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eve
Jun 22nd, 2004, 10:10 AM
What do US posters here think about the new US-Australia FTA? Does anyone care? For Australians it would increase the cost of our medicines, and reduce access to cheap, affordable drugs. It also means flooding Australia with new imported US foods, plus it threatens tens of thousands of Australian manufacturing jobs. The FTA will also undermine Australia's existing environmental laws and fetter our government seeking to legislate to protect the environment. Sadly, the Australian govt has surrendered the right to ensure Australian content in all new media, and will never be able to increase the amount of Australian content on existing media. As well, the government has agreed to changes in Australia's intellectual property laws which will stifle creativity in areas from software development to music. FTA gives US companies a right to "market access" to bid for many public services currently supplied by the government. It is widely believed here that the FTA with America would actually shrink the Australian economy by 0.03% per year.

I just wonder if there is any public discussion on this in the American media.

eve
Dec 7th, 2004, 06:19 AM
Well nobody responded to #1, but in the New Internationalist magazine that came to my mailbox today, there's an article entitled "Affordable drugs? Forget it!" The FTA between the US and Oz has been signed, and of course everything is going great for the US, but seems that the Oz Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is under threat. This is because bigpharma would like to see it end, and to have Aussies paying what Americans pay for their pharmaceuticals. Bigpharma already have 20 yrs to recoup their costs while patents are in place. After that time, smaller companies can make generic medications at a fraction of the price. The Oz Labor Party, when it thought it would win the recent elections, insisted on a clause to prevent drug companies from screwing the Aussies. The US Trade Rep, Robert Zoellick didn't like that, and now our PM, John Howard, is embarrassed by US demands - negotiations are continuing. The writer of the article I'm quoting from, Patricia Ranald, is principal policy officer with the public interest advocacy centre and convenor of the Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network, at http://www.aftinet.org.au - if the US gets its way, it will be a big blow not only to pensioners here who get concessions on medications, but to the general public, who pay nothing like the charges made to the American public.

SeaPrincess
Jan 5th, 2005, 09:31 AM
So maybe all the people who rely on medications should think about quitting? All those drugs are tested on animals so taking them means you are supporting animal research - which doesn't work anyway since the results can never be extrapolated to humans. Better to search for natural medicines and hopefully this will force us to? I hope so.

eve
Jan 6th, 2005, 08:56 AM
Sadly, SeaPrincess, there are changes going on as we 'speak' regarding supplementary medications, herbs, alternative practices etc in Australia and NZ. Are you familiar with Codex? That organisation in Europe has arranged things between bigpharma and medicos so that anyone wanting even a vitamin tablet they may have been taking for years, will need to get a doctor's prescription. This is obviously because alternative medications etc, has grown to billions of dollars worth, and bigpharma wants a slice or two. Now that Codex is set up ready to start in Europe very soon, there are talks ongoing between Oz & NZ, which is called 'harmonizing' the supplementary medications area so we can coincide with Codex. It is also the case, that such supplements will have to be tested - just like normal pharmaceuticals. So who knows the outcome even if people really do search for natural medicines? :(

SeaPrincess
Jan 7th, 2005, 05:48 AM
The tragedy of this is that Australian people either don't know or just plain don't care. In the U.S. this has been violently protested for decades and still bigpharma can't get in. What a nation of poofs!

eve
Jan 7th, 2005, 07:41 AM
What do you mean 'a nation of poofs' - which nation? and what are you implying about people you call 'poofs'? I know you don't mean to offend, but we, even more than others, need to be careful about terminology.

http://www.iahf.com/iadsa/index.html - has some pretty useful info.

SeaPrincess
Jan 7th, 2005, 08:12 AM
When I say Australians are a nation of "poofs" I don't mean poofters. I mean "poof" as in easy to blow away. Australians are easy going to the point of being way too apathetic in my opinion. Which is why codex will be a breeze here compared to the US where people fight for their freedoms. Am I wrong?

When I was living in the U.S. every other year for the last decade petitions would come around online and everyone would email them to everyone else, health food stored had hard copy petitions and the Codex thing would get defeated, over and over again.

Is that happening in Australia? I don't see it. That's why I say Australians are a nation of poofs (my terminology - excuse me if it doesn't coincide with yours).

Geoff
Jan 8th, 2005, 12:31 AM
Aussies are the world's most apathetic people! :( Have you noticed, Eve, that scripts went up 20% on Jan 1st?
I have a neighbour who regularly goes away and leaves his dog chained up 24/7. I just realized that he's been away for a week and none of the other neighbours give a shit.

eve
Jan 8th, 2005, 06:35 AM
Sorry Geoffrey, but can't agree with you. IMHO, Aussies are no different to Americans. I didn't notice an increase of 20%, because I'm still paying $3.60 for a pkt of Lipitor, that is still only a fraction of what Americans have to pay for their medications.

As to your nasty neighbour, well according to an article last weekend, the RSPCA reported that hundreds of dogs and cats are being dumped, because they were bought as christmas gifts but are now no longer wanted.

I notice how unfeeling people are, but refuse to get my knickers in a twist over it. :)

feline01
Jan 8th, 2005, 09:52 PM
The tragedy of this is that Australian people either don't know or just plain don't care. In the U.S. this has been violently protested for decades and still bigpharma can't get in. What a nation of poofs!

What pharmaceutical program are you talking about? Our prescription costs are astronomical. My mom has to buy hers from Canada, she lives in Florida, over 3,000 miles away. My husband would probably be dead by now if I didn't have decent prescription coverage with my job since I work for civil service. His prescriptions would cost about $1,7000 rather than the $70 that we pay now.

I protest alot of different topics because I try to be informed but the average American is mainly concerned about what to watch on tv tonight and who is playing in the superbowl.

eve, I listen to non-public radio (don't have television) and never heard anything even on that station about the FTA with Australia. The pharmaceutical companies are so powerful here that it doesn't surprise me that there would be a media blackout. What is the reported benefits of the FTA to Australians? Doesn't sound like you'd be getting much of anything worthwhile.

Geoff
Jan 8th, 2005, 11:45 PM
In Australia we have the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) whereby people on low incomes get subsidised medicines. We were paying $3.80 per script but, as from Jan 1st, it's $4.20. If spending gets beyond $239.20 in any year, medicines are at a reduced price or free. Items such as blood test strips and syringes for diabetics are pretty much free (for people with a health care card).
I assume that the drug companies don't like the scheme because they have to negotiate prices with the govt. rather than individuals. I think the US wanted us to scap the PBS as part of the FTA.

eve
Jan 9th, 2005, 07:42 AM
eve, I listen to non-public radio (don't have television) and never heard anything even on that station about the FTA with Australia. The pharmaceutical companies are so powerful here that it doesn't surprise me that there would be a media blackout. What is the reported benefits of the FTA to Australians? Doesn't sound like you'd be getting much of anything worthwhile.
Hi feline01, there is absolutely no benefit whatsoever to Australia of the FTA agreement between our two countries. Certainly as far as PBS is concerned, which Geoff mentioned, that's in jeopardy because bigpharma in the US don't intend that the scheme will continue unchanged. Currently, any medications that the Oz govt considers should be subsidised to those of us on a low income, go into the scheme, and our govt pays the difference. However, if the big pharmaceutical corporations increase their prices, and our govt can't subsidise to the same level, then what happens? It doesn't suprise me what you say about the cost of medications in the US. My daughter Rachel lives there, in fact she is a US citizen, and has told me about a couple of medical experiences there.

The FTA also covers agriculture, and there was nothing in it for our sugar growers while US sugar growers are heavily subsidised. There was something about cattle too, but I didn't read up on it much, just that the benefits won't start for quite a few years!

More scary is what's on the cards for alternative medications. I'll post that separately.

feline01
Jan 9th, 2005, 03:43 PM
I'm confused then, why did the Australian government agree to this? Did it provide the elite with more $$$? That's the only way I could see it would have passed.

eve
Jan 10th, 2005, 05:58 AM
Why? Because our fearless leader, prime minister John Howard, can't help sucking up to George W. I don't think it's about money down under, but he thinks that if Australia is ever in trouble with Indonesia, George W will come to our aid. It is quite stupid, but is a widespread belief because Australia is so few in number, and they are so many.

