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SWINE FLU! Can You BELIEVE It? 'Twas, As We Thought, Just A HOAX To Benefit Big Pharma!

Von: perriegh (perryneheum@hotmail.com) [Profil]
Datum: 05.06.2010 21:37
Message-ID: <5226e933-d30d-42cb-842a-058ead939dbb@z33g2000vbb.googlegroups.com>
Newsgroup: alt.politics.economicsmisc.survivalism sci.med.laboratory alt.healthsci.med
Maybe they'll refund your vaccine money!

Ah, well .. at least we still have global warming.

===============
"Reports accuse WHO of exaggerating H1N1 threat, possible ties to drug
makers"

By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 4, 2010; 3:52 PM

European criticism of the World Health Organization's handling of the
H1N1 pandemic intensified Friday with the release of two reports that
accused the agency of exaggerating the threat posed by the virus and
failing to disclose possible influence by the pharmaceutical industry
on its recommendations for how countries should respond.

The WHO's response caused widespread, unnecessary fear and prompted
countries around the world to waste millions of dollars, according to
one report. At the same time, the Geneva-based arm of the United
Nations relied on advice from experts with ties to drug makers in
developing the guidelines it used to encourage countries to stockpile
millions of doses of antiviral medications, according to the second
report.

The reports outlined the drumbeat of criticism that has arisen,
primarily in Europe, of how the world's leading health organization
responded to the first influenza pandemic in more than four decades.

"For WHO, its credibility has been badly damaged," wrote Fiona Godlee,
the editor of the BMJ, a prominent British medical journal, that
published one of the reports. "WHO must act now to restore its
credibility."

A spokesman for the WHO, along with several independent experts,
however, strongly disputed the reports, saying they misrepresented the
seriousness of the pandemic and the WHO's response, which was
carefully formulated and necessary given the potential threat.

"The idea that we declared a pandemic when there wasn't a pandemic is
both historically inaccurate and downright irresponsible," said WHO
spokesman Gregory Hartl in a telephone interview. "There is no doubt
that this was a pandemic. To insinuate that this was not a pandemic is
very disrespectful to the people who died from it."

The first report, released in Paris, came from the Social, Health and
Family Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
of Europe, which launched an investigation in response to allegations
that the WHO's response to the pandemic was influenced by drug
companies that make antiviral drugs and vaccines.

"The parliamentary assembly is alarmed about the way in which the H1N1
influenza pandemic has been handled, not only by the World Health
Organization (WHO), but also by the competent health authorities at
the level of the European Union and at national level," the 18-page
draft report states.

"It is particularly troubled by some of the consequences of decisions
taken and advice given leading to distortion of priorities of public
health services across Europe, waste of large sums of public money,
and also unjustified scares and fears about health risks faced by the
European public at large," according to the report.

The second report, a joint investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of
Investigative Journalism, which is based in London, criticized 2004
guidelines the WHO developed based in part on the advice of three
experts who received consulting fees from the two leading
manufacturers of antiviral drugs used against the virus, Roche and
GlaxoSmithKline.

"We are left wondering whether major public health organizations are
able to effectively manage the conflicts of interest that are inherent
in medical science," the report states.

Hartl dismissed those charges.

"WHO would say categorically that it believes that it has not been
subject to undue conflict-of-interest. We know that some experts that
come to our committees have contact with industry. It would be
surprising if they didn't because the best experts are sought by all
organizations," Hartl said. "We feel that the guidelines produced were
certainly not subject to undue influence."

Several other experts also defended the agency.

"Twenty-twenty hindsight can always second guess the decisions of
public health officials," said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the
Trust for America's Health, a private nonprofit group. "But this kind
of condemnation of public health officials who made the most prudent
decisions based on available knowledge could well backfire in future
emergencies: I fear that public health officials will draw the lesson
that they should wait for greater scientific certainty before
responding in the future -- and we could pay for that overcaution with
many lives lost."

In response to the criticism, the WHO has launched two investigations,
including one by an independent panel of experts led by Harvey
Fineberg, who heads the Institute of Medicine at the U.S. National
Academy of Sciences.

"These reports raise questions about potential, inappropriate
influences on WHO decision-making in the assessment and response to
the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and, more generally, question practices
employed by WHO to guard against conflict of interest among its expert
advisers," Fineberg said in an e-mail. "These topics are among those
that will be fully considered by our review committee."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/04/AR2010060403034.html

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