Journal

In this section you will find any interesting information I have come across which I think is timely and at least somewhat urgent to know.

One of the biggest arguments against homeopathy is simply that the medicines are so dilute that there can be nothing in them, and therefore it is impossible for their to be any biological effect.

An article just came across my desk regarding a conference recently held in the UK that contains interesting information regarding the “mechanism” by which very dilute medicines are able to exert effects in biological systems.

Influenza 2018-19

December 1, 2018

The current flu season has just started to make itself noticed in Connecticut.

For those of you who use Influenzinum, now would be the time to start.

I had the impression, in the last two years, that I was getting a few more calls about the flu than usual, and I wondered if the preparation of Influenzinum was “working” as well as it had always seemed to.  But this was just a suspicion, as I wasn’t asking people who called if they had used it or not.

This year I will pay more attention to trying to correlate Influenzinum usage with flu-like illness during the flu season.  Unfortunately, there are lot of viral illnesses that look like flu but really aren’t.  The only way to know is to do an actual test for the flu virus, and so the question of the efficacy of Influenzinum may be difficult to assess.

We don’t know yet how “effective” the current vaccine will be, although certain mathematical models are predicting a relatively low efficacy, as was also true last year.  From a public health perspective, it is thought that vaccine coverage (how many people get vaccinated) may be more important than the actual efficacy of the vaccine itself.

Because of the very large number of people who are susceptible to the flu, and who actually get the flu, even a low-efficacy vaccine may still help a large number of people.

My usual recommendations have not changed.  Unless you have previously reacted negatively to the vaccine, I have no objections to its administration, with the caveat that vaccine from  single-dose vials, which do not contain mercury in the form of Thimerosal, are preferable.

Vitamin D remains important.  A recent article, available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5541280/ , which appeared in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health in May 2017 suggests that the maintenance dose for adults should be 8000 Units per day, significantly higher than previous recommendations.

All my other prior suggestions regarding hygiene and common sense, good nutrition, etc., remain in place, and can be found in the flu article on my website.

I have been in homeopathic practice for 36 years, and for the first time I have reason to think that there may be a serious threat to the availability of homeopathic remedies themselves.  The situation is complicated, and this email I am asking you to send a personal letter or email to your elected representatives in Washington DC.

As many of you know, the federal Food and Drug Association (FDA), which is responsible for regulating the homeopathic manufacturing industry to ensure public safety, is proposing a dramatic revision to the “Compliance Policy Guide” which is a set of instructions and guidelines for its inspection teams and all staff members on how to assess and act regarding homeopathic medicines.

The old guide, which is went into effect 30 years ago, gave specific and useful guidelines that have provided an environment in which safety has been maintained at a very high level, and a stable market place enabled so that it is now possible to find homeopathic remedies at health-food and grocery stores and, more recently, at pharmacies like CVS, Walgreen’s etc.

But now, for unknown reasons, and despite two days of supportive testimony and a large submission of technical and scientific data which was submitted to the FDA, a new proposed Policy Guide will completely shift the FDA’s emphasis to enforcement of what it deems potentially dangerous.  Should it be approved, it will completely eliminate the specific guidance of the former document.    An overview of the new draft guidance (with links to the complete text), while apparently well-meaning, has already created problems in the marketplace.

The FDA is rightfully concerned that some homeopathic medicines marketed to the public have toxic starting materials (for example Belladonna, Gelsemium, Nux vomica, Aconite, and others).  But the FDA no longer has the “institutional knowledge” that enabled it to develop the old Policy Guide, and does not understand that because of the very nature of homoeopathic manufacture, the doses of toxic ingredients are well below established levels of toxicity.  By naming certain medicines in the new draft, large-scale retailers, wary of liability, are starting to question and may well stop stocking certain items, because of the perception that these medicines may become “illegal.”

Because these particular medicines are extremely useful in a wide variety of illnesses that can be used for self-treatment and sold in the “over-the-counter” market, their elimination would be a serious blow to consumers and to the economic viability of manufacturers participating in the US marketplace.

The current draft does not appear to have taken any account whatsoever of the comments and scientific data from the general public, homeopathic professionals, and industry obtained at or after the public hearing of 2015.

I have personally added comments to the public docket at https:// www.regulations.gov  (see also instructions for non-electronic submission).  The comment period has recently been extended to May 21st, 2018, so by all means please add your voice.  However, I no longer believe that this action is sufficient to deal with the potential threat.   

The homeopathic professional community, together with homeopathic manufacturers and others, including the National Center for Homeopathy, has been pursuing several strategies to deal with the situation.  After attending the Board of Directors and Annual Meeting of the Membership of the Homeopathic Convention of the United States (my 34th year with this group, which maintains and publishes the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States) I have learned that there is now outreach to the United States Congress.  This strategy is now seen as the most likely to succeed, in order to impress the political leadership of the FDA at their staff are taking actions which will actually make FDA’s job more difficult at the local level, thereby wasting human resources which could be better used for other more pressing issues, for a purpose which is not even justified in the first place.

The Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention has always reached out to the FDA to offer information, guidance, and education.  These efforts appeared to have borne fruit in 2015 and 2016 resulting in the FDA  sending two observers to sit in on committee meetings which were directly relevant to FDA’s mission.  But about 12-15 months ago this cooperation completely disappeared without notice.

Senator Orrin Hatch, of Utah, a long-time supporter of “alternative medicine” has graciously authored a letter to the head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb MD in order to support our efforts.  Senator Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania, and 3 other Senators and 5 members of the House of Representatives have also signed on.  We are looking to at least double those numbers, and I am seeking your help.

While reputable homeopathic manufacturers and homeopathic practitioners have ABSOLUTELY NO ISSUE with the FDA’s role in ensuring public safety by carefully monitoring compliance with appropriate manufacturing standards, I personally feel that is important that FDA reclaim the institutional knowledge that will enable it to effectively perform its mission to protect the public safety.

Interestingly, Dan Michels, who was the head of the Compliance office at FDA when the prior Policy Guide was negotiated and who had that knowledge,  but who retired a number of years ago, was the last person to testify  at the 2015 public hearing.  He stated that the facts regarding homeopathy had not changed, and that there was no reason to change the policies put into place at that time.  By enlisting the support of Senators and Representatives at the nation’s capital, we hope to favorably influence the problems that we see and to move forward into a better relationship with the FDA.

So I am asking you to join with me in contacting your elected representatives in Washington DC.  When the voices of their constituents are received, it has much more impact than from other groups.  I have it on good authority that your email and/or letter will be read.

I am specifically asking you to write to both of your US Senators AND the Representative for your District to support these efforts.  I think that it is important to do as quickly as possible, in order to create a “crescendo” effect.

In the era of the internet, contacting your elected representatives has become straightforward.   For the purposes of this particular outreach, please use:  https://www.votervoice.net/AAHP/campaigns/57654/respond.  While the “boiler plate” suggested here seems good, it is always best to personalize it in some way.

If you have any questions regarding this outreach, please feel free the contact me.

Please feel free to  share this with anyone in the United States that you think might be interested.

Thank you for your help.

William Shevin MD, DHt.

 

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine discussed various aspects of the Influenza immunization strategies.

The full article can be read here.

In summary, the current flu season in Australia has shown very poor protection from the current vaccine, with an estimated effectiveness of 10%.  That is well below the usual 40-60% effectiveness that is more typical.  The vaccine used in Australia is identical to the one being used currently in the United States.

Because the flu virus mutates readily, one cannot assume that our experience this winter will mirror that of Australia.  The article discusses various technical issues that are involved. Those issues are thought to be related to the “low effectiveness” of last year’s flu vaccine.

Please see my article on Influenza for other ways to improve your immune response.

Flu Season 2017-2018

November 28, 2017

Flu season is upon us, and the current data (up to November 18th) show that Massachusetts is showing “regional” outbreaks (just less than “widespread”). Otherwise it is mostly southern states that are showing significant activity.

 

Vitamin D, good hygiene, and common sense will go a long way.

 

Vaccination helps some people, but not well enough to rely upon to the exclusion of other measures.

 

For those of you using influenzinum, you may certainly begin.

 

More information, as usual, can be found on the Influenza article <https://www.drshevin.com/patient_education/disease_treatment/influenza/>

on my website.

This film has been shown extensively in Europe, and is just coming to North America.

The website for the film can be found here.  Showings are being organized by local supporters of homeopathy, and all showing are supposed to have someone available to answer questions.  To cover the expenses of showing the movie at a commercial cinema, a minimum number of tickets must be sold.  I have purchased more tickets than I can use in order to support the effort, and I am hoping to promote the film here and in my alerts system.

There will be two showings in Connecticut — one on October 16th, at the BowTie Cinema in New Haven.  For tickets, click here.  As of this writing, only 10 more tickets need to be purchased in order to guarantee the showing.

The other showing will be in Hartford, at the Palace 17 Cinema on October 26th.  For tickets, click here.  50 additional tickets will be needed to guarantee that session.

Unfortunately, homeopathy is under attack in a number of places in the world today, most notably in England and Australia.  There are troubling indications that the same thing is happening in the USA.  I hope that this film is seen by a wide audience.  Thank you for your support.

 

Flu season is clearly upon us, as of the last 2 weeks. Please refer to my flu article on my website for the usual strategies.

I see that last year’s flu notice also contained references to cellphone radiation.  Since then, more information has surfaced regarding electromagnetic field radiation in general.  This would include cellphones, blue-tooth devices, wireless networking, and other sources of radiation, such as electrical “smart” meters used by the power company.  One of my sensitive patients could tell that my meter, unbeknownst to me, had been “upgraded” to the newer meters which cause more trouble for sensitive patients.  I don’t have time right now to make a list of current research validating this point easy to get to, but if anyone is curious, email me and I’ll put it together and post it.

As of the week ending 5/21/2016 (latest data available), Flu is no longer widespread in Connecticut or the other New England states (although it is still is in New York).  We were the last region to to be hit by this season’s epidemic, and are the last region for it to wind down in.  At this point we can consider it to be on it’s last legs, if not pretty much over.

Regarding the adverse health effects of cell phone and wireless radiations, I urge you to go to this posting at Natural News, which should give us all something to think about.

It has become common for women to hold their phones in their bra.  Men tend to place it in their front pockets.  If we don’t use the speaker function or ear-buds or (which emit electromagnetic frequency radiation as well), then the cell phone is right next to our brain when in use.

These all seem like bad ideas, and especially for children and teenagers, whose reproductive organs and brains are still developing.

I have several patients for whom both cellphone and wireless frequencies are very poorly tolerated.  They are probably like the “canaries in the coal mine,” more susceptible than the rest of us, but we are all being affected.

4/5/2015 — About a week ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates all drug products in this country, including homeopathic medicines, announced a 2 day public hearing which will take place on April 20th and 21st in Maryland.

The announcement can be found here:  www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/27/2015-07018/homeopathic-product-regulation-evaluating-the-food-and-drug-administrations-regulatory-framework.

In the announcement, a number of issues have been raised.  The homeopathic community has been preparing for this for some time, and since the announcement there has been quite a bit of additional preparation taking place.

There are some in the community who believe that there is an unstated agenda, and even if this is not the case, there are virulent anti-homeopathic medicine detractors out there who will seize any opportunity to denigrate homeopathic practice.

I’m writing you in the hopes that you will take the time to send written comments on your experience with homeopathy to the FDA.

I think that what is important to be said by homeopathic patients is that they have experienced benefit from these medicines (only if that is true for you, of course), and that you consider your access to bona-fide, regulated products at the “over-the-counter” level as well as from your homeopathic practitioner.

These do not need to be long or detailed.  It is by sheer volume that such letters may succeed.

To submit electronically, go to:  www.regulations.gov

To submit written comments, send them to:  Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305),

Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061,

Rockville, MD 20852

In both cases, refer to [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0540] in the header of your email or at the top of your written comments.

The announcement itself also contains information on the live webcast of the event, as well as on the availability of transcripts.

Please circulate this notice to anyone whom you think may be interested in responding.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Dr. Shevin

As of mid-January 2015, I will be discontinuing my subscription to TelehealthConnect.com which has been providing my patients with a secure messaging platform (as required by the federal HIPAA statutes).

PracticeFusion (my electronic health record [EHR]) now has a functioning secure messaging platform, that all my patients have access to provided that they create an account through PatientFusion, Only my patients have access to this platform.

To date, 624 people have done so. This undoubtedly represents more people as there are many families in my practice, but since I have approximately 1300 people in the electronic system (which I started in 2010), some of you have not signed up.

When I message you thruough the EHR, a notification will appear in your regular email in-box.  Unfortunately, as of now, no such notification appears in my regular email inbox when you message me.  This may change in the future, but for now there may be certain situation when I cannot access my EHR’s messaging system.  An example would be that when I am out for the evening, with only my cellphone, and do not have access to a computer.

It is also a lot easier for me to check email than it is my EHR messages.

Please remember that email, including the PatientFusion messaging system, is not the proper way to reach me in any kind of urgent situation.  In such cases, call my office number, press “O” during the voice message, and leave a message with the human operator who answers.  For a less urgent situation, if you send a report through PatientFusion that  you need me to read before the office opens next, also send a regular email to drshevin@drshevin.com.

If you need help registering with PatientFusion, Donna will be happy to help you out.  She can be reached at the office or at her email:  donna@drshevin.com.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Some day this system will replace my health alerts, but for the moment, if you haven’t signed up for that, please let Donna know and she will help you.