bird flu and the money

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Helen, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    This article is on FOX this morning:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179584,00.html
    "Roche Grants Sublicense for Tamiflu"
    which says, in part, "Roche said the agreement with Hetero would help speed up delivery of the drug, also known as oseltamivir, to "some of the world's poorest countries."

    Baschi Duerr, a spokesman at the Basel-based company, said the sublicense was granted strictly to meet government orders from India and other developing countries for pandemic planning. It does not allow Hetero to sell the drug to retailers, he said.

    Hetero was chosen because it had demonstrated that it meets "the criteria which Roche defined in terms of technical ability, capacity and the speed of bringing that capacity on stream," the company said.

    B. Parthasaradhi Reddy, chairman and managing director of Hetero Drugs, told The Associated Press that his company hopes to supply 1 million capsules to the Indian government by January."


    Here are some comments by me:

    1. This "epidemic" has killed a total of 71 people in over two years. We lose FAR more people -- probably every month -- to other forms of inflenza in the world. The reason this is getting so much press is because of the potential windfall profits from the vaccine.

    2. There WILL be a black market for this vaccine, which has not been shown to be effective so far.

    3. It is being compared, in potential severity, to the Spanish flu of 1918. That flu, first of all, may not have been flu, and, secondly, seemed to hit a disproportionate number of males between the ages of 18 and 35 -- the same males who were in our armed forces camps -- the same males who were given mandatory innoculations against other things. There is statistical evidence that the outbreak of "Spanish flu", at least among our armed servicement at the time was in direct proportion to the vaccinations and medical records from the time show clearly that doctors attributed the illness to the vaccinations.

    4. Please note page 20 of the document posted here: http://www.adscripts.com/MVEC/bioshi~1.pdf
    and you will find that it makes it legal for vaccines which have not been tested to be used in case of a bioterror attack, or a perceived attack. Further efforts in Congress in the past few days have also indicated that these vaccinations can be made manditory for the general population.

    5. My sister, a total liberal and Democrat, sent me this yesterday. Because of her leanings, I was tending to discount some of it at least, but I quote it here to see how much others might know:

    -------

    Written by the Democratic Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Staff, addressing scandelous language added in once again by Senator Frist, in a must pass DoD appropriations bill:

    IMMUNITY FOR THE DRUG INDUSTRY

    In the middle of the night, Republican leaders attached sweeping, never-before-seen immunity for drug companies into the Department of Defense Appropriations Conference Report. The language constitutes an unprecedented pharmaceutical industry wish-list of liability protections that go way beyond avian flu preparedness and that will allow the industry to injure or kill Americans with contaminated drugs and vaccines and never be held accountable. This language is broader than any House or Senate bill and has never been considered by any committee or passed by either body. The language in fact, even expressly immunizes pharmaceutical company recklessness.

    The language:

    Applies to a wide range of drugs, vaccines, and other products. The proposal provides that any "drug, biological product or device that is used to mitigate, prevent, treat, or cure a pandemic or epidemic or limit the harm such pandemic or epidemic might otherwise cause." may be covered and given immunity. The proposal does not, in any way, limit its application only to new drugs or vaccines used in a pandemic context. The scope of the proposal is so broad that it could include drugs like Tylenol, Advil or Vioxx.

    Allows the Secretary to declare an emergency under ANY circumstance.
    The immunity for drug companies is triggered upon a declaration by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The language is so broad that it allows the Secretary to make a declaration at any time, for almost any reason, and for any period of time he or she so chooses. The Secretary may make a declaration pursuant to this section if a disease or health condition is a public health emergency or "there is a credible risk that the disease, condition, or threat may in the future constitute such an emergency." [emphasis added.] There will always be a future risk of a health condition becoming an emergency, but that future risk alone should not be enough to justify total immunity for the pharmaceutical industry. This declaration is not subject to appeal, or to any independent judicial review.

    Provides for total preemption of state law during the declaration. The language also preempts all state laws, requirements, or state tort law that is different from or in conflict with the federal rule.

    Immunizes drug companies for reckless and grossly negligent conduct.
    The only exception to the grant of wholesale immunity is in the case of "willful misconduct." However, willful misconduct is defined as evidence that the drug company had actual knowledge that their product would injure or kill someone. This requirement means that only conduct that would also constitute assault, battery or murder would be sufficient to find "willful misconduct." The language explicitly protects recklessness by stating, "a standard for liability that is more stringent that a standard of negligence in any form or recklessness."
    That is language never before seen in any proposed bill.

    Immunizes criminal conduct when the Secretary or the Attorney General fails to act. Even if a drug company has acted with "willful misconduct" as defined by this language, the drug company is still immune from accountability unless the Secretary or the Attorney General initiates an enforcement action against the drug company and that action is pending at the time a claim is filed or the action resulted in some form of punishment. So even if a drug company knowingly kills thousands of people, if no official enforcement action is taken, that company is
    still immune.

    Erects insurmountable barriers such that Americans will never be able to hold a drug company accountable. Under the language, a person who has been injured by a dangerous drug or vaccine must prove "by clear and convincing evidence willful misconduct" on the part of each and every defendant drug company. This standard of proof is so high, and rarely used in civil proceedings, that the injured individual will never be able to hold a drug company accountable.

