MMS is usually offered as a solution in two small bottles

MMS is usually offered as a solution in two small bottles

Health experts have been sounding the alarm for several years because the weapon against deadly infections threatens to become blunt. The number of resistances to antibiotics is growing rapidly, many bacteria can no longer be broken down – and this is largely the fault of the human being. Probiotic foods: What they really can doMulti-resistant germs: What is behind the hospital germ? Home remedies for cystitis: What to do about Cystitis?

What if countries don’t get the problem under control soon? "In the worst case, people die again from simple infections of the bladder, pneumonia or sepsis because the drugs do not work"says Sprenger, who heads the WHO department for combating antibiotic resistance. According to an expert estimate, 25,000 people per year in the EU died of an infection with bacteria that were resistant to the antibiotics used ten years ago.

The discovery of penicillin

In 1928, when simple wound infections or diphtheria, pneumonia and tuberculosis were often a death sentence for patients: after returning from vacation, a Scottish bacterial researcher notices that a mold had formed on a bacterial culture in his laboratory and destroyed the bacteria. The fungus is called Penicillium. Alexander Fleming (1881 to 1955) was immediately aware of his groundbreaking discovery. But it will take another 14 years before the first penicillin comes onto the market. Fleming received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1945.

After penicillin, other anti-bacterial compounds are found. But bacteria develop survival strategies against substances that harm them in ancient and natural ways. You become resistant. But doctors, patients and farmers also contribute to the problem: farmers because they have used antibiotics extensively in factory farming for a long time and sometimes still use them to protect their more vulnerable animals from epidemics. The antibiotics enter the human food chain through meat and allow bacteria to get used to them.

The number of resistant bacterial groups is increasing

The situation is different with doctors and patients. "It’s a cultural phenomenon"says Sprenger. "Even if many infections go away on their own after a few days, patients often ask for antibiotics and doctors are too quick to grant their wishes." While a doctor in Western Europe can often calm patients down and send them home with home remedies, patients in poorer countries who pay for a doctor’s visit out of their own pocket often ask for medication.

The differences are already drastic within the EU: In southern and central Europe – for example Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Poland – well over 50 percent of certain groups of bacteria are in some cases resistant to individual antibiotics. In Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia it is usually well below ten percent. In Greece and Cyprus, the consumption of antibiotics per 1,000 inhabitants is about twice as high as in Germany.

New active ingredients are currently being investigated

In some countries antibiotics are even available on the street corner or on the market. In others, the active ingredients are diluted by unscrupulous profiteers. An incorrect or ineffective remedy or an incorrect dosage ensures that bacteria adapt to the medication so that they survive.

New active ingredients with new mechanisms of action would be needed, says Sprenger. However, science has found practically no new targets for attack for 30 years. "There are new drugs in the research pipeline, but we probably only have one or two potential new drugs in five to seven years"says Sprenger. Basic research is expensive and the effort to develop a preparation that is later used as little as possible is not worthwhile for pharmaceutical companies.

State support is needed. To this end, Germany has gathered support in the G20 group of the most important industrial and emerging countries. "During the German Presidency, the G20 committed to vigorously promoting research and development of new active ingredients"Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said in 2017.

"We need strong health systems so that antibiotics are only given through doctors after they have been clarified"says Sprenger. Rich countries would have to support poorer ones. The WHO is stepping up awareness-raising campaigns for doctors and patients. In India and China, where many of the antibiotics are manufactured, some residues from factories were released into the environment. The countries are now aware of the problem and are taking care of it.

Sources used: dpa

Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMS for short, is said to cure serious illnesses – in truth, the bleach itself can make you sick. What exactly is MMS and why health authorities urgently warn against the agent.


What is Miracle Mineral Supplement? What is MMS supposed to do? Significant side effects of MMS Urgent warning of MMS drug classification is tantamount to a ban

What is Miracle Mineral Supplement?

MMS is offered as a supposed miracle cure for various diseases, but it contains a dangerous chemical: sodium chlorite (NAClO2). In combination with water and acids, for example citric acid or vinegar, chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is formed. It is a poisonous and corrosive bleaching chemical that is actually used as a means for textiles or for disinfection in water treatment.

MMS is usually offered as a solution in two small bottles. The sodium chlorite is in one bottle and a diluted acid in the other. The ingestion of sodium chlorite and chlorine dioxide is very dangerous to health: Sodium chlorite is not permitted as a component in drugs in Germany, chlorine dioxide is banned as a food throughout Europe.

The chemical sodium chlorite (NAClO2) should not be confused with sodium chloride (NaCl), which is table salt.

What should MMS do?

Arch-Bishop Jim Humble, the "inventor" by MMS and founder of the American "Genesis II Church of Health and Healing", advertises that the remedy could cure the following diseases:

AIDSHepatitis A, B and CHerpesMost cancersMalariaTuberculosis

MMS is advertised on the Internet and at sales events. The chlorine dioxide, which patients usually mix themselves, should be in the body "evil" Destroy cells and germs and "quality" leave untouched. Even children are treated with the dangerous preparation. There is no proof or scientific studies for the effectiveness of MMS. Instead, health authorities strongly warn against using the agent.

Significant side effects of MMS

Taking MMS can lead to significant side effects such as:

PainNausea VomitingDiarrheaBlood pressure disorders Significant fluid lossBreathing disordersChemes to the skin and mucous membranesKidney failureSevere intestinal damage

Children in particular are at risk.

Urgent warning of MMS

In several European countries as well as in Canada and the USA, health authorities are warning against the agent. In Germany, too, consumer advice centers, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) urgently warn: Hands off MMS. Consumers of the product should stop taking it immediately, dispose of any remaining stock as hazardous waste and consult a doctor if side effects have already occurred.

Classification of drugs is tantamount to a ban

The BfArM declared two MMS products to be drugs that require authorization. At first glance it could seem contradictory that the Federal Institute advises against products because they have unacceptable harmful effects, but at the same time evaluates them as medicinal products.

Therapy with bleach: Facebook closes charlatan groups Investigation by Stiftung Warentest: Over-the-counter medicines are often pointless, sometimes even harmful. Caution when taking them: mistakes you shouldn’t make with antibiotics

However, this classification helps in the fight against MMS: Manufacturers now absolutely need official approval in order to sell their products as medicinal products. However, you will never receive approval because effectiveness, safety and quality would have to be proven. Experts consider that to be impossible.

Sources used: Federal Institute for Risk Assessment Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices Warning from the consumer advice center against MMSAdditional sourcesShow less sources

For years there has been a passionate debate about the sense and nonsense of homeopathy. Experts repeatedly emphasize that there is a lack of scientifically sound evidence of effectiveness. Now it seems to be going down with the sales of the preparations.

Just a few years ago, the more than 600 million euro homeopathy market was booming in Germany, but according to current figures, sales fell significantly in 2017. Doctors also prescribe the products less often. One reason for this may be the ongoing debate about the ineffectiveness of the funds. Following criticism, the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich has reconsidered medical training in homeopathy.

Homeopathy is enjoying increasing popularity among the population, it is said regularly in communications from pharmaceutical associations: There is one "increasing acceptance and application by end consumers and the health professions"For example, the Federal Association of Drug Manufacturers (BAH) said in November. The Bund Deutscher Heilpraktiker referred in a message to its portal "Naturopath facts" referring to "current numbers" from 2016 to a growing homeopathy market. In fact, sales boomed for a long time – but this could now come to an end.

Both patients and doctors are less likely to use homeopathy

The industry is currently experiencing a significant setback: In 2017, according to estimates by the pharmaceutical market research company IQVIA, more than 53 million packs of homeopathic preparations were sold on German pharmacies. But even if the number may sound large, that would be a good two million packs or around 3.6 percent less than last year.

