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The ADHD Epidemic: Smart Drugs and the Control of Bodies and Minds

(Photo: Erich Ferdinand; Edited: LW / TO) This is an excerpt from Scripted Bodies: Corporate Power, Smart Technologies, and the Undoing of Public Education (Routledge...

Rare cancers share symptoms with ADHD in children – study

Some uncommon tumors can trigger the same symptoms in children as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according...

Video: Dr. Robin Falkov: “ADHD, A Big Pharma Invention To Get Children Used To...

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ADHD in Children Linked to Pesticide Exposure in Mothers

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has now been linked to mothers' pesticide exposures. Pesticide exposures are also linked to other cognitive and behavioral problems.

ADHD in the new education

ADHD in the new education by Jon Rappoport May 12, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com “I learned twenty-four new things today at school,” the child said. “One right after the other. I felt so happy. My teacher told me I was learning accelerated. I wrote on my iPad. I saw pictures. I did group harmony. I added. I […]

ADHD in the new education

ADHD in the new education by Jon Rappoport May 12, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com “I learned twenty-four new things today at school,” the child said. “One right after the other. I felt so happy. My teacher told me I was learning accelerated. I wrote on my iPad. I saw pictures. I did group harmony. I added. I […]

Doesn’t ADD Up: Doctors behind ADHD study question drug treatment

The co-authors of a 20-year-old study promoting the use of prescription drugs to combat the effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are now...

CDC: More Than 20% of 14-Year-Old Boys Diagnosed With ADHD

Terence P. Jeffrey The percentage of American children from 4 through 17 years of age who have ever been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increased...

Surge in ADHD diagnoses gets a red flag

AFPNovember 6, 2013 Some children may be needlessly taking powerful drugs / via Wikimedia Commons Doctors sounded a warning Tuesday over a rise in ADHD diagnoses,...

Study: Kids who live near traffic more likely to develop ADHD

Jenn SavedgeMother Nature NetworkMay 27, 2013 Photo by ILMRT, via Wikimedia CommonsA new study has found...

Spending on ADHD drugs ‘soars by two-thirds’

By Graeme Paton The amount of money spent on prescriptions to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has soared by almost two-thirds in just...

Ritalin: The ADHD drug may affect the developing brain

Ritalin — given to around 5 million young Americans diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit, hyperactive disorder) — may affect the developing brain. Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a...

Who is Louise Mensch? Former Tory-MP on fake news mission to take down Russia

Louise Mensch, former Tory MP turned “investigative journalist” who claims Donald Trump ran a Russian-backed...

The ‘Why’ Behind Bad Grades

The end of the school year has a tendency to bring crises to my attention. I’m a graduate teaching assistant, which means I have more...

Got Your Fidget Spinner?

Everyone fidgets…except maybe for those guards in front of Buckingham Palace. Whether it’s touching your hair, biting your nails, playing with your clothing or...

Thug hits Spanish-speaking man in face with wooden plank, demands he ‘speak in English’

A Spanish-speaking man was hit in the face with a plank of wood by a...

Homophonophobes v. Trump

Donald J. Trump is both a racist and not a racist, depending upon the source that one consults.   His comments regarding the rapaciousness of...

State, federal gov’t slow to act on lead contamination (VIDEO)

Despite lead contamination alarms at Indiana’s West Calumet Housing Complex, families remain as city and federal...

Children's clothing found loaded with endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Three major clothing lines based in Sweden and Norway are selling products that contain toxic chemicals, reported NewsinEnglish.no. KappAhl and H&M, both...

8-year-old on hyperactivity meds dies after receiving 1,000x prescribed dose

An 8-year-old boy died in hospital after a pharmacist mixed his hyperactivity medication at over 1,000 times the prescribed dosage. It wasn’t until later...

Students resort to banned ‘brain boosting’ drugs to get through exams

Britain’s Home Office has warned against the effects of banned mental stimulant Noopept as a rising number of students turn to the ‘brain boosting’...

Fast food exposes eaters to harmful industrial chemicals – study

Fast food contains an "alarming" amount of potentially toxic industrial chemicals like phthalates, according to a new study that links high fast-food consumption with...

ACLU files lawsuit over handcuffing of Kentucky school children

By Naomi Spencer On August 3, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against the Kenton County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Office for handcuffing two elementary...

Almost all psych drug use is unnecessary, claims doctor researching medical holocaust of over...

More than half a million people age 65 years or older die every year in the West from psychiatric drug use, and the worst...

Same corporations that manufacture vaccines are killing half a million people annually with deadly...

Psychiatric medications are not only useless, but they're responsible for killing at least 500,000 people aged 65 years and older every single year. This...

Guess What Else is Put In Vaccines?

Makia Freeman RINF Alternative News Aborted fetal tissue,believe it or not, is another one of the horrendous ingredients found in the vaccines of modern Western Medicine...

Have You Fallen for These Big Pharma Tricks?

Long before the Internet and direct to consumer advertising, the medical profession tried to reassure people about their health concerns. Sure fatigue and headaches...

The Illusion of Debate

JASON HIRTHLER A recent article in FAIR reviewed the findings of its latest study on the quality of political “debate” being aired on the mainstream...

Unsafe: The Truth Behind Everyday Chemicals

It is an unfortunate fact that we are now living immersed in a chemical soup. If you’ve been paying attention to the headlines, many...

30 Million Americans On Antidepressants And 21 Other Facts About America’s Endless Pharmaceutical Nightmare

Michael Snyder RINF Alternative News Has there ever been a nation more hooked on drugs than the United States? And I am not just talking about...

The Nanny State Is Chemically Castrating Our Children’s Brains

Dave Hodges RINF Alternative News Government should not be in the business of mandating personal choices and government should never be allowed to legislate choices which should be...

Babies on psychiatric drugs: crime with no punishment

Babies on psychiatric drugs: crime with no punishment by Jon Rappoport July 8, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com Here is typical, circumspect, utter bullshit reporting from the mainstream: “For the most vulnerable foster children, those less than 1 year old, foster children were nearly twice as likely to be prescribed a psychiatric drug compared to non-foster children.” (ABC […]

3 Sneaky New Ways Big Pharma Is Churning Profits in 2014

Martha Rosenberg If you are like most people, you have been watching "Ask Your Doctor" drug ads on TV for years. The ads, called direct-to-consumer...

2 new smoking guns: Psychiatry is a complete fraud

2 new smoking guns: Psychiatry is a complete fraud by Jon Rappoport June 12, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com I’ve published much information revealing psychiatry is a scientific fraud. Now, courtesy of Dr. Fred Baughman (ADHDfraud.net), I have two more smoking guns. The first is a letter, dated November 10, 2008, sent from Supriya Sharma, MD, a director […]

Psst, kid, want drugs? I’m a psychiatrist.

Psst, kid, want drugs? I’m a psychiatrist. by Jon Rappoport June 10, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com Look at it this way. The kid doesn’t have to pay for drugs out of his pocket. He gets them in a shrink’s office. Insurance covers it. His parents may be able to work a Social Security disability claim and receive […]

Logic and illogic in education

Logic and illogic in education by Jon Rappoport June 8, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com In two of my collections, The Matrix Revealed and Power Outside The Matrix, I include training in the art of logic and critical analysis. The basic fact is: students in schools are rarely taught how to follow a line of reasoning from beginning […]

Obamacare: watch out, here comes “predictive modeling”

Obamacare: watch out, here comes “predictive modeling” by Jon Rappoport June 5, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com Modeling or programming? A Medai.com article, “Why is Predictive Modeling Essential to Healthcare?” offers this quote: “…the algorithms of predictive modeling can analyze hundreds of data points to make a diagnosis or a prediction of risk.” This is the new thing […]

Kids’ clothes contained chemicals

Testing conducted by the Norwegian Consumer Council (ForbrukerrÃ¥det) found endocrine-disrupting chemicals in children’s clothes from major Scandinavian clothing chains Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Cubus...

12 Reasons To Avoid Any Kind of Soy

Soy has become a major source of toxicity for human beings, especially in the last three decades. If you consume processed foods, soy is almost impossible to avoid.

Dallas Ends Five Decades Of Water Fluoridation, Saves $1 Million A Year

Dallas City Council members decided to end the fluoridation of the city’s water supply. The decision was made after months of regular visits by...

