but I will tell those listening and reading in the American audience the following: Get ready! Because there are some institutions that are yet to fall, ones that don't have integrity and that could never be helped with a bail out. Again, we tell you the biggest one is big pharma, and we told you that before. It's inevitable. If not now, then in a decade. It's inevitable and they will fight to stay alive and they will not be crossing the bridge. For on the other side of the bridge is a new way, not just for medicine but for care. ....) - (Text Version)

Pharmaceutical Fraud / Corruption cases

Health Care

Health Care
Happy birthday to Percy Julian, a pioneer in plant-drug synthesis. His research produced steroids like cortisone. (11 April 2014)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Ritalin does not boost hyperactive children’s exam scores, VU researchers say

DutchNews, March 30, 2018

Drugs such as ritalin which are given to children with attention deficit disorders to improve concentration have little or no effect on actual performance and exam results, according to neurologists at Amsterdam’s VU University. 

The report, published in European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, is based on an analysis of 37 years of research into ADHD and medication. 

The researchers found that while 70% of children with ADHD benefit from medication to boost concentration, methylphenidate – the active component in drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta – improves accuracy in arithmetic by 3% and has no impact on reading skills. 

Children may complete more assignments but this does not translate into better marks or test results. 

Clinical neurologist Anne Fleur Kortekaas-Rijlaarsdam said that mild cases of ADHD should be treated using psycho-sociological means before opting for drugs. 

‘Our results show that doctors should be more reticent to prescribe medicines if they see that the primary concern is to improve school performance,’ she said. 

Prescriptions for Ritalin had quadrupled in recent years, according to the Dutch health council, and in 2015, it emerged 4.5% of Dutch children are prescribed the drug.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Living to a ripe old age may be down to your mother, Dutch scientists say

DutchNews, March 28, 2018

People who live to a ripe old age have their mothers to thank for it, according to new research by Dutch scientists at Leiden University. 

Molecular epidemiologist Eline Slagboom and PhD student Niels van den Berg have been monitoring 421 families of which various members lived way beyond the age of 90. 

‘A new analysis of these extremely long-lived persons, their siblings, and parents now shows that longevity in these families is passed on mainly through the mother,’ the researchers said in a statement

An explanation for this, the scientists say, is that these healthy mothers produce healthy babies. The fact that the fathers play no role strengthens the supposition that longevity is linked to mitochondrial dna which, unlike other dna, is only handed down by the mother. 

The results bring the ‘holy grail’ of unravelling the secrets of a long life a little nearer, the researchers say. 

‘We now know even more precisely whose genes we need to map in order to find out why some people survive into extreme old age but also, and above all, why they age healthily,’ Slagboom said.

Related Articles:

"... Innate's Old Program

Here is what Innate has learned to do, which the old system required. Are you ready? Death. In order for you to graduate, pick up the wisdom, and move forward into a higher spiritual consciousness in the next life, you need a short and productive life. Then you reincarnate with that wisdom. The faster the learning cycles are, the higher potential there is for the planet to awaken into a higher vibration - spiritual evolution. Are you starting to see where this is going? Innate, by design, will give you short lifetimes! What a system! It's important that you see the sense in this. In an older consciousness, this became the "engine of enlightenment." The recycling of old souls was the key. Let them have experience and wisdom. Then recycle them back into the planet so that the wisdom could be used.

It's important to remember that the old energy didn't really allow for present-life wisdom to be realized [used] by the grid of the planet. This was only accomplished through rebirth, and from DNA only working at about one-third its potential.

Suddenly in 2012, you passed the marker [as measured by the precession of the equinoxes], and you've come to a place in consciousness that the ancient prophecies all told you about. Dear ones, that's why I'm here! You have the ability, for the first time, to do what we saw was possible 25 years ago when I arrived. Your DNA is starting to evolve.

I want all of you to start telling Innate that you don't need to go through the transition of death to pass on the wisdom you have. There is a new process now, and it's different than any you have had in the past. Not only can your present wisdom to pass into the grids of the planet today, but everything you have learned from the beginning can be applied, too. Your full Akashic wisdom and learning is suddenly accessible in real time to the energy of Earth.

You don't need to reincarnate quickly anymore. Instead, you can do it by remaining here as your DNA starts to increase in efficiency. By the time you get to 36 percent (do the numerology), the process is complete. You will then have the ability to stay - a very long time! Dear ones, Innate doesn't know that. For thousands of years, it has been progressing this planet's potential spiritual growth by giving short lifetimes. Innate needs to know this, and you are the ones to tell it. Longer lifetimes are the key to the planet's evolution!

Doesn't it make logical sense, dear ones, that you could accomplish more on this planet if you don't have to be reborn and have to grow up all over again? Stay!

There are many on this earth who will say, "This is silly. You are born one way and stay that way." But this is simply old traditional thinking. You can reprogram almost everything in your body! Many of you know that you've changed your entire personality, perhaps even your Human nature! You've even changed your corporeal structure. There are those reading this who have stopped aging, and that's what this is about - proof that these things are real.

The key to stopping the aging process as you know it today is reprogramming the Innate. Your body is designed to age you, even against common sense! Your cellular body was designed to rejuvenate, and it isn't doing it well. Do you understand? It is the job of Innate to change this, but it needs the signal to do that. This is free choice, and you are the only one who can do it - not a facilitator or a healer, not a channeller. YOU need to learn how to communicate with Innate.

Tell Innate: "I no longer have to die to create spiritual growth." You can do this almost any way you want. Learn how to build affirmations that are positive. Get in touch with the body through whatever process that comes your way. You are ready to communicate to the smart body.

Now, the beauty of this is the following: You don't have to convince Innate of anything. It knows! It has been waiting for the call! As soon as it sees the progress that you have made in your consciousness, it's a done deal. Did you hear that? Innate knows who you are! After all, it's the smart body. But it doesn't know until you make the call.

Innate is ready to cooperate as soon as it sees the new and evolved avenue of spiritual evolution. The result of this is that you may live a lot longer. Some say, "I'm not certain I want that!" If you say that, then you are buying into an old paradigm that age equals health problems. It doesn't have to! So that's the next thing: Stay healthy as you don't age. [Kryon smile] Youthing is not complicated! Is it possible it's filled with love? Yes. Is it new? Yes. It's also smart enough to work well.

Dear ones, I just gave you an attribute that I have never been able to give humanity, and you heard it for the first time tonight. For this information to be given, you had to cross the 2012 energy, past 2013, into 2014. It's time you knew the truth. You are in control of so much more than you have been taught. That's how powerful you are. You're going to see it, and then you're going to believe it. Indeed, you are all unique, and not all of you are going to be able to awaken Innate with the same strength. That's because each of you are individuals on a unique spiritual path. Dear ones, I know who you are!

Old souls of this planet, awaken! Awaken to a new process, and a new kind of life. You can double your lifespan and more! Don't be afraid of what you see around you. There will be those who don't agree with any of this, and the result will be that they can't do it. They don't understand it. Slowly, as you don't age as much, the differences between you and them may actually frighten them. It won't be forever, because there will come a time when all humanity will know what I'm teaching tonight is true.

And so it is.


"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“…  3 - Longer Life is Going to Happen, But…

Here is one that is a review. We keep bringing it up because Humans don't believe it. If you're going to start living longer, there are those who are frightened that there will be overpopulation. You've seen the way it is so far, and the geometric progression of mathematics is absolute and you cannot change it. So if you look at the population of the earth and how much it has shifted in the last two decades, it's frightening to you. What would change that progression?

The answer is simple, but requires a change in thinking. The answer is a civilization on the planet who understands a new survival scenario. Instead of a basic population who has been told to have a lot of children to enhance the race [old survival], they begin to understand the logic of a new scenario. The Akashic wisdom of the ages will start to creep in with a basic survival scenario shift. Not every single woman will look at herself and say, "The clock is ticking," but instead can say, "I have been a mother 14 times in a row. I'm going to sit this one out." It's a woman who understands that there is no loss or guilt in this, and actually feels that the new survival attribute is to keep the family small or not at all! Also, as we have said before, even those who are currently ignorant of population control will figure out what is causing babies to be born [Kryon joke].

