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Who Keeps an Eye on WHO?

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Who Keeps an Eye on WHO?


On January 6th, 2010, The International Herald tribune reported in an article entitled "Vaccine cancellations put makers in a bind", that "Sales of H1N1 vaccines have been a windfall for drug makers since mid-2009 as governments have built up stockpiles. Glaxo was expected to be the single biggest beneficiary with anticipated sales of some $3.5 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2010, according to industry analysts. Sanofi was forecast to record revenue of about $1 billion and Novartis about $600 million."

Meanwhile, it has been reported that in Ireland approximately two-thirds of the swine-flu vaccines made available, have gone unused. Some 24 people died from swine flu. A lot less than the number who die each winter from the normal seasonal flu. So about 8.5 million euro has been basically thrown in the bin, at a time that Ireland can ill afford to waste money. Did things go better in the other 26 Member States?

During the current Economic Crisis, many sacrifices are being made; salaries & pensions are being cut, many people laid off, or being left practically homeless as they fail to keep up with their mortgage repayments. While at the same time, a lot of money has been made by certain pharmaceutical companies.

Although other unions have been too busy with more important issues, we in SID are not the only ones to ask questions. The chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Health Committee, Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, at the turn of the year, called for an inquiry into alleged undue influence exerted by pharmaceutical companies on the World Health Organisation’s global H1N1 flu campaign.


It would be good if the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (1) got together with their colleagues from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's Health Committee to investigate. One outcome of such an inquiry might be that some of big pharma's fraudulent windfall profits will be confiscated and used to help the victims of the crisis.

Gerard Hanney-Labastille

Created by: admin last modification: Monday 26 of April, 2010 [15:35:06 UTC] by admin


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