Monday, November 16, 2009

H1N1: The Business

When I first started looking into the government roll and the vaccine shortage, I was thinking that it was mostly a government created “hype” along with some pushing by vaccine manufactures. Add in the mix the media and the "proganda" machine up and running. However, when I started looking into pharmaceutical companies who were lobbying congress this is what I found that both government and pharmaceutical industry are working the system equally.

Novartis, a company that manufactures vaccines and blood diagnostic test, has spent 4.5 million dollars lobbying congress this year alone. Novartis is one of the major distributors of the H1N1 vaccine world wide. The Boston Globe reported on Oct 22, 2009 that "...a handful of drug makers, including the Novartis AG vaccine division in Cambridge, the global effort to combat the swine flu is turning out to be good business, bringing them a $7 billion windfall. The race to produce the H1N1 vaccine, at the urging of the World Health Organization and governments here and abroad, has strained supply chains and forced manufacturers to untangle production snags."

(Side note: The WHO is an organization created by the U.N. and has their own agenda to detailed to go into in this post.)

And this is from

Since 2004, HHS has contracted with manufacturers that currently hold U.S. licenses for flu vaccine as part of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza. In May 2009, HHS issued new orders on these contracts to produce a bulk supply of vaccine antigen and adjuvant and to produce pilot (also called investigational) lots of a 2009 H1N1 vaccine

The other pharmaceutical companies that are in the H1N1 vaccine race are GlaxoSmithKlein, CSL Biotherapies (they are in a partnership with Merck & Co),Sanofi Pasteur, and MedImmune (who make the flu mist.) It is safe to say that the pharmacuetacil companies have a special interest. The federal government is creating the demand thru declaring this an "emergency" and also, regulating the drugs and vaccines through the FDA. This is the reason that Pharmaceutical and Health industry have, over 1600 lobbyist and have contributed $199,323,702.00(that's almost 200 million)to congress just this year. How much research could that $200 million have paid for?

Last but not least, the media is reporting nightly on the latest updates on the vaccine supplies an doing their "public service" by broadcasting clinic locations. I found it very interesting that the CEO of Thomson Reuters, Tom Glocer, is also on the Board of Merck and Co. It says so right on his company profile. Reuters was one of the first news outlets who broke the news about H1N1 virus. Is this a conflict in interest???

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