The charge (reported here and here) is that major drug companies conspired to create panic over the Swine Flu. By convincing WHO (World Health Organization) to declare a pandemic and as a consequence make the drug companies billions.
From Wiki:
Wolfgang Wodarg, As chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Health Committee Wodarg co-signed a proposed resolution[1] on December 18, 2009, which will be discussed in January in an emergency debate and he has called for an inquiry into alleged undue influence exerted by pharmaceutical companies on the World Health Organization's global H1N1 flu campaign.
“Wodarg ... says the swine flu scare was a "false pandemic" led by drug companies that stood to make billions from vaccines. major firms organized a "campaign of panic" to put pressure on the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic. ..[snip].. He added:"A group of people in the WHO is associated very closely with the pharmaceutical industry."

The WHO has recently reaffirmed its stance that the pandemic is not over. However, the number of swine flu deaths is dramatically lower than expected.
He believes it is "one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century" — and has called for an inquiry.”

I have somewhat conflicting feelings on this issue. On the one hand, if true I want to see the scum in jail (unlikely as that would be) but on the other, it gives ammunition to the anti-vac mob to howl their nonsence ("we told you so – nah!, nah!")
Lending more ammunition to the anti-vac crowd is this report concerning one of the “companies of interest”.
“The vaccine developed by Novartis was produced in a bio-reactor from cancerous cells, a technique that had never been used until now.”
I don't know how the bio-reactor is concerned (refers to any device or system that supports a biologically active environment, used for batch processing biological reactions, growth or bi-products) nor do I know how cancerous cells are used in the process. However, it appears to be an untried process and that coupled with CANCER … [scary, scary - woo woo – shake fists ] .. I can imagine the protest signs the Woowoovillage people will be scribbling on cardboard..

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Comment by Medb of California on January 29, 2010 at 7:46pm
My major in college right now is directly involved with the pharmaceutical industry, and people's ideas of what their profits are from most drugs is ridiculously overblown. Most drug company profits come from designer feel good drugs that are were cheap to invent, often the result of another line of research, and VERY cheap to produce. Think Viagra or Prozac.

While I do think that drug companies do push some drugs for profit, they wouldn't push something so expensive & resource consuming to produce as a vaccine. Mr. Watson is correct in saying that one of the steps in producing a vaccine is in eggs, there are many other steps involved as well. Most steps along the production line require a high level of quality control-meaning labor intensive, very, very expensive.

And really this did have the potential to become a very nasty epidemic, especially in communities with limited access to healthcare, i.e. a sizable portion of the U.S. population. It was deadly when it first emerged in Mexico, & had precautions not been taken could have killed far more people. This is no different than the New York Vaccine where woo-woo's point out that it killed 25 without taking into account that many more would have died from the flu without the vaccine, even at the mortality level of the average flu. This is just more fearmongering.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on January 14, 2010 at 10:07am
The warnings and precautions were certainly warranted and probably prevented more cases of the seasonal flu than it did the H1N1 strain. I think the issue is about the financial bonanza the drug companies reaped with the possible collusion of the WHO.
They don't make money with warnings and precautions. Producing 100's of million doses of vaccine does.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on January 13, 2010 at 6:34pm
I don't question the seriousness of the H1N1 virus nor the potential lethality, but there are protocols for declaing a pandemic. I think Wodarg is guestioning if the circumstancies warrented the calling of a pandemic and if their was a conspiracy between the drug companies and WHO.



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