UK Daily Mail: ‘Bonanza’ for drug firms as NHS admits it is giving a

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2010-01-10 12:05:52

Attachments :…   ‘Bonanza’ for drug firms as NHS admits it is giving away £1billion of swine flu vaccine By Fiona MacraeLast updated at 3:17 AM on 09th January 2010 Comments (27) Add to My Stories Flu jabs: Millions are unused Millions of doses of swine flu vaccine are to be given away  –  at a possible cost of £1billion.  Some 132million doses of the jab were ordered at the height of the scare about a worldwide pandemic.  But this has proved to be a colossal miscalculation  –  and millions of doses are lying unwanted.  The original order was enough for two doses for everyone in Britain. It was placed last May as ministers and chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson predicted 20million people would contract swine flu and 65,000 might die.  Last night the Government admitted the excess may be given or sold off to the Third World.  Critics said the move ‘ beggared belief’ and represented a ‘bonanza’ for drug firms.  Some 29million doses of the flu vaccine have arrived so far  –  but fewer than four million have been used and a further 100million are on the way.  Many have shunned the jab over safety fears and others have not bothered because symptoms have been mild. Now ministers are considering sending them to Third World nations without stockpiles of their own or breaking them up and recycling their ingredients for other vaccines.  Although the cost of the deal has been kept under wraps, other countries have paid up to £9 a dose, taking the money raised as high as £1.2billion.   More… Cancer patient saved by £20,000 kindness of strangers after NHS refuses life-saving drug But taxpayers stand to lose up to £1billion if the two firms involved hold the Government to its contracts.  Although one contract has a break-clause, there is no opt-out in that with British company GlaxoSmithKline, which has the lion’s share of the order. The Government first signed contracts after bird flu emerged in South East Asia four years ago. As swine flu spread from Mexico last Spring the Government instituted crisis measures.  It warned of deaths running into tens of thousands, set up a special advice line and website, suspended normal rules so anti-flu drugs could be given out without prescription and told health and local authorities to prepare for a major pandemic.  Planners were told to get morgues ready for the sheer scale of deaths and there were warnings that the Army could be called in to prevent riots as people fought to obtain drugs.  A special deal was drawn up with GPs to pay them for giving out the vaccine and an expensive advertising campaign launched to encourage its take-up.  Of Britain’s 29million doses so far, 15million have been distributed to GPs  –  but a fraction of those have been used.  Latest figures show that just one in three of those eligible for the jab have had it  –  a figure that falls to one in five among pregnant women.  In addition, the relatively mild nature of the pandemic means that plans to vaccinate the population as a whole have been shelved.  Research showing that one dose of the drug enough protect against the disease means the pile of unused vaccines has grown even further.  Other countries are in a similar position and France, Germany and Holland have started to sell excess stock.  Last night, Professor David Salisbury, the Government’s head of immunisation, said negotiations were under way over the Glaxo contract.  Mark Wallace, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It beggars belief that they failed to put in place a break clause on such a big contract. They were right to obtain the vaccine but it seems they have got taxpayers in a bit of a pickle.’  Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: ‘This is bonanza time for the drug companies’.  Read more:…     Are you interested in what’s really going on in the world, behind the facade? Then…www.checktheevidence… happened on 9/11?    

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