Part of the new Africa will be education and healing, and eventually a zero population growth, just like some of the first-world nations currently have. Those who are currently tied to a spiritual doctrine will actually have that doctrine changed (watch for it) regarding Human birth. Then they will be able to make free choice that is appropriate even within the establishment of organized religion. You see, things are going to change where common sense will say, "Perhaps it would help the planet if I didn't have children or perhaps just one child." Then the obvious, "Perhaps I can exist economically better and be wiser with just one. It will help the one!" Watch for these changes. For those of you who are steeped in the tradition of the doctrines and would say that sounds outrageously impossible, I give you the new coming pope [Kryon smile]. For those of you who feel that uncontrolled procreation is inevitable, I encourage you to see statistics you haven't seen or didn't care to look at yet about what first-world countries have already accomplished on their own, without any mandates. It's already happening. That was number three.….”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Robot Tessa reminds dementia patients to heat up their soup for lunch

DutchNews, March 26, 2018

Tessa the robot: Photo: Tinybots.nl

A robot which helps people with dementia remember what they should be doing and when will start a mass testing programme from this week. 

Robots and sensors designed to help people live independently at home are considered by the Dutch health ministry to be key to combating the shortage of care workers.  And consultancy KPMG said last year that robots will be able to take over 30% of repetitive household chores within five years. 

The Tessa robot was developed by Dutch robotics company Tinybots, which was launched in 2015. A successful pilot project involving 50 Tessas has been rounded off and now 500 robots have been released for use. Some 300 of them have been ordered in advance for the testing programme and 200 are still up for grabs. 

‘The more research and tests we do, the more we see that a large group of people benefit from having a friend like Tessa,’ said Wang Long Li, one of Tinybot’s two founders. ‘Our dream is to give these people at home and abroad more control over their lives.’ 

Going for a walk

Care staff and family members can programme Tessa using a simple app or send messages via Tessa directly to the patient. The robot can be used to remind people when to have breakfast or to cook and to make suggestions about things to do, ,such as listening to music or going for a walk. 

The NRC quoted the case of Toon van Santvoord, whose Tessa reminds him to eat and to take medication.  At 11.45, Tessa tells him to warm up soup for lunch. Thirty minutes later, the robot repeats the message just in case Toon has not reacted.’

‘Without Tessa, I cannot go away for a whole morning,’ Gertrude van Sandvoort told the paper. ‘My husband forgets I’m away. Even if i just go to the corner shop I make sure Tessa will remind him of what he needs. It works better than a note,’ she says. A three-year subscription to Tessa costs €1 a day.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Overproduction threatens Andes superfood haven

Yahoo – AFP, Ana FERNANDEZ, 25 March 2018

An array of Andean ingredients considered superfoods are shown at the
food lab of La Molina agrarian university in Lima

From atop the Andes mountains to the depths of the Amazon rainforest and frigid Patagonia, indigenous people have long eaten quinoa, camu camu and calafate, a healthy diet that has become a global phenomenon now threatened by overproduction.

Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, minerals and fiber, the grains of the high plains (quinoa, amaranth, kaniwa), roots (cassava and yacon) and berries (calafate, Chilean guava) offer new hope to prevent cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.

Consumed for thousands of years by indigenous people, these superfoods have only recently been widely popularized and made accessible to international markets.

Between 2011 and 2015, these ancient natural products saw their prices jump 202 percent, according to Promperu, Peru's export and tourism commission.

There was a 10 percent increase from January to November 2017 in the exports of these foods, such as the sacha inchi nut rich in fatty acids and the high-vitamin lucuma fruit, Promperu said.

The growing consumption of these health foods praised by foodies, vegetarians and dietitians has led producers to try to align their annual yields with demand.

Between 2012 and 2017, exports of Peruvian quinoa, the "golden grain of the Incas," have quadrupled in value from $34.5 million to more than $124 million, data from Promperu showed.

Sacha indi exports increased 116 percent last year.

Detrimental processing

But the soil composition and the processing the superfoods undergo to be sold commercially and exported can alter or destroy their unique properties, warned Marcela Zamorano, a chemist specializing in food analysis at the University of Santiago, Chile.

Quinoa is often processed using high temperatures.

"The main challenge is to make sure the nutrients of an industrialized product don't decrease compared to the original grains," said Finnish food chemist Ritva Repo of La Molina agrarian university in Lima, who has written several books about quinoa.

