EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.07.10

The Gates Foundation-Connected GlaxoSmithKline Indirectly Paid Scientists to Exaggerate Vaccine Needs

Posted in Bill Gates, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GlaxoSmithKline logo

Summary: The philanthrocapitalist establishment whose Head of Global Health comes from GlaxoSmithKline has its work put to great scrutiny

THE Gates Foundation does not get much of a break because more and more people are beginning to understand its interests. It’s more complex than just “charity” as profit is being made without the foundation ever been taxed like a normal investor.

Today we turn our sceptical eye to the issue of patents and how the Gates Foundation promotes them. There is no question about the fact that Africa suffers from deadly diseases and Gates’ endeavours there are mostly commendable [1, 2]. It is a short-term solution which probably works well for both sides.

“The Gates Foundation acts as somewhat of a PR shim that intervenes where patents interfere/intersect with human toll.”What ought to be better understood is Bill Gates’ close relationship and interpersonal ties with the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, which even work well inside the Gates Foundation (holding key positions). The Gates Foundation acts as somewhat of a PR shim that intervenes where patents interfere/intersect with human toll. It’s a marriage of convenience because the price of life is the route to big profits.

The following new report from The Guardian reveals that flu experts were indirectly being paid by pharmaceutical giants in order to overplay the risk of swine flu and thus increase sales of vaccines. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is mentioned among the culprits. [via Richard stallman]

Report condemns swine flu experts’ ties to big pharma

Scientists who drew up the key World Health Organisation guidelines advising governments to stockpile drugs in the event of a flu pandemic had previously been paid by drug companies which stood to profit, according to a report out today.

An investigation by the British Medical Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the not-for-profit reporting unit, shows that WHO guidance issued in 2004 was authored by three scientists who had previously received payment for other work from Roche, which makes Tamiflu, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), manufacturer of Relenza.

City analysts say that pharmaceutical companies banked more than $7bn (£4.8bn) as governments stockpiled drugs. The issue of transparency has risen to the forefront of public health debate after dramatic predictions last year about a swine flu pandemic did not come true.

GSK was mentioned by us earlier today. We promised to revisit the subject because according to Portfolio.com, not only does the Gates Foundation have staff from GSK but it also has power over GSK:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was a driving force behind GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s decision to share propietary drug research for fighting malaria, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

That’s the same GSK which corrupted science in order to increase sales. That’s the same GSK which brought to the Gates Foundation its Head of Global Health, who bullies researchers. Gates Keepers writes about those patented drugs which the Gates Foundation is promoting:

Read this carefully: “so that all the people who are smart about the disease are to some degree on the same side, working together.” Here is a fatal flaw. Gates thinks that you can define “all the people who are smart about the disease” and invite them to work together. He and his staff wouldn’t know how to begin to find “all the people”. They are elite technocrats. How many people LIVING with the disease are working together on his elite panels?

This whole “parenthood” role which the Gates Foundation has been taking for years is sometimes just a tad insulting (patronising even) and it marginalises opposing/alternative points of view. Researchers often complain about that. Here is someone who is challenging their priorities:

Gates really, really likes the idea of using vertical funds to tackle (and eliminated) diseases one by one, rather than taking a more gradual, measured approach. Why do the big philanthropists (Gates, and by proxy, Buffet) prefer to take such a direct approach, circumventing governments?

The easiest explanation is through personality or experience: Gates is an entrepreneur, used to getting smart people in a room together to solve problems; private solutions for important problems. Governments have, if anything, been a source of irritation for him, lobbing the occasional anti-trust action at Microsoft.

[...]

I think it’s probably unrealistic to expect the Gates Foundation to start up a health SWAp anytime soon – the same factors that led to its creation will always drive it to tackle problems the way it does. What we should hope (and push) for is a commitment to “do no harm.” This means reverting to practices that do not distort health objectives on the ground (i.e. internal brain drain of qualified health staff, shifting the debate away from enforcing health systems to tackling single diseases). Working on vaccines, either through direct funding or advance market commitments, is a an example of high risk but less distortionary practice. The huge sums of money the Foundation juggles could also be used to create incentives for more general research into fighting tropical maladies, and then subsequently subsidise the price for needy countries.

Here is another new example from NYTimes.com. It’s very relevant to the above example.

“iBio and Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology Enter Agreement to Provide Global Access for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Vaccines,” says the title of this new press release.

iBio, Inc. and the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) announced today an agreement which provides a license of iBio’s proprietary technology to CMB for the development and manufacture of Global Health Vaccines for, and financed by, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To avoid misunderstandings, the problem here is not vaccinations. Immunology and drugs are important and often vital for the saving of lives, but the economics here are a tricky operation that leaves the public out in the dark. The drugs industry is not just another industry like IT. The drug industry is massive and that’s where the big money is. Gates has investments in this industry, so it’s in his interest to promote it. Another related area is biotechnology, where Monsanto got itself a nice monopoly on the food chain. “Bill Gates reveals support for GMO eg,” says this headline from last year (one that we’ve just found and missed at the time, even though we already quite knowingly stated the facts [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]).

As it has come to dominate the agenda for reshaping African agriculture over the years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been very careful not to associate itself too closely with patent-protected biotechnology as a panacea for African farmers.

True, the foundation named 25-year Monsanto veteran Rob Horsch to the position of “senior program officer, focusing on improving crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Yet its flagship program for African ag, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), explicitly distances itself from GMOs. “AGRA does not fund the development of GMOs,” the organization’s Web site states.

But AGRA — co-funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, proud sponsor of the original Green Revolution — is just part of what Gates does around African ag. What precisely is the foundation getting up to over there? Is it pushing GMOs on African smallholder farms?

Earlier on we wrote about GSK inside the Gates Foundation (Head of Global Health), but what many people overlook is that fact that there are Monsanto employees inside the Gates Foundation. They use the Gates Foundation as a seemingly ‘charitable’ lobby vehicle through which to advance the companies’ objectives, often at the expense of the public (which pays government tax to be funneled into patents on drugs for the developing world). It’s a simple matter of economics, creating scarcity with patents while profiting from massive tax-free investments.

There is another couple of new articles worth paying attention to:

Critics castigate Gastes Foundation on policy demands; India launches native H1N1 vaccines;

[...]

While the Gates Foundation has been widely lauded for its work on a wide range of initiatives, including financing research on new vaccines to guard against common killers in developing nations, some critics have emerged to caution against the foundation’s demands to “toe the line” on its position in policy debates.

Watch another man from the Gates Foundation offering “farming aid” (possibly a veiled reference to GMO):

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Shah served as director of Agricultural Development in the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In his seven years with the Gates Foundation, Shah served as the Foundation’s director of Strategic Opportunities and as deputy director of policy and finance for the Global Health Program.

They are getting increasingly connected to politics. Last week in The Times of India:

Obama appoints Indian-American to head U.S National Science Foundation

[...]

Clinton has Rajiv Shah, a former Gates Foundation executive and health expert, heading the USAID.

Clinton is connected to Bill Gates in ways that we explained before. When it comes to the Gates Foundation, former staff is often pursuing similar agendas after departure. To quote this new press release:

Academic Pharmacy Continues to Expand its Horizons at 2010 AACP Annual Meeting

[...]

He was the first business executive to serve as a public school superintendent and was the first executive director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This probably brings us to the subject of our next post, which says more about Gates Foundation influence on public schools [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Rebranding Malware and Spyware as 'Linux' to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

    Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of "Linux" news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software



  2. Understanding Thierry Breton: In the Beginning...

    Career roundup of Thierry Breton, possibly the next EU Commissioner



  3. Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

    Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 12, 2019



  5. Links 12/11/2019: Plasma 5.17.3, More Intel Defects, Bytecode Alliance

    Links for the day



  6. You've Gotta Go When You've Gotta Go

    How most staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) feels these days



  7. Teaser: Thierry Breton and His Disquieting Past

    "The company attracted notoriety and loathing in the UK for its role in assessing disability benefit eligibility."



  8. EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

    It’s no secret that the EPO breaks the law and European officials have taken no concrete steps to intervene; to make matters worse, potentially new EPO allies may soon be put in charge of the EU Commission



  9. Maintaining the 'Delete Github' page

    "This list really is a starting point, which can hopefully increase awareness about the issue of concern."



  10. Linux Foundation Picking Money

    The dating standards of the Linux Foundation



  11. Microsoft 'Borrows' the Linux Brand

    With help from the likes of the Linux Foundation Microsoft continues to misuse and ‘dilute’ the Linux brand (and registered trademark)



  12. EPO Corruption Compared to Cocaine Scandals in Antwerp

    Days after the Dutch protest discussion is sort of 'uncorked' regarding EPO corruption (published, as usual, in the form of anonymous comments)



  13. SUEPO Showed That the Media Won't Cover EPO Corruption Until Half the Workers March in the Streets

    What ought to have been a central (if not 'the' central) issue of debate in Europe is still being treated as borderline irrelevant or marginal



  14. Meanwhile in California

    News from California is being spun by Microsoft this week, owing to weak journalism that's more like PR than journalism



  15. Privacy-Centric Services and Even Drupal/Acquia Defect to the Camp of Mass Surveillance

    In search of money [pun intended] companies and services that are supposed to respect their customers and users turn out to be doing the opposite; this merits research and public discussions



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, November 11, 2019



  17. Links 12/11/2019: Sparky 2019.11 Special Editions and Twisted 19.10.0 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft's Abduction of the Voice of Its Opposition Highlights the Urgency of the Movement/Campaign to Delete GitHub

    Microsoft understands that by entrapping FOSS and GNU/Linux inside proprietary software platforms like GitHub and Azure it can utilise the false perception that it somehow speaks on behalf of both (whilst attacking both)



  19. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 10, 2019



  20. SUEPO Protests Against Management of the European Patent Office Brought Back Discussions About Corruption

    The atmosphere at the second-largest institution in Europe has long been toxic; now it is becoming a lot more visible again and comments highlight the reasons for the cover-up (gross misuse of billions of euros)



  21. Links 11/11/2019: Linux 5.4 RC7, HandBrake 1.3.0 and Analysis of XFCE

    Links for the day



  22. Links 10/11/2019: digiKam 6.4.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha and OpenZFS Plans

    Links for the day



  23. Video: Dutch Media on EPO Protest

    The new video added by SUEPO on Saturday in order to show Dutch media coverage of last week's protest in The Hague



  24. Politics in the Workplace Are Not Paradoxical and Outside the Workplace They Are Free Speech

    The safest space is one in which no other human (or creature) exists, but in reality we must make compromises and accept that not everyone will agree with us 100% of the time (so we must learn to live with that)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 09, 2019



  26. Thick Skin Makes Strong Communities

    Learning to coexist with people who don't agree on everything is a strength and successful societies encourage that (the alternative is blind conformity on all matters)



  27. Training (Proprietary Software) Versus Teaching (Free Software)

    Education necessitates software freedom — a fact that companies like Adobe, Apple and Microsoft try hard to distract from



  28. The Linux Foundation Brought as Keynote Speakers People Vastly Worse Than Those Whom It Now 'Cancels' for Purely Political Reasons

    A lot of people are very upset about the Linux Foundation's alleged 'witch-hunt' and even press coverage has caught up with the outrage; but our position is that it distracts from vastly bigger Linux Foundation scandals



  29. An Open Letter to Richard Stallman

    "It's past the time for the official cornerstones of the Free software movement to return to their full operational capacity, and to take the gear out of neutral."



  30. Links 9/11/2019: Linux Journal Goes Dark (Offline), KStars 3.3.7, OpenSUSE Name Change Aborted

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts