British Medical Journal: WHO must act now to restore its credibility, and Europe should legislate

Council of Europe condemns "unjustified scare" over swine flu
Adrian O'Dowd
The Council of Europe has heavily criticised the World Health Organization, national governments, and EU agencies for their handling of the swine flu pandemic. The parliamentary assembly of the council - the international organisation that protects human rights and the rule of law in Europe - published a draft of a report that reviewed how the H1N1 pandemic was handled. National governments, WHO, and EU agencies had all been guilty of actions that led to a "waste of large sums of public money, and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public," says the report. The conclusion came in the parliamentary assembly's social, health and family affairs committee report published on 4 June. The report was prepared by Paul Flynn, socialist member of the assembly and Labour MP for Newport West and approved by the committee ahead of a plenary debate at the end of this month... [Full text of this article]

Conflicts of interest and pandemic flu
Fiona Godlee, editor in chief
The world should of course be thankful that the 2009 influenza A/H1N1 pandemic proved such a damp squib. With so many fewer lives lost than had been predicted, it almost seems ungrateful to carp about the cost. But carp we must because the cost has been huge. Some countries - notably Poland - declined to join the panic buying of vaccines and antivirals triggered when the World Health Organization declared the pandemic a year ago this week. However, countries like France and the United Kingdom who have stockpiled drugs and vaccines are now busy unpicking vaccine contracts, selling unused vaccine to other countries, and sitting on huge piles of unused oseltamivir. Meanwhile drug companies have banked vast profits - $7bn (£4.8bn; €5.7bn) to $10bn from vaccines alone according to investment bank JP Morgan. Given the scale of public cost and private profit, it would seem important to know that WHO's key decisions were free from commercial... [Full text of this article]

WHO and the pandemic flu "conspiracies"
Deborah Cohen, features editor, BMJ, Philip Carter, journalist, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, London.
Key scientists advising the World Health Organization on planning for an influenza pandemic had done paid work for pharmaceutical firms that stood to gain from the guidance they were preparing. These conflicts of interest have never been publicly disclosed by WHO, and WHO has dismissed inquiries into its handling of the A/H1N1 pandemic as "conspiracy theories"... [Full text of this article]

The report, The handling of the H1N1 pandemic: more transparency needed, is at: http://assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2010/20100604_H1N1pandemic_e.pdf

Most Popular Now

Amgen and Allergan's MVASI™ (bevacizumab-awwb) and…

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) announced that MVASI™ (bevacizumab-awwb), a biosimilar to Avastin® (bevacizumab), and KANJINTITM (trastuzumab-anns), a bio...

Compound found in red wine opens door for new trea…

Like to unwind with a glass of red wine after a stressful day? Don't give alcohol all the credit. New research has revealed that the plant compound resveratrol, which is ...

HIV vaccine nears clinical trial following new fin…

A promising vaccine that clears an HIV-like virus from monkeys is closer to human testing after a new, weakened version of the vaccine has been shown to provide similar p...

Mylan and Upjohn, a division of Pfizer, to combine…

HERTFORDSHIRE, England & PITTSBURGH & Mylan N.V. (Nasdaq: MYL) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced a definitive agreement to combine Mylan with Upjohn, Pfizer's o...

Leading oncologists and nutritionists pinpoint are…

An international collaborative led by Ludwig Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK has identified key areas that are central to uncovering the complex relationship betwe...

Closing the door: breaking new ground related to a…

In order to sustain fast growth, cancer cells need to take up nutrients at a faster rate than healthy cells. The human glutamine transporter ASCT2 allows the amino acid g...

FDA approves first generics of Lyrica

On July 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved multiple applications for first generics of Lyrica (pregabalin) for the management of neuropathic pain associat...

Roche and Spark Therapeutics, Inc. announce extens…

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) ("Spark") announced that Roche has extended the offering period of its previously announced...

FDA approves first treatment for severe hypoglycem…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Baqsimi nasal powder, the first glucagon therapy approved for the emergency treatment of severe hypoglycemia that c...

Rye is healthy, thanks to an interplay of microbes

Eating rye comes with a variety of health benefits. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland now shows that both lactic acid bacteria and gut bacteria contribut...

GSK completes transaction with Pfizer to form new …

The Joint Venture brings together two highly complementary portfolios of trusted consumer health brands, including GSK's Sensodyne, Voltaren and Panadol and Pfizer's Advi...

Eating more plant-based foods may be linked to bet…

Eating mostly plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods may be linked to better heart health and a lower risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovas...