AN INTERVIEW WITH GASTON NAESSENS
From The Cancer Chronicles #24-#25
Q: In 1989, you were facing life imprisonment. Why was this? And how have things gone for you since then?
A: In 1989, I faced life imprisonment after the Québec Medical Corporation led accusations against my work. But in December 1989 I was acquitted. In January 1990, following pressure from patients asking for the product, the Canadian government accepted 714X for distribution through the Emergency Drug Release Program. Since that time, 714X has been used by thousands of patients, and hundreds of doctors across Canada. Word has spread also through the United States and Europe. In spite of this demand, 714X is only legally available in Canada for patients who are considered to be in the terminal stages of a degenerative disease. So, as of today, the preventive use of 714X is not available anywhere.
Q: In a sense, the Office of Alternative Medicine was formed in part because of Congressman Berkley Bedell's interest in your work. How do you feel about OAM now?
A: We are certainly encouraged by its formation and appreciate the efforts of Mr. Bedell and many others in trying to get alternative practices evaluated. We also understand the difficulties encountered by those trying to evaluate alternative treatments using orthodox methods (e.g., the double-blind study). We certainly think that we can be rigorous and still respect the holistic vision of the alternative methods.
I want to reiterate that I myself am ready to cooperate with any investigations that I would consider honest and well-intentioned. But in my opinion, evaluation of alternative methods of intervention requires a different protocol of research than testing the effectiveness or the toxicity of a chemical compound.
Q: What do you say to charges that you are "commercializing your work" in the USA without FDA's permission?
A: Since international communications are now a fact of life, 714X is requested by more and more American consumers. We have not purposely installed any marketing strategy to ensure distribution of 714X. Rather, we think that social consciousness, progressively rising, is directly responsible for the increasing demand of doctors requesting 714X for their patients. In that respect, I think that the charge pertaining to my "commercializing" 714X is unfair.
We have indeed sent 714X to many American doctors who requested it for their terminally ill patients. But we were not aware that Americans might have less human rights than Canadians now have. As mentioned, during the last five years, many Canadians have been able to receive it through the Emergency Drug Release Program (humanitarian section).
However, it was never our intention to commercialize this product without official governmental permission. We think that patients requesting the product are only asserting their individual freedom of choice. Also, we have always insisted on good communication between patients and doctors in order to guarantee that informed consent had taken place before any treatment was started.
Q: Why didn't you apply for an Investigative New Drug (IND) permit before beginning to distribute this drug?
A: Your question has two aspects to it and has to be answered in two parts. First, let me say that, being well aware of its unconventional status, we did not systematically create a network of distribution for 714X. We only responded to the open-minded attitude of many American doctors who recommend 714X to their patients, as do many doctors in various countries.
The second aspect of your question refers to an eventual IND status for 714X. You are well aware of the financial investments that would be needed to obtain such a permit. As a private laboratory, we certainly do not have the millions of dollars needed for such an accreditation.
On the other hand, it is important to realize that my main interest is in advancing fundamental research in biology, and not merely in manufacturing or commercializing various products.
The fact that a product has not gone through the whole IND evaluation process does not mean that the product is not effective. The lack of proof does not mean the absence of one. Sen. Daschle's bill, S2140, might make products like 714X more readily available to American patients.
Q: Recently, we have seen claims that 714X is nothing but camphor, and that since camphor is a very old herbal treatment,714X is also in the public domain. True?
A: This line of reasoning is absolutely false. It is true that 714X contains a form of camphor. But that does not make it camphor, any more than table salt is equal to "sodium" or "chlorine," being in fact neither one of them. In Canada, I patented 714X in August, 1980, showing again that 714X is not simply camphor, but is a unique compound with specific chemical properties purposely created to normalize the somatidian cycle. You have to understand that camphor as found in 714X is present in a physiological concentration altogether different than the simple square piece of camphor you might buy at the pharmacy.
Some Naessens Phone Numbers
Other Naessens articles in the On-Line Cancer Chronicles