Each week, I get an email letter from www.schnews.org.uk, giving the latest news of political campaigns and activism; often it carries nuggets of news that never make their way into mainstream media. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably noticed how I usually post excerpts from this newsletter; I’m in general agreement with much of what they say.
Every now and then, however, the SchNEWS team come out with some breathtaking bit of stupidity. Here’s the latest, about the botched drug trial (my bolding):
The drug trial volunteers were given 1/500th of the dose which had previously been administered to animals (including primates) and yet it produced a toxic shock which nearly killed them. The results of the animal trials have not yet been made public- but either the drug failed to have any significant effects in animals and was passed for humans or it caused toxic effects and was passed for use anyway. Either way it demonstrates that the vivisectors themselves know that animal testing is an utterly useless method of determining the reaction a drug will have on human physiology. The scientific director of Huntingdon Life Sciences, one of the biggest drug and product testing labs in the world has estimated that the accuracy of using animals to predict the human effect is “between 5%-25%”.
Adverse drug reactions now account for between a fifth and a quarter of hospital admissions in the UK. An estimated 70,000 people in England each year are killed or seriously disabled by medical drugs, yet all of these pass animal tests. The scale is undeniably massive. Those who do suffer extreme adverse effects have been bought off with compensation with the proviso that they don’t talk to the press. SchNEWS has learned of one man who has been offered Â£100,000 after suffering an extreme reaction to a drugs manufactured by major British pharmaceutical company – The catch? He doesn’t get the cash unless it stays out of the papers for five years. (Don’t worry Bob, we won’t tell ’em).
So this one botched trial shows that animal testing is useless? There are thousands of such clinical and preclinical trials on humans going on each year – if animal testing doesn’t work, why is this one ‘bad’ trial making headline news everywhere? Why aren’t we hearing about the deaths of hundreds of trial volunteers?
As for the story about “Bob” – that got my BS-meter clanging straight away. If “Bob” really had suffered undeniable damge from a drug, to the extent that the pharma company involved is bribing him to stay quiet – what is to stop him from openly suing?
Where are all the other patients/trial volunteers who have presumably suffered similar bad reactions from this drug?
What about the doctors who are treating “Bob”? Why aren’t they issuing warnings about this potentially hazardous drug?
In any case, how can the company actually stop the story from getting out? All “Bob” has to do is to tell the story to a friend, and this friend can – without “Bob” knowing anything about it, naturally – put the entire story out on the internet, hiding “Bob”‘s identity but with all the details of the drug and the name of the drug company. (Hey, there’s this really great site called SchNEWS, they love stories like this…) Once that happens, the company will find it utterly impossible to sit on the story. And then “Bob” can go ahead and sue them for all they’re worth.
Considering that the SchNEWS people spend a lot of time showing us all the holes in stories emanating from goverment and other official bodies, you’d think their critical facilities would be more than up to the job of checking “Bob”‘s story. But, of course, “Bob” isn’t part of the government, he’s not one of the ruling oppressers, he’s not a member of the capitalist classes. So he must be telling the truth, right?