Finnish food chemist Ritva Repo warns that quinoa grown outside its natural 
habitat in the Andean Plateau loses some of its nutrients

Originally from the Andean Plateau of Bolivia and Peru, quinoa is now also grown in China, India, the Netherlands and the United States, among others.

Taken out of its natural habitat, this Andean grain loses some of its nutrients, according to Repo.

"The quinoa that grows at 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) is the most nutritious," said Promperu director Isabella Falco, who is pushing for labeling the grain by origin so the consumer can identify Peruvian products.

Amaranth, which is richer in calcium and protein than quinoa, and kaniwa, which contains more fiber and iron than amaranth, could eventually join other ancient Andean grains in meeting the same fate as quinoa.

Experts say these grains, fruit and berries can help prevent or slow the progress of non-communicable chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Disease prevention

But they can't replace medicine if you're sick, stressed chemist Marcela Zamorano.

"Usually, superfoods don't fight a particular pathogen, but they prevent the development of certain diseases," she told AFP.

An industry has now been built around cakes, jellies and energizing drinks using ingredients like maca (a root vegetable nicknamed the Incan Viagra), camu camu (an Amazonian fruit that contains as much vitamin C as 60 oranges) or the ultra-nourishing coca leaf.

At the University of Chile, researchers are examining the anti-obesity properties of the calafate berry, which grows in southern Chile and Argentina.

"Our idea is that this could serve to supplement a weight loss diet," said Diego Garcia, who is heading the project.

Garcia is also studying the anti-inflammatory properties of Chilean guava, wild strawberries and the midnight blue-hued maqui, or Chilean wineberry, used to tint wine and that boasts anti-oxidant properties.

In La Paz, Lima and Santiago, these superfoods are given the place of honor in a growing number of restaurants, some of which have obtained top gastronomical rankings, such as Santiago's Borago, Amaz in Lima and Gustu in Bolivia's capital.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Stem cell eye treatment safe, restores some vision: study

Yahoo – AFP, March 19, 2018

The research team used human embryonic stem cells to grow retinal cells on a thin
plastic scaffold and then transplanted the "engineered tissue" into two sufferers
of age-related macular degeneration who can now read again, albeit slowly (AFP

Paris (AFP) - Two people with severe vision loss due to a degenerative eye disease are able to read after embryonic stem cell treatment, researchers said Monday.

The pair suffer from "wet" age-related macular degeneration, which can blur vision or cause a blind spot when abnormal blood vessels leak fluids into the eye, causing damage to a layer of cells called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).

This damage to the retina kills light-sensing cells.

For the study, a British-American research team used human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to grow RPE cells on a thin plastic scaffold.

They then transplanted this "engineered tissue" into the eyes of two volunteers.

Before surgery, neither was able to read any more, the team reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

But a year after the procedure, both could read "with normal reading glasses, though slowly," said a Nature press summary.

Further research must be done before the procedure can be approved as a treatment, said the team.

Extraordinarily versatile, embryonic stem cells can become any tissue of the body -- an ability that has thrown up tantalising hopes of using them to replace limbs or organs lost to disease, accident, or war.

But donated stem cells can provoke an immune response, be rejected by the body, or even cause cancer.

Stem cell expert Dusko Ilic of King's College London described the study findings as "encouraging", and said they reduced safety concerns around stem cell-based therapies.

"They represent another step forward in materialising our hopes of clinical implementation of hESC-based treatment of age-related macular degeneration in the not-so-distant future," he said.

The eye is thought to be a promising site for stem cell transplants, as it is behind a shield called the blood-ocular barrier where there is a weaker immune response.

Four years ago, researchers used embryonic stem cells to restore some vision in patients with a more common and less severe form of macular degeneration -- the "dry" type.

Other teams are testing so-called induced pluripotent stem cells -- adult human cells that have been reprogrammed to a youthful, versatile state.

These can be derived from the patient, making them less likely to be rejected, while also sidestepping ethical qualms about taking cells from embryos.

ME sufferers ‘being let down by healthcare system’

DutchNews, March 19, 2018

People suffering from ME are not receiving adequate treatment because many doctors and researchers are failing to take the condition seriously, the government’s health advisory body has said. 

