Thursday, 30 April 2009

Swine Flu: The Great Pharma-Con

We're due a jolly bad flu pandemic, oh yes. It's been 50 years since the last one. Whether the H1N1 will indeed sweep the globe, mutating as it goes, and taking out vast swathes of the population remains to be seen; at present, its worst efforts seem to be confined to poor, beleaguered Mexico which has always been spectacularly unlucky when it comes to virii. Over the centuries, it's been near wiped out again and again by typhoid, smallpox, cholera, measles, and the clap. Add to that a near-non-existent health service and insufficient sanitation, and they're on a hiding to nowhere.
On this side of the Pond, however, we could do a LOT better. And the first thing to do is not to give the public an etiquette lesson in the form of 30 million leaflets telling us we're less likely to spread disease if we cover our mouths when we sneeze or buy up millions of useless facemasks, but to be honest about one of the biggest corporation cons of the past 5 years. Tamiflu.
Tamiflu doesn't work on H1N1. Over the past 10 years H1N1 has developed near-absolute resistance to Tamiflu. This resistance isn't confined to North America, as one virologist speculated hopefully a few years ago: it's Europe-wide as well. Despite clear evidence and even clearer articles by those in the know that have been floating around for the past year, the maker of Tamiflu, dear old Roche, on whose board the maestro of disaster capitalism Donald Rumsfeld sits, is using the Mexican outbreaks as ad opportunities and are continuing to peddle the redundant drugs even as I type.
Only Relenza and/or the 'flu jab have been demonstrated to work against this particular strain; the government in assuring us that we're well-prepared to withstand an epidemic is playing a very, very dangerous game with our lives. It is deliberately deceiving the public. We have NO way of knowing whether Tamiflu can have the slightest effect on a mutating H1N1 virus; stating therefore that we're 'safe' is barbaric.This goes even beyond the scope of illegal wars or heavy surveillance 'for our own good'; they're playing Russian roulette with our existence, and in this game no-one can win.


  1. Interesting bit is that it WILL hit here but mildly.Then it "goes away" for a year & returns with a vengence doing all manner of biblical shit like wiping out 30% of the planets human inhabitants,ScarlettX.

  2. Dear MM,

    You say Tamiflu (oseltamivir) doesn't work on H1N1, and that "Only Relenza and/or the 'flu jab have been demonstrated to work against this particular strain".

    The latest CDC advisory (April 29th) states:

    "This swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is sensitive (susceptible) to the neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications zanamivir and oseltamivir. It is resistant to the adamantane antiviral medications, amantadine and rimantadine."

  3. Latest CDC info says 'could' be 'susceptible' based on 13 trials. Not really enough, do you think?
    Incidentally, it's quite amusing that this 'pandemic' is coinciding with the fact that world-wide stocks of Tamiflu have reached their sell-by date.

  4. Interesting info.

    But is this a big surprise? What's Gordon's cut? Or is he too stupid to have one?

  5. It is the flu we are talking about. It has the usual devastating effects on the sick, young and old just as ordinary flu does but it is only a flu nevertheless.

    The pharmaceutical companies must be strapped of cash and require a huge injection of funds to develop more drugs that will make these viruses become even more resistant and more dangerous.

    Oh yes, then they can also sell them to poor countries and make loads of money there too.

    It's a con alright, but one that keeps the big pharmaceutical companies in the luxury that they are accustomed to.

  6. Mara, I tried mailing you but your address is unrecognised.
    Anyway, I lost my blog yesterday so had to start a new one.

  7. Aaaaaargh try again...

  8. Oh, I'm sorry Cato: try mabm2 at cam dot ac dot uk and/or m dot a dot b dot macseoinin dot 02 at cantab dot net...
    Am looking forward to seeing your new blog.


Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison