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Book lists 2,000 medications not worth taking

 This book was widely mentioned in the world press in Sept. 14, 2012, with criticism, than dropped.  This book is not available in English (as of 1/27/2013).  Nor is it listed in French on Amazon.com, or is it to be found in a Google search for the title.  It is sold for 20.99 euros, release date 13/09/12, 905 pages, 15.4 cm x 24.1 cm x 4.6 cm Publisher Cherchemidid  ISBN: 978-2-7491-2141-3 EAN: 9782749121413, paperback, width 1.343 kg.   Even Philippe is a former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Necker and president of the Institute Necker. Bernard Debré is professor of urology, vice-president of the Institute Necker, a member of the National Ethics Committee for Research and Life Sciences and a member of Paris



The Editor speaks:  Spending 1.3 to 2 times higher than those of all other major European countries, 10 to 15 billion euros thrown from windows, no sound health benefits, more than the deficit Medicare at the expense of real priorities: hospitals, maternity nurses, physical and mental disability, and old age dependency. This guide is intended primarily for patients and practitioners to alert and inform them about the effectiveness and risks of medications. 
The policies of agencies that allow drug companies to give sales price and repaying exorbitant drugs indiscriminately. This policy does not serve the sick and the citizens who pay, but that of the pharmaceutical industry cash, while the last twenty-five years, she {PhARMA] invented little more and became less ethical and most lucrative of all industries, backed up by indifferent or complicit [that] silences the roars from a university medical elite.  [We are saddle with unreasonable] expensive and often dangerous drugs.  [repairs of the computer generated translation from French]



14 September, 2012, 11:38  http://rt.com/news/france-medicine-useless-spending-107/

Half of France’s drugs are ‘useless’ and five percent are dangerous, a book by two top French doctors claimed. The duo believes the pharmaceutical industry is forcing ineffective drugs on the market, costing taxpayers up to ten billion euros a year.  The duo reviewed 4,000 French drugs and found that 50 percent were ‘useless,’ 20 percent were ‘badly tolerated’ and five percent had adverse effects.

Philippe Even, former head of the Necker Hospital in Paris, and Bernard Debré, doctor and member of parliament for the UMP party, recently co-authored a book titled ‘The Guide to 4,000 Useful, Useless or Dangerous Medicines.’ The book claimed that France could save up to ten billion euros a year by halting social security reimbursements for drugs that are hazardous or have no health value. The pharmaceutical industry is “the most lucrative, most cynical and least ethical of all the industries,” Dr. Even said. He claims that in order to reduce budget shortfalls in France’s healthcare system, “one simply has to take the dangerous, useless and ineffective medicines off the market.”

The book was written in light of a Mediator Affaire report Dr. Even and Dr. Debré conducted in 2011 for former President Nicolas Sarkozy, where they investigated an incident where some 2,000 people were killed by a prescribed diabetic drug before the medicine was taken off the market.  Their report stated that the French medical system was in dire need of reform, spurring Dr. Even and Dr. Debré to write their book.  The two made a list of drugs that pose health risks, including cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory and anti-smoking drugs, and contraceptive pills. 

Statins, drugs taken to lower cholesterol, were just one of the many drugs found to be “completely useless,” Dr. Even said in an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur. “[Statins] are taken by three to five million French people, which costs France two million euros per year.”

France a top drug consumer:  According to 2011 study, France is the world’s fifth-largest market for pharmaceuticals, with the average French person having 47 pills and prescriptions in their medical cabinet. The combined cost of those medicines is around 532 euros per person, with the state covering 77 percent of the price, France24 reported.

“We have to do a big clean-up of our pharmacies,” Dr. Even told Le Parisien. “France has a huge public debt and the state can make considerable savings.” “Meanwhile in the UK, where people take far fewer medicines than us, people are no less healthy as a result,” he said.