The James Holmes Batman-murder psychiatric circus

The James Holmes Batman-murder psychiatric circus by Jon Rappoport April 28, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com This article is not about all the contradictions and inconsistencies in the official story of “the Batman murders” at the Aurora Theater. This article is about the use of psychiatry in the judicial system. Judge Carlos Samour has ordered James Holmes to […]

Research Links Fat-soluble Chemical Exposures to Neurological Conditions

chemicals and dementia

New research links exposures to fat-soluble toxic chemicals to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and other forms of neuropathy.

What Food Ads Would Say If They Were Honest (Parody)

by Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton Originally Published at Truthstream Media Remember that one high fructose corn syrup commercial espousing how it’s got “the same calories as sugar” and is “fine in moderation”? You’ve seen the industry-sponsored propaganda about how wonderful the ingredients are that are put in your food.Read the Rest...

10 Health Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be Real

by Michael Snyder Originally Published at The Truth Note from Daisy: Last week I wrote about the survey that marginalized the beliefs of those of us who prefer to avoid Big Pharma and the AMA, calling our beliefs “medical conspiracy theories.”  Michael Snyder took it further with this excellent piece,Read the Rest...

10 Health Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be Real

Do you believe in any “health conspiracy theories”?  Do you believe that there are “natural cures” for diseases that the medical establishment is not telling you about?  Do you believe that vaccines, cell phones or the fluoride in the water can have a harmful impact on the health of your family?  If you answered [...]

It’s the Drugs, Stupid! Prescription Psychotropic Drugs Causes brain Injury

Charles Gant, MD, PhD and Greg Lewis, PhD  RINF Alternative News Psychotropic drugs have been used for the purpose of suppressing fear and enabling murderous rage...

New Study: Children Facing “Silent Pandemic of Chemical Brain Drain”

By Lily Dane Originally Published at The Daily Sheeple According to a new paper published in The Lancet Neurology last Friday, the number of industrial chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides proven capable of inhibiting normal brain development has doubled over the last several years. Dr. Philippe Grandjean, one of theRead the Rest...

How Pharma Got Doctors to Prescribe Risperdal, Wellbutrin, Bextra, Neurontin, Prempro and More

Martha Rosenberg RINF Alternative News Until 2010 when the Physician Payments Sunshine Act which requires disclosure of Pharma payments passed, the only thing better than working for...

Over-diagnosed Kids

Jacob Scharf  RINF Alternative News As children, I think most people have been told by a teacher or loved one that they are lacking in...

Consciousness, art, and psychiatry

Consciousness, art, and psychiatry by Jon Rappoport January 22, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com With the NSA scandals, many more people have read and heard the term “metadata.” It means “data about data.” Well, there is also “metalife.” It means “life about life.” Which means Art. Art is a way of reaching life on another level. When the […]

7 Drugs Whose Dangerous Risks Emerged Only After Big Pharma Made Its Money

A settlement for death or injuries...

Artificial Fruit Drink Creates Its Own Cancer Causing By-Product

by Aaron Dykes originally published at Truthstream Media Frankly, this artificial sludge drink looks just like p*** (but maybe p*** would be healthier). Yeah, I said it. WARNING: On top of the GMO high fructose corn syrup, the ingredients inside this imitation fruit beverage pose the risk of forming a known carcinogen insideRead the Rest...

A miracle in Wisconsin

A Miracle in Wisonsin by Jon Rappoport December 30, 2013 www.nomorefakenews.com I published this article in October of 2002. At the time, it was the most widely read piece I’d written and posted on my site. Its basics still hold up. What I didn’t mention at the time was the corrosive role school-food distributors and […]

How America’s Kids Got Hooked on Big Pharma’s Meth

Are Adderall and Ritalin the best...

The eternal sunshine of the mind-controlled classroom

The eternal sunshine of the mind-controlled classroom -a short story- by Jon Rappoport December 20, 2013 www.nomorefakenews.com I’m reprinting this piece, in view of the recent report on the vastly escalating diagnosis of ADHD, a “disorder” for which there is no diagnostic test. “Well,” Jimmy’s teacher said, “we’re trying to emphasize cooperation. But Jimmy has […]

MSM attacks multivitamins in yet another example of quack science

Mike Adams Today the mainstream media is gleefully reporting findings they mistakenly believe show all multivitamins to be worthless at preventing disease. “Case Closed: Multivitamins...

The Children Left Behind — What Happens to the Students Pushed out by High-Stakes...

Debbie Nathan The stories of three students...

How Kids’ Brains Are at Risk From a Barrage of Common Chemicals

Kids today are growing up in...

More Exploding ObamaCare Bombshells

Geez, you've got to feel sorry for Jessica Sanford. Do you remember her? She was one of the glowing examples of an ObamaCare success...

Dramatic Increase of Mass Shootings in America: The Role of Prescription Psychiatric Drugs?

“While the data about the ever-increasing random shootings is important, it doesn't mean spit unless someone in a position of power is willing...

Woman Cited by President as ObamaCare Success Story Can’t Afford Insurance

“I'm really embarrassed,” Olympia, Washington, resident Jessica Sanford told Washington State Wire. “It has completely turned around on me. I mean, completely.”The “it” to...

Herbal Medicine Treats Children with Learning and Behavioral Problems

depressed children improve with herbal medicine

German researchers have determined that a formula of three herbs successfully treats children with learning difficulties, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression and attention deficit issues.

The rise of the Psychiatric State under Obamacare

The rise of the Psychiatric State under Obamacare   by Jon Rappoport November 11, 2011 www.nomorefakenews.com   Come down the road of history and watch the vast parade. There were the cave people, with their fear of the thunder and lightning and the forces behind them; there were the priesthoods rattling gourds and pointing scepters; […]

LAX shooting, the storyline, the agenda, the questions

LAX shooter, the storyline, the agenda, the questions by Jon Rappoport November 1, 2013 www.nomorefakenews.com Mainstream media sources are now reporting: The shooter at LAX, who killed one TSA (?) employee and wounded several others today, is in custody. His name is Paul Anthony Ciancia. He is 23 years old. His weapon was a semi-automatic […]

9 Surprising Everyday Items That Can Wreck Your Health

Your cozy, safe home is a...

RINFORMATION

USA Topics 9/11 Agenda 21 Assassinations Banks Bush, George Jr Boston Bombings Bohemian Grove CIA Cointelpro Corruption DARPA Democrats Disinformation Congress Drones Eugenics FBI Federal Reserve Guantanamo HAARP ...

Conservatives, capitalists and more

The Harper Conservatives have forcefully championed the interests of international investors and corporations, but it has not been enough for the “greed is good” business pundits who earn their living pimping the interests of the rich and powerful. Last November … Continue reading

The Unfulfilled Promise of “American Promise”

The treatment of African American boys in the American education system is rife with severe misunderstandings, discrimination, and widespread damaged outcomes. An achievement/outcome gap...

The Unfulfilled Promise of “American Promise”

The treatment of African American boys in the American education system is rife with severe misunderstandings, discrimination, and widespread damaged outcomes. An achievement/outcome gap...

The Impact of Sanctions on the Iranian People’s Healthcare System

September 2013 Report

Sanctions against Iran started from 1979 and it has found new dimensions through time. But the new set of sanctions imposed against Iran in 2006 intensely influenced this country and directly affected people’s lives. Especially after 2012, the sanctions have shifted toward civilians and its disastrous effects instead of aiming at nuclear technology development process, have made a huge humanitarian crisis. Sanctions on petroleum industry, cargo shipment, shipping insurance, followed by sanctions on banking system has damaged the economic situation in Iran, having destructive effects on providing commodities and services. While UN, EU, and the US sanctions do not directly include importation of humanitarian goods, these sanctions have acutely decreased Iranian people’s access to commodities and major services, including medicine and treatment. (A list of sanctions which have influenced this field in somehow have been attached to this report)

This report aims at representing a part of destructive effects of sanctions on people in health care field. This impact is so severe that has violated basic human rights of Iranian citizens, and threatens their lives and quality of life. So in this situation, generally in medical field, educational levels, research and industry, these effects can be discussed separately.

