Friday, January 28, 2011

Sales of vaccines drop for pharmaceutical giant Novartis, following end of bogus flu pandemic

According to BusinessWeek, fourth quarter net profit for Novartis AG dropped by 2 percent due to a decline in sales of its vaccines.

"Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG (NVS) says fourth quarter net profit slipped by 2 percent to $2.32 billion due to a drop in demand for its vaccines, although total sales grew by 10 percent to $14.19 billion.

[According to BusinessWeek] the company says profit was hurt by a decline in sales of influenza vaccine following the end of the flu pandemic, pushing its vaccine division's sales 74 percent lower to $361 million."

This is a bit odd. We are constantly told that flu vaccine sales don't amount to a hill of beans. Thus, there is no possibility for a conflict of interest when it comes to flu vaccine recommendations by the CDC and other health bodies (like the World Health Organization - WHO). However, there is clearly profit to be made and, despite protestations to the contrary, the threat of conflict of interest remains.

The Washington Post had earlier reported on some of the more dubious conflicts of interest at WHO, but the root problems remain -- experts at WHO with financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, hidden by a veil of anonymity. Novartis has not been tied to these particular scandals, but they clearly profit by flu hysteria.


The global swine flu pandemic charged up sales of vaccines, despite the fact that fewer people died from swine flu, then die from the regular, seasonal flu. Now that the "pandemic" has been declared over (see: WHO., sales are dipping.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If you survived Swine Flu, you may now have super immunity, reports National Institute of Health

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine ( indicates that people previously exposed to Swine Flu (H1N1) may have a super immunity to multiple strains of the flu, reports the National Institute of Health (

Thus, the potential for developing a "pan influenza vaccine" is theoretically possible.

According to the report on the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases website: "The investigators speculate that multiple exposures to seasonal influenza viruses and influenza vaccines over the years have given rise to memory cells that recognize the conserved regions of the virus. After a person is infected with 2009 H1N1, these cells become the source of antibody-producing plasmablasts. While broadly neutralizing antibodies have rarely been seen in people after exposure to seasonal viruses or vaccines, this study suggests that the outcome of 2009 H1N1 infection is different. Overall, the study shows that 2009 H1N1 can induce broadly protective human antibodies that bind to parts of the influenza virus that vary little from strain to strain, providing a potential immune target for use in a universal influenza vaccine."

And, mice used in experiments were found to be protected from lethal doses of Swine Flu and two other strains of flu. Thank goodness the mice are safe!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Man Flu is NOT the flu

Dude, where's my flu? Get a clue, it's not a flu, it's "man flu."

I think I sometimes get this during football season, and all I can do about it is sit on the couch. Drinking plenty of liquids usually helps.

CDC reports decrease in flu activity? You wouldn't know it from some coverage.

The CDC is reporting a weekly decrease in flu activity, yet some sites are spinning this as an increase.

According to The Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP), "flu in the United States picked up last week, increasing its geographic impact and sending more people to doctors' offices, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today. "

I guess a decrease in the flu does not make a good headline.

Have a run, then get the jab, says the University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is asking for volunteers for a new flu vaccine study.

They are asking the volunteers to exercise for 45 minutes prior to getting the jab, to see if exercise enhances the effect of the vaccine.

This sounds like the worst of both worlds: getting jabbed AND having to exercise.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

FDA investigates unusual spike in seizures related to the flu. Sanofi's "Fluzone" under the microscope.

The FDA is investigating reports that pharmaceutical giant Sanofi's "Fluzone" may be causing an upswing in febrile seizures in children under two years of age. Although this is alarming news, there has been no change in the CDC's recommendations for the flu vaccine.

The link to the FDA page is here:

Is a serious swine flu outbreak heading to the US? Or, is this just more crappy journalism?

According to US News & World Report, H1N1 flu ("swine flu") is hitting the UK hard, and may be headed to the US.

Apparently, planes travel from the UK to the US. Thus, the report conjectures that the US may be hit.

Of course, this is based on nothing other than a need to create a sensational headline and is typical of the fear mongering that goes along with the topic.

So, reader be warned, US News & World Report continues to set the bar extremely low.

Reports that children are suffering from seizures due to flu vaccine. FDA investigating.

There may be a problem with pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventus's flu vaccine ("Fluzone"), according to a report from Reuters. The FDA is looking into reports that children under the age of two are suffering from seizures related to the flu.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Universal Flu Vaccine on the horizon?

Researchers from the University of Chicago and Emory University are reporting that patients with the 2009 H1N1 flu developed antibodies to multiple strains of flu. This insight could potentially lead to a universal vaccine. However, development of such a vaccine would likely be at least 5-10 years away.


Was Tom Brady suffering from the flu in loss to Jets?

Although he was seen sniffing ammonia cartridges on the sideline just before Sunday's game with the New York Jets, Brady denied having the flu.

That's cool, because I thought all along that he just stunk up the place and that the Jet's defense stuffed him!


(Note: I will probably have to eat crow next week after the Jets/Steelers game.)

Reuters reports development of intravenous flu treatment

GlaxoSmithKline begins a phase III study of its new intravenous flu treatment ("zanamivir") that they hope will compete with competitor pill, Tamiflu.

This is intended to treat the sickest patients, who may not have responded to other treatments.

The pharmaceutical giant is hoping to take market share away from rival Roche.


Yeah CDC, that's why folks don't take what you have to say very seriously anymore. Yes, we see incidences of the flu every year, but do these all qualify as "epidemics?"

My concern is that if the CDC continues to cry wolf, no one will pay attention when a real epidemic hits.

In other news, health officials in Michigan are reporting a very light flu season.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Holy S#IZ !!! Semen can produce flu-like symptoms

In what has to be one of the most depressing stories of the day, Dutch investigators are reporting that some men are allergic to their own semen, and that symptoms can last 5-7 days.

Say it ain't so...

The American Pharmacists Association Reminds You That They Need You To Spend Money On the Flu Shot!

It seems you don't need a doctor anymore to get a flu shot. Drug stores everywhere are offering to jab you for only a minor fee.

Thank goodness there is no conflict of interest here.

Flu reported in 50 Arkansas counties, but no deaths

Doctors are reporting incidences of the flu in 50 Arkansas counties. But, not one incidence of death attributed to the flu. Keep it up Arkansas!,0,923013.story

Robo Chicken that doesn't transmit Swine Flu?

An article at Just Means is reporting the development of a "transgenic" chicken (perhaps a cross-dressing chicken?) that will not transmit the flu to its coop mates.

Is the CDC in bed with big Pharma?

Ever since Wikileaks revealed that Big Pharma was caught spying on the World Health Organization (see:, I have been pondering the question of the pharmaceutical industry's influence on the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). It has certainly been documented that various employee's have either received funding from the industry, or were previously employed by a pharmaceutical company. (*1) But, are recommendations for public health policies influenced by this money?

In contrast to most countries in the world, it is surprising that the US (via the CDC), , recommends that just about every citizen get the flu vaccine. The US is the only country that recommends people aged 50-60 get the flu shot. What does the US know that the rest of the civilized world does not? Perhaps it is how to get people who don't need the shot, to get it anyhow.

Putting aside Swine Flu, which does appear to be a threat to young children (and pregnant women), the Common Seasonal Flu can be tolerated by most adults, and is rarely fatal. And, historically, the fatality numbers (*2) provided by the CDC have been suspect at best (bundling Flu and pneumonia together).