Swineflu + Tamiflu = $$$$$$$ for Someone!

#1
Having just read this article and showed it to the other half, she's a Doctor and was amazed our Country is being duped into this, she says that Tamiflu is like giving someone lemon to 'cure' a cold! i.e. it is a drug that is being pushed as a cure for swineflu yet is absolutely useless and is no doubt just lining the pockets of health organisations/pharmaceutical companies who are pushing it... any medical people here on ARRSE who are saying the same? are we as a nation really that gullible?!

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090717/tuk-swine-flu-could-kill-65-000-this-win-dba1618.html
 
#3
Mrs Warry has recently been "diagnosed" with swine flu over the phone and put on tamiflu. I would diagnose hay fever personally (if I were a medic). Still at least it means some of the millions of doses of tamiflu will be used up (at what cost ????) - and the Government can congratulate itself.

Also funny UK has third highest rate in the world - one would have thought the slums of India, Bangladesh and China would be rife with it ?
 
#4
Claiming that we are looking at a possible 65,000 deaths over Winter will certainly occupy everyone's thoughts away from Afghanistan and the current crisis this Government is going through, and will add a nice hefty lump sum to the Government treasure trove through sales of Tamiflu during the forthcoming panic! can they sink lower than this?! 8O
 
#5
I've always thought that the media hype and over-the-top preparation was disproportionate to the actual threat for the virus.

Within a few days of the first case reaching British soil the DoH dished out a contract to procuce squillions of medicines and then followed up with scare-mongering on a breath-taking level. The media are fuelling it too.

20-odd dead so far and only a hand full with-out underlying medical conditions. Feck me, if the media/Government put this much effort into Teenage pregnancy/smoking/accidental overdoses Et al, then the place moght be a bit healthier.

Some major pharmacutical is laughing all the way to the bank, probably to withdrawl more cash in brown envelopes to satisfy some greedy Government mandarin. :wink:

Alos, Deaths expected between 3,000 and 65,000. That's keeping it specific :roll:
 
#6
http://www.badscience.net/2009/05/i...re-chatting-about-tamiflu-as-if-its-all-that/ gives a bit of detail on tamiflu.

WalterWarry as far as I understand it the original virus travelled around the world through tourists and business people on flights. A great deal more people fly Mexico-UK than Mexico-China so more people bring it back to the UK which means it can spread quicker. Have a look at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8083179.stm and you can see that the countries with a lot of reported cases are often the more developed countires (USA, Canada, Australia) Secondly swine flu has had a high media profile in the UK whilst most Indians and Chinese won't have access to this knowledge or be able to call NHS direct/999 so many cases will go unreported. Finally there are elements of luck with all of this.
 
#7
pio12345 said:
http://www.badscience.net/2009/05/i-dont-really-get-why-people-are-chatting-about-tamiflu-as-if-its-all-that/ gives a bit of detail on tamiflu.

WalterWarry as far as I understand it the original virus travelled around the world through tourists and business people on flights. A great deal more people fly Mexico-UK than Mexico-China so more people bring it back to the UK which means it can spread quicker. Have a look at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8083179.stm and you can see that the countries with a lot of reported cases are often the more developed countires (USA, Canada, Australia) Secondly swine flu has had a high media profile in the UK whilst most Indians and Chinese won't have access to this knowledge or be able to call NHS direct/999 so many cases will go unreported. Finally there are elements of luck with all of this.
Yes, I suppose if third world countries had more technology at their disposal they could also hype things up to panic stations and diagnose themselves sick much more effectively.
 
#8
WalterWarry said:
pio12345 said:
http://www.badscience.net/2009/05/i-dont-really-get-why-people-are-chatting-about-tamiflu-as-if-its-all-that/ gives a bit of detail on tamiflu.

WalterWarry as far as I understand it the original virus travelled around the world through tourists and business people on flights. A great deal more people fly Mexico-UK than Mexico-China so more people bring it back to the UK which means it can spread quicker. Have a look at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8083179.stm and you can see that the countries with a lot of reported cases are often the more developed countires (USA, Canada, Australia) Secondly swine flu has had a high media profile in the UK whilst most Indians and Chinese won't have access to this knowledge or be able to call NHS direct/999 so many cases will go unreported. Finally there are elements of luck with all of this.
Yes, I suppose if third world countries had more technology at their disposal they could also hype things up to panic stations and diagnose themselves sick much more effectively without the need for swabs or any other evidence.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10
Local GP just went and blood tested someone who turned out to be H1N1 positive.

Alledgedly as time GP did blood test out doors as that was safer than treating patient inside wearing a mask!

And yet I'm sent to do FFP 3 mask training in case I have to see any positive patients.

Obviously different advise for GPs and Dentists!

Edited for irate spelling!
 
#12
I know this is old news, but in the context of this report from the BBC that Tamiflu is regarded as useless and the UK wasted a staggering £473M on stockpiling something no more effective than paracetamol, and the report that the person who profited most from this deal was Tony Blair's old mate Paul Drayson (aka Lord Drayson, Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform) to the tune of a staggering £20M, this becomes political dynamite.

This report states:
This has its parallels in the UK where not only has Blair's government ordered tens of millions of doses of Tamiflu but where the same smallpox panic led to the awarding of a highly lucrative vaccine contract to the biotech company of Lord Drayson - a financial backer of Blair's who subsequently was made an unelected Minister. Drayson is thought to have made around GBP20m for his company from the smallpox deal
Staggering!

It appears that a close mate of Tony Blair, Lord Drayson, was not only instrumental is screwing up our defence procurement policies beyond all belief, but he also appears to have made a killing out of selling useless drugs to combat a self limiting flu epidemic hyped up by government hysteria.

