Health Impact News Editor Comments

We have covered the history of the government’s relentless attacks against cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D. His story has also been documented in an award winning film, and you can watch one of the trailers above. You can purchase the entire film below. Dr. Burzynski has cured many people of cancer without FDA approved drugs, which is a direct threat to the largest pharmaceutical business in the world today: Cancer Treatment.

The Alliance for Natural Health brings us the latest updates on how the FDA is still attacking this doctor in Houston, by using the mainstream media, specifically USA Today. In the process, they have violated their own laws regarding patient privacy in their effort to attack Dr. Burzynski, who has been successful in treating cancer without FDA approved drugs.

UPDATE 1/21/2014:

From Alliance for Natural Health:

FDA unfairly blamed? In this instance, yes.

ANH-USA strives to provide our readers with accurate, evidence-based news with integrity, and to immediately update or correct any information.

In our recent article “Dying Patients Denied Access to Dr. Burzynski’s Potentially Lifesaving Treatment,” we quoted a Burzynski clinic employee who stated that the FDA shared private medical records with a USA Today reporter. We have since learned that this was not accurate.

USA Today’s reporter had previously stated, “I read about N’s case in a document that Dr. Burzynski sent to the FDA, in response to its ongoing investigation.” This seemed to confirm the allegation that the FDA had given the reporter confidential patient information. However, in response to our article, the reporter now says, “Those patient records did not come from the FDA, so there was no privacy violation on their part.” The first statement appears to have been an attempt to protect the identity of the person who did provide the confidential patient information.

Read More.

Unbelievable! FDA Violates Patient Privacy Laws to Bring Down Dr. Burzynski

by Alliance for Natural Health

USA Today inadvertently revealed that the FDA has released private medical records to the media—without patient consent. Action Alert!

As we report in our article, “Inside USA Today’s Smear Campaign Against Dr. Burzynski,” USA Today recently published a series of misleading articles, vilifying Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, a cancer pioneer specializing in hard-to-treat cancers, who has saved many lives. In the course of their otherwisereckless “reporting,” USA Today inadvertently exposed the FDA’s violation of patient privacy laws, destroying the reputation of a natural health practitioner—specifically, the sharing of complete patient records without consent.

In the 1980s—and again in 2012—the Texas Medical Board (TMB) charged this caring and pioneering doctor with breaking a law that didn’t exist, and tried to revoke his medical license. By the USA Today’s own admission, he was cleared each time, and numerous investigations later—including an appearance before the Texas Supreme Court—found there was no violation of any law or standard of care.

“With our treatments, we can save 20,000 American lives annually,” Dr. Burzynski told ANH-USA. “But the FDA is covering this up with insignificant details….The FDA wants to bury this information from the public.” This is evident in the FDA’s recently released warning letter to Dr. Burzynski, and the agency’s apparent cooperation with USA Today.

Part of the FDA’s job is to issue warning letters to drug, food, and dietary supplement manufacturers, as well as drug trial sponsors, in order to notify them of possible FDA violations and encourage voluntary compliance. Warning letters to drug study sponsors, called “483s,” are the most common: they account for about 60% of all warning letters. In 2012, the FDA issued 787 483s.

Although common warning letters aren’t particularly newsworthy, they can be effectively wielded as a political tool: warning letters have been used to censor consumer Internet speech and deny consumer access to at-home DNA testing. But there’s a new, even more alarming trend in warning letters: these interim letters, which have no legal significance, are being cited as evidence by state medical boards of practitioner misconduct.

Essentially, warning letters—which are intended to give practitioners, researchers, and manufacturers a voluntary avenue to address agency concerns without legal repercussions—are being used in a coordinated effort by the FDA and state medical boards to damage the reputations of and pursue legal action against integrative practitioners. We’ve seen this type of FDA/state medical board “cooperation” before—but according to healthcare lawyer Rick Jaffe, a recent 483 sent to Dr. Burzynski and the USA Today’s unusual interest in it, is an update and expansion of this highly questionable tactic.

The USA Today’s article—the third in a series attacking Dr. Burzynski—details the warning letter and the FDA inspection that lead to it, as if such an investigation and letter were novel and unique. In actuality, it’s completely routine; Dr. Burzynski is currently following normal procedure and has recently submitted his response, which among other things details the incorrect statements made in the warning letter.