SeaPrincess
Jan 10th, 2005, 06:29 AM
Interesting - I would have thought that ethical vegans would be opposed to conventional medication on the grounds that it supports animal experiments. Why not use natural medicines (essential oils, herbs, high quality supplements) to get the same or better results but without side effects? I have had great results in liberating myself from cancer, pneumonia, dental abscesses, infections, pain you name it without taking so much as an aspirin for the last 28 years.

Every year 100,000 people in the U.S. die from prescription medicine, taken correctly as prescribed by their doctors. It is something like the 4th leading cause of death. More people die from medications than the number killed in the Vietnam war of 20 years. How's that for food for thought?

Even Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said 'Let Food be your Medicine and Medicine your food." Even vegans and vegetarians can be eating food that is making them sick e.g. sugar, aspartame, rancid oil (such as any fatty oil), fried food, flour products, microwaved food, preserved food, food sprayed with pesticides etc. I have been researching this subject for decades and have lots of documentation to back this up, should anyone be curious enough.

Roxy
Jan 10th, 2005, 06:53 AM
Why not use natural medicines (essential oils, herbs, high quality supplements) to get the same or better results but without side effects?

I agree with this. I have recently cured a couple of ailments using natural medicines and I hope to be able to treat any future ailments/illnesses by using what nature can provide for me, rather than manufactured medicines.

eve
Jan 10th, 2005, 07:25 AM
Sea Princess, what you say is perfectly true, however, as regards complementary medications or alternatives, please see the thread "Alternative medications in Oz & NZ" here.

feline01
Jan 10th, 2005, 02:59 PM
I agree Sea Princess to some extent but there are some conditions that prescription medication is called for. Not that healthy eating and exercise can't assist with the process but they would not replace prescription medicine. I consider myself an ethical vegan as does my husband but he tried taking a natural approach with his condition and his condition quickly deteriorated. He's begrudgingly back on prescription medication as sick as it makes him.

eve
Jan 11th, 2005, 09:39 AM
When it's a matter of life and death, or long- or even short-term conditions, in my view there is no doubt that we must bite the bullet and take the medication; after all, what good is it to ourselves or our families if we die a stubborn vegan, rather than making a compromise to live longer and healthier? It's good that you have found that natural medications do the trick for you Sea Princess, but let's not be judgmental here. :)

SeaPrincess
Jan 11th, 2005, 11:25 AM
I agree Sea Princess to some extent but there are some conditions that prescription medication is called for. Not that healthy eating and exercise can't assist with the process but they would not replace prescription medicine. I consider myself an ethical vegan as does my husband but he tried taking a natural approach with his condition and his condition quickly deteriorated. He's begrudgingly back on prescription medication as sick as it makes him.

Dear Feline01
If you knew as much about the healing power of food as Hippocrates (and others) did you may not dismiss food as a replacement for medicine so easily. Few people know about the science of food. I'm not talking just about being began and eschewing artificial and junky foods. I have a macrobiotic friend in Vermont who looked after a bedridden cancer patient giving her specialised macrobiotic food in harmony with her body condition and in a matter of weeks that woman was up and walking. Just as an example - not saying macrobiotics cures everything.

In the jungles of the Amazon, the natives eat thousands of wild plants for their food and have documented certain plants for certain ailments. In fact it is these very plants that are analysed and synthesised in a lab by western medicine to become the medicines you take and pay exhorbitant fees for today. Except that the whole plant has no side effects, unlike the synthesized medicine. These wild herbs are available to us in the west without having to trek to the Amazon.

Regarding the natural approach of your husband - it's great that he tried some natural approaches but I am suggesting that he did not find the right one yet. When I had cancer 19 years ago I tried about 17 different products/modalities till I hit upon the right combination of therapies that worked. I wasn't going to stop trying things till I found a solution. I firmly believe that there is a solution to every problem and I haven't had one yet that I haven't gotten results for - in time. So don't give up - keep searching. He's very wise to recognise that western medicine is not the most ideal way to go.

Sorry Eve - I realise I am crossing over into Alternative Medications again - this conversation just seems to be going that way!

