Pharma Echo Chamber, Sociopolitical Matrix, and Power Vortex: A Diagram-Centric Conceptualization

Alex Vasquez DO ND DC FACN

Current Status of Vortex Diagram and Descriptions
Due to escalating political misbehavior in March 2019, the main diagram has been updated and is now being further developed and more widely distributed. This version was updated on March 3, 2019, and updated versions will be periodically uploaded to the archival website: https://www.academia.edu/38476348

Previous versions
1.    This diagram originated spontaneously during the production of a review—titled “Introduction to #Cardionutrition: Kidney Stones and the Ketogenic Diet”—published in video and text format in 2018. 
2.    The diagram was again published with additional explanation in a peer-reviewed editorial published in 2019: Vasquez A, Pizzorno J. Concerns About The Integrity of The Scientific Research Process—Focus On Recent Negative Publications Regarding Nutrition, Multivitamins, Fish Oil And Cardiovascular Disease. Integrative Medicine 2019 Feb; 8-15

 

Commentary
The recent censorship of information that has occurred—originating from the United States but also influencing access to information worldwide—requires commentary, context and concrete documentation of its existence. Perhaps the most important contribution of this article is the demonstration of the interconnectedness of the systems that originate and sustain thought-control and intellectual censorship in what otherwise might appear to be democratic societies. This article contends that information requires context and that while isolated facts may be very important by themselves they cannot be more important or influential than their overall context and the resulting synergistic-exponential influence they produce; furthermore, the appreciation of these components that occur over time establishes that these events are systematic and coordinated rather than incidental and isolated. 

Data and Citations
1.    Medical journals are inherently biased toward publishing drug-praising articles that can also serve as advertisements and infomercials for the pharmaceutical industry, which commonly pays millions of dollars for journal reprints: Medical journals/organizations publish pro-drug research which becomes paid advertising when the drug companies buy reprints or direct advertising for millions of dollars (Smith, PLOS Medicine 2005).
2.    Headline-making newspapers, magazines, and television programs re-publish pro-drug information to the delight of their drug advertisers: Positive news about drugs and vaccines is headlined and featured, while actionable information about nutrition is unavailable or tainted with controversy. Medicine-positive television features "medical heroes" reinforcing medical authority, medical dependency, and the drugs-as-salvation paradigms. News stories highlighting fear of infectious diseases serve to maintain constant fear, medical dependency, and xenophobia (e.g., "Africanized" bees, Zika, El Niño, Asian flu, Xenophobia: Ebola Stigma, Discrimination for Africans. Time Magazine 2014). Many of these stories are revealed as lies after they have served their political purposes; PolitiFact named the panicked US response to Ebola as the 2014 "Lie of the Year", Time Magazine 2014. 
3.    Science and popular media become an echo chamber of biased pro-drug propaganda; drug companies pay US politicians to promote pro-drug laws (e.g., mandatory vaccinations), protect drug companies from liability (e.g., National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986), and promote international expansion of US drug sales. US politicians gag and censure free speech on topics related to medical dangers by pressuring bookstores and social media to burn books and ban documentary films. Documentary and case report films of vaccine-induced injury and death are labeled “anti-vaccine movies” and are disappeared from bookstores and media outlets. (CNN Business 2019). This government-representative-directed action must be noted as a violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution that explicitly protects “free speech” among American citizens; in the 2019 situation, the books and documentary films were effectively banned from public access when a US politician sent a “warning letter” to various social media platforms and media retailers, thereby using government influence to restrict privately-distributed access to information. U.S. Constitution, First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
4.    Drug companies become more profitable and therefore more powerful than governments. Drug companies utilize US political and military power by influencing international trade agreements, eg, enforcing mandatory drug/vaccine policies, dismantling consumer protections, replicating US's healthcare bureaucracy, expense, risk; note the Orwellian description of vaccines as "weapons of mass protection" (Milstien et al, Health Affairs 2006) and the deployment of military forces under the banner of humanitarian health aid (National armies for global health? Lancet 2014) 
5.    Drug companies infiltrate media, television shows, education, and public policy. Defunding public science forces schools and journals to rely on pharma funding. Drug companies pay "researchers", professors, and editors to publish and teach information favorable to the drug paradigm and products; medical schools love to receive funding from drug companies. Medical students and doctors are kept insanely busy, exhausted, suicidally depressed/stressed, and fearfully compliant; anyone who questions the drug paradigm, especially vaccines, is a target for censure, expulsion. US medical physicians have the highest rates of suicide of any profession. (Physicians Experience Highest Suicide Rate of Any Profession. Medscape 2018)
6.    International political agreements are written to the favor of drug companies rather than to the citizens of those countries: Notice the language of such "free trade" agreements, "seek the elimination of government measures such as price controls and reference pricing which deny full market access for United States products in overseas markets... legalizing direct to consumer advertising (DTCA) via the internet: Each Party shall permit a pharmaceutical manufacturer to disseminate… information regarding its pharmaceuticals that are approved for sale in the Party’s territory…" Lopert R, Gleeson D. The High Price of “Free” Trade: U.S. Trade Agreements and Access to Medicines. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2013. "The United State seeks to redesign national health care systems in its own image... By concluding bilateral and regional agreements, the United States is gaining greater influence over the domestic health care and drug coverage programs of its trading partners... The U.S. (and Australian) pharmaceutical industry perceived a free trade agreement to present an opportunity to undermine the evidence-based, strict and effective procedures underpinning Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)... After the treaty’s conclusion, however, drug manufacturers expressed delight with the implications for prices, profits and investment... Free trade agreements reflect the U.S.’ enduring adherence to market-based solutions, coupled with a conviction that government intervention is unnecessary and unhelpful. Thus the U.S. Trade Representative is mandated to pursue “the elimination of government measures such as price controls and reference pricing which deny full market access for United States products” in overseas markets. This is despite the U.S. health care system itself exhibiting the characteristics of market failure... enabling triple damages for patent violations... The United States deploys an aggressive trade agenda to expand markets for U.S. goods and services " Tully SR. Free Trade Agreements with The United States: 8 Lessons For Prospective Parties From Australia’s Experience. British Journal of American Legal Studies 2016. "There is growing international concern about the risks posed by direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription pharmaceuticals, including via the internet. Recent trade agreements negotiated by the United States, however, incorporate provisions that may constrain national regulation of DTCA. Some provisions explicitly mention DTCA; others enable foreign investors to seek compensation if new regulations are seen to harm their investments." Gleeson D, Menkes DB. Trade Agreements and Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 2013. "Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials. … When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs. The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced." Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials. New York Times 2018 "Global health experts say breast milk is especially important for babies in poor countries, where unsafe water supplies can make powdered infant formula dangerous. The Trump administration’s aggressive attempts to water down an international resolution supporting breast-feeding go against decades of advice by most medical organizations and public health experts." Trump Stance on Breast-Feeding and Formula Criticized by Medical Experts. New York Times July 9, 2018

 

Current status of Vortex Diagram
This article is currently being updated, cited and substantiated. This version was updated on March 3, 2019, and upcoming versions will be uploaded to the archival website: https://www.academia.edu/38476348

 
Citations
1.    Vasquez A. Introduction to #Cardionutrition: Kidney Stones and the Ketogenic Diet. academia.edu/36947369/Introduction_to_Cardionutrition_Kidney_Stones_and_the_Ketogenic_Diet 
2.    Vasquez A, Pizzorno J. Concerns About the Integrity of The Scientific Research Process. Integrative Medicine 2019 Feb; 8-15 https://www.ichnfm.org/public 
3.    Smith R (2005) Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies. PLoS Med 2(5): e138. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020138 
4.    Sanburn J. Ebola Brings Another Fear: Xenophobia. Time Magazine. October 29, 2014 http://time.com/3544130/ebola-panic-xenophobia/ 
5.    Liljas P. PolitiFact named the panicked US response to Ebola as the 2014 "Lie of the Year", Time Magazine Dec 16, 2014 http://time.com/3635315/ebola-lie-of-the-year/ see also Angie Drobnic Holan, Aaron Sharockman. PolitiFact names its 2014 Lie of the Year. https://www.politifact.com/texas/article/2014/dec/15/politifact-names-its-2014-lie-year-tx/ Monday, December 15th, 2014 
6.    Sarlin J. Anti-vaccine movies disappear from Amazon after CNN Business report. CNN Business. March 1, 2019 https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/01/tech/amazon-anti-vaccine-movies-schiff/index.html 
7.    Milstien JB, Kaddar M, Kieny MP. The impact of globalization on vaccine development and availability. Health Aff (Millwood). 2006 Jul-Aug;25(4):1061-9 https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.25.4.1061 
8.    “The stated aims of the DoD have moved from just protecting the health of US forces and US citizens from security threats to “partnering with other nations to achieve security cooperation and build partner capacity”. But this concept reflects the challenges posed by placing military personnel in sites of public health emergencies: the goals of deployments are in support of military strategy rather than as a purely humanitarian action. The use of the military for humanitarian operations is not militarily, politically, or legally neutral. Peacekeeping with combat troops has often proved to be a complicated arrangement and at times at odds with humanitarian needs and sometimes a precursor to hostility.” National armies for global health? Lancet. 2014 Oct 25;384(9953):1477. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61923-1 
9.    "With one completed suicide every day, US physicians have the highest suicide rate of any profession. In addition, the number of physician suicides is more than twice that of the general population, new research shows." Anderson P. Physicians Experience Highest Suicide Rate of Any Profession. Medscape May 07, 2018 https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/896257 
10.    Lopert R, Gleeson D. The High Price of “Free” Trade: U.S. Trade Agreements and Access to Medicines. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2013 Apr, 199-223 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/jlme.12014 
11.    Tully SR. Free Trade Agreements with The United States: 8 Lessons For Prospective Parties From Australia’s Experience. British Journal of American Legal Studies 2016 Dec, 395-418 https://doi.org/10.1515/bjals-2016-0014 
12.    Gleeson D, Menkes DB. Trade Agreements and Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 2013 Feb, 98-100 http://dx.doi.org/10.15171/ijhpm.2017.124 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5819384/ 
13.    Jacobs A. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials. New York Times July 8, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/health/world-health-breastfeeding-ecuador-trump.html 
14.    Rabin CR. Trump Stance on Breast-Feeding and Formula Criticized by Medical Experts. New York Times July 9, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/09/well/breastfeeding-trump-resolution.html 

About the author and presenter: Alex Kennerly Vasquez DO ND DC (USA), Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN), Overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine: An award-winning clinician-scholar and founding Program Director of the world's first fully-accredited university-based graduate program in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Dr Alex Vasquez is recognized internationally for his high intellectual and academic standards and for his expertise spanning and interconnecting many topics in medicine and nutrition. Dr Vasquez holds three doctoral degrees as a graduate of University of Western States (Doctor of Chiropractic, 1996), Bastyr University (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, 1999), and University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, 2010). Dr Vasquez has completed hundreds of hours of post-graduate and continuing education in subjects including Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Basic and Advanced Disaster Life Support, Nutrition and Functional Medicine; while in the final year of medical school, Dr Vasquez completed a Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research hosted by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr Vasquez is the author of many textbooks, including Integrative Orthopedics (2004, 2007 2012), Functional Medicine Rheumatology (Third Edition, 2014), Musculoskeletal Pain: Expanded Clinical Strategies (commissioned and published by Institute for Functional Medicine, 2008), Chiropractic and Naturopathic Mastery of Common Clinical Disorders (2009), Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine for Chronic Hypertension (2011), Brain Inflammation in Migraine and Fibromyalgia (2016), Mitochondrial Nutrition and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Primary Care, 2nd Edition (2014), Antiviral Strategies and Immune Nutrition (2014), Mastering mTOR (2015), Autism, Dysbiosis, and the Gut-Brain Axis (2017) and the 1200-page Inflammation Mastery 4th Edition (2016) also published as a two-volume set titled Textbook of Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine. "DrV" has also written approximately 100 letters and articles for professional magazines and medical journals such as TheLancet.com, British Medical Journal (BMJ), Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Nutritional Perspectives, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Original Internist, Integrative Medicine, Holistic Primary Care, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA), Dynamic Chiropractic, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Current Asthma and Allergy Reports, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Nature Reviews Rheumatology, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, and Arthritis & Rheumatism, the Official Journal of the American College of Rheumatology. Dr Vasquez lectures internationally to healthcare professionals and has a consulting practice and service for doctors and patients. DrV has served as a consultant, product designer, writer and lecturer for Biotics Research Corporation since 2004. Having served on the Review Boards for Journal of Pain Research, Autoimmune Diseases, PLOS One, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Neuropeptides, International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Journal of Inflammation Research, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (all PubMed/Medline indexed), Integrated Blood Pressure Control, Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, and Journal of Naturopathic Medicine and as the founding Editor of Naturopathy Digest, Dr Vasquez is currently the Editor (2013-) of International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine and Editor (2018-present) of Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, published for more than 50 consecutive years by the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine.