NEW YORK, NY (04/29/2009)(readMedia)--
The U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration (HHS) were alerted to actions of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), impeding the research and development of innovative medical technologies.
According to Gerard Sunnen, MD, former president and director of research for Medizone International, Inc., the DOH prevented a landmark study from proceeding to completion. Details about this incident may be found in press releases entitled, "New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) stops a world-first U.S.- Egyptian collaborative study on hepatitis C and blood ozonation."
In a conjoint agreement, the Egyptian Ministry of Health, the National Research Centre (NRC) in Cairo, and Medizone, contracted to find solutions for Egypt's huge public health problem: hepatitis C. Indeed, today, Egypt by far has the highest prevalence in the world for this potentially fatal disease afflicting up to 8 million of its citizens. In the U.S. about 4 million are affected.
Ozone is increasingly studied around the world for its potential medical applications. Over 3000 municipal water purification systems worldwide capitalize on ozone's remarkable property for inactivating all manner of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Applying this unique member of the oxygen family to wound healing in humans - and animals - was reported decades ago; but it is only recently that technologies capable of properly manufacturing and delivering ozone for medical uses have been developed.
Recently, new respect has gathered for ozone, as it has demonstrated its role in the fundamental mechanisms of the immune system in fighting infections. Indeed, incredible as it may seem, ozone, at a molecular level, is constantly generated within our bodies to oxidize unwelcome pathogens.
Applied topically in specially configured envelopes, ozone-oxygen mixtures can free wounds of pathogens and stimulate circulation. Ideal candidates for this therapy are diabetic and pressure skin ulcers, lesions due venous insufficiency, poorly healing surgical wounds, war wounds, and burns.
"The Egyptian study, on the other hand, sought to explore ozone's reported stimulation of immune functions when administered at extremely low doses. In hepatitis C this translates into reduced viral loads and improved liver enzyme profiles. Interest for this approach also has to do with its lower cost compared to current therapies," Dr. Sunnen said.
"Reasons for the NYSDOH's stopping the Egyptian hepatitis C study are anybody's conjecture. The idea that a state agency can directly meddle into the corporate affairs of a public company and essentially halt its operations is surprising, and frankly somewhat disturbing," Dr. Sunnen said, adding, "However relevant to the equation, it may be enlightening to realize that the markets for hepatitis C medications and for wound healing therapies are simply huge, and the tendency is for protecting them."
"The completion of the hepatitis study would have paved the way for the U.S. to become a world leader in ozone-based medical technologies," Dr. Sunnen emphasized. "As of now, Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy and Brazil are far in the lead. Furthermore, upon the study's completion, planning was well under way to greatly expand our manufacturing capacities. This would have meant the creation of a great many jobs."
Communications asking for the redress of this situation have been forwarded to Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, NYSDOH, and to NYS Governor David A. Paterson.
Dr. Sunnen, currently president of Ozonics International, LLC, will promote U.S. interests at an upcoming international congress on ozone-based medical therapies in Spain ("New Horizons for Ozone Therapies" – June 5, 6). His presentation, "Ozone enters its age of enlightenment" forecasts some of the ways ozone will contribute to medical practice in the future.
"Ozone-based medical technologies will achieve increasing prominence in a spectrum of medical conditions. Diabetic skin ulcers, a growing problem, will regularly feature ozone's antimicrobial properties. Micro-ozonation as an immune system stimulant will likely partner in the therapy of a number of infectious diseases, especially those of viral origin. Extracorporeal administration, a novel technology researched in Italy allowing extremely low doses of ozone to be administered for extended time periods, promises a role in arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease via the oxidation – and the regression - of plaques. Ozone has now found novel medical uses: it is now approved in Great Britain for dental caries and periodontal disease, heralding new options in dentistry; and via its capacity to release intervertebral disc pressure on nerves, for back pain."
Dr. Sunnen concludes, "Let us hope that we can make up for lost time, and at least partner evenly with other countries for the future development of medical ozone technologies; and let us pray that the obstacles encountered so far will melt away in the context of new perspectives on ozone as a vital member of the oxygen family, not as a pariah, but as a remarkable molecule intrinsic to life itself."
For more information:
Gerard Sunnen, M.D.
President, Ozonics International, LLC
200 East 33 Street
New York, NY 10016