A little article I found about Bird Flu..."Bird Flu"
Do you know that 'bird flu' was discovered in Vietnam 9 years ago?
That barely 100 people have died in the whole world in all that time?
That it was the Americans who alerted us to the efficacy of the human antiviral TAMIFLU as a preventative?
Did you know that TAMIFLU barely alleviates some symptoms of the common flu?
And its efficacy against the common flu is questioned by a great part of the scientific community? Did you know that against a SUPPOSED mutant virus such as H5N1, TAMIFLU barely alleviates the illness?
Do you know who markets TAMIFLU? ROCHE LABORATORIES.
And do you know who bought the patent for TAMIFLU from ROCHE LABORATORIES in 1996? GILEAD SCIENCES, INC.
Did you know who was the then president of GILEAD SCIENCES, INC. and remains a major shareholder? DONALD RUMSFELD, the present Secretary of Defense of the USA.
Do you know that the base of TAMIFLU is crushed aniseed?
Do you know who controls 90% of the world's production of this tree? Yup, ROCHE.
Do you know that sales of TAMIFLU were over $254 million in 2004 and more $1 billion in 2005?
Do you know how many more millions ROCHE can earn in the coming months and years if the bird-flu fear continues?
So consider that it just might be that Bush's friends decide that the medicine TAMIFLU is the solution for a pandemic that has not yet occurred and that has caused only a hundred deaths worldwide in 9 years.
Remember that this medicine doesn't so much as cure the common flu, nor H5N1, nor any other flu. And remember that in normal conditions the virus does not affect humans.
Rumsfeld sold the patent for TAMIFLU to ROCHE for which they pay him a fortune. Roche acquired 90% of the global production of crushed aniseed, the base for the antivirus.
The idea is to spread a panic of fear about bird-flu, threaten a pandemic, and then governments buy industrial quantities of the product from Roche. The people end up paying for a medicine that does not work while Rumsfeld and his buddies do a fine business.
In confirmation of above this from FORTUNE MAGAZINE:
Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu
Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing.
October 31, 2005: 10:55 AM EST
By Nelson D. Schwartz, Fortune senior writer
NEW YORK (Fortune) - The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world.
Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)'s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.
The forms don't reveal the exact number of shares Rumsfeld owns, but in the past six months fears of a pandemic and the ensuing scramble for Tamiflu have sent Gilead's stock from $35 to $47. That's made the Pentagon chief, already one of the wealthiest members of the Bush cabinet, at least $1 million richer.
Rumsfeld isn't the only political heavyweight benefiting from demand for Tamiflu, which is manufactured and marketed by Swiss pharma giant Roche.
(Gilead receives a royalty from Roche equaling about 10% of sales.) Former Secretary of State George Shultz, who is on Gilead's board, has sold more than $7 million worth of Gilead since the beginning of 2005.
Another board member is the wife of former California Gov. Pete Wilson.
"I don't know of any biotech company that's so politically
well-connected," says analyst Andrew McDonald of Think Equity Partners in San Francisco.
What's more, the federal government is emerging as one of the world's biggest customers for Tamiflu. In July, the Pentagon ordered $58 million worth of the treatment for U.S. troops around the world, and Congress is considering a multi-billion dollar purchase. Roche expects 2005 sales for Tamiflu to be about $1 billion, compared with $258 million in 2004.
Rumsfeld recused himself from any decisions involving Gilead when he left Gilead and became Secretary of Defense in early 2001. And late last month, notes a senior Pentagon official, Rumsfeld went even further and had the Pentagon's general counsel issue additional instructions outlining what he
could and could not be involved in if there were an avian flu pandemic and the Pentagon had to respond.
As the flu issue heated up early this year, according to the Pentagon official, Rumsfeld considered unloading his entire Gilead stake and sought the advice of the Department of Justice, the SEC and the federal Office of Government Ethics.
Those agencies didn't offer an opinion so Rumsfeld consulted a private securities lawyer, who advised him that it was safer to hold on to the stock and be quite public about his recusal rather than sell and run the risk of being accused of trading on insider information, something Rumsfeld doesn't believe he possesses. So he's keeping his shares for the time being.
I agree with Dianne...