To prepare this report, four diseases were selected as representatives of different group of diseases for treatment section: Cancer treatment as representative of high mortality diseases; Asthma as a prevalent disease, decreasing quality of life; MS as a prevalent disease in Iran, disturbing daily life; and surgery for Dystonia and Parkinson’s disease as a high-tech surgery. For this study, we referred to medical specialists for each disease and some patients, and generated interviews in written forms or recorded videos. In some cases, information about diseases were gained from treatment centers or related associations. In doing research on medicine access, interviews were taken from pharmacists, managers of medicine producer companies, medicine importers and managers of distribution companies. Some information was also taken from 13Aban Central Pharmacy (the early pharmacy was founded by pharmacy college of University of Tehran), 1490 health system (a 24hrs/7days hotline designed to help patients by giving information about where different drugs could be accessed), and associations of some of these diseases. A set of this information is used to prepare this report and is referred to.

The condition of Cancer patients in Iran

Cancer is a type of disease in which body cells lose their ability to divide and usual growth and turn to tumor which leads to capture, destruction and corruption of healthy tissues. Worldwide cancer mortality in 2006 has been 6.7 million which include 13 percent of worldwide mortality statistics. It is predicted that this number will increase up to 9 million people in 2015.

According to the latest statistical and epidemiologic surveys in Iran, cancer is the third mortality factor after cardiovascular diseases and unintentional accidents (Dr. Mohammadali Mohagheghi, director of research center at Cancer Institute, Imam Khomeini Hospital, in an interview with “healthcare and treatment” reporter of Iranian Students News Agency).

About 85 thousand cancer cases are detected in the country annually, from which 30 thousands result in death. It should be noted that the number of newly diagnosed patients from 17765 in 2000 had increased to 55855 cases in 2005, and the latest statistics show that it had reached to 85000 cases in 2011. The age of cancer incidence has decreased to less than 30 years old. Its reasons include air pollution and modern lifestyle which goes along with smoking, consumption of alcoholic drinks, low physical activity, fibreless diets with high amount of fat and sugar.

The 181 percent growth of cancer in Iran is worrisome and according to the predictions of  Professor Nasser Parsa, a member of American Cancer Society, Iran will face a cancer tsunami in 2015. According to World Health Organization, Iran has the highest cancer prevalence in the Middle East (Mohammad Esmaeel Akbari, director of cancer research center at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences)

The most prevalent cancers in Iran are stomach or gastric cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Iran has 61 cancer treatment hubs and the government provides great subsidies for its treatment, but unfortunately fast growth of this disease in one hand, and its high costs in the other hand has made governmental aids ineffective, especially because of the inflation due to the economic sanctions of Iran in 2006 and then in 2012 which paralyzed treatment system of these centers and hindered their development. As a result, unfortunately half of these patients may not respond to the treatment because of the disease progress and die very soon (Alireza Zali, assistant director of Medical Council of Iran, annual cancer conference, 2012).

Cancer in Iran damages the patient in some respects:

Psychological problems: more than one third of patients in the world experience anxiety and depression resulted from anguish and stress after their disease diagnosis. This issue may affect the family of patients too. Though, this statistics may apply to half of the patients. Also, due to the following problems, these worries may be multiplied.

Financial problems and costs of medicine: The fear from high costs and financial problems is the second psychological problems. The results of Bazyar study shows that half of the cancer patients in Iran had to borrow money (in the research sample). Some of them had to move because they were in debt and more than half of them are living in a critical psychological and financial condition because of high costs, even in the first steps of the treatment (life threat, the major challenge for the patients after cancer diagnosis, Nursing and Obstetric College of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, (Hayat) vol. 18, no. 5, 1391, pp. 12-22)

Social work section of the Tehran Cancer Treatment Center informed the research team that before 2006, nearly all of the treatment and medicine costs were covered by the hospital and they were focusing on the psychological problems of the patients, but after 2006 and then suddenly in 2012 with multiple increase of the medicine prices because of sanctions, the patients turned to this center for the medicines too. The number of patients has been doubled or more in recent year. ( Data provided by Social work section of the Tehran Cancer Treatment Center )

Currently, with insurance coverage and extra governmental aids, the patient has to pay for 20-30 percent of the prices, but it is not still affordable for many of them. Some special medicines are not covered by insurance and due to lack of purchase, have become scarce in market. After sanctions on banking system, the medicines without Iranian equivalents no longer exist, and when a kind of medicine becomes available in another city for example, people rush to that city and they encounter many people in a pharmacy (Dr Aghili Interview transcripts attached to this report). So in addition to financial problem, the patients have access problems too.

Consequently, there are some patients who have left their cancer treatment because of sudden increase in medicine prices and lost their lives. The number of these patients is increasing, though the treatment in this center is free.

Due to the high costs of treatment and medicines, the patients do not refer to private centers and because of the lack of economic justification, these centers are semi-closed. So a large number of cancer patients from different social stratums rush to the social work centers, and the people from vulnerable stratum of the society are not the only clientele anymore. This reference rate is obvious in statistics of the recent year (Mrs. Zohre Gholamhosein Fard, social work supervisor at Cancer Institute).

For instance, some patients like “Mahmud Ostad Mohammad”, a famous theatrical figure passed away, due to lack of medicine in last three months of his life, though he was well-to-do (to see price growth rate, refer to the statistics of this center and the complete interview transcripts attached to this report).

The problems of treatment access: altogether, the necessary facilities for cancer surgeries and also the related medicines (except the nuclear medicines for cancer diagnoses) are not under sanctions currently. But the usage overlap of radiotherapy pieces and some military devices (like radars) has made the sanctions focused on these pieces. The accelerator devices which are used for deep radiotherapies have been practically under sanctions, as in some cases after purchase and paying the money, the device, equipment or software were not delivered (for example, the Varian device.) Also, because of the sanctions, the other old devices couldn’t get the necessary sources (radioactive cobalt), after the old sources were ran out. These devices broke down one by one and the patients who have been in their waiting list were added to the waiting lists of other remaining devices. Every morning, stressful crowds, gather in treatment centers with active devices, waiting for their treatment turn.

The golden time of treatment for some patients is wasted in waiting lists, and some even die, waiting for their turn. On the other hand, treatment personnel work day and night and are worried about overloading the devices and losing these few devices too. While the special rooms for radiotherapy had been made with high costs, they are now used as storerooms because purchasing new devices were impossible (Dr. Aghili’s interview transcripts attached to this report.)

Later, sanctions just included the public sector, but the private sector still didn’t have the financial strength to buy such equipments and also the financial problems of patients led to the bankruptcy of some private sector agencies and thus, left the market. Devices were not still sold to the governmental sector. By imposing sanctions against banking system of the country, it was not possible to purchase these medical equipments because money transfer became impossible, while it is said that sanctions on medical equipments had been entirely removed! On the other hand, decrease in value of Iranian Rial currency, increased the prices for these devices in a sudden as it became practically impossible to buy them. As a result, cancer patients are deprived of this classic and standard option of treatment and lose their lives.

Healthcare system had to import low-quality Chinese devices. Later, it was found that they are harmful for patients because of their voltage fluctuations, so using these devices became obsolete.

Consequently, considering the inflation caused by sanctions, just a few well-off patients who are still able to afford costs of going abroad travel to countries like Turkey or Malaysia for radiotherapy treatment, and other patients are deprived of treatment or are still waiting in treatment queues of the remaining devices. In this situation, there are physicians and necessary specialties, but lack of access to equipments is the major factor of cancer mortalities (Dr. Kazemian Interview transcripts attached to this report).

It’s worth noting that once, Iran has been a center for training foreign residents and also a cancer treatment center for patients from the region, but sanctions has made the neighbor countries lose this opportunity (Dr. Aghili Interview transcripts attached to this report).

The condition of Asthma patients in Iran

Asthma as a disruptive disease which affects quality of life doesn’t have high mortality rate, but makes the patient unable to do his daily activities. About 250 thousand people lose their lives because of asthma annually. The exact reason is not clear, but this disease is a combination of inherent and genetic characteristics of the person (like allergies), which may outbreak due to the environmental elements (like smoking or viruses). The financial cost of this disease is equal to the overall costs of diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis and is in the same level with diabetes and Alzheimer.

According to immunology research center, 2010 asthma and allergy, the average prevalence of asthma in Iran is estimated 13 percent for children and 5-10 percent for adults. Actually, there are 7.5 million people with asthma. In the most polluted cities like Tehran, the level of this disease has been reported to be up to 35 percent.

