Swine Flu Report - Conflict of Interest?

may also include historical analysis and perspective
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 12:24

Unread post 04 Feb 2010, 19:35 #1

I heard a report the other day on the BBC radio regarding the 2009 N1N5 Swine Flu Pandemic - the report basically asked "what happened to the threat and the emergency?" It also looked at the massive profits made by Pharmaceutical companies which provided the vaccines and the stockpiles now sold to countries around the world on the presumption of a global health crisis.

The BBC inquired as to why was there was such a emergency - who was consulted at the onset of the Flu, and who were the people who prescribed the situation to be a Pandemic alert.
It has recently been reported that the 'Advisors' on the sitting committee for the World Health Oragnisation (who announced the Swine Flu as a Pandemic) are members of the Pharmaceutical Industry - and that those members are involved directly and indirectly with the vaccines which were rolled out to the world once the 2009 Pandemic was announced.

The members of that advisory sitting committee to WHO remain anonymus, as it is felt that there maybe a cause for people to think that there is a conflict of interest.
The WHO will not name those involved.

I transcribed the report from the BBC, though you can listen to the full report - there are links available.
I have added some questions I have below and a lsit of Pharma Companies I found who may or may not have members linked to the WHO advisory sitting committe - but have certainly been recommending strategies to be prepared for a Pandemic (dated 2007)

Here is what I have prepared ... Do you think there maybe a Conflict of Interest and do you think any of these companies might have been advised WHO on the classification of the 2009 Swine Flu?



Transcript from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0 ... 1_02_2010/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Broadcast on: BBC World Service, 9:05pm Monday 1st February 2010
Duration: 55 minutes
Available until: 12:00am Thursday 1st January 2099
• News

Note: *The spelling of some names may not be correct – I have written them phonetically as I could not find any references on the Internet.

Julian Marshall:
Now for those of us who live North of the Equator the Winter isn’t over yet which means that its still possible that many more people will fall ill with Swine Flu but so far it seems safe to say that it hasn’t turned into the disastrous Global Pandemic that we had been led to expect.
You’ll probably remember what was being said after the new virus surface in Mexico last year it was pretty scary stuff.
The Council of Europe has just been debating the handling of the outbreak. Some critics have suggested that the UN’s world health organization the WHO might have been over influenced in its predictions by people with links to the Pharmaceutical Industry which was keen to sell millions of doses of Anti Swine Flu Vaccine. Imogen Folks Reports.

Imogen Folks – (Story Presenter):
April 24th 2009 – (a reporting voice from that time is played) “BBC News with Nick Kelly – The authorities in Mexico are taking emergency measures to tackle an outbreak of a new kind of Swine Flu ...”

Male Voice: “When we first heard about it, it was about sometime after midnight, and by 4am in the morning we had stood up our emergency operations, but I don’t think then that we knew then where the Pandemic was going to go.”

Imogen Folks:
As news of the Swine Flu Outbreak emerged *Dr K D Fakuda of the world health organization swung into action. Ever since SARS and Avian Flu he’d been preparing for a deadly new flu virus, but was Swine Flu that virus? Watching W.H.O preparations was German Epidemiologist *Wolfgang Voldardt. He couldn’t understand how a thousand cases in a city of 20 million could constitute a real pandemic.

What we experienced in Mexico city was a very mild flu which did not kill more than usual, which even killed less people than usual, it was suddenly was used, a fast spreading mild flu, as the Pandemic. This was a very new invention. And I asked myself why does W.H.O do such nonsense.

(Voice of the WHO announcement of the Swine Flu Pandemic) “On the basis of expert evidence, and these expert assessments of the evidence, the scientific criteria for a Influenza Pandemic have been met.”

Imogen Folks:
The WHO new definition of a Pandemic is based only on the spread of an illness, not on severity. On June 11th, WHO General Director Margaret Chan made the announcement: (voice of Margaret Chan)” The world is now at the start of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic.”

Imogen Folks - continued:
Around the world countries put their Pandemic plans into action, spending their health budgets on vaccine that wasn’t needed. But there was one winner out of all this.

Here in Zurich’s financial district *Christof Egman, a financial analyst, specializing in Pharmaceutical companies, has been looking at results for vaccine producer ‘Novartis’ for the last 3 months of 2009.

Christof Egman:
In the 4th quarter Novartis booked vaccine sales for about 1.4 billion US dollars, that’s about a billion more than last year, and this 1 Billion comes exclusively actually from Pandemic H1N1 sales, and Swine Flu in that sense was a big boost to the vaccine business.

Imogen Folks - continued:
In recent years the W.H.O has pursued partnerships with the Pharmaceutical industry. But how do these work?
During a Pandemic, the W.H.O decides when a pandemic has been reached. But then the drug companies, many of whom now have representatives advising the WHO can roll out their vaccines to a huge global market.

Taped sound of Novatis video being played: “we don’t just want to focus on laboratory research, The Novartis Venture Fund for example ... (fades)

Imogen Folks continued:
At Novartis’ gleaming headquarters in Basil visitors are treated to a promotional film extolling the company, and head of Vaccine Production *Undrian Oswald tells me “Pandemics are good for business”.

Undrian Osweld – (Novartis):
It is obvious that we are a business, and we create value propositions and products that we hope somebody needs and will pay for it. That’s what we do, otherwise, why we would exist? So if there is a need for a new vaccine, and Governments want a new vaccine, from a business point of view, yes, that’s good. I mean, we prepare this so that one day it would be needed – clear.

Imogen Folks - continued:
But does the emergency committee advising the WHO on Swine Flu contain people with links to the Pharmaceutical Industry. When asked about possible ‘Conflict of Interests’, the WHO’s spokesman *Gregory Hartal had only this to say:

Gregory Hartal:
‘Conflict of Interest’ is such ‘Declarations of Interest’ were discussed within the Emergency Committee. Their names have not been made public yet because the Committee is still a Sitting Committee and it is felt that the potential for bringing undue pressure on them, when they are making decisions which have societal and economic impacts are so great, that it is better for the moment to keep their names anonymous.

Imogen Folks - continued:
It’s this very secrecy that has prompted the Council of Europe to begin investigations backed by Doctors like Wolfgang Voldart.

Wolfgang Voldart:
We have to find out whether there is an undue influence of industry with this public/private partnership in the WHO. The Pharmaceutical industry; they need patients, they need ill people and so they earn more money, so the shareholders have completely different interest than the public health officer.

Imogen Folks - continued:
The World Health Organization has said it will hold an enquiry, but only when the Pandemic is over, and despite falling numbers of Swine Flu cases, it won’t put a date on that. Sooner or later though, the WHO, the worlds top public health body with huge responsibilities to combat AIDS, Malaria and TB, have to provide more clarity about exactly it handled Swine Flu, otherwise the next time a Pandemic comes along the world may not take its advice so seriously.


After this report by Imogen Folks the News Presenter Julian Marshall went on to ask questions to Laurie Garrett: Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council for Foreign Relations in Washington, and Mark Honixbalm: Medical Researcher for Wellcome Trust in London ...guests who were listening to the broadcast report.

The rest of the interview can be heard on the BBC website:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0 ... 1_02_2010/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false


This article brought up some questions I had regarding the relationship between the Vaccine Suppliers and the WHO and their roles in relation to WHO.

Are people from the Pharmaceutical Companies on the (Sitting) Advisory Committee to the WHO? As we found out from the BBC Report - YES, they are.
What is their Role?
Why are they Anonymous?
Is there a conflict of Interest?

On looking through WHO documents online, I did find a PDF from 2007 where by WHO commissioned a Task Force of Vaccine Pharmaceutical Companies to presented a paper at a WHO meeting.
It is a recommendation regarding Pandemics and Vaccines (2007).

The list of Pharmaceutical Companies and presenters who put the paper together are instrumental in the supply of research, distribution, and manufacture of the Pandemic Vaccines. Their conclusions and recommendations, as well as the now (2009-2010) projected forecasts are to be found in the presentation report:
WHO Meeting on Options for Increasing the Access of Developing Countries to H5N1 and other Potential Pandemic Vaccines (this was in 2007) (link to pdf below)

The Company Novartis which was mentioned in the report, who had the overwhelming profit climb on the back of the Swine Flu Pandemic mentioned in the BBC report, are listed on the report above.

I am wondering if Novartis, and any of the Companies listed in the WHO Meeting on Options for Increasing the Access of Developing Countries to H5N1 and other Potential Pandemic Vaccines Report were also part of the 2009 Sitting Committee Members who at this stage remain anonymous due to possible ‘Conflict of Interest’

I also am curious to know the financial reports of the other Companies listed below and if they did as well out of the Pandemic?

After viewing most financial reports of the TASK websites huge profits were made in 2009 compared to other years. Please visit the company websites and read their financial reports and Pandemic involvement. Then put this up against their projected 2010 charts and other recommendations from the WHO Meeting on Options for Increasing the Access of Developing Countries to H5N1 and other Potential Pandemic Vaccines (link to pdf below)

Was the F1N1 Flu Pandemic a projected and orchestrated rollout for vaccinations and was it over estimated at the time by the WHO?
Did the WHO take recommendations from any of the Pharmaceutical companies, their affiliate companies or associations or members listed, about the Swine Flu N1H1 Pandemic?

It will be interesting to see what the Council of Europe find in their investigations into ‘Conflict of Interest’ ... it will be interesting to see when that study will even start. I’m not sure why it is being left until after the Pandemic is over, if it ever will be that is.

