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IDEA LOG: March 15, 2012 — The James Gang @ 11:54 am      

Building a grassroots database to send a message to Big Pharma

 

Do any of your family or friends suffer from prescription drug side effects? If so, this is a website that you’ll want to know about and share. The James Gang got involved in sending a message to Big Pharma through a personal connection. Friends of ours, whose son died due to prescription drug side effects, contacted us to help with this important cause. Julie and Peter Wood, along with psychiatrist and Pharmageddon author Dr. David Healy, are profiled in the Globe and Mail: Drug-risk website aimed at consumers.

“A high-profile critic of Big Pharma and a Toronto couple are building a grassroots database to gather information about side effects” Globe and Mail

We are working with Dr. David Healy, Dr. Nancy Olivieri, many other medical professionals, and patient advocates like Julie and Peter Wood, to build a database of real-world, patient-reported, drug side effects. This grassroots data will be used to provide the full picture on prescription drug side effects. Most of us believe that Rx drugs are fully tested, and pronounced safe, before being sold. However the determination of what is “safe” is currently skewed by clinical trials. The trials are controlled by pharmaceutical companies whose objective is to sell as much product as possible. To do this they promote the benefits and minimize the dangers of their medications. Drug side effects which are not listed as “known side effects” are often dismissed by both the drug companies and doctors.

To counter this distortion, RxISK.org will collect patient data on drug side effects, publish the data publicly, and provide a free report to patients to take to their doctors. The big bonus for patients, is that once this medical data is published, the drug companies are obligated to acknowledge the negative side effects exist.

“In designing RxISK.org, we recognized the powerful opportunity we had to combine grassroots activism, social media, and storytelling to deliver a message to Big Pharma they couldn’t ignore. We decided to use Skype, and other video-conferencing software, to interview patients around the world — and ask them to tell us their true-life stories about drug side effects and the impact its had on their lives.” Billiam James, Co-founder The James Gang

RxISK.org will feature personal stories — Skype interviews — with people around the world who want to share their personal experiences to help raise awareness about dangers of prescription drug side effects. Here is the first published interview with Maria Bradshaw, the co-founder and CEO of CASPER (Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education & Research) in New Zealand.

The site has just been launched in beta-mode with a complete search function listing all medical drug side effects using FDA and Lexi-Comp Data. We are working on the patient reporting function, which will record and save patient-reported side effects. Users will be able to print-out this detailed listing of side effects and share it with their doctor and pharmacist.

See: http://www.rxisk.org

 


1 Comment »

  1. Comment by David MENEAR — June 3, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    Excellent work. Poignant and informative and still with a light humour.

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IDEA LOG: November 14, 2011 — The James Gang @ 11:47 am      

Banned on the Hill (and in Europe!)

Is fear of the “Dirty Oil” label behind Canada’s tarring of artist’s European show?

Banned on the Hill with Franke James
fishing buddies by Franke James
donate list illustration by Franke James
do not call by Franke James
harpers blacklist illustration by Franke James features Adrian Measner, Arthur Carty, Benard Shapiro, Deanna Allen, Errol Mendes, Linda Keen, Luc Pomerleau, Marty Cheliak, Remy Beauregard, Richard Colvin, Munir Sheikh, Sean Bruyea, Pat Stogran, Steve Sullivan, Sheridan Scott, Paul Kennedy, Peter Tinsley, Franke James
trouble for writing by Franke James
polluters must pay illustration by Franke James
kids clean up by Franke James
such a pickle illustration by Franke James

taught to speak up by Franke James
big dream illustration by Franke James
combo dream illustration by Franke James
delicate ballet by Franke Jamescanadian embassy illustration by Franke James
off the record illustration by Franke James
oh my goodness by Franke James
Ottawa unhappy illustration by Franke James
top official by Franke James

who is the idiot illustration by Franke James
cockroach by Franke James
Harper with Blacklist flag by Franke James
Harper's Grand Vision to use the sky as a sewer by Franke James
canned illustration by Franke James
Harper government on the record by Franke James
ATI: Harper government GLB Sylvie Gauvin approves funding for Franke James artshow
Deputy Director Jeremy Wallace at DFAIT climate change office kills the show
See government documents…
Red Herring by Franke James
ripple  illustration by Franke James
crossfires by Franke James
Don Quixote  illustration by Franke James

alice by Franke James
Harper Gov is huge illustration by Franke James
just one person illustration by Franke James
speak up illustration by Franke James
bright light illustration by Franke James
twitter support illustration by Franke James
twitter support illustration by Franke James
storyroute care2 petition assembly by Franke JamesPlease, add your name to the petition!
desmogblog article by richard littlemore
articles
concerns
david hodgson connected me with colin mutchler at loudsauce
Colin and Franke in Google chat
posters in Ottawa
crowdfund with @costrike tweet
loudsauce funders
blacklisting
2007
afraid
power to change
dirty canada
green
sustain power green

cruel ironystop loafing

write your own dear pm letter
canada was a colossal fossil
leader

Three questions that need to be asked:

  1. What about the truth? Has the Canadian government’s commitment to its policies superseded its commitment to the truth?
  2. What about the government’s duty to protect its citizens? Is it right for the Canadian Government to do everything it can to protect its economic interests, even if it means harming the well-being, or destroying opportunities, for some of its citizens? And if so, who decides which citizens or groups are disposable?
  3. What about free speech? Do these actions by the government — deliberate efforts to silence dissenting opinions about its policies — put the Canadian right to Freedom of Speech at risk?

Read the highlights or download the entire ATI release of 165 pages of documents.