Iran’s ministry of health has planned programs for prevention as well as confrontation with this disease, which one of its most important strategies is increasing public awareness and informing different groups of society, from healthy people to the authorities, about chronic respiratory diseases. Strategic and restricting plan of chronic respiratory diseases is also prepared in this line to be implemented in medical science universities. As Dr. Masoud Movahedi, director of Iranian Society for Asthma and Allergy, mentioned, with all of these efforts, due to different factors such as high amounts of contaminants in large cities, asthma is not under control yet.

If Asthma patients have no access to the medicines, they will spend a hard time, not having the opportunity of living a normal life or succeeding in their profession because of the respiratory difficulties. Some medicines are found in the market which many of them are mainly expired or their expiration date has been manipulated. For example, Floxitide is a medicine which has been omitted from the market and many patients do not respond to Beclomethasone and they have to use edible Prednisolone Tablets. These alternative medicines may develop some complications like osteoporosis or more serious ones like femur break and other complications.

The medicine has a similar low-quality Indian product which is ineffective or less-effective on some patients. As a result, these medicines maybe provided for a limited number of people through smuggling, passengers, and other unethical ways. The case of research team is Dr. Kamran Aghakhani, one of the prominent Iranian physicians, forensics specialist and faculty member of Iran University of Medical Sciences. Despite his extended relations, asthma sprays and other medicines are inaccessible for him as well. (Dr. Kamran Aghakhani Interview transcripts attached to this report)

On the other hand, unfortunately when it became apparent that these medicines are inaccessible in Iran, like many other medicines, similar counterfeit medicines were produced by some illegal Indian and Chinese companies and were imported through illegal ways and are now used by the patients which may follow irreparable complications.

Considering the prevalence rate and its lack of control in Iran, asthma medicines have been wiped out of the market and have disrupted lives of many patients in recent years. Though asthma is not a fatal disease like cancer, in addition to its effects on people’s lives, asthma mortality rate in Iran has been increasing which is a humanitarian crisis.

The asthma patients in Iran, considering their incurable disease, acknowledged that the issue of their disease should be noticed in international and humanitarian assemblies, and their access to medicines, and as a result a normal life, be provided in a way.  Apart from increase in medicine prices, most of the medicine centers believe that the lack of cooperation of foreign banks for transferring money is the major problem in medicine inaccessibility which is due to the sanctions against Iran’s banking system. Also, asthma specialists with their up-to-date knowledge prescribe new medicines which have been recently used in modern countries, but there is not a hope to access them in Iran.

These patients wish to have access to the medicines somehow, just like the people in other countries. Finally, as Dr Aghakhani stated, “Disease does not select the patient; poor and rich may become affected by the disease, but it is not proper that the patients’ access to treatment and medicine be selective and dependent to condition”.

The condition of M. S. patients in Iran

After accidents, M. S. is the most prevalent cause of disabilities among young people and no definite treatment for this disease has been discovered yet. But the existing medicine can decrease the attacks and disabilities resulting from this disease.

Development and exclusive signs are different in every patient and are not predictable. M.S. is appears after destruction of central neural tissues. Based on the place of destruction on the nervous system, it shows different signs, including impaired vision, blurred vision, impaired balance, tremor, lack of balance in walking, vertigo, weakness and torpidity in body, inability to do harmonic movements, frequent urination, urgent urination, impaired bladder emptying, urinary incontinence. In some patients the attack intervals maybe a year or it is possible to have an attack which is followed by continuous attacks.

M. S. is growing shockingly fast in Iran. The number of patients in Tehran has reached to 50 in every 100 thousands and in Isfahan are 73 in 100 thousands, which are similar to statistics of the European countries. Totally, the number of M. S. patients in Iran is 52.9 in every 100 thousands and there are 50 thousand patients currently in Iran. So Iran is among the countries with highest rate of M. S. prevalence. There are no exact statistics from M.S. patients in Iran, but with the mentioned estimations it seems that Iran is among the top ten countries with high numbers of M. S. patients. This disease appears in people between 20-40 years old. The great youth population of Iran is a reason for high rates of this disease in young people. Most of them are young women (twice or three times more than men). It is more prevalent among the educated people and even the physicians themselves (Sahraian, neurologist and director of scientific committee of M.S. society, international M.S. day)(Jamshid Lotfi, director of M.S. society in an interview with “Shargh”).

The research team had the opportunity for an interview with Dr. Mohammadali Sahraian, neurologist and director of scientific committee of M. S. society and asked about the patients’ problems. (Interview transcripts attached to this report)  He said that stress will increase the intensity of the disease and the number of attacks in M. S. patients. Stress and tension could be one of the factors which increases the number of M. S. patients in Iran.

Conditions of the society, especially the economic condition of people, intensely affect their normal lives and enforce a great deal of stress and tension on individuals. The daily deteriorating trend of these issues adds to the stress and tensions of these people and affects them in a negative way, and this trend may be one of the factors in growing number of M. S. patients.

M. S. is a disease that severely disrupts the patient’s life and enforces many problems. As a neurological disease, stress and tensions may intensely influence the number of attacks. In Iran, patients are affected by lack of medicines in two ways: First, the stress about the scarcity of medicines increases the number of attacks. Second, lack of medicine consumption for more than one or two months again increases the number of attacks.

M. S. makes the patient dependent to one type of medicine. Considering the lack of the European medicine, when the same medicine with the same producer was imported from Turkey with a Turkish label, its medical effectiveness on the patients had decreased severely. While Iran has the knowledge and ability, and produces 70 percent of the medicine, still the psychological non-acceptance of the Iranian medicines has made them less effective on the patients.

The same as other diseases, the most problematic issue is the increase in prices because of sanctions against banking system. Actually, the difficulties in money transfer have increased the prices very much or have completely wiped them out of the market. For example the German Methaferone was 900000 rials eight years ago, but gradually its price went up and suddenly it reached to 16000000 rials, which is unimaginable for its monthly consumption.

Rebif which has not the similar Iranian product has reached from 450000 to 6000000 rials for per month consumption, Tysabri costs 4000 USdollars per month, Avonex from 900000 to 10000000 and then suddenly reached to 20000000 rials.

Also, sanctions on banking system, high costs and the lack of primary ingredients of medicines, have increased the prices for the Iranian products too. Actually, the non-acceptance of money and inability to open LC are the major problems in scarcity of medicines. Banks and then companies do not accept the money.  The money transferred by patients or charity organizations has been blocked in Armenian and Azeri banks and patients cannot get the medicine even when they spend money. In the time of interview with Dr. Sahraian, for example Rebif was found in the market, but Avonex tablets and Methaferone were rare.

The condition of Dystonia and Parkinson’s patients

Dystonia is a neurological-dynamic disruption which results in repeated or long contractions in muscles. Dystonia often causes the appearance of unnatural and disabling movements. The main causes of this disease are hereditary and genetic, trauma and physical injuries, some kinds of infections, some medicine complications, oxygen shortage and injuries at the time of birth, and more than usual increase in bilirubin in the infancy period. Also some of the problems related to internal organs and skull may affect the outbreak of Dystonia.

Dystonia may appear local (for example, involuntary and continuous opening and closing of eyelid with several spasms, which prevents the proper movements of the eyes and eyelids and direct sight of the person) or as a generalized kind, is one the most disabling kinds of Dystonia. Because this disease involves all parts of the body including face, neck and spine, the patient’s appearance becomes unusual (Mrs. Jalili, Asie Karimi and Hosein Oroujzade) and walking becomes difficult too. Some of them (like Amoushahi, Rahimi, Jahed and Zamani) at first walk on their toes or the external edge of their feet and when they start walking their feet twist. They don’t have control over their muscles when they try to write; their fingers open and their hands tremble. These signs gradually increase, as in children the unnatural movements of neck toward a direction (like Faride Hamidinia), the continuous movement of head, spine and waist curve (Asie Karimi), involuntary gestures of mouth and uncontrollable movements of tongue (Hosein Oroujzade) causes speech and swallowing problems.