The two believe that, while there is no room for ‘useless’ drugs on the market, people should certainly continue to use effective drugs. “Antibiotics are the best [medical] discovery of all time,” Even told Le Parisien. “Antiretroviral drugs have given us a very real lead on AIDS and a large number of anti-cancer medicines have had an immense impact on our treatment of the disease.”

Book blasted by medical establishment:  The Professional Federation of Medical Industrialists (LEEM) criticized the book as un-academic and unclear. The group argued that the doctors’ assertions could have a destabilizing effect, needlessly alarming ill patients into ceasing treatments for their diseases. 



Official French report trashes Pharma, calls many drugs 'useless'

September 14, 2012 | By Eric Palmer

A couple of French medical experts have some really nasty things to say about Big Pharma in a book they were commissioned to write after the scandal in France over the weight-loss drug Mediator, which was tied to hundreds of deaths there.  They claim that half the drugs prescribed to patients are of no use, or even dangerous, and the government could save €10 billion ($13 billion) a year if it quit paying for them, The Guardian reports. Bernard Debré, a physician and member of parliament, and Philippe Even, director of the prestigious Necker Institute, suggest that stopping use of the drugs could prevent up to 20,000 deaths and reduce hospital admissions by up to 100,000.  In their book, "The Guide to the 4,000 Useful, Useless or Dangerous Medicines" they evaluated the costs, effectiveness and risks of the drugs available in France, some of which they say "are completely useless." They are particularly harsh about lipid-regulating statins and have singled out 58 drugs, that are used for a wide range of conditions, like diabetes and osteoporosis, which they claim are outright dangerous

"The pharmaceutical industry is the most lucrative, the most cynical and the least ethical of all the industries," Even tells The Guardian. "It is like an octopus with tentacles that has infiltrated all the decision-making bodies, world health organizations, governments, parliaments, high administrations in health and hospitals and the medical profession."

The French trade group the Professional Federation of Medical Industrialists, is having none of it, claiming that many of their examples are not precise and pointing out that France has a government agency that oversees pharmaceuticals.  Of course, France dissolved and replaced its drug safety agency earlier this year in response to a couple of medical scandals. The predecessor agency was highly criticized for allowing the diabetes drug Mediator, made by French drugmaker
Servier Laboratories, to remain on the market even after it was linked to thousands of deaths and heart valve damage cases. It was often prescribed for weight loss. There was also an outcry last year when it was reported that a French company used industrial-grade silicone in breast implants that had been rupturing. Then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked for the report after the public outcry over Mediator.

Queried by The Guardian on why the French rely so heavily on drugs if they are not effective, Even suggested that they had been brainwashed into asking for drugs. "Today we have doctors who want to give people medicines and sick people asking for medicines. There's nothing objective or realistic about this."


 Published in The Guardian, UKs most respected independent news service    © Guardian News and Media 2012


French doctors: Half of all prescribed medicines are ‘useless or dangerous’

By Kim Willsher, The Guardian, Friday, September 14, 2012 13:08 EDT  © Guardian News and Media 2012

Half of all medicines being prescribed by doctors in France are either useless or potentially dangerous for patients, according to two eminent medical specialists. They blame the powerful pharmaceutical companies for keeping these drugs on sale at huge expense to the health system and the taxpayer.

Professor Philippe Even, director of the prestigious Necker Institute, and Bernard Debré, a doctor and member of parliament, say removing what they describe as superfluous and hazardous drugs from the list of those paid for by the French health service would save up to €10bn (£8bn) a year. It would also prevent up to 20,000 deaths linked to the medication and reduce hospital admissions by up to 100,000, they claim.

In their 900-page book The Guide to the 4,000 Useful, Useless or Dangerous Medicines, Even and Debré examined the effectiveness, risks and cost of pharmaceutical drugs available in France. Among those that they alleged were “completely useless” were statins, widely taken to lower cholesterol. The blacklist of 58 drugs the doctors claimed are dangerous included anti-inflammatories and drugs prescribed for cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, osteoporosis, contraception, muscular cramps and nicotine addiction.