My intention is not to be judgemental but to hopefully inspire some of you to look deeper for a solution to your health problems. You may have to do much of this research yourself as I have. Naturopaths do not necessarily know everything there is to know so don't just throw your hands up in the air if they can't help you. I'm open to share my research with anyone who is up against a brick wall if they wish to contact me privately.

SeaPrincess
Jan 11th, 2005, 02:11 PM
OK Eve, you are really going to hate my guts now! Read this:-

U.S. Medical Statistics



> I just thought you might like to know about Doctors and US.
> The number of physicians in the US number about 700,000. The number of
> accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year is 120,000. Accidental
> deaths per physician is 0.171. This has been reported by the US Dept. of
> Health and Human Services.
> Now think about this: The number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000
> (yes, eighty-million!). The number of accidental gun deaths per year (all
> age groups) is 1,500. The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is
> 0.0000188.
> So, Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous
> than gun owners.
> FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN,
> BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR.
> During the year of 2003 more than 100,000 people were "killed"
> while in hospitals as a direct result of medical mistakes on the part
> of doctors and hospital staff. This does not include people who
> expired in hospital as a result of a particular disease or old age.
> This large number just covers medical or procedural mistakes.
> Is there any question why medical mal-practice insurance premiums
> are so high? And these premiums become part of every medical bill.

> 26,000 people in the U.S have died over the past 15 years from
> transfusions with A.I.D.S. infected blood plasma received from
> and at certified hospitals and clinics.
> According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 26% of all
> people under any type of medical care are suffering from a disease
> acquired as a direct result of medical intervention. This means that
> they are sick, going to doctors and taking prescription drugs today
> as a direct result of having gone to a doctor in the first place.

> Over the past 30 years there has been a 32% increase in Drug
> Addiction from the use of Crack-cocaine in the U.S. During the
> same time period there has been a 310% increase in Drug Addiction
> from the use of prescription drugs. Americans purchase prescription
> drugs at the rate of 250 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. The drug
> industry spends more than 25 Billion Dollars a year advertising these
> prescription drugs to us via radio, television, billboards, newspapers,
> and magazines.

> Can you name any disease in the past 100 years that has been
> eliminated with the use of prescription drugs? Think about all
> of the billions of dollars and human lives sacrificed for this
> effort over this last century and you will find just one. Remember
> Dr. Jonas Salk and his Polio vaccine? This is the single claim to
> fame by the world drug industry. Yet even that one has tragic side effects.
There are isolated cases of people getting polio from the vaccine not to mention
horrendous side effects.

> More than 600 deaths and 1,800 suicides have been accepted by
> the FDA to be a direct result of ingesting Prozac during the first
> 24 months of that drug's legal distribution here in the U.S. They
> stopped publishing any relative figures after that initial public
> statement. The drug is still on the market.

> Doctors in the U.S. have an average available medical business
> market consisting of about 130 families. ( or 546 people). From
> this small human resource pool Doctors normally report an income
> of about $185,000. per year. To achieve this income an average
> medical practice must bill out more than $500,000 in services to
> the portion of those 546 people who sought medial advice that
> year. While every person in this group will not be sick enough to
> require an office visit, the doctor still has to average $915.75 for
> every person in this group, every year. What is wrong with this
> financial picture? Has anyone figured it out yet?
>
> The National Science Foundation of the United States Federal
> Government gives away more than 300 MILLION DOLLARS a year
> of your tax money, to medical researchers to SEARCH for things.
> They never have given a penny to anyone for FINDING anything.
> The moment you find something, your "fired" from this grant
> program and the money stops. Is it any wonder why it takes decades
> ( or forever ) to achieve any kind of scientific breakthrough?

> Have you ever known your Doctor to take a scientific refresher
> course? With the continued advancement of medical treatment and
> science, how to they find out what is new?
> When was the last time your Doctor closed the office and returned to
> Medical School to "catch up" on the latest medical technology and
> discoveries? Is this important? You tell me!
> We know that doctors get all expense paid weekends at exclusive
> resorts along with $500 to $1,000 cash, just to review the newest
> prescription drugs of a specific manufacturer. And on Monday
> morning there will be several cases of that "new" drug delivered to
> the doctor's office to be used as free samples. Of course there is a
> stipulation that these "samples" only cover about one week of the
> doctor prescribed medication. The patient will have to purchase the
> rest of the month's supply from a particular druggist. Can you see
> anything strange with this practice?