Dystonia is one of the diseases that almost show resistance against treatment. In the early stages, edible medicines, and sometimes botulism and Botox injection, maybe effective on temporary muscle paralysis. These toxicants have a temporary effect and after a while the human body produces antibodies and resists against them. New methods are based on stimulation of deep parts of brain. With electric stimulation of some deep parts of the brain through surgery and implanting electrode in it, it is possible to control patient’s movements, but this is a very professional surgery. This surgery which is one of the advanced surgeries is done in Iran and its costs are very low in comparison with the European countries. Dystonia is not a fatal disease, but it is paralyzing as the patients always has involuntary gestures, unusual way of walking and severe uncontrollable movements which makes usual daily activities impossible, and sometimes the patient has to sit on a wheelchair or on bed.

As mentioned before, Dystonia surgery is an advanced surgery, based on using high-tech instruments and equipments. Dr. Gholamali Shahidi is a neurologist with fellowship in movement disorder, doing the related surgeries from 2005. In an interview of research team with Dr. Shahidi, the problems and issues of these patients were examined. (Interview transcripts attached to this report) They have done 128 surgeries with good results, similar to the European surgeries, which 26 of them had been Dystonia. Contrary to the other countries, most of these patients are young. So this treatment improves their quality of life and returns them to the normal social life.

Pacemaker battery which makes electric pulses works between 1.5-5 years, depending to the kind of disease and should be replaced by a new one when it is necessary. Otherwise, if the battery finishes suddenly, it returns the patient to a condition worse than before and it is even possible that the patient faces medical risks, including dystonic storm and death. The battery is produced by the American company of Metronix exclusively. In many cases there were problems of importation due to its exclusiveness and they didn’t easily extend its license for the representative company. On the other hand, increase in dollar price from 650 to 900 tomans because of sanctions, and after sanctions against oil industry and banking system from 1226 to 3100, made this battery very expensive. It reached from 13 million tomans to 54 million tomans. This high price is not affordable for many patients. In addition, after sanctions against banking system, the problems of money transfer practically has made it impossible to purchase new batteries. The patients have to wait for example three months. When the capacity of the battery reaches 2 percent, it is a life-threatening condition for the patient. Many patients turn to doctors to adjust their batteries on low consumption; thus increasing the involuntary movements, to keep the battery alive until they could replace it.

Many cases were introduced to the research team. For example, Dr, Hasan Farjak, a 60 years old professional, an educated man with a PhD and an active lifestyle, or Mr. Zolfagharlou a 40 years old lawyer who had to decrease his battery consumption to 50 percent until he finds a new battery and now has lost his ability for normal daily activities. Mohammad lived in a village and he had come late to change his battery and died three months after his battery was discharged. Roya Jahed was living with 52 pills when she was 15 and now has a normal life after surgery. She is married now and is doing her genetic tests before pregnancy. Zamani, Masoudi, Koosha Khoshghadam, Farshad and many others are worried about their batteries now.

The Iranian economy is heavily dependent on crude oil export; in fact Iran derives 80% of its hard currency from crude oil export. After the intensive sanctions imposed on Iranian oil export, Iran’s ability to provide basic goods for its citizens was severely limited. Further sanctions on cargo shipment and shipping insurance limited the government’s ability to provide humanitarian goods such as medicine and medical equipment. The global sanctions targeting Iranian banking system and money transaction effectively influenced the entire economy and import\export processes of the country.

Although none of the sanctions imposed against the Iranian government directly ban export of humanitarian goods such as pharmaceuticals to this country, their indirect devastating effect on the healthcare, welfare and access of ordinary people to these services is notable.

Iranian drug manufacturers’ issues:

The main concerns of the Iranian manufacturing companies are:

  • Acquiring the currency needed to purchase bulk material as the value of the Rial fell dramatically during the last 2 years.
  • Opening accounts in the foreign country for purchasing process.
  • And finding a way to sidestep sanctions and import products to Iran, despite insurance and cargo sanctions.

Each part of the process is costly, time consuming and uncertain. Every day with the imposing of new sanctions, companies find it harder to work and indeed the quality of medications are questionable as the manager at Abidi pharmaceuticals said in an interview (transcripts attached to this report ) with the research team, “sometimes pharmaceutical product’s transfer and shipment is delayed up to 8 months, this not only poses a drug shortage but certainly affects the drug’s quality which hadn’t been stored in an ideal condition”. Therefore sanctions have cut off manufacturer’s access to key pharmaceutical and medical supplies and have made it difficult to import key materials for manufacturing pharmaceuticals which comprises 90 percent of Iran’s pharmaceutical market.

Whenever importation of a kind of bulk material was restricted from western sources, manufactures shifted to Indian or Chinese sources, although this procedure was costly and time consuming due to paper work, legal issues and the need to repeat quality control tests and stability tests to determine the products’ quality, but manufactures at the end were able to partially retain their pre-sanctions production rates. This nevertheless was at the cost of decline in overall quality since alternative sources are generally less qualified and partially have unknown side effects.

About the medicine production, Dr. Namazi said that the low-quality primary sources need purification and also processing devices which cannot be imported due to their dual usage in nuclear issues, except through smuggling the pieces separately to the country. And then there are maintenance problems and if the device breaks down and need repair, there would be problems with the manufacturer company.

By banning and sanctioning main roots of import or at least making it extensively difficult, the foreign companies or entities reasonably lose their interest to deal with Iran. The international community has opened the door for illegal smuggling of medicines. “Opportunists are taking advantage of the public’s vulnerability in the time of medicine shortage”, mentioned the manager at Abidi pharmaceuticals in an interview with the research team. Many patients refer to black market to buy vital medicines, sometimes at prices 3 times higher than the original price. For many years Naserkhosro Street (the hub of illegal drug dealers) had been quiet and empty; nowadays it’s crowded with illegal drug dealers. These medicines are of unknown by origins, haven’t been stored properly and might be actually counterfeit.

“Although US law technically exempts food and medicine from sanctions in order to minimize the impact on civilians, the increasing implementation of financial sanctions has discouraged exporters from shipping to Iran, because they face problems getting paid, due to barring of money transaction and additional banning of insuring shipments to Iran, and because the U.S. Treasury Department’s licensing requirements are too time consuming and complicated,” Said, dean of faculty of pharmacy at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. (Interview transcripts attached to this report). Most of vital medicines like chemotherapy medicines, medicines for treatment of Thalassemia and other blood complications such as anti-bleeding medicines for hemophilia and immunosuppressive medicines for patients undergoing transplant surgeries are manufactured by western companies. The sanctions, although put some relief for importing medicines from China and India which are very strict regarding importations from western countries, this has led to many miseries and loss of lives.

Data from June 2012 until September 2012, shows an average monthly shortage of 83 drugs, but from October 2012 the number of drug shortages dramatically rises from September 2012 until June 2013, when the average drug shortages was 144. There is a significant gap between the shortage of imported drugs and manufactured drugs in Iran. (Data is provide in the attachments)

The data obtained contains total number of calls made to 1490, in a period of four months, from 21 March to 23 July 2013. This data clearly shows how in a period of time a drug’s accessibility has declined.

Warfarin sodium (anti-blood clot) is a good example; in the first month (21 Mar -20 Apr) the number of calls made to check warfarin’s availability was zero, the second month (21 Apr. -21 May) the number of calls was only 2 and was successfully guided to the nearest pharmacy. But in the third month (22 May-21 June) the number of calls dramatically increases to 790 calls and in the fourth month (22 June-23 July) the number of calls reaches to 1701 calls. This irrespective of whether 1490 hotline was able to direct callers to a pharmacy shows that patients couldn’t simply find the drug needed by reaching a regular pharmacy and had to call 1490 for help. Data shows that 27% of the callers in the 3rd month and 30 percent of callers in the 4th month, faced the shortage and they couldn’t access the drug, respectively.

Methohexal (cardiovascular), for the 4 months above, Methohexal had a very low accessibility and an average of 77% of the calling patients were faced with the drug shortage and only 23% of the callers were guided to a pharmacy which could help them.

1296 kind of drugs were unavailable and the patients tried to access them by calling 1490. There are several vital drugs among them which their shortage endangers the health of the patients and even may cost their life. The data contains number of phone calls which 1490 failed to help them simply because of the lack of drugs in the country. These numbers are shown under “Failed Calls” column.

In following charts some statistics are given which are related to the drugs used to cure or help patients suffering diseases discussed in the previous section. The research is not focusing on the soaring prices of the drugs. Many of these are expensive drugs due to the declining state of Iranian economy -in part a result of sanctions- but it’s worth mentioning that even if patients somehow gain access to these drugs, very few can actually buy them.

Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) No. of calls
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatment Extavia 385
  Betaferon 1233
  Cinnovex 109
  Avonex 172

Drug Classification

Drug(Generic/Brand)

Failed calls

Contrast media

(Essential for radiological examination, are used to visualize vessels and tissues in radiography and CT imaging. Diagnosis of fatal complications are impossible without them.)

Visipaque

1760

Iodixanol

180

Omnipaque

1077

Ultravist

955

Iopromide

105

Scanlux

235

Iohexol

106

Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
 Anticancer chemotherapy

(Shortage in chemotherapy drugs is very worrisome since lack of receiving a proper chemotherapy treatment in time, would possibly endanger a patient’s life.)

Flutamide 895
Flutamid 299
Remicade 804
Diferelin 520
Diphereline 202
Diferlin 494
Microrelin 246
Decapeptyl 232
Erbitux 599
Chlormbucil 336
Xeloda 148
Zeloda 102
Leukeran 225
Infliximab 203
Zometa 189
Thalidomide 183
Nexavar 171
Bcg 182

There are also other drugs. The director of Iran’s hemophilia society introduced cases like Manouchehr Esmaili-Liousi, a 15 years old teenager from tribes near the city of Dezful. He suffered from hemophilia and died on 14 November 2012 in hospital after his family failed to find the vital drug he needed to stop the bleeding. Or Taha Mahdi Hatamibabanari, a 4 years old hemophilic boy who died of bleeding caused by an injury. The necessary medicine could not be found while his parents and the hospital could not reach any due to shortage of access to hemophilia medicines. He stated that in the last two years the patients’ accessibility to antihemophilic drugs have declined to one third, compared to the past years. Patients face high emotional stress every day not being able to find their medication. In the last two years, major hospitals in Iran many times completely lacked antihemophilic drugs and many affected children are suffering as a result.

Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls

Hemophilia, vonwillebrand’s disease, diabetesbinsipidus

Minirin

179

About the Thalassemia patients, Dr. Arasteh noted that because of the difficulties resulting from sanctions on importing drugs and bulk materials for thalassemia drugs, the supply chain has been disrupted and patients are facing many adversaries, including diabetes, heart disease, skeletal problems, and liver problems.

Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Chelator Desferal 115

Some 20.000 Organ transplant patients are at risk currently. These patients have to permanently take immune suppressant drugs in order to prevent organ rejection. These patients might suffer organ rejection or even die if they miss even one dose of their drug.

Their drugs have become tremendously expensive and rare patients have to spent days searching for their prescription drugs. The table below shows the amount of callers faced with drug shortage.

Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Transplant Cellcept 274

Another vital drug is warfarin (anti blood clot). It prevents strokes and heart attacks due to thromboembolism, but in recent months its shortage has made so much panic for the patients and their families. The table below shows in a span of four months, the number of patients who weren’t able to access their drugs after calling 1490.

Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Anticoagulant Warfarin sodium 716

There are other drug classifications which the major ones are provided here, extracted from the data.

Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Antiasthma Symbicort 398
  Seroflo 171
  Seretide 1368
  Salmeterol 108
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Antidysrhythmic Flecainide 242
  Flecainide acetate 233
  Sotahexal 139
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Antidiabetes Metohexal 491
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Volume expander Albumin 144
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Anticonvulsant Valproate sodium 212
  Depakine 149
  Orlept 124
  Tegretol 144
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Adhd treatment Ritalin 684
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Pregnancy termination Misoprostol 601
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Antiparkinson agent Madopar 2356
  Levodopa 185
  Levodopa/benserazide 151
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Alzheimer’s disease treatment Galantamine 353
  Reminyl 166
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Antimalarial Pyrimethamine 164
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Antidepressant Asentra 436
  Zoloft 382
  Sertraline 137
  Doneurin 141
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Antiviral Ganciclovir 345
  Tenofovir 228
  Tenobiovir 146
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
Infertility treatment Hcg 1067
  Cetrotide 191
  Cetrorelix acetate 132
Drug Classification Drug(Generic/Brand) Failed calls
 vaccine Gardasil 119
  Bcg 182

There are two tables here, showing the comparative data of drug shortage in a period of 15 days in the years 2012 and 2013. Significant rise in number of drugs shortage comparing the exact dates from two years shows that during last year the situation has exacerbated and will continue if no solution is considered.

It should be noted that the represented study and report is depicting a small part of the disaster occurring in Iran. During the study, many problems and issues in the field of treatment and medicine were discussed which there was not enough time to cover all of them. According to Dr. Namazi, a medical ethics specialist, there are many problems in healthcare field, including X-ray, access to radioactive medicines used in different types of CT scan and MRI, anesthetic medicine used in usual surgeries, lack of laboratory kits which make them to send a blood sample or urine sample to Turkey for a simple test.

The effects of sanctions on medicines have other dimensions too, for example undesirable effects on human food. For instance, the lack of bestial medicines leads to the prevalence of bestial diseases which affects humans too. As a result, more antibiotics are used to prevent the diseases, which severely have increased harmful antibiotics dosage in the bodies of Iranian people.

Clearly, with changing direction of sanctions, they are practically targeting the Iranian people. Also, sanctions against insurance and shipment are not just aimed at the government or political structure anymore. And these are civilians who have lost their primary access to the necessities such as treatments and medicines, and thus engaged in a life-threatening situation.

Financial isolation of people entirely for the political structure and politics, which is endangering their lives, is neither rational nor fair. It seems that political objectives and the existing problems between the governments have been preferred over the basic human rights and had influenced them.

Currently, the equipment and devices of treatment, medicines and other basic needs are under sanctions too, the same as automobile industry equipment or the sale of petroleum products, though apparently it is not like this. Actually, the medical equipment are not under sanctions, but it is sanctions on banking system that has made them difficult to be imported. And the only objective of this sanction is damaging people.

These sanctions have violated human rights in different ways and different public dimensions. When the rights of many people is violated it means that “the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being” as stated in the article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also “the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” as stated in Article 12 of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are violated too. Also, the rights of children and women as stated in article 24 of “Convention on the Rights of the Child”, and article 12 and 14 of “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” is violated too. It is the same for different ethnicities living in Iran, including Persians, Turks, Azeris, Kurds, natives of Luristan, Arabs, Baluchis and other ethnicities, as stated in article 5 of “International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”; and for disabled people as stated in article 25 of  “Final report of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities” as well. Now there are many people with different races and ethnicities in every part of this country struggling over their lives. This is a silent, continuous and hidden genocide.

Sanctions should be revised. With the high population in this century, sanction is a very unjust way of putting pressure on governments, because they trample rights of people. At least, sanctions should be devised purposefully under observation of Human Rights Organization, unless they are not fair.

We hope that after this report and representing a small part of what is happening in Iran, the aware conscience of gentle minds do something in this direction to prevent from a disaster. There should be at least a way to provide the basic needs of people.

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Will We Ever Learn to Think in Moderation?

The media is all black or all white about brain drugs like Oxy and Adderall.

February 17, 2013  |  

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The media seems to have three modes of action when it comes to psychoactive drugs: intense promotion of advances and benefits; general disregard; and full-on panic about negative effects, including potential for misuse and addiction. During both the benefits and the risks periods, many myths and misinformation are disseminated. But between these bouts of euphoria and panic, there is little coverage at all, especially of addiction. This up/down/off pattern does a disservice not only to people suffering from addiction, but to those with other diseases as well.

Right now, we seem to be moving from a period characterized mainly by disinterest into one of attention and fear. Though we’ve never returned to the peak freak-out of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s—in 1989, a Gallup poll found that Americans viewed drugs as the number one problem threatening the nation, eclipsing even the economy during a recession—we have seen brief but blinding spotlights on Oxycontin, methamphetamine and now prescription drugs more generally.

A recent front-page New York Times  story on Adderall addiction is suggestive of the new turn. After years of focusing on these drugs primarily to ask whether they enhance cognition, or allow people to cheat in school by faking ADHD, the article puts them front and center; it tells story of a college student who faked the disorder and the physicians who enabled him to continue getting the drug, despite desperate warnings from his parents about his addiction. Over the course of several years, he became psychotic and ultimately committed suicide.