In an official report, the Gezondheidsraad said the chronic condition was too often downgraded to ‘fatigue’ or a problem ‘between the ears’, while patients tended to be dismissed as attention seekers, NOS reported. 

Between 30,000 and 40,000 people in the Netherlands are estimated to suffer from ME or chronic fatigue syndrome. Some of them spend days in bed recovering. Patient Lisa Klaasen told NOS: ‘Compare it with a heavy flu. You’re ill and in pain and your whole body is constantly crying out with tiredness.’ 

Yvonne van der Ploeg, a member of the executive board of the ME/CFS association, said research into the condition had stood still for 40 years. ‘Now at last we can start to make inroads,’ she said. 

The Gezondheidsraad said diagnosis of the condition was hampered by doctors’ preconceptions and tendency to regard it as a psychological issue. Patients with ME are often required to undergo behavioural or occupational therapy to qualify for benefits and health insurance, even though these treatments are often ineffective.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Healthcare in US costs 2x as much as other rich nations

Yahoo – AFP, 13 March 2018

A study by researchers at Harvard University and the London School of Economics
 disputes the long-held belief that US healthcare costs are high because patients
see doctors too often or otherwise abuse the healthcare system

The United States spends almost twice as much on healthcare as other rich nations, largely because everything from drugs to devices to doctors' pay simply costs more, researchers said Tuesday.

The study by researchers at Harvard University and the London School of Economics disputes the long-held belief that US costs are high because patients see doctors too often or otherwise abuse the healthcare system.

"The reasons for these substantially higher costs have been misunderstood," said senior author Ashish Jha, professor of global health at the T.H. Harvard Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University.

"These data suggest that many of the policy efforts in the US have not been truly evidence-based."

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) compared the US health system to 10 other high-income countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Researchers used data from 2013-2016 on about 100 metrics that underpin healthcare spending, and confirmed what experts have long known -- that the United States "has substantially higher spending, worse population health outcomes, and worse access to care than other wealthy countries."

The reason? Prices are higher for nearly everything in the United States.

For example, administrative costs related to planning, regulating, and managing accounted for eight percent of total US healthcare costs, compared with a range of one to three percent for other countries.

Per capita spending for pharmaceuticals was also higher in the US -- about $1,443 compared with a range of $466 to $939 in other nations.

Common brand-name medicines were often double the price seen in other nations.

Doctors' pay was also much more, with the average salary for a general practice physician in the US at $218,173, compared to other countries where the range was $86,607-$154,126.

Value of international comparisons

Researchers also pointed out many myths regarding why US health care is so pricey.

Despite beliefs to the contrary, "the US has lower rates of physician visits and days spent in the hospital than other nations," said the report.

Nor is the quality much lower than in other countries.

America has "the best outcomes for those who have heart attacks or strokes, but is below average for avoidable hospitalizations for patients with diabetes and asthma," said the report.

Fewer people in the United States are insured -- 90 percent, compared to other countries which ranged from 99-100 percent.

But overall spending is far higher. The United States spent 17.8 percent of its gross domestic product in 2016 on healthcare.

Australia spent 9.6 percent of GDP on healthcare and Switzerland spent 12.4 percent.

Meanwhile, US life expectancy in the US was the lowest of all 11 countries in the study, at 78.8 years.

Other countries' life expectancy ranged from 80.7-83.9.

"As the US continues to struggle with high healthcare spending, it is critical that we make progress on curtailing these costs," said first author Irene Papanicolas, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard.

"International comparisons are very valuable. They allow for reflection on national performance and serve to promote accountability."

European parliament approves EMA move to Amsterdam

DutchNews, March 13, 2018

The  European parliament’s health committee on Monday voted in favour of the decision to relocate the European Medicines Agency from London to Amsterdam, despite the objections of some MEPs. 

The vote means work can start on the construction of the head office of the prestigious EU agency in Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district. 

One provision to head off concerns about the tight timetable for building the new office is that the Dutch government has to report on progress with the construction work every three months.

Italian MEPs wanted to block the EMA’s move from London to Amsterdam, arguing that the Dutch government had withheld crucial information about the new head office. 

The EMA will have to move twice because the actual new premises in Amsterdam’s Zuidas will only be ready in November 2019. 

