Europe seeks to offload flu vaccines

From SwissInfo:

… Western European countries, including Switzerland, are queuing up to shift surplus stocks of the H1N1 flu vaccine after low public demand.

… Sales of H1N1 vaccines have been a windfall for pharmaceutical companies. GSK is expected to be the single biggest beneficiary with anticipated sales of SFr3.7 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2010, according to analysts. Sanofi and Novartis have been forecast to earn an estimated SFr1.1 billion and SFr628 million, respectively…

“Extravant Fiasco”

The French government move came after intense criticism from politicians and scientists. The French opposition Socialist Party described the national campaign as an “extravagant fiasco” and demanded a parliamentary investigation.

Elsewhere, Council of Europe member states are considering whether to launch an inquiry into pharmaceutical companies’ influence on the global swine flu campaign.

The WHO’s “false pandemic” flu campaign was “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century,” said German doctor Wolfgang Wodarg, chairman of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (Pace) Health Committee, who tabled the motion to be debated on January 25.

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