That Adderall, an amphetamine drug, can be addictive and can sometimes cause mental illness and suicidality is no surprise. If the Times searched its own archives, it would see several earlier periods of promotion of speed as a cognitive enhancer and study aid, followed by hysteria over psychosis and addictions. (Indeed, way back in 1937, the paper of record called it  “high octane brain fuel”). And anyone old enough to remember the ‘60s probably recalls the admonition “Speed Kills.”

Why can’t we recognize that a drug can simultaneously benefit some people and harm others? Why do we swing from seeing particular drugs as panaceas to viewing them as the devil’s own poison?

Part of it stems from “generational forgetting”—a well-documented condition that prevails when the addicts of one era have aged out or died and those who saw the damage done are also past their youth. When America was still in a frenzy that the ‘80s crack epidemic would continue escalating until every last youth was a glassy-eyed zombie, the younger siblings of crack addicts were already observing the devastations of the drug and choosing a different, less demonized high—often marijuana, sometimes opioids. Crack use fell rapidly.

That was far from the first time that an epidemic had burned itself out. Epidemics are inherently self-limiting because once the use of a particular drug is widespread, its dangers become obvious to everyone—and because when a culture becomes familiar with a drug, it develops ways to minimize harm. For example, our long-term relationship with alcohol has produced bans on drunk driving; price, sales, and advertising restrictions; and advice on moderation, like alternating alcoholic drinks with water or soft drink—not to mention AA.

Unfortunately, this can also create the impression that panic is productive as a way of changing behavior, when it actually contains the seeds of the next epidemic. Since the new generation is not using the previous one’s “demon drug,” it thinks its own drug use is not going to become a problem. Indeed, the newly popular drug appears to be safe, beneficial, fun—at least, that’s generally how the media tends to portray legal drugs when first on the market. Of course, during the early stages of addiction, it does seem like everything’s under control.

Judges ‘Subverting British Democracy’, Says May

Home Secretary Theresa May has accused judges of "subverting" British democracy and making the streets of Britain more dangerous by ignoring new rules aimed at deporting more foreign criminals.

In a scathing attack, she vowed to introduce primary legislation to restrict the human rights of offenders after a minority of the judiciary decided to "ignore parliament's wishes".

But she warned the delay in getting that on to the statute book would inevitably mean "more victims of violent crimes committed by foreigners in this country".

MPs approved new guidance for judges in July last year making clear the right to a family life - set out in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - was only qualified.

The change was designed to end a string of cases where it was used to justify granting foreign criminals the right to remain in the UK rather than being deported.

Labour questioned at the time whether the guidance would be sufficient to override the precedent set by earlier cases and said it would support primary legislation.

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Last year, Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke obtained Home Office figures suggesting that 177 foreign criminals avoided deportation in the year 2011 to 2012 after convincing judges of their right to a family life in Britain.

They include Vladimir Buchak, a Ukrainian who paid eastern Europeans with the right to live in Britain up to £3,000 to marry Africans. He has been allowed to remain because he has two children here.

A Jamaican drug dealer was allowed to stay in the UK with his family after his release, after the High Court cited the effect his absence would have on his nine-year-old son who suffers from ADHD.

And Aso Mohammed Ibrahim, an Iraqi Kurd, killed a 12-year-old girl in a hit-and-run in Lancashire, and was allowed to remain in the UK after his release from four months in jail, because of his family.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, the Home Secretary pinned the blame squarely on the judges who have "got it into their heads that Article Eight...is an absolute, unqualified right".

She said: "Unfortunately, some judges evidently do not regard a debate in Parliament on new immigration rules, followed by the unanimous adoption of those rules, as evidence that Parliament actually wants to see those new rules implemented," she wrote.

One judge, she noted, had justified his decision on the basis that the new guidance had been subject only to "a weak form of parliamentary scrutiny".

"It is essential to democracy that the elected representatives of the people make the laws that govern this country - and not the judges," she wrote.

"Yet some judges seem to believe that they can ignore Parliament's wishes if they think that the procedures for parliamentary scrutiny have been 'weak'.

"That appears actually to mean that they can ignore Parliament when they think it came to the wrong conclusion."

She said she was determined to bring forward a new law making it clear the deportation should be the norm in everything but "extraordinary circumstances".

"It is depressing that the steps we have already taken should have been insufficient to produce that result.

"The inevitable delays inherent in passing primary legislation will mean that there will be many more foreign criminals who successfully avoid deportation on the basis that they have a family here.

"There will also be more victims of violent crimes committed by foreigners in this country - foreigners who should have been, and could have been, deported," she added.

Judges who allowed prisoners to remain were also guilty of reinforcing public perceptions of human right as "legal dodges that allow criminals to escape proper punishment and to continue to prey on the public.

"This is not a dispute about respect for human rights, which I certainly agree is an essential part of any decent legal system.

"It is about how to balance rights against each other: in particular, the individual's right to family life, the right of the individual to be free from violent crime, and the right of society to protect itself against foreign criminals."

May insisted that she was "a great admirer of most of the judges in Britain" and accepted the need for the power of government ministers to be "reviewed and restrained" by the judiciary.

"But the law in this country is made by the elected representatives of the people in Parliament. And our democracy is subverted when judges decide to take on that role for themselves."

5-year-old boy held hostage for 6th day

Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson speaks on morning TV and thanks the hostage-taker for recent cooperation in negotiations involving a five-year-old boy, February 3, 2013.

The hostage situation of a five-year-old boy has entered its sixth day as police reveal information on the suspect and continue negotiations.

On Sunday, police said Jim Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old US war veteran, got on the school bus in southern Alabama’s Midland City around 3:40 p.m. local time (2040 GMT) on Tuesday, and demanded for two boys aged between 6 and 8 years old.

According to police, the bus driver, Charles Albert Poland, was driving 21 children home at the time and tried to stop the hostage-taker from abducting children. However, Dykes shot the 66-year-old four times who died in the process.

All but one child managed to escape through the bus’ back door. Dyke took a 5-year-old boy into captivity in an underground bunker in his residence, situated behind a church.

Police on the scene communicate with Dyke through a 60-foot connecting ventilation pipe.

The boy, called Ethan, whose mother says has Asperger's syndrome - a mild form of autism - and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), received some medical care given by police through the pipe.

Police stepped up negotiations with Dykes and managed to secure medicine, toys, coloring blocks, and potato chips to the kindergartener. Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said Dykes has told them they have an electric heater and blankets in the single-entrance bunker.

The motives and demands of Dyke, who fought for five years in the Vietnam War, remains unclear and police say they can only release a limited amount of information on the situation.

The shooting incident is yet another episode of the persisting gun violence across the US as the December 14 elementary school shooting massacre of 20 children and six school staff in the state of Connecticut has yet to result in any meaningful federal measures in terms of gun controls.

GVN/HN

The Grime Behind the Crime

It seemed, at first, preposterous. The hypothesis was so exotic that I laughed. The rise and fall of violent crime during the second half of the 20th century and first years of the 21st were caused, it proposed, not by changes in policing or imprisonment, single parenthood, recession, crack cocaine or the legalisation of abortion, but mainly by … lead.

I don’t mean bullets. The crime waves that afflicted many parts of the world and then, against all predictions, collapsed, were ascribed, in an article published by Mother Jones last week, to the rise and fall in the use of lead-based paint and leaded petrol(1).

It’s ridiculous – until you see the evidence. Studies between cities, states and nations show that the rise and fall in crime follows, with a roughly 20-year lag, the rise and fall in the exposure of infants to trace quantities of lead(2,3,4). But all that gives us is correlation: an association that could be coincidental. The Mother Jones article, based on several scientific papers, claimed causation.

I began by reading the papers. Do they say what the article claims? They do. Then I looked up the citations: the discussion of those papers in the scientific literature. The three whose citations I checked have been mentioned, between them, 301 times(5). I went through all these papers (except the handful in foreign languages), as well as dozens of others. To my astonishment, I could find just one study attacking the thesis(6), and this was sponsored by the Ethyl Corporation, which happens to have been a major manufacturer of the petrol additive tetraethyl lead. I found many more supporting it. Crazy as this seems, it really does look as if lead poisoning could be the major cause of the rise and fall of violent crime.

The curve is much the same in all the countries these papers have studied. Lead was withdrawn first from paint and then from petrol at different times in different places (beginning in the 1970s in the US in the case of petrol and the 1990s in many parts of Europe), yet, despite these different times and different circumstances, the pattern is the same: violent crime peaks around 20 years after lead pollution peaks(7,8,9). The crime rates in big and small cities in the US, once wildly different, have now converged, also some 20 years after the phase-out(10).

(US Bureau of Justice)

Nothing else seems to explain these trends. The researchers have taken great pains to correct for the obvious complicating variables: social, economic and legal factors. One paper found, after 15 variables had been taken into account, a four-fold increase in homicides in US counties with the highest lead pollution(11). Another discovered that lead levels appeared to explain 90% of the difference in rates of aggravated assault between US cities(12).

A study in Cincinnati finds that young people prosecuted for delinquency are four times more likely than the general population to have high levels of lead in their bones(13). A meta-analysis (a study of studies) of 19 papers found no evidence that other factors could explain the correlation between exposure to lead and conduct problems among young people(14).

Is it really so surprising that a highly potent nerve toxin causes behavioural change? The devastating and permanent impacts of even very low levels of lead on IQ have been known for many decades. Behavioural effects were first documented in 1943: infants who had tragically chewed the leaded paint off the railings of their cots were found, years after they had recovered from acute poisoning, to be highly disposed to aggression and violence(15).

Lead poisoning in infancy, even at very low levels, impairs the development of those parts of the brain (the anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex) which regulate behaviour and mood(16). The effect is stronger in boys than in girls. Lead poisoning is associated with attention deficit disorder(17,18), impulsiveness, aggression and, according to one paper, psychopathy(19). Lead is so toxic that it is unsafe at any level(21,22).

Because they were more likely to live in inner cities, in unrenovated housing whose lead paint was peeling and beside busy roads, African Americans have been subjected to higher average levels of lead poisoning than white Americans. One study, published in 1986, found that 18% of white children but 52% of black children in the US had over 20 milligrammes per decilitre of lead in their blood(23); another that, between 1976 and 1980, black infants were eight times more likely to be carrying the horrendous load of 40mg/dl(24). This, two papers propose, could explain much of the difference in crime rates between black and white Americans(25), and the supposed difference in IQ trumpeted by the book The Bell Curve(26).

There is only one remaining manufacturer of tetraethyl lead on earth. It’s based in Ellesmere Port in Britain, and it’s called Innospec. The product has long been banned from general sale in the UK, but the company admits on its website that it’s still selling this poison to other countries(27). Innospec refuses to talk to me, but other reports claim that tetraethyl lead is being exported to Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Iraq, North Korea, Sierra Leone and Yemen(28,29), countries afflicted either by chaos or by governments who don’t give a damn about their people.

In 2010 the company admitted that, under the name Associated Octel, it had paid millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Iraq and Indonesia to be allowed to continue, at immense profit, selling tetratethyl lead(30). Through an agreement with the British and US courts, Innospec was let off so lightly that Lord Justice Thomas complained that “no such arrangement should be made again.”(31) God knows how many lives this firm has ruined.

The UK government tells me that because tetraethyl lead is not on the European list of controlled exports, there is nothing to prevent Innospec from selling to whoever it wants(32). There’s a term for this: environmental racism.

If it is true that lead pollution, whose wider impacts have been recognised for decades, has driven the rise and fall of violence, then there lies, behind the crimes that have destroyed so many lives and filled so many prisons, a much greater crime.

References:

1. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

2. Rick Nevin, May 2000. How Lead Exposure Relates to Temporal Changes in IQ, Violent Crime, and Unwed Pregnancy. Environmental Research, Vol.83, Issue 1, pp1–22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/enrs.1999.4045

3. Rick Nevin, 2007. Understanding international crime trends: the legacy of preschool lead exposure. Environmental Research Vol. 104, pp315–336.
doi:10.1016/j.envres.2007.02.008

4. Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, May 2007. Environmental Policy as Social Policy? The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 13097. http://www.nber.org/papers/w13097

5. The three papers whose citations I checked were Rick Nevin, May 2000, as above;
Rick Nevin, 2007, as above and Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, May 2007, as above.

6. Patricia L. McCalla and Kenneth C. Land, 2004. Trends in environmental lead exposure and troubled youth, 1960–1995: an age-period-cohort-characteristic analysis. Social Science Research Vol.33, pp339–359.

7. PB Stretesky and MJ Lynch, May 2001. The relationship between lead exposure and homicide. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol.155, no.5, pp579-82.

8. Paul B. Stretesky and Michael J. Lynch, June 2004. The Relationship between Lead and Crime.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol.45, no.2, pp214-229. doi: 10.1177/002214650404500207

9. Howard W. Mielke and Sammy Zahran, 2012. The urban rise and fall of air lead (Pb) and the latent surge and retreat of societal violence. Environment International Vol. 43, pp 48–55. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2012.03.005

10. Bureau of Justice, no date given. Homicide Trends in the U.S.http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/city.cfm

11. PB Stretesky and MJ Lynch, May 2001, as above.

12. Howard W. Mielke and Sammy Zahran, 2012, as above.

13. Herbert L. Needleman et al, 2002. Bone lead levels in adjudicated delinquents: a case control study. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Vol. 24, pp711 –717.

14. David K. Marcus, Jessica J. Fulton and Erin J. Clarke, 2010. Lead and Conduct Problems: a Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, vol.39, no.2, pp234-241. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15374411003591455

15. R.K. Byers and E.E. Lord, 1943. Late effects of lead poisoning on mental development, American Journal of Diseases of Children, Vol. 66, pp. 471– 483.

16. Kim M Cecil et al, 2008. Decreased Brain Volume in Adults with Childhood Lead Exposure. Decreased Brain Volume in Adults with Childhood Lead Exposure. PLoS Medicine, vol. 5, no. 5. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050112

17. Joel T. Nigg et al, January 2010. Confirmation and Extension of Association of Blood Lead with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and ADHD
Symptom Domains at Population-Typical Exposure Levels. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. Vol. 51, no.1, pp.58–65. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2009.02135.x.

18. Joe M. Braun et al, 2006. Exposures to Environmental Toxicants and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in U.S. Children. Environmental Health Perspectives vol. 114, pp.1904–1909. doi:10.1289/ehp.9478

19. John Paul Wright, Danielle Boisvert and Jamie Vaske. July 2009. Blood Lead Levels in Early Childhood Predict Adulthood Psychopathy. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, vol.7, no.3, pp.208-222. doi: 10.1177/1541204009333827

20. Rick Nevin, 2007, as above, reports that “there is no lower blood lead threshold for IQ losses”.

21. David Bellinger concludes that “No level of lead exposure appears to be ‘safe’ and even the current ‘low’ levels of exposure in children are associated with neurodevelopmental deficits.”. April 2008. Very low lead exposures and children’s neurodevelopment. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, Vol.20, no.2, pp172-177. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e3282f4f97b

23. Royal Society of Canada, 1986. Lead in the Canadian Environment. Science and Regulation. Cited by Rick Nevin, 2007, as above.

24. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1988. The Nature and Extent of Lead Poisoning in Children in the United States. US Department of Health and Human Services. Cited by Rick Nevin, 2007, as above.

25. Rick Nevin, 2007, as above.

26. Rick Nevin, February 2012. Lead Poisoning and The Bell Curve. Munich Personal RePEc Archive MPRA Paper No. 36569. http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/36569/

27. http://www.innospecinc.com/octane-additives.html

28. http://www.economist.com/news/21566385-lead-tantalisingly-close-death-2013-world-meant-stop-using-leaded-petrol-toxin

29. Anne Roberts and Elizabeth O’Brien, 2011. Supply Chain for the Lead in Leaded Petrol. LEAD Action News, vol.11, no.4.

30. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/mar/18/firm-bribes-banned-chemical-tetraethyl

31. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jun/30/octel-petrol-iraq-lead

32. I was passed by Defra to the Department for Transport, then by the DfT to the Department for Business, which told me it was all down to the European list. It was clear that none of them were remotely interested in the issue, or had considered it before.

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