The  full European parliament will vote on the legislation on Thursday. ‘That will be a formality,’ Dutch MEP Bas Eijkhout, who is a member of the health committee, told the Financieele Dagblad.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pharma Bro' Shkreli gets seven years jail for defrauding investors

Yahoo – AFP, March 9, 2018

Pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli was
sentenced to seven years prison for defrauding investors (AFP Photo/Drew Angerer)

New York (AFP) - Infamous "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli, once dubbed the most hated man in America for ratcheting up the price of an HIV drug, was sentenced to seven years prison Friday on charges of defrauding investors.

The disgraced former pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager was convicted last August of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud.

Shkreli is best known for suddenly raising the price of the drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent -- from $13.50 a pill to $750 -- in 2015.

Although that incident had nothing to do with his trial before a federal court in New York, so great was the 34 year-old's notoriety that it was initially difficult to find an impartial jury for the trial.

His bail was revoked in September over a threat aimed at Hillary Clinton -- which he insists was a joke.

Shkreli's high-profile attorney, Ben Brafman, described his client as a mildly autistic self-taught genius and asked Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to limit the prison sentence to a maximum of 18 months.

Prosecutors were seeking 15 years prison, arguing that Shkreli had showed no remorse for his actions and pointing to his provocative and bizarre statements posted on social media.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Runaway costs prompt another big US health merger

Yahoo – AFP, John BIERS, March 8, 2018

Insurer Cigna will purchase pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts, with the
companies saying they can now achieve $600 million in administrative savings

New York (AFP) - The need to address runaway health care costs in the US prompted another megamerger Thursday with insurer Cigna announcing the $67 billion purchase of pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.

By combining two players from different corners of the sprawling US health care market, the companies said they could achieve $600 million in administrative savings.

Cigna chief executive David Cordani touted the benefits of taking ownership of Express Scripts and its capacities to negotiate medicine and health services for employers, government programs and other clients.

"Our society needs a step function improvement in affordability that is delivered in a highly personalized fashion, having the consumer touch points, having the further depth in clinical engagement," Cordani said on a conference call with analysts.

The transaction follows on the heels of pharmacy chain CVS Health's $69 billion takeover of insurer Aetna, another so-called "vertical" merger because it combines two entities at separate stages of the health industry value chain.

US antitrust regulators in 2016 blocked proposed "horizontal" combinations between health insurers, including a thwarted merger between Cigna and Anthem.

With that possibility foreclosed, insurers are looking to other options for cutting costs.

"Merger activity in the healthcare space is picking up as companies are aiming to find ways to control rising health care costs through operating efficiencies and expanded product/service offerings," said Briefing.com

The deal also comes after a dramatic announcement in January by retail behemoth Amazon, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase of the creation of a nonprofit to address skyrocketing costs that Buffett said have become a "hungry tapeworm on the American economy."

Express Scripts currently manages pharmacy and medical benefits for more than 100 million in the US, said Express Scripts chief executive Tim Wentworth.

Express Script's revenues in 2017 were just over $100 billion, while Cigna had revenues of $41.6 billion.

"Combining these assets with Cigna's innovative solutions and strong relationships with providers will drive greater value, affordability and access," Wentworth said.

Better care?

In pitching its takeover of Aetna, CVS Health has said it will beef up its retail operation to include more wellness and medical testing areas and generally provide more care at the pharmacy itself.

Cordani touted an "open architecture" model under the proposed takeover of Express Scripts "meaning (consumers) can choose the care and channels that were best for them guided by choice and value."

The deal is a means to transform today's "suicidal narrative which equates healthcare solely with sick care rather than keeping people healthy in the first place," Cordani said.

But shares of Cigna slumped 10.1 percent to $174.67 in late-morning trading, while Express Scripts surged 10.5 percent to $81.09.

The cash-and-stock transaction will balloon Cigna's debt to $41.1 billion.

A note from Goldman Sachs took a skeptical view of the combination, highlighting customer attrition as a worry and saying there were still questions about how the transaction would reduce costs.

"Strategic merits of this transaction are not immediately apparent to us," Goldman said. "We expect investor focus to shift toward other strategic combinations on the back of this news."

