PART 2: Dr. Richard Urso: Big Pharma Makes Billions by Rebranding Existing Drugs as ‘New’ Products
“We have seen the ultimate demise of our health care system when it’s in the hands of bureaucrats,” says Dr. Richard Urso, a co-founder of the International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Scientists.
Now in part two, we discuss how big pharmaceutical companies can make billions by essentially repackaging existing products.
“Basically they took almost the exact same drug as Kaletra, dressed it up, they put a box around it, and they’re selling it for what, [$]5 billion?” says Urso, referring to the Paxlovid COVID-19 pill.
We also discuss Urso’s work with other prominent doctors to create both a national telehealth system as well as an entirely new infrastructure of doctor-led medicine, where power is decentralized and less easily corrupted.
“Once doctors became employees during this pandemic, it made them very reluctant to speak out,” Urso says.
Urso is a drug design and treatment specialist, an ophthalmologist, and former chief of orbital oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Jan Jekielek: I remember at the most recent hearing with Senator Ron Johnson you said something like, “The message I want to send is that we have the treatment.”
[Soundbite/Dr. Richard Urso]: The message I want everybody to hear, we can beat this disease.
Mr. Jekielek: To basically everybody. And so, what are the known treatments, broadly speaking? I also understand there’s the element of trying to treat it as early as possible, and that’s helpful. Can you paint that picture for me so people can understand?
Dr. Richard Urso: Let’s start from the early treatment of a person who’s acutely ill. It is basically a sequential multi-drug cocktail, it’s part of a paper that we wrote with Peter McCullough. We use a lot of different products. We use things for inflammation. We use things for breathing. We use things for blood clotting. Some of them, Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, and Prednisone are all crucial drugs.
We’ve had a lot of success without Ivermectin, without Hydroxychloroquine, but it’s hard to have success without any Prednisone. It’s really important because the inflammation can be quelled with Prednisone. Then we’ve moved strongly towards mast cell stabilizers that everyone knows, like H1, H2 blockers.
We’ve gone towards all the things we use for drying up our nose during the season, Claritin and things like that. We don’t use Claritin, we use stronger ones. I use one called Cyproheptadine, because it not only blocks the H1 blockers, but it blocks the serotonins, which are high in manufacturing megakaryocytes, which are made in the lungs. If they start dumping their serotonins, it creates this huge inflammatory response. So, you want to stabilize the mast cells. You want to stabilize these serotonins.
We use Pepcid, a drug a lot of people know treats the stomach. It’s an H2 blocker. We use Singulair, another drug used for asthma. It turns out that almost every one of these drugs has a small viral mechanism that blocks what’s called the main protease, the 3CL main protease. The best one is Ivermectin. But Pepcid also does that. In a small way so does Singulair, and there are several other drugs that can also do that.
We also use Fenofibrate, which is a cholesterol drug. We could use Cyclosporine, which is a transplant drug. There are the JAK inhibitors which quell the inflammatory response. The list goes on and on, on the acute side. Then, as we get into it and people have what’s called long COVID, I’m now seeing even at two and three weeks that people are showing viral reactivation, and this is relatively new.
I’m having people calling me and saying, “Hey, I’m dragging. I was kind of getting better, but now I’m kind of dragging. It’s the third week. I’m 21 days out. I thought I was going to get better.” It turns out their Epstein-Barr is up. I’m seeing that. And I’m seeing it six months later and nine months later.
Those are the treatments which you just asked about. We do different things. If there is a viral reactivation, we use Valtrex, because they work well against the herpes virus family. We use Lysine because it’s one of those nutritionals that’s good against the herpes virus family. The ratio of Lysine Arginine seems to impact the ability of these viruses to replicate. This data goes all the way back to the 1970s.
People used to say herpes is forever, and it really is. It just lays dormant in the body. Then we’re using vitamin D. Vitamin D is your data analyst. It allows the immune system to make good decisions. Without vitamin D, your immune system may attack pollen, but not attack a pathogen. When vitamin D is around, your immune system can recognize that this is pollen. Let’s leave it alone. Let’s attack this pathogen. Let’s attack this cancer cell. Let’s leave my knee alone. It makes better decisions when you have good levels of vitamin D. Those are probably the three main things.
Mr. Jekielek: I want to touch on vitamin D, because this isn’t generally known. Is Vitamin D just a good thing to have in the body for dealing with viruses, period?
Dr. Urso: My favorite vitamin since about 1995 has been vitamin D. I became incredibly aware of it early on when I was at the cancer hospital, doing work with all these patients with cancer, especially young women with breast cancer, 31 years old. They were all incredibly vitamin D-deficient. There was a study showing that it had an impact on flu. It was a little known study, but I said, “Hey, that sounds kind of neat.” Then I saw that it had some impact on a tumor recognition protein.
