Profit motive and vaccinations


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Profits

Pharmaceutical companies love pandemics; they are a great way to sell practically-useless drugs such as Tamiflu. A thorough review ( http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(09)70199-9/fulltext ) by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at York University found that these drugs reduced the duration of flu symptoms by less than a day, and recommended that giving them to healthy adults "is unlikely to be the most appropriate course of action." Pandemics are also a good way to sell vaccines. Manufacturers now stand to clean up to the tune of around $50 billion per year from influenza vaccines alone ( http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/08/13/Swine-Flu-Vaccine-Makers-to-Profit-50-Billion-a-Year.aspx ), on a vaccine without proper safety testing, and with efficacy totally unproven. A 2005 study was unable to "correlate increasing vaccination coverage after 1980 with declining mortality rates in any age group." Instead they attributed the reduction in deaths to acquired "herd" immunity - nothing to do with vaccines. (1)

Global sales of vaccines were worth $24 billion in 2008, up 30% on the previous year, and greatly exceeding predictions from only 2 years before. ( http://knol.google.com/k/krishan-maggon/global-vaccine-market-review-2008-world/ ) Just in time for the manufacturers, as sales of "old-fashioned" pharmaceuticals are generally approaching saturation.

See entire article.

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Profits

Pharmaceutical companies love pandemics; they are a great way to sell practically-useless drugs such as Tamiflu. A thorough review ( http://www.thelancet...0199-9/fulltext ) by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at York University found that these drugs reduced the duration of flu symptoms by less than a day, and recommended that giving them to healthy adults "is unlikely to be the most appropriate course of action." Pandemics are also a good way to sell vaccines. Manufacturers now stand to clean up to the tune of around $50 billion per year from influenza vaccines alone ( http://articles.merc...ion-a-Year.aspx ), on a vaccine without proper safety testing, and with efficacy totally unproven. A 2005 study was unable to "correlate increasing vaccination coverage after 1980 with declining mortality rates in any age group." Instead they attributed the reduction in deaths to acquired "herd" immunity - nothing to do with vaccines. (1)

Global sales of vaccines were worth $24 billion in 2008, up 30% on the previous year, and greatly exceeding predictions from only 2 years before. ( http://knol.google.c...iew-2008-world/ ) Just in time for the manufacturers, as sales of "old-fashioned" pharmaceuticals are generally approaching saturation.

See entire article.

There is only one relevant question: Do the vaccines work or not. All the studies I have read about, so far, indicate that they are effective and they are safe.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Profits

Pharmaceutical companies love pandemics; they are a great way to sell practically-useless drugs such as Tamiflu. A thorough review ( http://www.thelancet...0199-9/fulltext ) by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at York University found that these drugs reduced the duration of flu symptoms by less than a day, and recommended that giving them to healthy adults "is unlikely to be the most appropriate course of action." Pandemics are also a good way to sell vaccines. Manufacturers now stand to clean up to the tune of around $50 billion per year from influenza vaccines alone ( http://articles.merc...ion-a-Year.aspx ), on a vaccine without proper safety testing, and with efficacy totally unproven. A 2005 study was unable to "correlate increasing vaccination coverage after 1980 with declining mortality rates in any age group." Instead they attributed the reduction in deaths to acquired "herd" immunity - nothing to do with vaccines. (1)

Global sales of vaccines were worth $24 billion in 2008, up 30% on the previous year, and greatly exceeding predictions from only 2 years before. ( http://knol.google.c...iew-2008-world/ ) Just in time for the manufacturers, as sales of "old-fashioned" pharmaceuticals are generally approaching saturation.

See entire article.

There is only one relevant question: Do the vaccines work or not. All the studies I have read about, so far, indicate that they are effective and they are safe.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Ba'al,

Here is a link to some info on the flu issue which you might find of interest. It appears that there are risks to taking the vaccine and risks with the flu itself:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/31/CDC-Says-Kids-That-Die-From-Swine-Flu-Have-Coexisting-Bacterial-Infections.aspx

Excuse me while I go to wash my hands again and add vitamin D and stuff to my daily vitamin regimen.

www.campaignforliberty.com 221,386

gulch

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I think a big problem is that much research and many journals are funded by pharmaceutical companies and so now you have to wonder how "objective" they are. This of course should be of great interest to Objectivists, no?

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Nice post GS. To echo other posters: more important than whether vaccines work or not is to consider to what degree vaccines work, and whether the risks associated to vaccines makes them useful.

Unfortunately most people have a "faith" in the medical system to take care of them, perhaps partially supported through the monopoly on doctor training and government regulation. There are to my knowledge homeopathic cures that are more effective than many common medical interventions, but research on these cures is virtually ignored by the industry at large, perhaps for "profit motive" reasons (I have not yet verified this last point).

As an aside, individuals when making major medical decisions during times of hospitalization, etc. are in a prevention/avoidance-focus motivation; meaning, individuals who are sick are more focused on curing their sickness than being healthy. At the same time, individuals in a prevention/avoidance-focus motivation are also more highly-activated on an interdependent self-construal versus independent (similar to difference between Asian cultures -interdependent- versus Western European -independent-). This means that sick people's minds often begin thinking in relational ways due to biological build. I think this might help to explain why sick people tend to put more faith in external sources, such as the medical industry as a caretaker, when suffering. In a way, we're genetically constructed like that... depend on family when the self is weakened.

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  • 5 weeks later...
In fact, as reported by MSNBC, vaccines now are viewed as "a crucial path to growth," due to lagging prescription drug sales. The article goes on to say:

"Investment in partnerships and other deals to develop and manufacture vaccines has been on a tear — and accelerating since the swine flu pandemic began. Billions in government grants are bringing better, faster ways to develop and manufacture vaccines. Rising worldwide emphasis on preventive health care, plus the advent of the first multibillion-dollar vaccines, have further boosted their appeal.

While prescription drug sales are forecast to rise by a third in five years, vaccine sales should double, from $19 billion last year to $39 billion in 2013, according to market research firm Kalorama Information. That's five times the $8 billion in vaccine sales in 2004.

Success on some vaccines in development, particularly for Alzheimer's and AIDS, likely would bring billions a year in sales."

Emphasis on preventive health care… my foot.

This is one of the most crucial problems with our health care system. Many conventionally trained physicians, not to mention politicians and elected health officials, have NO IDEA what preventive health care is all about.

Vaccines certainly do not qualify.

Just five years ago, pharmaceutical companies abandoned the vaccine business in droves. Now, with the fresh lure of massive profits, companies are flocking back. Multi-million dollar government grants are already being used to test out new technology for the next pandemic, including the "holy grail of flu vaccines" – a universal flu vaccine that targets some part of the flu virus that doesn't change year to year.

See full article here.

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