The above article, from the North Warrington Midweek, was delivered free through my door on 31st January. Almost three weeks earlier, I had first raised concerns with the Warrington Guardian (the parent newspaper) over their previous favourable coverage of the Burzynski Clinic.
I had no reply. Realising that my original email was too long for them to publish, I helpfully sent them a shortened version on 21st January, stating that I would be happy for them to print it on their Letters page. This concluded with the sentiment that it was irresponsible of the Warrington Guardian to promote the Burzynski Clinic.
Their News Editor, Gareth Dunning, replied to say that he didn’t feel as though they were promoting the clinic, merely explaining that Ms Kinley thought it offered a lifeline. He also pointed out that the Warrington Guardian is clearly not a medical journal and cannot go into detail about the relative merits of the clinic. However, he also said that they would run my letter.
They published the first four sentences of my email today:
I have added the remainder as a comment on the Warrington Guardian website:
Dr Burzynski’s ‘clinical trials’ (which cost patients hundreds of thousands of pounds), have been ongoing for over thirty years without any publication of reliable evidence that the ‘antineoplastons’ treatment works. Although he doesn’t market them as such, antineoplastons are effectively by-products of the metabolism of a known drug (sodium phenylbutyrate). Dr Burzynski also prescribes other drugs unconventionally and expensively, has been found guilty of fraud, accuses the authorities and critics of acting illegally in order to suppress him and may soon have his medical licence revoked following imminent proceedings involving the Texas Medical Board.
Details of further legal problems emerged last week – when it was reported that Dr Burzynski and his companies are being sued by an elderly lady seeking damages for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, deceptive trade and conspiracy. She says the defendants failed to disclose that her treatment was part of a clinical trial and charged her $500 per pill for drugs she could buy elsewhere for a fraction of that price.
I believe it was irresponsible of the Warrington Guardian to promote such a clinic.
The South Manchester Reporter, who ran a similar article, have also told me that they will publish my email but as far as I am aware, this has not yet happened. I have emailed them again to try to find out more but have had no further response.
Over in Houston, local news coverage is far more eye opening. Local 2 Investigates even interviewed Lola Quinlan (the elderly lady mentioned above), who said:
I’d like to see them shut down. That’s my hope, that he can’t do this to anybody else
Despite all the issues already reported in detail by bloggers, the British media are very reluctant to discuss the very serious legal and ethical problems with the Burzysnki Clinic. Yet they are perfectly happy to run heart rending ‘human interest’ stories about children or young mothers raising funds for treatment.
I believe that this is cowardly and immoral.