But Morningstar praised the logic of the transaction in light of Express Script's competence at managing drug benefits plans.

"Given payers' need to control their health benefit plan costs, the efficient management of pharmaceutical expenses will be just as critical as managing medical expenses, such as doctor’s visits and surgeries," Morningstar said in a note.

"Operationally, we believe the new entity will be a formidable force in healthcare, able to wield significant pricing power and leverage top-tier scale advantages."

EMA Amsterdam office to cost €255m, including 20 years of maintenance

DutchNews, March 8, 2018

The EMA site January 2018 Photo: S Boztas 

The Dutch government has signed a €255m contract with construction group Dura Vermeer to build the new Amsterdam offices for the European Medicines Agency. 

The €255m price tag includes a 20-year maintenance contract, which Dura Vermeer will carry out in alliance with other companies. The Dutch state is picking up the bill for the complex. 

Work will start on the building project in June and is slated for completion in mid November 2019. The EMA’s staff will be housed in temporary offices from March, when Britain leaves the EU. 

Last week, the Parool reported that Dura Vermeer was the only company in the running to build the new headquarters because a second contractor has pulled out citing time issues. 

The other candidate, Zublin, part of the giant Strabag construction group, pulled out on February 3, saying the deadline of November 15 2019 for completion is too tight.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Michael Bloomberg to launch $20mn anti-tobacco watchdog

Yahoo – AFP, 7 March 2018

"We cannot stand by as the industry misleads the public in an effort to get more
 people hooked on its products -- and this global watchdog will help us hold
the industry accountable," Bloomberg said

Philanthropist Michael Bloomberg announced on Wednesday that he will spend $20 million (16.13 million euros) to launch a watchdog to detect and expose deceptive practices by the tobacco industry.

The monitor, to be called Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP), will seek to counter the industry's influence by publishing reports detailing pro-smoking activities and tactics.

It will also support non-profit organisations and government to resist interference from the tobacco industry.

"Over the last decade tobacco control measures have saved nearly 35 million lives, but as more cities and countries take action, the tobacco industry is pushing to find new users, particularly among young people," said Bloomberg, an ambassador for the World Health Organization (WHO) on noncommunicable diseases.

"We cannot stand by as the industry misleads the public in an effort to get more people hooked on its products -- and this global watchdog will help us hold the industry accountable."

Research on the tobacco industry, published in peer-reviewed journals, has
portrayed a decades-long strategy to defend the industry against health campaigners

Bloomberg's charitable giving organisation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, accuses the tobacco industry of seeking to legitimise itself in the eyes of policymakers, marketing to children, and pushing cigarette alternatives for which the health case remains inconclusive.

Bloomberg, who made his fortune selling financial data, has given more than a billion dollars since 2007 to curb global tobacco use, which claims nearly seven million lives every year.

Along with WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Bloomberg will on Wednesday launch the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Cape Town.

Research on the tobacco industry, published in peer-reviewed journals, has portrayed a decades-long strategy to defend the industry against health campaigners.

Investigators say tactics have included casting doubt on the scientific evidence of the perils of smoking, promoting brands through product placement in movies and aggressively marketing tobacco in low- and middle-income countries where smoking laws are weak.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Record number of international takeovers in Dutch healthcare sector

DutchNews, March 6, 2018

A record number of international takeovers were made in the Dutch healthcare sector last year, according to new research by consultancy Boer & Croon Corporate Finance (BCCF). 

The companies involved in the 32 international acquisitions recorded in 2017 were mainly service providers, such as suppliers of medical software, laboratory services and medical aids. 

‘We have known for some time that international companies are interested in the Dutch healthcare sector and that is now clearly reflected in the figures,’ says Dagma Enklaar, a partner with BCCF. 

The total number of acquisitions, both national and international, grew from 81 in 2016 to 90 last year. That is in line with the trend in recent years, when the number of deals has been rising year by year. 

However, there was a drop in the number of takeovers involving care homes and clinics – down from 43 in 2016 to 22 last year.

‘Takeovers in this sectors are a little more difficult because these companies are heavily regulated,’ Enklaar told the Financieele Dagblad. ‘Buyers are generally more circumspect if there is a lot of regulation and legislation, as has been the case here in recent years.’