Banned on the Hill Posters

Here is the artwork for the six “Dear Prime Minister” posters:
Dear Prime Minister, Please stop blacklisting our environmental messengers. Artists and scientists are the early warning system. Dear Prime Minister, The Tar Sands is Canada's biggest and fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. Will our kids be angry that Alberta was ravaged? Less than 1% of of the land has been certified as reclaimed. Dear Prime Minister, Canadians Joke about global warming. Is that because the hard truths have been played down? Please stop muzzling our scientists.

Dear Prime Minister, you say that the other parties are 'Dangerous' because they will tax pollution. But if we don't tax pollution who will clean up the mess. Dear Prime Minister, CO2 keeps rising but our leaders keep loafing. Please do something before we are all toast. Dear Prime Minister, Is it right to use the sky as a sewer?

Thanks to everyone who helped bring this message to the streets of Ottawa through LoudSauce:
LoudSauce
Thanks to Scott Olson, Christine Penner, Charles Monpetit, Hilary McLeod, Mark C. Robins, Carola Koitz, Bernd Nurnberger, Sven Eberlein, Pamela Allard, Elijah van der Giessen, Carolyn Stephens, Susan Huber, Anneliza Humlen, Chris Oestereich, Trevor Rotzien, Harriet Shugarman, Antonio D'souza, Alain Boisvert, Colin Mutchler, Billiam James, and many others who gave their support for this campaign.

poster on the hill
Banned on the Hill opening photos

See photos:
Victory! Banned on the Hill Opening in Ottawa

CREDITS:

Banned on the Hill © 2011 Franke James

Photographs, illustrations and writing by Franke James, MFA;

Executive Summary ATI: Summary of key pages in the Access To Information documents.

[Full] Access To Information Document: DFAIT Internal Communications regarding Franke James
Internal Government Documents related to the cancellation of Franke’s European Tour. Released on October 31, 2011. Contains 165 pages plus cover letter. Download PDF

LoudSauce LoudSauce: a new way to fund media space for ideas that matter.

Dear Prime Minister: Why are you making us choose between the economy and the environment?

CARE2 PETITION: Please sign the petition for free speech for Canadian artists. Thanks to Cathryn Wellner for spearheading this!
Sign the Care2 petition

“BANNED ON THE HILL” BACKGROUND RESEARCH:

Canadian Embassy Coaches Diplomats To Promote Tar Sands, Overstate Environmental Protection Efforts DeSmogBlog

Diplomats should promote fossil fuels in response to criticism Financial Post

Harper Government Guts Environment Programmes
Canada’s Stephen Harper government is spending more than 60 billion dollars on new military jets and warships while slashing more than 200 million dollars in funding for research and monitoring of the environment. IPS, Stephen Leahy

Scientist surfaces to praise ozone monitoring amidst federal review
Until now, the Conservative government, facing criticism about its decision to review resources in the monitoring network, has prevented [David] Tarasick from speaking publicly about the research. Mike De Souza, Postmedia

Canada’s crude politics on oil sands
Stephen Harper’s government, allied with big oil, is lobbying Europe not to regulate tar sands oil, but the pushback has begun. Martin Lukacs, The Guardian

New documents reveal Canada’s secret ‘Oil Sands Team’ in Europe; Geoff Dembicki, The Tyee

Documents Reveal Canada’s Secret ‘Oil Sands Team’ in Europe; Emma Pullman, DeSmogBlog

VOICES-VOIX SITE: The facts: Silencing Canadian voices.
Unfortunately, in recent years, successive governments have not respected these democratic principles. Instead, Canadian organizations and individuals who disagree with the government have been attacked, muzzled, censored, marginalized, and bullied. Institutions for knowledge and research that shed critical light on the government’s actions have been abolished, sabotaged, undermined, and weakened. Voices-Voix

Fear and loathing in Ottawa Linda Diebel, Toronto Star
“I should be able to speak my mind on political issues, but I’ve found members of the Conservative party seem to be more sensitive to criticism than other parties,” she says. “They make it very personal.” Heather MacIvor, University of Windsor

Psst… Harper Wins CAJ secrecy award
“Harper’s white-knuckled death grip on public information makes this the easiest decision the cabal of judges has ever rendered,” said CAJ President Mary Agnes Welch. “He’s gone beyond merely gagging cabinet ministers and professional civil servants, stalling access to information requests and blackballing reporters who ask tough questions. He has built a pervasive government apparatus whose sole purpose is to strangle the flow of public information.” Canadian Assoc of Journalists

One Department/One Voice: Environment Canada’s shift in 2007 to “one department, one voice” which restricts access to scientists by the media. (See report below which states that the protocol has resulted in an 80% drop in Climate Change science coverage in the media.)

Troubling Evidence: The Harper Government’s Approach to Climate Science Research in Canada
This report documents a troubling catalogue of actions by the present federal government that undermine Canadian climate science research and its practitioners… Environment Canada has adopted a new media relations policy that makes it much more difficult for journalists to have direct access to government scientists. Climate Action Network

Harper’s Humiliating Muzzle on Scientists: Canada is becoming a global joke as our world-class experts are prohibited from speaking. The scandal is growing at Environment Canada of how Canadian climate researchers are being “muzzled” by draconian policies of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Tyee

Critics label Harper’s growing ‘black list’ a threat to democracy; Mark Kennedy, Postmedia

Stephen Harper’s Hitlist
Power, process and the assault on democracy; By Murray Dobbin, Council of Canadians

Banned on the Hill © 2011 Franke James
All photos and illustrations by Franke James except as noted: istockphoto © photo of Bird in “Do-Not-Call-List”, © modified heads in “Common Concerns”; Getty Images © cockroach; Icon photos of funders are © each individual funder.


1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Liz Throop — May 15, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    Your work, and your discussion of it, are tremendously inspiring. Keep up the good work!

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