I said, “That sounds impressive. Let me start checking my patients’ vitamin D levels.” It was virtually a hundred per cent of the patients who were vitamin D-deficient had cancer, colon cancer, particularly. We became quite aware of it.
A lot of these things would metastasize to the orbit, into the eye socket. So, I would have to deal with it. Pancreatic islet cell carcinoma. I think I had the whole world’s population in that condition, I saw seven cases. Before that, the world literature had only two cases, but that’s what happens when you’re working at the top cancer hospital in the world. I found out that it was impactful. So, I started recommending vitamin D to all the patients.
Shockingly, my patients came back and said, “Hey, you cured my allergies.” And I was like, “What? How? How did I cure your allergies?” They replied, “Well, ever since I’ve been taking that vitamin D, my allergies are gone.” And I was like, “Really?” They said, “I have one of my kids and I don’t think she’s ever going to get a boyfriend, because her nose keeps running down her face all the time.” So, I tested her and sure enough her vitamin D was really low. I put her on vitamin D and I figured out a whole remedy for it. Basically for every 32 pounds, I’d give a thousand IU dose, and use vitamin D every day.
One woman came in with her child that had all these viral lesions around the eye that they wanted me to burn off, which I did. I said, “His vitamin D is probably low. We’re going to check that.” But the bottom line is, I know if his vitamin D status is better, a lot of these things won’t happen. It’s amazing for allergies. It’s amazing for prevention of cancer, particularly lymphomas, breast cancer, and colon cancer. It has a huge impact, even with little skin tags.
If you see somebody with tons of little skin tags, first of all, they have chronic irritation. But second of all, almost all those people with allergies have incredibly low vitamin D levels. It’s missed over and over and over again. I literally sometimes get people in here and say to them, “Look, I know you came in here for your eyes, but I’m going to cure your allergies.”
My patients are used to it, because they know I do bone work. They’ll come in and say, “Hey, my foot won’t won’t heal.” I’m like, “You need vitamin K2.” They go, “What about calcium?” I go, “Do you need to bring sand to the beach?” They’re like, “No.” I go, “You don’t need it. Take vitamin K2.” They go, “What else do I need to know, doctor?” I go, “You’re a 70-year-old woman and you’re on a statin. I’m going to tell you right now, women with higher cholesterol outlive women with lower cholesterol.”
My whole practice encompasses health in general. I have been doing that the whole time. By the way, if anybody’s interested, it starts with the HUNT 2 study. The bottom line, there’s a lot of misinformation in medicine and I’m always learning myself. But I just told you a whole bunch of important things. If anybody listens to what I just said, they’re going to improve their chances if they take vitamin K2.
The best epidemiology we have is 50 per cent improvement against stroke and heart attack, 83 per cent improvement in bone fracture risk. With vitamin D it’s probably somewhere between 30 to 40 per cent decreased chance for cancer. If you do those two things, you’re doing wonderfully. If you take anything away from this interview, take that.
Mr. Jekielek: Apparently it’s really helpful to prevent you from getting COVID. That’s what I’ve been told.
Dr. Urso: It makes you better-looking too.
Mr. Jekielek: We were talking about drugs before we took this little detour into vitamin D, which is absolutely fascinating. There’s a drug called Paxlovid, which the current administration has invested in very heavily, to the tune of something like $5 billion. I am trying to fathom that, actually. There was a tweet from Vinay Prasad a few days ago. He says, “I keep asking, has anyone seen trial data for Paxlovid for people who have already been vaccinated?” The subtweet here is simply that the Biden administration is on the hook to pay Pfizer nearly 5 billion for pills it has already ordered. That means this amount, which is half of a scaled back pandemic funding bill the Senate is debating, is already spoken for. I don’t know the outcome of that bill, maybe we’ll know by the time we air the episode.
Dr. Urso: If you don’t mind, I want to talk about this, but I want to broaden the topic. I told you earlier about vitamins. Somebody came to me and said, “Hey, you should do the industry.” I said, “I already do.” I said, “I’m making products for major league baseball teams, NBA teams, and some U.S. ski teams.” I said, “I do this in my sleep. It’s not hard. I have a lot of fun doing the biochemical side of things.” They said, “Yes, but you need to get in the marketing. If you sell something, you should put it in a box. You can sell it for double the price.” I said, “But, it’s the same product, that’s why I don’t do it. That will make me feel bad. Maybe I shouldn’t feel bad, but I would. At the same time, I wouldn’t feel that bad if I was doing something good for people.”
I bring this up because of what happened at the beginning of the pandemic, when Remdesivir first came out. I’ll bring this around to Paxlovid, but this is important. People ask me, “Why am I speaking out?” I say, “Well, I’m speaking out because I have to. There is treatment and people do not have to die. We can save almost everyone, we can save 90 per cent. Some people don’t come in early enough. Once you get into the later stages, it’s hard to bring somebody around.
But if you get everybody early, we can literally save almost everybody early.” If Remdesivir was truly amazing and it cost people three grand, I would say, “Sorry, you’re going to have to pay the three grand. I’m not going to go fighting for everything I have, for everything I own, every part of my body. My family can be totally destroyed by me speaking out.”
“I’m not going to take the world on, and the industry on.” Well, not really the world, because a lot of people were with me. But I saw the fact that these people were going to die, and Remdesivir was going to hasten their death, because the virus doesn’t replicate past day five. They’re giving this drug from day 15 to 20. I just felt like I had to speak out. I really had to speak out.” I literally told my wife, “I have to do this. I literally can’t sit here and watch people die. That’s wrong. Something might happen to me for doing the right thing, but this is so wrong that I have to do it.” This is where I want to come around to Paxlovid, because Paxlovid is a fairly toxic product. This drug is a protease inhibitor.
These things have been developed since the 80s, basically. They have been used frequently in HIV drugs. They basically chop the virus up into small parts, so that it can be reassembled into something nice. So, basically, you can think of it as a sheet and they chop it up and now you built a gingerbread house and you need this main protease to do that.
In fact, for everybody listening here, the best protease inhibitor on the planet earth happens to be Ivermectin. But that’s another story. These protease inhibitors have been very successfully marketed in the HIV market. We have them. They never tested one in this pandemic in the early phase. They tested in the late phase. Do you think a drug that’s going to affect viral replication would work in the late phase when the virus is no longer replicating?
People don’t die from the virus. They die from the viral particles on day 7, 8, 9, 10 and 20. They don’t die from the cars. They die from the car parts. The virus isn’t killing anybody. The virus is creating a pathway to inflammation and the pathway to inflammation depends on the amount of virus, but the virus is no longer surviving when the inflammation is occurring. The inflammatory pathway is set off like a domino effect.
The main dominoes don’t fall until you hit about day eight, nine or 10. So, why would they not test any other protease inhibitor—we have plenty of them on the market—until day 15, day 20. They didn’t. They never tested them. These drugs which we already have available were never tried. None of us tried them because we had better ones, safer ones, less toxic, less chemically destructive drugs like Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, and steroids.
We didn’t use them on purpose because we had better repurposed drugs that we chose which were much safer. We could have used Kaletra. In all likelihood, it would have worked, but it’s kind of toxic, so we didn’t want to use it. If you look at the toxicity of these protease inhibitors, anybody can look it up online, the list will be very long. There are 32 classes of drugs that they interact poorly with, not 32 drugs, 32 classes of drugs. So, anybody who gets on Paxlovid needs to be off everything else. The problem you have is that you only need it for about five days or so, so it can be useful.
I’ll tell you Paxlovid kills viruses. It kills mitochondria, which are important to us. Viruses don’t have mitochondria. It kills cancer cells. That’s kind of cool. It also kills our normal cells. If you have a cell replicating, it’s for the most part, killing it. It’s the same thing with Remdesivir and Molnupiravir. They have slightly different mechanisms. Molnupiravir and Remdesivir affect the RdRp, which is like the copy machine. They make mutations in the copies, which might create a mutation that’s more aggressive. 99.99 per cent of mutations are going to end up in the garbage. But 0.0001 of mutations are basically going to be a super virus, potentially. That’s what they did with Molnupiravir and Remdesivir and Paxlovid, this protease inhibitor.
They took it and put it in a nice box. Basically, they took almost the exact same drug as Kaletra, the exact same drug as Kaletra, and dressed it up. They put a box around it and they’re selling it for 5 billion. It’s absurd. This is why we have corruption, which is now very apparent to me. These drugs are already there. So, to anybody listening here, these are not new drugs. None of these drugs that they invented are unique.
Mr. Jekielek: Are you just talking here about Remdesivir?
Dr. Urso: Almost all the drugs.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s one that we hear about the most, right?
Dr. Urso: If you look at the last 10 drugs from the pharmaceutical companies that have come out and been approved, eight of them have nothing unique about them at all. They do this over and over and over again. It’s probably more like one out of 20 that may actually be a little unique. Maybe even less than that. They almost always say, “We’re going to take this drug and go from two times a day, to one time a day. We’re going to take this drug, and we’ll change the esterification right here, it doesn’t matter. We will use it for the same exact disease.” They will say the other drug is black box, a drug like Droperidol, which used to be great for nausea and for a little sedation after surgery. As soon as they came up with the better drugs, they decided to put that in the black box category.”
