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. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  3. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  4. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  5. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  6. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  7. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  8. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  9. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  10. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  11. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  12. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  13. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  14. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence



  15. Turkey Subjected to the European Patent Convention (EPC) But Benoît Battistelli is Not?

    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  16. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  17. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day



  18. Personal Audio LLC and Patent Troll Jim Logan Demonstrate the Harms of Software Patents and Why They Must Never Spread to Europe

    Jim Logan of Personal Audio (a notorious Texas-based patent troll) is still fighting with his bogus patent, having already caused enormous damage with a single software patent that should never have been granted in the first place (due to prior art, not just Alice)



  19. The Patent Microcosm Hopes That the Originators of Software Patents Will Undermine the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

    Now that the actions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which have been consistently upheld by the CAFC in precedential decisions, are suddenly being questioned the patent microcosm gets all giddy and tries to undermine PTAB (again)



  20. That Time When the Administrative Council Helped Battistelli Crush Oversight (Audit Committee) and What ILO Said About It a Month Ago

    Things are becoming ever more troublesome at the EPO as the Administrative Council enjoys inaction from the International Labour Organization (ILO), in spite of its role in destroying much-needed oversight at the behest of Battistelli



  21. The EPO's Administrative Council Keeps Postponing Debate About Grounds for Firing the President

    A recollection of events prior to the latest Administrative Council meeting, where Benoît Battistelli's failings and accountability for failing to correct them never even came up



  22. A Surge of Staff Complaints About the European Patent Office Drowns the System, Disservice to Justice Noted

    Self-explanatory graphs about the state of the justice [sic] system which is prejudiced towards/against EPO workers, based on internal reports



  23. Links 16/8/2016: White House Urged by EFF on FOSS, Go 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Links 15/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC2, Glimpses at OpenMandriva Lx 3.0

    Links for the day



  25. Clawing Back the Staff Benefits at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Staff of the EPO is leaving (or retiring) in droves as abusive management continues to be the norm and staff benefits are being taken away or gradually revoked



  26. The Patent Microcosm is Panicking and Spinning Alice/§ 101 Because US Software Patents Are Still Dying

    A look at recent developments in the software patents scene in the United States, with increased focus on (or fear of) the Patent Trial and Appeal Board



  27. 21,000 Posts in Techrights in Less Than a Decade

    This post is the 21,000th post and the next one will make it more than twenty-one thousand posts in total. We are turning 10 in November.



  28. Patent Microcosm Shuts Out the Poor: Unified Patent Court (UPC) Promotion by Practising Law Institute (PLI) Only for the Wealthy

    The people who are profiting from patent feuds, disputes, lawsuits etc. are still trying to muscle their will into European law and they keep the general public out of it by locking down (or pricing out of reach) their meetings where they influence/lobby decision-making officials



  29. The United States Has a Growing Patent Trolls Epidemic as Very High Proportion of Lawsuits Filed by Them

    A look at the high proportion of patent lawsuits that are filed by entities that make nothing at all and thus serve no role whatsoever in innovation



  30. Pushers of Software Patents Outside the United States (Which is Belatedly Squashing These Patents)

    How patent law firms are distorting the debate about software patents in hope of attracting business from gullible people who misunderstand the harsh (and worsening) reality of software patenting


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts