Thursday, July 16, 2009
The global fight for swine flu could actually get quite ugly - pharmaceutical companies may renegue on contracts...
An ugly scramble is brewing over the swine flu vaccine - and when it becomes available, Britain, the United States and other nations could find that the contracts they signed with pharmaceutical companies are easily broken.They may renegue on their contracts when vaccine is needed in their own countries first.
Experts warn that during a global epidemic, which the world is in now, governments may be under tremendous pressure to protect their own citizens first before allowing companies to ship doses of vaccine out of the country.
That does not bode well for many nations, including the United States, which makes only 20 percent of the regular flu vaccines it uses, or Britain, where all of its flu vaccines are produced abroad.
"This isn't rocket science," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "If there is severe disease, countries will want to hang onto the vaccine for their own citizens."
Experts say politicians would not be able to withstand the pressure; could they I wonder?