The Professional Federation of Medical Industrialists denounced the doctors’ views as full of “confusions and approximations”. “This book is helping to alarm those who are sick needlessly and risks leading them to stop treatments,” it said in a statement.   Christian Lajoux, the federation’s president said: “It is dangerous and irresponsible … hundreds of their examples are neither precise nor properly documented. We must not forget that the state exercises strict controls on drugs. France has specialist agencies responsible for the health of patients and of controlling what information is given to them.”

Professor Even told the Guardian most of the drugs criticised in the book are produced by French laboratories. He accused the pharmaceutical industry of pushing medicines at doctors who then push them on to patients. “The pharmaceutical industry is the most lucrative, the most cynical and the least ethical of all the industries,” he said. “It is like an octopus with tentacles that has infiltrated all the decision making bodies, world health organisations, governments, parliaments, high administrations in health and hospitals and the medical profession.  “It has done this with the connivance, and occasionally the corruption of the medical profession. I am not just talking about medicines but the whole of medicine. It is the pharmaceutical industry that now outlines the entire medical landscape in our country.”

The French consume medication worth around €36bn every year, around €532 for each citizen who has an average 47 boxes of medicine in cupboards every year. The state covers 77% of the cost, amounting to 12% of GDP; in the UK spending on medicines is 9.6% of GDP. “Yet in the UK people have the same life expectancy of around 80 years and are no less healthy,” said Even.

The authors were commissioned by former President Nicolas Sarkozy to write a report over the Mediator affair, a drug developed for diabetes patients but prescribed as a slimming aid that has been linked to the deaths of hundreds of patients who developed heart problems.  However, Even accused the industry of having a get-rich-quick attitude to making medicines and said it was interested in chasing only easy profits. “They haven’t discovered very much new for the last 30 years, but have multiplied production, using tricks and lies. Sadly, none of them is interested in making drugs for rare conditions or, say, for an infectious disease in countries with no money, because it’s not a big market. Nor are they interested in developing drugs for conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease because it too difficult and there’s not money to be made quickly.  It has become interested only in the immediate, in short term gains. On Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry is third after petrol and banking, and each year it increases by 20%. It’s more profitable than mining for diamonds.”  Asked to explain French people’s apparent dependence on medication, Even said: “For the last 40 years patients have been told that medicines are necessary for them, so they ask for them. Today we have doctors who want to give people medicines and sick people asking for medicines. There’s nothing objective or realistic about this.”    He added: “There is nothing revolutionary in this book. This has all been known for some time.”


The Monde.fr with AFP | http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.lemonde.fr/sante/article/2012/09/13/publication-d-un-guide-des-4-000-medicaments-utiles-inutiles-ou-dangereux_1759378_1651302.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3DBernard%2BDebr%25C3%25A9%2B%252B%2BPhilippe%2BEven%26start%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26tbo%3Dd%26biw%3D1073%26bih%3D930&sa=X&ei=JjoFUaOXKqf7iwKwxoHABg&ved=0CHMQ7gEwBjgK

The book of 900 pages and lists, according to the Nouvel Observateur , "50% of unnecessary drugs, 20   % Of poorly tolerated, 5   % Of 'potentially dangerous', but incredible paradox, 75   % Are reimbursed. "Their delisting would yield between 10 and 15 billion euros to Social Security. Prof. Even attacks especially statin drugs against cholesterol," swallowed by 3 to 5 million French " costing "on France 2

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The skeptic is one who judges all things according to the evidence.  The common herd affirms many things to a degree well beyond what the evidence supports; and conversely doubts that which is worthy of greater affirmation.  The humanistic skeptic applies a second measure, that of  harm resulting from such beliefs.  Issues of economics and politics, of religion, quackery and corporate medicine, and of imprudent behavior top the harm done list.   Education and scientific psychology are gateways to following the dictates of reason.