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Garland Robinette

Tune in to "The Think Tank" for independent, intelligent discussions with experts on matters of news, politics, science and much more!

Weekdays 10am-1pm

Twitter: @garlandWWL
Email: garland@wwl.com

NO DEATH PANELS, right?! So why are they all over America?

Cancer patients across this country are being told -- sorry, go home…we don’t have any more of your chemotherapy drugs.

Where’s the outrage? Where’s the media? Where the hell are you Democrat and Republican politicians, when people are dying?

Cancer care is being rationed in America.

At first I thought an email I received from William, a listener and 49-year-old cancer patient here in New Orleans, must be an isolated incident.  Wrong!

William described in his email his battle with cancer, the loss of his entire colon, and his subsequent chemotherapy.  He described how he had been through several rounds of chemotherapy to follow...Then, when he showed up one day at a New Orleans-area hospital for his scheduled chemo treatment, the doctors told him they simply were out of the chemotherapy drug. 

After reading Williams's email, and then talking to him on the air, a professor from Tulane called into my show to say he’s been following this same crisis for months.  The professor's wife is battling ovarian cancer and can no longer receive her life-saving chemotherapy, simply because the chemo drugs are not available.  Yes, this is America, but the drug that was working is no longer available for her.

The professor's research shows 136 cancer drugs are no longer accessible and 80% of hospitals are experiencing shortages of drugs for multiple life-threatening cancers. We’re talking drugs for prostate cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, leukemia, etc.. Yes, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers…children are dying.

(You can listen to the audio of the calls from both William and the Professor below.)

After the show, I started digging. Here is some of what I found in my research.

“If you’re a pediatric oncologist, you know how to cure 70 to 80 percent of patients. But without these drugs you are out of business.”

“There are plenty of new brand-name drugs that do not cure anyone, but just extend life for a few months.” (The brand-names cost up to $90,000 per patient)

“Only the older drugs that can cost as little as $3 per dose and cure cancer are unavailable.”

“I called the American Cancer Society with my dilemma and was informed that some generic (the $3 kind) drugs are not being produced, because the production companies don’t make enough profit.” (cancer patient)

“10 percent of shortages are due to lack of raw materials. Most shortages appear instead to be a consequence of corporate decisions to cease production or interruptions because of money or quality problems, which manufacturers do not appear to be in a rush to fix.”

“This shortage is even inhibiting research studies that can lead to higher cure rates: enrollment of patients in many clinical trials has been delayed or stopped.”

And, this one is my favorite: “The low profit margins mean that manufacturers face a hard choice: lose money producing a life saving drug or switch limited production capacity to a more lucrative drug"

Really, is that a serious statement? Lose money producing a life saving drug, or switch limited production capacity to a more lucrative drug??? Well, come with me. We’ll go to Children’s Hospital, let’s talk with child cancer victims, face to face. Is it a “hard” choice now?

You tell me if there is something horribly wrong in a country when Democrat and Republican club members can get crazy angry over rumors of health “death panels,” but go dumb silent when the death panels are right in front of us!

Oh I forgot a quote from the New York Times story, “Shortchanging Cancer Patients” ….”Unfortunately, there is no quick fix, because all solutions require legislation.”

If there was ever a time for you to pay attention and get active, it’s now. If there was ever a time for you to research, share information and get angry, it’s now. If there was ever a time for you to contact your Congressional delegation and demand results, it’s NOW. The United States of America is scrambling to find a solution to a shortage of vital cancer medicines. This drug supply shortage is very real and it’s been coming since 2005. How long before it touches you or a loved one personally? How many of your family members, friends or neighbors are suffering through this indignity now?

- Garland

This is the email from William that alerted me to the issue: 

From: William (Information removed by WWL)
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:41 AM
To: Garland Robinette
Subject: chemo suppliers out of chemo

To whom it may concern:

         My Name is William ___ and am 49 years old. On May 11, 2011 I was diagnosed with a ruptured Colon and stage 4 Colon and Liver Cancer at (hospital name ). I was admitted immediately and sent to emergency surgery to remove my Colon and install an Ileostomy. I then started the life saving Chemo treatments I need every 2nd Tuesday with a 5.5 hr drip and a 48 hr infusion that is pumped thru a machine attached to a port in my arm that goes straight to my heart. After 4 treatments ( I need Numerous) I went today for my 5th Chemo appt at (hospital name) and was told by my doctor the Chemo suppliers were out of Chemo as they did not produce enough for demand. I would not be getting the life saving Chemo therapy I need and they aren’t sure when more would be available. I was given an appt for next Tuesday in hopes they would have my Chemo, but no guarantees. I then came home and called the American Cancer Society with my dilemma and was informed that some Chemo treatments are now available as Generic and the companies that produce the Chemo do not make enough profit to make it. I was also informed The Chemo Suppliers do not have to inform the FDA or any other Federal Agency of the shortfall. How does anyone justify this complete lack of responsibility and compassion for the sufferers of Cancer?  What can be done to correct this so no one else ever has to endure this mental agony of not knowing whether or not you will receive the Cancer Chemo treatment that could save your life.

Thank you,
William _____

Articles you should read for more information on this:  (Click links below to open the articles:) 

Doctors see a shortage of chemotherapy drugs

Chemo shortages strain patients' treatment, medical bills

The New York Times: U.S. Scrambling to Ease Shortage of Vital Medicine

The New York Times: Shortchanging Cancer Patients

SFGate.com: Critical Drugs in Short Supply

AUDIO:  William, the 49-year-old cancer patient who wrote the initial email to Garland, calls into the "Think Tank"  

AUDIO: "Bill," a professor at Tulane University, called in immediately after William to describe the exact same thing that he and his wife are suffering through. 

Click HERE for a suggested letter to use when contacting your member of Congress on this topic.

If you are a resident of Louisiana, to contact your Representative and Senators in Congress, CLICK HERE.

If you're not a resident of Louisiana, CLICK HERE for info on contact information on the Congressional delegation in your state.  

Listen to Garland Robinette weekdays 10am to 1pm on WWL 870am; 105.3fm and WWL.com.  Email Garland at: garland@wwl.com