Makes the whole Maria Miller issue seem like a storm in a teacup, doesn't it
 
#13
If you remember, at the time, this was the new plague and was going to wipe out whole cities. Panic was beginning to set in and we even, at the surgery I used to work at, had an "isolation" room where anyone with the sniffles screaming they had bird flu were put.
The GPs weren't given tamiflu (the wonder drug) and had to send suspected cases to a specially run PCT clinic which gave them the drug and did a blood test for H1N1.
Out of over 400 sent there, not one tested positive and the majority had a heavy cold.
The newspapers now screaming about the wasted money were the ones originally screaming "something must be done - stock up on Tamiflu".
 
#14
I went on a civvi course a few months back and there was a woman from a pharmaceutical company on it. She pointed out here company were making a killing string the stuff.

The problem is that the government is now unwilling to take risks and throws money at perceived problems that rarely materialise because when they do they get criticised .
 
#15
*shrug*

The issue is that we eventually are going to hit a strain of flu that kills loads of people.
Really, lots and lots and lots of people are going to die. Someday.

Some/All of us might live to see it and die of it, some/all of us might not.

And there isn't really a great deal that anyone can do about it. :)

But, people will still expect Governments to "do something" buying Tamiflu was doing something. If we'd hit a mass killer, our lords & masters could point at Tamiflu, say it was the best hope we had and avoid being strung up on a metaphorical or literal lampost. Or not.


Should we have three armoured divisions forward deployed (but with 48 hours worth of combat supplies) in case the Russians decide they like the look of Poland?
 
#16
And GSK, anyway what's not to like they are both neuraminidase inhibitors that have reliable but varying effects on flu strains but that's all there is.

We were all up the high doe about swine flu at the time. Even fairly small effects could save tens of thousands of lives in a really lethal flu pandemic like 1918. That will happen, it's inevitable, question of when. What is HMG to do with the spectre of death carts in the streets and a million corpses to bury?

We spend huge amounts of money on long odds bets like Trident really being necessary all the time. Carriers with no bloody jets. I could also mention fairly futile efforts to contain climate change, better flood defense anyone? The argument is basically: shit happens, one day you might be glad of it.

I can think of lots of examples in the area of medicine that are worse. State sponsorship of all those crackpot alternative therapies, useless bloody homeopathy, to downright dangerous traditional Chinese medicine.

On real drugs, some are pretty effective but a lot are marginal. Serotonin inhibitors work well in some cases but mostly are no better than a placebo in the general population if you look at twenty years of data gathered in the field yet they are a bedrock of Western psychiatry. Look at the money they're pouring into statins which have a nasty bundle of side effects and the much debated clinical evidence on final outcomes by some readings suggests they only really work on a very narrow demographic.

HMG are just aping the Septics whose behavior is rather obviously conditioned by very large political donations from the industry. Like a lot of industries Big Pharma is really a product of vigorous government intervention in the market on behalf of the provider. It's US patent protection and their carefully arranged system for gouging the maximum out patients that yield +30% profit margins and occasionally a drug that helps people. As with finance these preferments were bought and paid for by hard working lobbyists pursued frantically by lawmakers who can't get elected without massive funding. Under the 5th, corporations are people, Big Money is free speech, the Supreme Court has ruled. It's capitalism and there is a sucker born every minute, God bless America.

What has surprised me was the industry finally did pony up the raw data from the clinical trials so it's publically available. That was obviously going to bugger up drug marketing which really is Pharma's main business. Someone is always going to trawl through the data and cast doubt on a drug physicians are punting out like sweeties because the marketing literature says its wonderful.

I can't imagine the much more flagrant rent seekers of the finance sector ever doing something like that. The buggers won't even tell you how much of your annuity is going to be shaved off in fees.

Not that my opinion is affected by earning a very nice living in Big Pharma for the past few decades and holding lots of lovely Roche stock of course.
 
#17
I fully agree, the government were buying reassurance largely to assuage the hysteria surrounding reports of a supposed pandemic.. But when a government then places that business in the hands of one of their own financial backers(and an unelected minister to boot), making him personally wealthier to the tune of £20M, I start becoming a little suspicious.

The analogy of forward deployment of armoured divisions that we already have to aid Poland is somewhat lost in the context of gerrymandering. *shrug*
 
#18
Of course you could be really cynical and think that we've bought and paid for Tamiflu and other drugs of that generation and now we find they don't work.
We need to fund research into new drugs and then buy them, quick!
 
#19
The analogy of forward deployment of armoured divisions already in place is somewhat lost in the context of gerrymandering
They're both entirely paper tigers, but they're doing something.
 
#20
Of course you could be really cynical and think that we've bought and paid for Tamiflu and other drugs of that generation and now we find they don't work.
We need to fund research into new drugs and then buy them, quick!
I'm sure the industry lobbyists are at work on Capitol Hill on just such a topic. They'll be fending off desperate Congressmen peddling insufficient influence till the big fish on the important committees are snapping at the lure.

For a paltry few tens of million a bill is passed into law guaranteeing a suitable "incentive package", more probably in the form of guaranteed pricing (as in Barrycare) and purchases, all in the interests of public health and kerching! Ah the simple pleasures of milking the US political system, it's like Benefits Street for billionaires.

Not to be too cynical, a large state bung to stimulate R&D does make sometimes make a lot of sense, these things take time and some crises are more predictable than others. Look at how we've pissed away the efficacy of antibiotics factory farming meat in confined spaces which is liable to cause all sorts of problems in the developed world's health systems in time. Basically destroying many of the advances of the last century. Course that's partly the doing of the AgriBiz lobby fending off regulation that would have been sensible in the interest of public health.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
nark Current Affairs, News and Analysis 24

Latest Threads