I was just recently informed that the December 2011 issue of Townsend Letter – The Examiner of Alternative Medicine, which is just now arriving in the mailboxes of subscribers, published an article I wrote and published here at resistance is fruitful earlier this year. The article, entitled “Deja vu at the FDA”, is not available online at Townsend Letter, but can be read in its entirety here on my blog, of course.
According to their website, Townsend Letter “publishes a print magazine about alternative medicine. It is written by researchers, health practitioners and patients. As a forum for the entire alternative medicine community, we present scientific information (pro and con) on a wide variety of alternative medicine topics.”
Deja vu relates my realization that we AIDS activists may have been at least partially responsible for helping the FDA become such a powerful force in American health care choices by demanding fast track approval of drugs:
By committing outrageous acts and civil disobedience, we gave the pharmaceutical industry even more control over what was supposed to be an independent agency serving the public good by protecting consumers against dangerous drugs. The early signs of this co-optation are obvious, in hindsight. AIDS activist leaders from ACT UP (New York) soon found themselves in lucrative positions with new pharma-backed “grassroots” organizations, such as POZ and AIDSMeds, promoting the wonders of an assembly line of new drugs developed with a single purpose in mind: changing clinical markers on relatively new laboratory tests, such as CD4 and PCR viral load, that are rarely, if ever used to evaluate the immune health of the general population. The trade-off is that today, the number one cause of death of poz people are non-AIDS-defining cancers and liver failure.
To say I’m flattered and honored to have something I’ve written published in Townsend Letter would be an understatement. Other contributors to the December issue include such notables as Gary Null and Mike Adams.