    Includes severe restrictions even if a claim is allowed. In the unlikely event that a claim is allowed to go forward because a court has found sufficient evidence that a drug company intentionally and willfully injured or killed a person, the following restrictions would still
    apply:

    a.. The complaint must be accompanied by physician's affidavit by a doctor who did not treat the person that the person is suffering from an effect of the covered countermeasure;
    b.. The injured individual must provide their medical records that show that the injury was caused by that countermeasure;
    c.. An exclusive federal cause of action, barring individuals from filing a claim in their own state court under state law;
    d.. The elimination of the collateral source rule such that any damage award received by the injured person would be reduced by any other payment received by the individual, such as health insurance or disability benefits; Includes provisions of the so-called "Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act"
    (LARA). Proponents have even dumped into this proposal provisions of LARA, a bill which has twice passed the House but has never been considered in the Senate. Among other things, the proposal would amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure without following the normal rule-making processes.

    Establishes a "compensation" fund under the sole direction of the Secretary. The language establishes a fund similar to the smallpox compensation fund. However, the fund is operated under regulations established by the Secretary alone, includes caps on compensation, and is inoperable until Congress appropriates a sufficient amount of money for the fund to operate.

    ------------

    Paul warns Timothy "a love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."

    I am wondering if it is possible
    1. That a worldwide pandemic could be caused and not cured by the drug companies
    2. Whether or not it would be on purpose in the name of 'world peace' and 'population control.' After all, most of those who would die would be third world people, and that is where most of the unrest is. It would also kill off the elderly in an aging baby-boom generation so that those following would not have to support them.

    Those of you who know me know I am not only NOT a doomsdayer, but that I abhore fear mongering.

    Nevertheless, I am wondering where the line is between that and an honest appraisal of what is happening is concerned.

    I am hoping there will be some informed responses to this.
     
  2. hillclimber

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    IF this is true, the republican party leaders have gone over from my antagonists list to my enemies list.

    Quote by Helen: I am wondering if it is possible
    1. That a worldwide pandemic could be caused and not cured by the drug companies
    2. Whether or not it would be on purpose in the name of 'world peace' and 'population control.' After all, most of those who would die would be third world people, and that is where most of the unrest is. It would also kill off the elderly in an aging baby-boom generation so that those following would not have to support them.


    Treachery of these dimensions in pretty much indefensible. So Congress must have their feet held to the fire.

    I can not see an industry (pharm's) being capable of pulling this coup off though. Too many people would have to know of this betrayal for it to succeed. I may well be naive though.

    Sorry, nothing substantial here by me. Just anger and angst.
     
  3. poncho

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    SOURCE
     
  4. KenH

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    Where is the information about mandatory flu vaccinations in the U.S.?
     
  5. poncho

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  6. KenH

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    "The Act does not specifically authorize regulations related to mandatory vaccination programs, nor do there appear to be any regulations regarding the implementation of a mandatory vaccination program at the federal level during a public health emergency."

    Of course, since President Bush evidently doesn't think that federal laws place restraint on his power anyway, he might just run with this if the situation arises.
     
  7. UTEOTW

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    "I am hoping there will be some informed responses to this."

    OK.

    I am not generally a conspiracy theorists kind of guy, so I'll leave that part alone other than to express doubt.

    "The reason this is getting so much press is because of the potential windfall profits from the vaccine.

    2. There WILL be a black market for this vaccine, which has not been shown to be effective so far.
    "

    Did you mean antiviral drugs or did you really mean "vaccine?"

    There may be a very good reason why a vaccine will not work. From what I understand, it is somewhere between very difficult and impossible to make a vaccine using standard methods for avian flu. Normal flu vaccine is made by injecting the virus into eggs, letting the chicken embryo grow the virus and then processing the eggs to make the vaccine. It seems that the bird flu strains kill the embryo quickly preventing the method from being used to make vaccine. There are other methods being developed, but I do not think that they are in production yet. Maybe one factory in Europe. I seem to remember hearing about a recent groundbreaking for a factory that will make vaccine by growing the virus in large vats similar to the way that beer is brewed, for instance. Since the avian flu uses a different mix of genes than the current strains, current vaccines would be useless.

    Now the antivirals fit your description more closely. How much spare capacity there is available for manufacturing is unclear to me, but you would expect there to be some. There will not be enough to go around, that seems certain. And in some cases, it has been ineffective against some of the strains of bird flu emerging.

    "3. It is being compared, in potential severity, to the Spanish flu of 1918. That flu, first of all, may not have been flu, and, secondly, seemed to hit a disproportionate number of males between the ages of 18 and 35 -- the same males who were in our armed forces camps -- the same males who were given mandatory innoculations against other things. There is statistical evidence that the outbreak of "Spanish flu", at least among our armed servicement at the time was in direct proportion to the vaccinations and medical records from the time show clearly that doctors attributed the illness to the vaccinations."

    I might should have broken that up.

    I have read discussion that the issue with the soldiers was simply that they were in very close, unsanitary quarters and being exposed to a highly contagious agent for which they had no prior immunity because it was new.

    I think the case for the 1918 outbreak really being the flu has been greatly strengthened in the last several weeks by the sequencing of its genome.

    T.M. Tumpey et al., "Characterization of the Reconstructed 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic Virus," Science 310, 77 (2005)

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/310/5745/77
     
  8. Joseph_Botwinick

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    This is the only sentence that really bothers me. I guess I would like to see the actual broad language here that allows the secretary to declare an emergency under ANY cirumstance. I have a feeling that someone is probably overstating this a bit.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  9. The Galatian

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    It's not a great conspiracy. It's just the drug companies flexing their muscles again. Remember when they got the Prescription Drug Act fixed so that it prohibited the Federal Government to buy drugs in bulk to save money?

    They own Congress. And they are making sure their investment pays off.
     

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