Then I am wondering what measures will be put in place and what standards taken to ensure ‘Conflict of Interest’ and ‘Transparency’ when another announcement is made regarding the rollout of a worldwide vaccination program.

The PDF is only about 28 pages long and in PowerPoint presentation Form (seemingly) so the read is fairly easy ...

PDF Title:
WHO Meeting on Options for Increasing the Access of Developing Countries to
H5N1 and other Potential Pandemic Vaccines
Geneva, 25 April 2007
Luc Hessel MD
IFPMA Influenza Vaccine Supply International Task Force

Please read this pdf below, which looks as if it is a PP Presentation sheet list includes a list of the task force members and the Pharmaceutical Companies involved in the Task Force who presented to the WHO 2007.
It also recommends stockpiling of vaccines and charts depict projections for development to 2010 ...
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2 ... dustry.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Influenza Vaccine Supply Task Force.
IVS Core Team:
Chair - Luc Hessel – SP MDS
Scientific Coordinator – Tony Colgate – NOVARIS
Policy Coordinator – Bram Palache – SOLVAY
Secretariat – Ryoko Krause – IFPMA

Companies Represented:
Baxter - http://www.baxter.com/about_baxter/pres ... nings.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false


Berna – A Crucell Company:
http://www.bernaproducts.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

http://www.csl.com.au/s1/cs/auhq/118228 ... 8/home.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Denka Seiken Co Ltd:
http://www.denka-seiken.co.jp/english/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

GSK Glasco Smith Kline Biologicals:
http://www.gsk.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

http://www.kaketsuken.or.jp/eng/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

The Kitasato Institute:
http://www.kitasato.ac.jp/rcb/eng/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Med Immune
http://www.medimmune.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Nobilon International:
http://nobilon.com/index.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Sanofi Pasteur – the vaccine business of sanofi-aventis Group
http://www.sanofipasteur.com/sanofi-pas ... de=SP_CORP" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Sanofi Pasteur MSD
http://www.spmsd.co.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

http://www.solvay.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

This maybe of Interest to:
Influenza Vaccine Supply Task Force: PdF 2007
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2 ... index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

I have put together a list of websites mentioned in the report for easier access to other articles and information:

Novartis website:
http://www.novartis.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false
Novartis Annual Financial Results:
http://www.novartis.com/investors/sales ... ence.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false
Novartis Clinical Pipeline (in Development)
http://www.novartis.com/research/pharma ... duct.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Council of Europe:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Europe" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false
CoE website:
http://www.coe.int/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false
Council of Europe Bioethics webpage
http://www.coe.int/t/dc/files/themes/bi ... ult_en.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false?
European Pharmacpoeia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Pharmacopoeia" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Wellcome Trust London
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

World Health Organisation (WHO):
‘Addressing Ethical Issues in Pandemic Influenza Planning’ – outline – many pdf available at link for conferences addressing the issue.
http://www.who.int/ethics/influenza_pro ... index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false
WHO Avian Flu webpage:
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_in ... index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false
Stockpiling Vaccines – pdf’s available at link
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2 ... index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 07 Feb 2010, 04:44 #2

Thanks Zapp for putting that together. I'm sure it took you a good chunk of time.

When I first heard of this impending swine flu epidemic, I was scared. But after time passed, it appeared to be no different from any other flus which have unfortunately taken the lives of elderly, children, or anyone with a compromised immune system at the time.

Thanks for showing that Big Business has its creepy paws all over policies and perceptions that affect all of us.

I did a quick search for Donald Rumsfeld, tamiflu, and conflict of interest and got the following return.

Tamiflu Scandal: Gilead Sciences' Donald Rumsfeld Connection
Tina Kells wrote:Tamiflu is being touted as the best way to combat the H1N1 Swine Flu virus which has communities around the world in a pandemic panic, but is there a hidden agenda behind the push? Tamiflu is only one of two readily available anti-viral medications, yet Relenza isn't getting the same cure-it attention.

Could the fact that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has substantial interest in Gilead Sciences, the company that exclusively produces Tamiflu, be part of the reason that Relenza is taking a back seat in the H1N1 Swine Flu treatment plan?

The suggestion of a US government/Tamiflu conflict of interest is not new. It first surfaced in 2005 when then President George W. Bush pushed for and won $7.1 billion in emergency funding to prepare for an influenza pandemic that was not even yet on the horizon....
This reminds me of the scandal over aspartame, that addictive sugar substitute which is linked to many health concerns. Rumsfeld was involved with that one also. By the way, the best substitute for sugar is no sugar or agave syrup.

Aspartame's Untold Story
Nobody - I mean nobody - pulls the wool over the eyes of a Gambini