Saturday, November 26, 2005

pandemic and profit both start with 'p'

Our mate Rumsfeld paid a flying visit to Adelaide last week. Barely a mention was given to the monumental cock up made by one of his staffer’s. The anonymous person (who has no doubt recently joined the dole queue, or would do if his country had one) accidentally pushed an official US Government envelope containing all the details of Rummy and his team, under the wrong doors of the Adelaide hotel they were staying in. In the nice yellow envelope dozens of surprised guests found Rumsfield’s itinerary and the room numbers and contact detail of him and his staff. Woops.

Unfortunately this didn’t lead to any “unfortunate accidents”.

If he had met his maker (yes and remember according to the Christians amongst us, we are all made in Christ’s image, so that means even evil bastards like him), he would have left behind a very large estate.

Rumsfeld’s fortunes are on the rise again. This time courtesy of the bird flu beat up. Yes, I have ranted before that this is more a heavenly concoction of big business (namely pharmaceutical companies) and politics, but now there is another thread to the argument.

Guess who is a major shareholder in the biotech company that developed Tamiflu, the drug stockpiled by leading nations in the hope it will stave off the mythical pandemic? Until he resigned to become Secretary of Defence, Rummy was chairman of the board of Gilead Sciences Inc. This company still owns the patent for the drug, which Roche is licensed to manufacture. Gilead, in a recently renegotiated deal, is paid a royalty of about 18-19% on all of Roche’s Tamiflu sales. Gilead stocks are going through the roof and the revaluation of his shares has bought this prominent shareholder alone, an estimated US$1 Million windfall. Much of this bulked up by a US government order earlier this month for a further US$1 Billion order of the fabled drug.

This is not the first time Rummy has directly profited from his position of power propping up his share portfolio. Gilead also owns the patent on another controversial drug. A further fall out from the projected “terrorist threat” of September 11, was the great smallpox scare. Rumsfeld personally ordered all members of the armed forced to have the medically dubious smallpox vaccine, and with it a drug Vistide created by Gilead to treat side effects of the inoculation.

Like the Cheney-Halliburton connection in the Invasion of Iraq, Rumsfeld-Gilead is yet another way the individuals in power are running this world for profit.

So are you still afraid of the big bad bird flu now?


Blogger Chai said...

Far out.... wheels within wheels....

12:28 pm  
Blogger Kathy said...

Quick note that I've linked back to you on this story:

Last week, the two companies involved in the production of Tamiflu -- touted as the globe's savior should there be an avian flu pandemic -- negotiated a new financial arrangement. Roche will now pay Gilead 14-22% of Tamiflu revenue, up from last year's 10%. The drug was a "lackluster" seller before pandemic fears, which reached new heights earlier this month when President Bush outlined a $7.1 billion pandemic response plan.

7:25 pm  
Blogger guru Rex said...

this is why I love you

11:16 pm  
Blogger DC said...

Bloody hell.

The stupidest thing about the bird flu pandemic is that millions of people die of things like Aids every year in Africa, yet no-one gives a damn.

Raise the possibility that people might die in America or Australia from bird flu, and there's panic in the streets.

Makes me think something about priorities being screwed up here.

7:28 am  
Blogger sexy said...

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7:40 pm  

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