Not only did the patients themselves buy significantly fewer homeopathic medicines, doctors also prescribed the preparations on prescription less often: For statutory health insurance patients, the number of packs dispensed at the expense of statutory insurance fell by a good 14 percent, and for those with private insurance by around 7 percent. Even in terms of sales, things are not looking so rosy for the manufacturers anymore: After some double-digit growth, revenues grew slightly according to the official prices. But many pharmacies give their customers discounts for over-the-counter medicines. According to figures from the market research institute Insight Health, which takes this into account, sales fell by 0.3 percent in 2017 to 608 million euros.

No explanation for the drop in sales yet

The sales figures for the ten best-selling homeopathic preparations are said to be "all sinking"said a spokesman for Insight Health. "The great growth in homeopathics is over for now." When asked, the Federal Association of BAH stated that it could, given the current figures "make no statement regarding a trend reversal for the acceptance and use of homeopathic medicines". The Association of German Heilpraktiker has figures for 2017 "not yet processed", it was said by the Association of German Heilpraktiker.

One reason for the decreasing interest in homeopathic remedies could be the discussion about the ineffectiveness of the preparations. During their production, vegetable and animal raw materials – such as bees and dog feces or toxic substances such as mercury – are sometimes extremely diluted, so that most of the products contain practically nothing of the raw materials. While statutory health insurances are actually only allowed to reimburse the costs of recognized effective treatments, there are special legal rules for homeopathy and similar therapeutic directions: Unlike what is usually required for drugs, their effectiveness is not tested in demanding studies.

Reimbursement of costs is primarily used by health insurers to retain customers

This has long been criticized. According to Jürgen Windeler from the medical testing institute IQWiG, the health insurers that reimburse the costs do not themselves believe in the benefits of homeopathics. Rather, they used homeopathy to retain customers. "The lack of benefit has been proven many times"said Windeler last year. "You can close the books over there."

Nevertheless, the chambers of doctors and pharmacists still officially recognize advanced training courses in the field of homeopathy. This is "can only be explained historically and in terms of professional policy, but not scientifically justified"said the Drugs Commission of the German Medical Association twenty years ago. Little has changed since then.

Even prestigious universities often offer lectures in homeopathy as an elective in medical studies. The Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich was exposed to considerable criticism on social media in the past week: In lecture materials on general medicine, an LMU lecturer claimed that homeopathy works "basically like a vaccination". He had also referred to questionable cancer experiments on rats, one of which "intangible effect" the preparations may have extended life.

Warning notices required: dispute over homeopathy with health insurers – reimburse what is ineffective? Alternative method: healing with globules – can homeopathy work?

"No scientific basis" for homeopathy

When asked, the university now declares that it wants one "critical distance" maintain and revise the study documents. From the university’s point of view, there is "no scientific basis" for homeopathy, explains a spokesman – this is already pointed out in lectures. There was also a question about homeopathy in an exam "unhappy" was formulated because it could be misunderstood as uncritical. In the current semester exam it looks different, he emphasizes: There are no more questions "which inquires about diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge of homeopathy". "We do not want to give a recommendation on homeopathic action to the students."

Sources used: dpa

Medicines are expensive. Clear. A lot of research money is invested in their development. But in Germany the same drugs usually cost far more than in their European neighbors. There is no end in sight to the price increase. Why?

Germany is a high-price country when it comes to patented drugs. That is known. The 2017 innovation report from Techniker Krankenkasse also shows that costs have risen sharply again recently. The average pack price has therefore risen again. From 1,418 euros (Innovation Report 2016) to most recently 2,458 euros (Innovation Report 2017). 

The therapy costs of some active ingredients reached up to 1.2 million euros, according to the report. A single tablet can cost up to 700 euros. The Techniker Krankenkasse anticipates a further increase in drug costs.

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