There was so much small corruption in the past. Now it’s pretty much too big to tackle. But seeing people dying was too much for many of us. That’s why a lot of us have spoken up. I’ve never spoken up about vaccines. I’ve never spoken up about a lot of these little things that I saw. But if they’re going to start killing people with policies and killing people in a massive way, I had to speak up. That’s what the impetus was for the whole thing, not just to be right. I wish I could go away. I’m doing very well. I don’t need anybody’s help financially. I was doing quite well.
Mr. Jekielek: To be clear, you’re saying that people are dying because of withholding certain treatments.
Dr. Urso: Bad policy decisions. Completely bad policy decisions. These are policies that are basically making it almost impossible to treat patients without having some kind of repercussions. We should be able to get these supply chain issues fixed. So, in general, if I try to treat somebody, I get reported to the board. Who knows who reported me? It’s anonymous. “Hey, he’s using Ivermectin. She’s Hydroxychloroquine.” So I’ve gone away.
I won’t tell them what I use. I use it and they don’t know, and it works. I’m not even going to say. I’m just going to keep doing it. Most of the people who work with me know what those things are, but I can cure almost everybody without Hydroxychloroquine and without Ivermectin, period. I’ll leave it to your audience to try to figure it out.
I don’t feel like getting attacked, but every single doctor that is willing to treat knows those things. They may decide whether or not they want to do it their way and use Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine, but I’ve made it quite plain to many. And there’s probably about 400 or 500 doctors that I would share the information with. They’ve shared the information of how they’ve been successful with me. It’s not a one-way street. We are sharing together.
It’s a small crew and we’re willing to share with the world and I have. Right now, I have formatives that are working well. I decided I don’t want to put it out there. One of the drugs is a 90-year-old drug. For the first time in history,I had to get prior approval for it. I think they’re quite aware. They’re starting to figure out what we’re using.
Mr. Jekielek: You’re suggesting, in order to stop you, is that right?
Dr. Urso: They just make it hard. What happens is that you have a drug that doesn’t cost anything. And they’re saying, “Well, what is it for?” I reply, “Well, it’s none of your business, I think it works. I have a biologically plausible mechanism. I have a track record that I know is based in science and data. When you come to me with stuff that is your opinion, I am not interested. When I have somebody standing in front of me who can’t breathe, and who doesn’t want to die, I especially don’t want to hear it.” So, it’s very frustrating to be in this predicament where we’re trying to help and trying to treat patients and we can’t.
Right now, the numbers are down so far. We’re not feeling that pressure. What we’re feeling pressured about is the future. What I feel pressured about right now is they have decided to use this lipid nanoparticle platform to get multiple vaccines for flu and for RSV and it’s a terrible platform. So, I’ve decided I have a platform now and I’m going to use my platform to tell people they’re making another mistake. They wouldn’t let us treat patients.
We have basically overcome COVID. There will be another pandemic. There will be some epidemic of some sort, it’s normal. It’s life. We’re going to have pestilence, famine, and wars. I don’t think all those will go away. Let’s assume it’s going to happen again. I know that there’s going to be treatment. There’s going to be effective therapies for any disorder that comes up. Now, some will be more, some will than less, and that’s upset people who practice medicine. The other thing is we’ve never, ever listened to the CDC, the NIH or the FDA. I’ve had a license for 33 years. I’ve never even thought to call the NIH, CDC, or FDA. And there’s a reason— they don’t practice medicine. And I mean that sincerely. I sincerely mean that.
There are a lot of people who dedicate their whole lives to practicing medicine and coming up with new therapies. These three are safety organizations, attracting data-tracking organizations, and research organizations. So, they are not a treatment organizations. They never have been, and they were never designed that way. I don’t mean it disrespectfully. I mean it respectfully. They’ve earned their disrespect, but I’m not disrespectful when I say this.
When I talk about the NIH, the CDC and the FDA, I’m very disappointed. As much as there was enough little stuff that I could’ve said a couple years ago, I’m shocked to say two years later that I’m extremely disappointed. There is corruption there, and it’s quite obvious. And it’s killing people.
Mr. Jekielek: You’re trying to democratize the way this research is done, the way doctors work together. You are concerned about the centralization of decision-making for doctors in general. And you’re saying that there’s corruption. Explain to me what you want to accomplish here.
Dr. Urso: Let me rephrase what I said about corruption. What I’m saying is the monetary influences that those places have are backwards. Without getting too far into it, I just want to add that caveat. I have friends at all three organizations, they are not corrupt to their bone, to their core, but the political influences are corrupt. The financial influences are corrupt. The drug companies are controlling the purse strings, that’s the problem first of all. They are entities that are basically reliant upon the pharmaceutical industry to function. They have a big part of their budgets come from them. That makes a big difference in how it operates. It’s like the fox guarding the hen house.
That’s part of the problem. It’s not that these people are inherently corrupt. The situation would corrupt anybody. If I say to you, “I’m going to put two women scantily-clad women in your bed with you every night.” And you tell me, “I don’t care. I’m not going to do anything.” But that is a little bit disruptive. That’s disruptive.
In a sense, they are also controlling people through the patent process and also controlling people through the job process. If you leave the CDC as an administrator, you will likely end up on a drug company board. All you have to do is follow the trail. You’ll see it over and over and over again. In a short way, that’s a summary of why the relationships have actually led to corruption, but it’s almost to be expected.
Mr. Jekielek: Are the drug companies required to provide money to these agencies? How does that money come through?
Dr. Urso: It comes through in various ways, sometimes through research. The NIH gives big research grants. They will actually give money to these companies to do research. They end up buying the same companies that hold the same patents. So, the people in the drug companies and the people in the agencies all hold patents. In a sense, they’re really like teams. They are teams. They’re literally like one now, because they’re working together to create this industry.
If they are ingenious products, great, but the problem is we’re getting so many me-too drugs. There’s no reason we needed the nucleoside analogs, Remdesivir and Molnupiravir. We already have nucleoside analogs. Could have just used those, but there’s no money in that.
They didn’t create one ingenious drug in this whole pandemic, nothing ingenious has happened, except people have figured out that it is [inaudible,] Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, steroids, all these other H1 blockers, H2 blockers, and all these other drugs that actually make a difference and actually help us in mitigating the damage, or even sometimes helping to fight the virus itself. All these things have been done outside of the industry by doctors in practice. It could have been done in the FDA, NIH and CDC, but they decided not to. They decided to make sure they made a profit from it.
Part of the reason of developing our group is to be a voice of public policy. This is the purpose of why the International Alliance of Physicians and Scientists was created, to become a voice on multiple levels. One level is to be able to speak out on public policy, which is why we have the declarations. That is one of the main purposes, to take the place of these agencies, which are leaving us with bad policy.
Mr. Jekielek: How is this going to work exactly? This is very interesting. You want to take back policy recommendation basically, that’s what you’re talking about.
Dr. Urso: First of all, the system has to be broken. If it was perfect, we wouldn’t need to fix it. We assume that no system is perfect. It has to be corrupt, and that’s what the problem is. The problem is it has been financially corrupted, primarily through the interrelationships and the budgeting that goes to the NIH, CDC and the FDA. There’s so much of the money that’s not coming from the federal government. That’s not how it started out.
When I started out, we wrote grants and there was no money tied to any drug company back in the early eighties. That changed through the nineties. They became strong and stronger and stronger and a bigger and stronger part of the budget of the FDA, the CDC and the NIH. With that, strings are attached. Now, the messaging that’s coming out of there is tied in to the research that’s being done at the drug companies.
I’m not tied into any drug companies and neither should public policy be tied into drug companies. The purpose of this is to create a less corrupted message or a message that goes back to the tradition of The Hippocratic Oath, and goes back to the tradition of why we even think of medicine as a grand profession. Because we’re here not just to make money, we’re here to heal. So, it goes back to healing. It goes back to the whole root of what most of us hope that a physician embodies, and that should also embody public policy.
The purpose of the International Alliance of Physicians and Scientists is to take a role, to say we have a large group of physicians and scientists who believe that children should not be vaccinated, and that the naturally-immune should not be vaccinated. Doctors should be able to use the medications that are already approved in the way they see fit, in concert with discussing this with their patients.
We let doctors and patients interact in a way that allows them to use everything, all the tools they have, instead of hampering the tools. This is the purpose of creating this organization. The censorship became so severe, that it became very important to start addressing some of the problems. People are afraid to go to hospitals. People can’t get medicines from their pharmacies. Their insurers are telling them we need prior authorizations for medicines that cost $4 a year ago. They won’t let them have the medication. Why? Why would you not be able to give Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin or even sometimes Prednisone. We saw things happening that didn’t have to happen, so we have to correct these problems.
I was unaware that the corporate practice of medicine was occurring, I did not actually realize it. I came into medicine early on when doctors were like DeBakey and Cooley and a guy named Red Duke, Head of Trauma. They are legends. When I met them, I decided I wanted to come to Texas. I came to the Texas Medical Center, because my brother said, “Hey, it’s really cool. It looks like a city.” I met these very charismatic characters who lived and breathed in the hospital.
They didn’t take days off. They didn’t go on vacations. They worked and they had their lab close by and they were the first heart transplant people. They flew on the helicopter for trauma. It was amazing to watch them, their dedication and their intellect and their charisma. All this kind of drew me in. It wasn’t a branded system like Sloan Kettering. It was the personality of the physicians and their caring and their interactions with the patient that drew me in.
Slowly but surely, through the nineties, the hospitals started gathering together and they became a bigger, stronger force, which seemed good. I had close friends, the head of Methodist Hospital, a big system there, and the head of the system at Herman. I interacted with them on a regular basis. One was actually a neighbor, three doors down. And what happened was we were like, “Wow, it’s so cool. It’s easier now to fight these big behemoths, like Blue Cross.”
I won’t say anything bad about Blue Cross. But when somebody’s big, they’re powerful. And it seems like you can’t fight them. It was like, “Oh wow, now we have these hospital systems. We’re going to be stronger. We’ll be able to fight back a little bit.” When I left the university system and went out and practiced, I immediately said, “Wow, I just want to recreate that.”
We went out and set about creating this practice where we wouldn’t dominate each other. We collaborated together to form the biggest practice in the country, which we thought was a wonderful thing. We’ve made a lot of great friendships. I didn’t realize that the doctors were becoming marginalized in the hospitals. They became employees.
Once doctors became employees, and they’re in this pandemic, it made them very reluctant to speak out for various reasons. You don’t want to lose your job. You have to pay your mortgage. For the most part, they were told they might be in really big trouble in other ways, like I said earlier. “You’re going to wear a mask and get thrown in jail for wearing a mask.” I wish I could find the document. I have to go back and look, but it came from the board, “Do not wear this or you might be criminally liable, because it’s an emergency.”
That created this problem we have now. People don’t want to go to hospitals. They can’t get medicines from pharmacies. They can’t get information because it is censored. How do we fix that? The first thing is messaging. So, we’re fixing it. We’ve developed a great infrastructure. It’s already built. We partner with—I won’t say who—but we partner with a group that’s built the infrastructure already. We are going to have a website that’s going to be much better than Medscape, which is basically drug company information. It will much better than WebMD, which again, is drug company information.
We’re going to populate the website with information that’s basically not being shared. We’re not going to take any money from those entities. Not because we don’t think some are honorable. But we think about the process itself, like we talked about before, “If you lay down with dogs, you’ll come up with fleas.”
That’s what happens when you put yourself in the position of taking money from people, you’re going to have to take direction from them. That’s what happens. We all know that. So, we’re going to avoid that. We’re going to avoid that trap. That’s one level.
Number two. We’ve got to create a national telehealth plan, because we know from COVID how powerful telehealth was. It allowed about 300 or 400 doctors in the entire country to take care of all the COVID patients outside the hospital. If anybody was taken care of outside the hospital, it was a small group of 300 or 400 doctors that took care of most of that. For the most part, most of the doctors were so afraid they just said, “Look, I don’t treat COVID.” So, we have to go down that rabbit hole.
Mr. Jekielek: Again, how many patients were treated that way? Do you have a sense of that?
Dr. Urso: We all kind of chipped in on MyFreeDoctor.com. It was over a hundred thousand that we know of, but I would say millions of patients overall.
Mr. Jekielek: Across just 300 or 400 doctors.
Dr. Urso: I think Dr. Stella Immanuel treated maybe a million or two. It’s hard to put a peer number and I actually think about it, because I’m one of them. Most did anywhere from one to 4,000 individually. A few of them had these big networks and there were nurse practitioners pitching in. So, the extended group is bigger than that. The physician group is smaller, and there were also a lot of nurse practitioners doing those things.
Mr. Jekielek: I just had to stop there because that’s a fascinating, amazing story that I don’t think has really been told yet.
Dr. Urso: It’s a great story. It’s kind of like the 300 or something. It’s really a true story actually. I didn’t think about it, but that’s what it was. It felt that way. I was in a place for a year or so where I could barely breathe. We have slowed down now, but I literally could barely keep my head above water.
Mr. Jekielek: Now you’re building an official telehealth network.
Dr. Urso: Now, COVID has ended. We don’t have to take care of all these COVID patients. Because don’t forget, I don’t just hand you the medicine say, “Here you go.” No. You call me frantically, “My stats have dropped down into the low eighties. What do I do?” They are texting me 15 times. “We’re going to the hospital. We’re panicked. We’re going to the hospital.”
Then they get in the hospital. “They’re trying to give us Remdesivir.” It’s absolutely insane the way it felt. I think anybody who went through it felt like that. That’s why we formed this group. But now we see that we have bigger things to do. We have to improve the messaging. We have to improve telehealth in a way that’s going to be sustainable. Myfreedoctor.com is going to be helpful, but how many free doctor visits can sustain a mortgage payment?
You have to create an organization that is going to integrate ownership. Here’s the thing that is important. I’ve talked to investors and here’s the one catch every time. We’ve had a group of us that has looked at private equity. I’ve said, “Okay, how are we going to improve care to patients? I know you’re going to make me more efficient. I love that and appreciate it. You probably collect fees better than I do, but how are we going to impact patient care? How is it going to make people healthier? How is it going to make people see better? How is that going to make people have less heart attacks? What are we going to do to impact patient care?”
I don’t mean disrespect to private equity, but I’ve never heard an answer to those questions. So, I’ve always felt like doctor-led ownership is the most important thing that we’ve lost. It’s gotten us into this situation. The corporate practice of medicine makes us want to be quiet, because we’ve got to pay the bills the next day. At the end of the day, we need doctor-centered ownership and leadership. The steps; messaging, telehealth, clinics, surgery centers, hospitals, supply chain, they all have to be a net. We have to do it step by step, but also has to be kind of a spider’s web.
Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. I’ve been talking with different people on American Thought Leaders about developing parallel structures in different areas of endeavor in American life. It’s interesting to hear this is happening in the medical profession as well.
Dr. Urso: I can imagine it in my head and see it already happening. So, it has to happen on some level. For the good of everyone, we have to have an integration of the whole system. Unfortunately, we do have an integrated system, but it’s easy to corrupt. I say to the people, if you are in the national health service, you’re getting your check from one entity. One entity controls all the doctors in Canada, one entity.
That means all the doctors in Canada need to be quiet. They can’t talk about COVID. They can’t treat COVID. They can’t do anything. That’s what happens when you have one entity. How old is that quote, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” So, you can’t channel all the power into one organization and have that be successful. The World Economic Forum is a great example of that. We can’t have all the power going into one world government.
It’s bound to have corruption at the top level where basically they’ll say things like, “You’ll own nothing and like it,” to which JP Sears says, “He’ll own everything and he’ll like it.” It’s kind of funny, but that’s just natural. This is human nature we’re dealing with. You have to have diffuse systems and you have to have checks and balances.
You can’t have everything concentrated into one power and have it work, except for that one power, of course. So, either it’s a good cop or bad cop. If it’s a good cop, everybody’s happy. If it’s a bad cop, everybody’s sad. We can’t have a system that works that way. So, my goal is to create a system that has lots of checks and balances, and that has diffuse ownership among a lot of people. It’s less likely to be corrupted. It’s a heck of a lot more difficult to corrupt an entire group of people individually, than it is to have one individual take control of the whole group.
Mr. Jekielek: This is being done under the auspices of the International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Scientists, is that right?
Dr. Urso: That organization has brought us together. That organization has created a lot of camaraderie. It has created an opportunity for us to think about how we can create the business structures around it. We have the nonprofit, but it’s not actually involved in these things that have to be corporations or PCs, at the very least. So, we’ve created one group for messaging and it is a company, an LLC. And each and every one of these may be done a little differently.
We may create a franchise model on the clinic side. That’s what we’re looking at because we really don’t want to own it. There’s going to be some administrative costs that need to be covered on the clinic side to create a structure. We need to unify the entire group for marketing purposes, and also for sending out our message. People are going to be excited to hear it.
Similarly, on the telehealth side, we’re doing the same thing. It’s easier to form that structure. On the surgery center side, I’ve already been involved with and built three surgery centers, so I know how to do that already. There are many doctors who know how to do that.
On the hospital side, it’s more complicated. There’s some really great administrators that want to work with us on that. I’ve been involved in three projects. They’re actually hospital groups too, and it’s very complex. That’s going to take a more experienced team of hospital professionals to make that happen. The biggest, toughest thing would be the messaging, which needs to integrate the IT side of it. You probably need a hundred million dollars on the IT side to create that whole business structure.
That has already been done. We’ve already made the relationships. They’re taking care of that and our job is the content side. We’re going to be really successful if we look at it as an enterprise, as a startup. Our goal is not to just be a startup though. Our goal is to make an impact on a percentage of the population in the United States. If we captured 1 per cent of the population, it would be an incredibly successful startup, but that’s not the goal.
The goal is to actually impact healthcare across the nation. We can do it. It’s going to take more doctors joining in on this. If I owned 1 per cent and another million doctors owned 1 per cent, that would be fine with me. So, we can all own that one point one millionth of a percent. I would be happy about that. Because at the end of the day, we want to be able to deliver care in a way that goes back to The Hippocratic Oath, which is doctor-patient centered, and obviously it’s going to involve nursing. It’s going to involve all levels of healthcare providers, and we want to integrate them all into this.
Mr. Jekielek: This is going back to doctors making decisions for the specific needs of their patients. It’s been like that for a very long time. Somehow in these last few years, it shifted into prescriptions being given from on high. So, this is going back to the older model.
Dr. Urso: If you look at some of the models across the world, you see we’ve gotten to a place where everyone thought, “We’re just going to do a national health service.” Look where that has gotten us. It’s been impossible to get treatment in England, Canada and New Zealand. It has turned into the exact nightmare you hoped it wouldn’t be. I’m sorry, but the state should not be the major employer of any big entity that’s going to care for patients. It’s not the right strategy. They cannot do it. They’re not built to do it. They are an entity. They are not a living, breathing human being.
