Wodarg has also voiced concern that the hastily developed vaccines are not entirely safe. He is a fierce opponent of adjuvanted vaccines, which contain a kind of immune booster shown to produce autoimmune responses in some children. Adjuvanted vaccines were sold in parts of Europe and Canada, but are banned in the US.
The private research group, Markets and Markets, estimated that the global H1N1 vaccine market will be worth over $7 billion a year by 2011.
Such incredible profits have sparked a wider shift in medicine from care to profit, according to Marcia Angell M.D., former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine and a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
“Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself.”
Angell wrote a book called “The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It.” She reported that the drug industry spent around 14 percent of sales profits on research and development in 2000, while spending closer to 35 percent on “marketing and administration.” How that expenditure breaks down is not public knowledge, but 35 percent comes out to a lot of money.
In 2002, just ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 made more profits than all the other 490 companies put together, according to Angell. Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck alone made $287 billion in 2007, according to the 2008 Pharma Report by IMS, a market intelligence firm.
In the words of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, president of the eastern European country Belarus, who spoke on Radio Free Europe last December: “I know very well what is going on in this super-corrupt, gangster circle of medicine producers. Today, [pharmaceutical companies] squeal like swine; tomorrow, perhaps, they’ll purr like cats or moo like cows.”
Dud Vaccines for Dud Diseases?
Perhaps the most sinister thing about the swine flu fluke is not that the disease has turned out to be a dud, but that the drugs themselves may be duds as well.
The Atlantic magazine ran a piece last November entitled, “Does the Vaccine Matter?” which concluded that medical data showing flu vaccines don’t work has been squashed.
The Atlantic piece cites a rigorous study done by the Group Health Research Center in Seattle, which found seasonal flu vaccines to be ineffective. The study was marginalized to a little-read journal, The Atlantic said.
The December issue of The Lancet cites a master study which reviewed all previous flu vaccine studies. The report found, in the final assessment, no evidence that flu vaccines prevent death in children 2 and under – and advises they not be vaccinated.
As Dr. Wodarg put it: “Our children are vaccinated unnecessarily with the new vaccine. Scientifically this is a very big error and they don’t deserve our trust when they go on like this.”
But perhaps the oddest study concerning flu shots was done in Canada. The paper is still under peer review, yet the results were apparently leaked. According to a September 30 article in The Globe and Mail, the study found that Canadians who received last year’s seasonal flu vaccine were twice as likely to get swine flu this year.
Well-respected researchers Dr. Gaston de Serres of Laval University and Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the British Columbia Centre led the major study for Disease Control. Ethan Rubinstein, who leads the adult infectious diseases department at the University of Manitoba, said the study has “a large number of authors, all of them excellent and credible researchers,” and added that the “solid” research drew on a huge sample size of around 12 million people.
Scientists have no idea how seasonal flu vaccines and H1N1 might be connected.
One frightening possibility is suggested by the work of one of the most extreme voices in the budding movement of people who question the motives behind the swine flu vaccination plan.
Austrian science journalist Jane Burgermeister is suing the drug company Baxter for allegedly sending out about 160 pounds of seasonal flu vaccines containing bird flu-contaminated vaccine. Baxter’s intent, she claims, was to instigate a pandemic. Burgermeister, who formerly wrote for the British Medical Journal, Nature and The Scientist, was recently fired from her job as European correspondent of the Renewable Energy World web site. Burgermeister believes she lost her job due to the lawsuit.
H1N1 is composed of flu strains from flu viruses found in birds, humans and pigs from both the US and Europe. One leading theory is that the international pig trade enabled the crossing of strains, but according to a Virology Journal article from November 24, how the H1N1 formed remains a mystery to science. The new strain of swine flu emerged last April, with the first cases found in Mexico. However, it is now widely believed to have spawned at hog farms in the US, the Journal reported. (Posted by Bulatlat.com)
Niko Kyriakou is a freelance journalist based in northern California who has written for UPI, Inter Press Service, OneWorld.net, American Prospect Online, and various print media.