> The average age at death of medical doctors in the U.S. is 58 years
> old. Please alert your friends to this alarming threat!! We must ban
> doctors before this gets out of hand.
> As a public health measure I have withheld the statistics on lawyers
> for fear that the shock could cause people to seek immediate
> medical attention.
>
> Take care of yourself because as hard as it is to believe, it's your
> body and your life. Give up the responsibility of that body and life
> to a person in a white ( or green ) lab coat who wants to get paid
> whether you live well, get sick or die, and you forfeit the right to
> complain.
> Doctors and Nurses are an important and positive part of our
> society. They provide a vital service to humanity. The problem is
> that a serious portion of the human population has surrendered
> total responsibility for their lives to these people who answer to
> no one for the death of their customers.
> Why are we referred to as "patient" while doctors only practice?
> And they bury their mistakes!
> Why is the first question we hear at a doctor's office , " What is
> the name of your insurance company?" or " How can you pay
> me, whether I get it right or not?"
> And if any type of physical contact is required, you have to sign
> a very small print contract releasing the doctor from any mistakes
> that might be made?

> The information contained herein is true. The opinions are mine.
> You can form your own position and live or die as your please.

> I choose life.

eve
Jan 12th, 2005, 08:09 AM
I agree Sea Princess to some extent but there are some conditions that prescription medication is called for. Not that healthy eating and exercise can't assist with the process but they would not replace prescription medicine. I consider myself an ethical vegan as does my husband but he tried taking a natural approach with his condition and his condition quickly deteriorated. He's begrudgingly back on prescription medication as sick as it makes him.
Feline0, Further to what I posted previously, this is what Jo Stepaniak has to say: http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qaprescriptions.htm

eve
Jan 12th, 2005, 08:11 AM
Sea Princess, why should I hate your guts, I am perfectly familiar with what you posted, and feel sorry for people needing medical assistance who live in the US.

SeaPrincess
Jan 12th, 2005, 12:58 PM
Eve, why is it any different for people in countries other than the U.S.? Prescription drugs always have side effects. There are special reference books devoted to that alone!

Iatrogenic disease is rampant wherever pharmaceutical drugs are dispensed i.e. diseases caused as a result of taking medications, sometimes worse than the original disease. Medications tax the liver and kidneys. These two organs are the most important organs of detoxification and unless you detox yourself regularly, the toxic effect of medication will accumulate.

Why take a chance when there are natural medicines without side effects that work? Sometimes very simple things.

As a health-conscious vegan, my system is extremely sensitive. I don't want to pollute my body with even an aspirin! To give you an example - about 12 years ago I had the first and only migraine in my life. It lasted 3 days and I really feel sorry for migraine sufferers after that experience. Sometimes when you are sick you can't think clearly. Anyway, finally I remembered that willow is a herb that contains aspirin-like substances so i got my son, who was about 10 years old at the time, to go to the local health food store and get willow tablets. Not sure if you can get them here - we were living in Arizona at the time. Anyway within the hour I was totally better. No side effects, totally non-toxic solution.

Another example - a few years ago I had anesthesia for some dental surgery. I asked the dentist to give me half the regular dose which he did. However I experienced numbing all the way up to my eyeball and down to my throat which I never had before. This told me I was more sensitive than in the past. So recently when I needed a lot of drilling done on an entire quadrant, with 3 teeth being drilled right down to the nerve, instead of using anesthesia I used a device from Russia called ENAR and it totally dealt with the pain. Not only that, but it helped me recuperate from the surgery in half the amount of time.

There are tons of people all over the world who are either on heavy pain killers or are told by their doctors to just learn to live with pain. Why should they when there are totally effective solutions available? It's just that they don't know about them, that's all. And their doctors aren't in a rush to promote something they can't profit from.

My point is this: there are things out there that you can use successfully for just about any condition. After all western medicine is based on the chemical constituents found in plants. All of the major pharmaceutical companies in the world are trekking in the South American rainforest looking for the next cure. So why not bypass them and go straight to the plant world?

Anything's possible.