Photo credit: 
Mark M Newell, PhD+

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09/01/2011 11:36AM
NO DEATH PANELS, right?! So why are they all over America?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
01/11/2012 5:02PM
medicine is under stress from taxes and regulation and foreign competition
death panels might be all over america but each business in today's business climate is constantly stressed with regulation and is being taxed more in the u.s. than any country in the world. emerging nations are getting wealthier and they have medicine demands that are eroding our needs. this will get far worse after obama care which is now causing problems before it is even implemented.
01/11/2012 7:53PM
Jay Rockafeller, Senator (d) from West Virginia stated that the ideal population of the earth to be 500 million people.He sai this on 1991 , cancer is a TRIllION dollar A YEAR business.. they are using the populase through medical fright to enrich themselves... THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS IN OPEN.....
02/16/2012 2:55PM
Wake up call
Dear Garland:I remember, many years ago, watching a series of investigative reports that you did on a Mississippi man who had invented a perpetual motion machine (free energy). I don’t know how this investigation was ever reconciled, however, I believe you may have had some firsthand experience with big money and the lengths they will go to protect their “interests”. Whether they be energy corporations, drug corporations, or manufacturers of weapons of destruction, they are all controlled by international bankers, and this is not a diatribe against the wealthy, or religious, and not a judgment against anyone or anything, simply a statement of what appears to be so, as seen from the perspective of a seeker of truth, profit is more important than anything, including life, so long as that life is viewed as unworthy of life.When it comes to truth, perspective, and belief is everything. Because we do not know the truth, we simply have no choice but to rely on our beliefs about truth. The problem is that we are taught from birth that being “right” is more important than truth. Believing in the “right” “God” will lead you to heaven and believing in the “wrong” “God” or wrong “book” will lead you to hell. So which God and which book is the “right” book? The answer to that question totally depends on who you ask.We need to learn to ask ourselves better questions, and not take the answers of others as truth, but as their version of truth. Everyone has an agenda, and for the most part it is impossible to know the agenda of others, however, when it comes to big money, those who hold the purse strings have showed us, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that their agenda is to gather and hoard power and wealth, and use that power and wealth to control and manipulate (enslave) others that they believe to be inferior.The lesson that we should have learned from Hitler was the depth of depravity to which humanity is capable of sinking when one part views itself as superior to another part. Instead, what our secret government, the cloak and dagger secret agencies learned was that propaganda works very effectively to control and manipulate the masses, even if your agenda is mass genocide.These agencies have become very efficient in the clever use of propaganda to marginalize, through ridicule, conspiracy theorists in order to make them powerless and assign them to a lunatic fringe. They also use covert agents to infiltrate groups and organizations, who seek to inform the citizens of what is really happening, and disseminate large amounts of disinformation that is meant to ridicule and confuse those who seek information from these sources. Our World Wide Web or internet is itself a poignant example of the mixture of truth and propaganda disseminated to the masses.Anytime you take another person’s version of truth as your own, and close your mind to the possibility that your dogmatic beliefs may be in error, you give away your power to those who supply you with their version of truth, and like a puzzle, if you focus only on one piece of the puzzle from one perspective, without stepping back and changing your perspective to see how this piece of the puzzle might give you a greater view of the greater picture of our reality, you will never discover where you fit into the puzzle.The father of our country, George Washington himself, warned us to the dangers of our present day two party system in his farewell address. Our constitution is a social agreement based on the beliefs of a group of visionaries who sought to create a country of people, for people, an experiment in freedom that had never existed in any known historical time period, in which Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was guaranteed to all equally.Unfortunately, these visionaries did not foresee the dangers of the hypocrisy of allowing slavery to continue due to the social and economic pressures of the times. This provided an opportunity for the opportunists (which Washington warned us about) to drive a wedge into our union to divide us and eventually cause us to go to war with ourselves.In this way our once great social agreement we call our constitution has been slowly and deceptively transformed into a myriad of social disagreements, which have transformed human issues into arenas, like the old coliseums of Rome, in which the American people have become gladiators fighting for one side or the other. In an arena, winning is the only thing that matters, and so being “right” is more important than truth.Searching for truth from those engaged within these arenas simply makes us spectators who have no ability to change what is happening within the arena. Accepting another person’s truth as your own will never lead you to your own truth. As Shakespeare said; “to thine own self be true…” and your truth is the only truth that really matters to you, because, if you aren’t aware that another truth exists, it may as well not exist as far as you are concerned.Have you ever googled the name Royal Rife? What you will find may astound you even more than Williams’s cancer treatment problem. Ask yourself this question: Without multi-billion dollar diseases like cancer, where would the organizations like the American Cancer Society receive funding? If all diseases were cured would doctors sit around an emergency room waiting for a car accident, or a broken leg? Where is the profit in that?Follow the money trail, Garland, and you will find those who teach us separation through dogmatic beliefs, either religious or scientific, for science has become the new religion, and those who hold the purse strings and own all of the media don’t want us to see humanity as a unity of unique and worthy, equal individuals whose focus is on the greater picture for the greater good of all.We have been taught from birth to believe that we are free, but have we ever taken the time to ask ourselves; “What is freedom?” What does freedom mean to you? What does freedom mean to the masses? What are we really free to be, do, or have? Whatever the “government” says it is okay to be, do, and have?Our constitution has been under constant attack since its inception, and everyone who has ever taken a vow to protect it from all enemies, both foreign and domestic, has committed treason by turning a blind eye away from its attack simply because they have been taught to believe that slavery is freedom. Sincerely,Russ Hamilton
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