When I see my neighbor sick and I see my friends sick, I’m going to go to lengths that you would not go to if you’re an entity. I’m sorry. That’s how it is. That’s why there’s so many homeless people, because the state is not the ultimate entity for empathy. That’s not the ultimate way to deliver local care. It’s not going to be the best way to do anything. It never will be.
So let’s take that as the backdrop, because that’s what’s being offered around the world, national health service. They’ve done horribly worldwide. And it’s easy for me to say that. If I had this conversation three years ago, I couldn’t have said that. I would not have been able to say that. We would have had a nice debate. We have seen that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we’re seeing it again. You put all the power in the hands of the state and you’re seeing that 900,000 people died, because the state decided that we wouldn’t have early treatment.
The state decided that the message coming from our major agencies would be, “Do not treat early.” Even when it made no sense. Even when you’re talking about blood clots, even when you’re talking about inflammation and even when you’re talking about respiratory demise. We have so many drugs for that. They were actually stopping us from using steroids. So, for instance, these drugs are safe here, because I’m in the hospital.
But if I move outside the door, they’re unsafe. It is literally that absurd. It’s the same drug. If you look at it, big picture-wise, it’s because of the demise of our healthcare system in the hands of bureaucrats. It’s really important that we do this. We’re going to have tremendous success, because the talent pool is amazing. I won’t tell you who they are, because we’ve got to announce it. But it’s an amazing talent pool. People will know, half the names are household names.
Mr. Jekielek: When is it going to be publicly launched?
Dr. Urso: April 1st was the first day we started paying salaries.
Mr. Jekielek: Fantastic. There’s going to be people here watching who want to know where to look for your new organization.
Dr. Urso: Do not watch CNN. It’s not going to be on CNN. Watch The Epoch Times and you will see it there first.
Mr. Jekielek: Any final thoughts before we finish up?
Dr. Urso: I want to say this. Your audience probably knows this, but The Epoch Times has been one of the great organizations during this whole pandemic publishing true news, really looking for the stories, and digging for the stories. I just can’t say thank you enough for what you guys have offered. This is a sincere thank you, because I really don’t know where we would be message-wise if we didn’t have your organization. Literally, there is no other national news organization that is telling the stories in the typical way that we grew up with, thinking that journalism was about trying to dig on both sides. They’re so corrupted, I don’t even think you can get the story, but I would love to see FDA, CDC, or NIH reply in some way.
Let’s finish up the story like this. When you put so much power into an entity, it’s almost impossible for it not to get corrupted at some point. I would assume that this organization that we’re developing would over time become corrupted in some way. It is natural as an organization grows in power and influence. It would become corruptible in some ways, at some point. It’s just a natural thing that has to happen. Things build up, forests grow, there are fires, forests burn down and they regrow again. That’s what we’re facing, right?
There’s an undercurrent, a sense of evil that gives me some dread when we talk about all this. Why is this happening? I’d like to think it was more along the lines of what I just said—things grow, and they become strong and powerful. Then as the leaves fall down and there’s all these things in the underbrush that dry out, a little spark starts from the smallest level, and this spark comes to tear down the massive forest. It starts from a leaf. So, we are a leaf that is going to tear down a forest, that’s our goal.
Mr. Jekielek: Wait a second. You’re telling me here that you actually want to burn down the system?
Dr. Urso: I would put it a little more gently. We want to recreate the system. Maybe we could find pristine lands and start a new forest, and they can have their forest, and we’ll have ours. Maybe this system works for some people. To me, we need a new system if we’re really going to grow the system. It really involves being kind and empathetic and loving and moving forward.
I don’t think the old system can do that. I’ve seen it with COVID. I didn’t see kindness. I didn’t see love. I didn’t see embracing. I saw division. I saw anger. I saw things that I’ve never seen before in medicine where doctors who were friends were no longer friends. I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know that I’m going to be burning down the system, but I’m going to make a hot bed of coals and start a fire that I hope grows into something wonderful. Eventually, we will have a beautiful new forest. All right. So, I don’t want to burn down the system. That’s not what I do. I want to recreate it.
Mr. Jekielek: Dr. Richard Urso, it’s such a pleasure to have you on.
Dr. Urso: Thank you.
Mr. Jekielek: Thank you all for joining me and Dr. Urso for this episode of American Thought Leaders. I’m your host, Jan Jekielek. We live in an era of censorship and disinformation and it can be really hard to know what’s true. And what’s false in this information climate. To get honest information and insight you can trust, join us on Epoch TV. You can sign up for your 14 day free trial at https://ept.ms/freetrialjan.
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