The article is a win/win/win for the media, the FDA, and the Texas State Medical Board: USA Today gets to tout how it was “right” about Dr. Burzynski (the first paragraph of the story boasts that Dr. Burzynski was “the subject of a USA Today investigation”); the FDA—which has failed to successfully shut down Dr. Burzynski lifesaving clinic—gets to take a pot-shot at Dr. Burzynski outside of the court; and the TMB garners public support for its vendetta against the Burzynski clinic. Who loses? Dr. Burzynski’s patients. Read our article on how several cancer sufferers have been denied his potentially life-saving treatment.

The USA Today article sparked a media firestorm. In the process, however, they inadvertently revealed evidence of FDA misconduct and collusion between the FDA and USA Today:

  • A high-level Burzynski Clinic staff member told ANH-USA that one concerned patient called the FDA to learn more about Dr. Burzynski’s innovative treatments, and the FDA sent the patient a link to the USA Today article.
  • The FDA violated Burzynski patients’ privacy. “A lot of our patients were obviously very irked about the article, and called the USA Today team,” a Burzynski staff member told us. “The parents of one young patient called a USA Today reporter, who then sent the parents their own child’s confidential medical records—which the reporter had received from the FDA. The family frantically called us [the clinic], ‘I just got an email from USA Today, they sent me our son’s full medical records!’” The reporter had sent not only the son’s medical records, but those of other patients as well.

The FDA is not supposed to release medical records to the public. The agency has always had inappropriate relationships with state medical boards and the media, but now they’ve crossed the line to outright violation of patient rights. ANH-USA is currently assessing the legal ramifications of the FDA’s actions. In the meantime, it’s time to call for a full congressional investigation into the FDA’s actions, including its inappropriate information-sharing with media contacts and state medical boards.

Action Alert! Contact your senators and representative immediately and call for a full congressional investigation into the FDA’s violation of patient rights. Send your message today!



Exclusive: Inside USA Today’s Smear Campaign Against Dr. Burzynski

First they malign the cancer pioneer, then they refuse him the ability to rebut the allegations. Action Alert!

In recent months, USA Today has released a spate of anti-natural health articles:

What is behind the mainstream media’s outright hostility to supplements and natural medicine? We can’t be sure. But we do know that the mainstream media as a whole would likely be bankrupt today without drug company advertising.

Of these three USA Today articles, the personal attack on Dr. Burzynski, who has helped so many people survive incurable cancers, seemed to us particularly offensive.

In an exclusive interview with the doctor and renowned healthcare lawyer Rick Jaffe, ANH-USA learned how USA Today’s “reporting” manipulated its readers, further obscured the truth by denying Dr. Burzynski his right to respond, and accidentally revealed the FDA’s illegal dissemination of confidential medical records to the USA Today reporter.

We’ve told you before about cancer pioneer Stanislaw Burzynski, MD, PhD, a Texas-based physician and biochemist. Dr. Burzynski developed (with his own money) a nontoxic gene-targeted cancer therapy called antineoplastons, which has been shown to control or cure some of the most “incurable” forms of brain cancer. At his clinic in Texas, Dr. Burzynski and his team of skilled doctors provided individualized multi-agent gene-targeted therapies to patients, most of whom have failed mainstream, “one-size-fits-all” cancer treatments.

Given the USA Today reporter’s previously over-the-top review of Paul Offit’s book (which contained a long and highly biased chapter on Dr. Burzynski), the doctor was not surprised to find that two new articles, “Doctor Accused of Selling False Hope to Families” and “Experts Dismiss Doctor’s Cancer Claims,” both published on November 18, were distorted and deeply unfair. According to Rick Jaffe,

Both these articles were riddled with inaccuracies and promoted outrageous far-fetched speculations. For example, they stated that all terminally ill patients cured by the Burzynski clinic were either previously cured by non-curative treatments, or perhaps that the patients never had cancer. Dr. Burzynski does not diagnose cancer; he only treats people with confirmed cancer, and most of his patients have already failed one or more forms of conventional therapy.

Jaffe also gave the reporter and the quoted “experts” a left-handed compliment by conceding, “These folks had to get very creative to dismiss the fact that so many terminally ill brain cancer patients are still alive. But that’s the nature of bias: facts don’t matter—nor do live patients who are supposed to be dead. Instead, just focus on some unfortunate terminal patients who succumbed to their disease while being treated at the Burzynski clinic.” And that’s exactly what the USA Today story did.

