By Chuck Norris, Gena Norris and Marcie Jacobs
(This following column is a combination of my own commentary and research materials from our friend, Marcie Jacobs, who has given Gena and me permission to use her content.)
One would think that underhanded parts of the medical community and government agencies that oversee them have taken a cue from prolific fictional author Dan Brown, who said, “It’s not about what you tell the reader, it’s about what you conceal.”
Let me explain.
In my last couple columns, I’ve discussed how my wife, Gena, and others across our nation and around the world have been poisoned by gadolinium-based contrast agents, or GBCAs, injected through magnetic resonance imaging, or MRIs. Gena almost died after multiple MRIs.
We have heard how side effects from gadolinium-based contrast agents are rare ad nauseam. However, the victims have another story to tell. They speak of being dismissed by doctors regarding their gadolinium exposure and their related illnesses. All the while, these doctors continue to push the story line that these products have a remarkable safety record.
Victims are not buying it. These products are toxic. Scientific studies that are not rigged or have inherent conflicts of interest with them back that fact, as I pointed out in my last three columns. But it is a rare event and, in fact, very difficult for a wounded patient to document, in their medical records, their negative side effects from GBCAs even with heroic efforts and meticulous record keeping.
Marcie Jacobs, who was poisoned with gadolinium from 2001-2007 and is now the administrator of the Facebook group “MRI Gadolinium Toxicity Illnesses,” summarized her experience with dodging doctors when she wrote: “It is rare that a doctor will acknowledge you suffer from gadolinium poisoning. And if your doctor refuses to acknowledge you have been harmed, then there is no treatment, by default.”
It is now time to focus on the facts and science that is not rigged. There are thousands of studies that speak of the detrimental effects of GBCAs. But even without accessing these damaging studies, Judge Dan Polster, Harvard Law School graduate and a judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, concluded in his own memorandum and opinion and order in the last litigation for gadolinium product liability: “It is undisputed that gadolinium, in its free state, is toxic to humans.”
Judge Polster went on to explain transmetalation: “More to the point, they will testify … due to various processes (for example, transmetalation), the gadolinium becomes dechelated, dissociated, released or freed from the ligand to which it is bound. This dechelation exposes tissue to labile, toxic gadolinium which rapidly bonds elsewhere in the body and begins the fibrotic process. … This is, in short, the “free gadolinium” theory. It is, as acknowledged … the prevailing theory in the scientific community.”
As Dr. Emanuel Kanal confessed in a recent presentation just two weeks ago on July 13, 2017, everyone is potentially on the take or trying to profit in a personal and financial way from GBCAs and the debate swirling around them, including himself.
Dr. Kanal said: “Everyone as far as I’m concerned is potentially on the take [and] that certainly includes me. Everyone seems to have an agenda in these discussions. …”
This leads to the question, why is it difficult to admit that many are suffering due to GBCAs? There are three reasons: 1) Victims are not aware, 2) when victims are aware, conventional doctors will not acknowledge the symptoms are related to GBCAs even when the side effects reported are exactly as written on the package insert for the products they received and/or 3) they have been diagnosed with a different disease.
To illustrate the conflicts of interest in reporting side effects, let’s look at Dr. Martin R. Prince, MD, Ph.D., F.A.C.R., who is a professor of radiology at Weill Cornell and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Radiology Business described him as a “legend.”
Dr. Prince’s response to the patient(s) who complain of side effects from gadolinium contrast is, “[W]hile gadolinium remains in the body for an extended period of time, no resulting systemic reactions have been documented.”
It’s interesting to note that Dr. Prince has degrees from both MIT and Harvard. He holds several patents that pay him royalties when MRI gadolinium contrast is flowing through the veins of men, women, children, pregnant women and infants. As Radiology Business explained:
Prince is a professor of radiology at Weill Cornell and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. He developed contrast-enhanced MR arteriography, including k-space mapping for MRA techniques, one of which was initially commercialized by GE as MR Smartprep and later by all scanner manufacturers. The SmartSet hand injection system for MR angiography, also commercialized by all magnet vendors, grew out of his research.
Dr. Prince is also president of a company called Topspins Inc., which sells his patented products to be used by MRI facilities for injection into the patients. His company received a warning letter from the FDA that was subsequently closed out in the close-out letter dated Jan. 11, 2017.
Dr. Prince sits on the Medical Advisory Council of the Global Fibrosis Foundation, or GFF, whose mission states that it is an “advocate on behalf of patients with nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.”
The problem is that nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, or NSF, is a human-made “systemic reaction” to the very gadolinium injections that Dr. Prince advocates.
It is unconscionable to say there are no known systemic reactions to GBCAs, especially in the face of patients of NSF who are suffering debilitating pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment and skin changes. It appears to me that Dr. Prince knows for certain there are systemic reactions by his presence on the Medical Advisory Council of the GFF.
In addition, ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs shows he received $3 million in royalties from 2013 to 2015, based on the latest data reported. A better question is: Dr. Prince, are you denying the adverse side effects of the GBCAs because you receive royalties from the manufacturers of GBCAs?
The bulk of the $3 million in royalties Prince received was from Bayer Pharmaceuticals makers of Magnevist, $1.68 million, and Gadavist, $1.42 million respectively. It would be good to ascertain if Dr. Prince would make disclosures of those who died from NSF and those who settled and won lawsuits against Bayer Pharmaceuticals and GE Healthcare, primarily if they had systemic reactions, or was death not documentation enough for Dr. Prince?
Again, it’s fascinating to note that the following study funded by Bayer HealthCare and authored in part by Dr. Prince, “25 Years of Contrast-Enhanced MRI: Developments, Current Challenges and Future Perspectives,” have these disclosures to report:
Disclosures J Lohrke, T. Frenzel, J. Endrikat and H.Pietsch are employees of Bayer HealthCare.
F. C. Alves, T. M. Grist, M. Law, J. M. Lee, T. Leiner, K. C. Li, K. Nikolaou, M. R. Prince, H. H. Schild. J. C Weinreb and K. Yoshikawa have nothing to disclose.
According to Dollars for Docs, the last payment Dr. Prince received was on Dec. 31, 2015. The study was published on Jan. 25, 2016, and he received a total amount in royalties for gadolinium contrast for 2015 of approximately $1.3 million.
In the report, “Study finds gadolinium hot spots, but no clinical effects,” it’s interesting to note Dr. Prince’s pitch:
As research continues into the long-term effects of GBCAs, Prince emphasized there have been no changes in the utilization of gadolinium-based contrast agents at Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. “We are continuing to see year-over-year growth in the clinical demand for MRI, including MRI with gadolinium, in order to solve clinical issues to help with patient care,” he added.
When he takes $3 million from the manufacturers of gadolinium contrast agents, and his future income relies on royalties from the use of these products, it is not a leap of logic to say Dr. Prince is biased in favor of keeping these products on the market and concealing any side effects that are attributable to them.
But then again, maybe I’m on the take, too, as well as Gena, Marcie Jacobs and other anti-gadolinium advocates. We’re on the take for helping the public be aware of MRI gadolinium poisoning, encouraging the manufacturers to do the right thing and pull these products off the market, and encouraging those who have become chronically ill from GBCAs to seek medical aid from those who really care and can help them.
Like I said, some in the medical community are taking their cues from author Dan Brown: “It’s not about what you tell the reader, it’s about what you conceal.”