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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 Molecula