Independently, ANH-USA has evaluated these articles, and agrees with Mr. Jaffe’s assessment. To give just a few examples, the “Doctor Accused” article:

  • Cites the lack of published random-controlled trials (RCTs) as evidence of antineoplastons’ uselessness, while omitting the fact that the efficacy of the treatment has recently been confirmed by a randomized, clinical trial by Japanese researchers. And of course ANH-USA has repeatedly had to point out that RCT’s are enormously expensive. Nobody but drug companies can afford them, and they will usually only undertake them if the treatment is under patent and therefore a government enforced monopoly. In addition, there is growing evidence that RCTs, particularly in the context of individualized treatments, should no longer be considered the “gold standard” for drug efficacy.
  • Claims there is no evidence that Dr. Burzynski has cured “a single patient”, despite the fact that none of the article’s quoted experts who have reviewed even one case among the several hundreds of clinical trial patients with documented responses to the treatment or the seventy-seven patients in the brain tumor trials who are long-term survivors.
  • Touts the number of cancer drugs approved by the FDA (108) since Burzynski began his trials, discrediting Dr. Burzynski’s statement that proper approval of treatments takes time. Again, Dr. Burzynski does not have the backing of a big drug company. Moreover, the speed at which drugs are approved is no indication of quality: a recent study found that in the past thirty years, 90% of all new drugs approved by the FDA were barely more effective than existing drugs, if at all. Many of these new cancer drugs show only a very small survival benefit, while antineoplastons have dozens and dozens of long-term survivors from some of the most virulent forms of brain cancer. In reality, then, the article is more an indictment of the FDA cancer drug approval process than of Dr. Burzynski!

A portion of ANH-USA’s research focus has been on how dangerous drugs are approved and prescribed for the benefit of Big Pharma, the government, and the pocketbooks of some individual doctors. However, the average consumer reading a USA Today article wouldn’t have any knowledge of this highly specific topic, because USA Today, byconcealing the truth from the average consumer, generates media buzz.

Disappointed and alarmed by the USA Today’s slander, Dr. Burzynski and Mr. Jaffe asked the paper to rescind or amend their article. They refused. Seeking a constructive, balanced dialogue, Dr. Burzynski respectfully asked for an opportunity to rebut USA Today via a short op-ed or opinion piece. USA Today agreed; Dr. Burzynski submitted an approximately 450-word rebuttal that cited hard data about Dr. Burzynski’s treatments—such as the fact that of 401 brain tumor patients with a life expectancy of less than one year, seventy-seven of them survived over five years.

According to Dr. Burzynski and Mr. Jaffe, USA Today claimed that, due to the letter’s length, they were unable to print it in its entirety, and sent back an edited version that was stripped of any specific facts and statistics. To accommodate USA Today, Dr. Burzynski submitted a much shorter letter that still included hard facts. Again, the USA Today refused to publish, this time claiming that they “fact-checked” all of their letters to the editor, and “couldn’t verify” Dr. Burzynski’s statistics—“which is ironic,” Mr. Jaffe told ANH-USA, “because they certainly didn’t fact-check their articles on Dr. Burzynski.”

Action Alert! Ask USA Today to publish Dr. Burzynski’s op-ed rebuttal or at least a letter to the editor! Please write to USA Today immediately and ask them to allow the target of their smear campaign to rebut their article with the hard facts about his treatment. Please take action immediately!


See Also:

Cancer Patients Die as FDA Restricts Dr. Burzynski’s Treatment


Dr. Burzynski’s Cancer Cure the FDA Tried to Suppress

Purchase both DVDs


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We Lost the War on Cancer – Review of Alternative Cancer Therapies

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We have lost the war on cancer. At the beginning of the last century, one person in twenty would get cancer. In the 1940s it was one out of every sixteen people. In the 1970s it was one person out of ten. Today one person out of three gets cancer in the course of their life.

The cancer industry is probably the most prosperous business in the United States. In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the US. $6 billion of tax-payer funds are cycled through various federal agencies for cancer research, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI states that the medical costs of cancer care are $125 billion, with a projected 39 percent increase to $173 billion by 2020.

The simple fact is that the cancer industry employs too many people and produces too much income to allow a cure to be found. All of the current research on cancer drugs is based on the premise that the cancer market will grow, not shrink.

John Thomas explains to us why the current cancer industry prospers while treating cancer, but cannot afford to cure it in Part I. In Part II, he surveys the various alternative cancer therapies that have been proven effective, but that are not approved by the FDA.

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