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. http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/08/20100810b.html), sales are dipping.