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Posted: 10/22/2004 8:33:29 AM EST
Please email this to your friends. Time to spread the word...

WHY THERE IS A FLU VACCINE SHORTAGE

How the vaccine works:

Influenza vaccine is produced by growing the virus in eggs. The
Virus is killed and processed to create the vaccine, which is given by
injection under the skin. The body then produces antibodies to the virus over the next two to four weeks. If the immunized person then comes into contact with the influenza virus, the antibodies attack and kill the virus before it has a chance to cause infection. The vaccine contains the 3 most likely strains to be active during the "flu season"

Why the shortage:

Almost half of the nation's flu vaccine will not be delivered this
year.
Chiron, a major manufacturer of flu vaccine, will not be distributing any influenza vaccine this flu season. Chiron was to make 46-48 million doses vaccine for the United States. Chiron is a British company.
Recently British health officials stopped Chiron from distributing and making the vaccine when inspectors found unsanitary conditions in the labs. Some lots of the vaccine were recalled and destroyed.

Why is our vaccine made in the UK and not the US?

The major pharmaceutical companies in the US provided almost 90% of the nations flu vaccine at one time. They did this despite a very low profit margin for the product. Basically, they were doing us a favor. In the late 80's a man from North Carolina who had received the vaccine got the flu. The strain he caught was one of the strains in that years vaccine made by a US company. What did he do? He sued and he won. He was awarded almost $5 million! After that case was appealed and lost, most US pharmaceutical companies stopped making the vaccine. The liability out weighed the profit margin. Since UK and Canadian laws prohibit such frivolous law suits UK And Canadian companies began selling the vaccine in the US.

By the way...the lawyer that represented the man in the flu shot law suit was a young ambulance chaser by the name of John Edwards.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:36:35 AM EST
That's pretty interesting....
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:38:19 AM EST
Source? Sounds fishy.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:38:23 AM EST
Can anyone verify where this came from?
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:41:11 AM EST
Crap snopes isn't working.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:43:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By Diss_ipator:
Crap snopes isn't working.



Yeah, I tried too.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:44:58 AM EST
Try checking Snopes first...

www.snopes.com/politics/business/flushot.asp

Claim: The current flu vaccine shortage is attributable to a lawsuit handled by Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards.

Status: False.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

Flu Shot Info /Interesting, read to end

How the vaccine works:

Influenza vaccine is produced by growing the virus in eggs. The virus is killed and processed to create the vaccine, which is given by injection under the skin. The body then produces antibodies to the virus over the next two to four weeks. If the immunized person then comes into contact with the influenza virus, the antibodies attack and kill the virus before it has a chance to cause infection. The vaccine contains the 3 most likely strains to be active during the "flu season"

Why the shortage:

Almost half of the nation's flu vaccine will not be delivered this year. Chiron, a major manufacturer of flu vaccine, will not be distributing any influenza vaccine this flu season. Chiron was to make 46-48 million doses of vaccine for the United States. Chiron is a British company. Recently British health officials stopped Chiron from distributing and making the vaccine when inspectors found unsanitary conditions in the labs. Some lots of the vaccine were recalled and destroyed.

Why is our vaccine made in the UK and not the US?

The major pharmaceutical companies in the US provided almost 90% of the nations flu vaccine at one time. They did this despite a very low profit margin for the product. Basically, they were doing us a favor. In the late 80's a man from North Carolina who had received the vaccine got the flu. The strain he caught was one of the strains in that years vaccine made by a US company. What did he do? He sued and he won. He was awarded almost $5 million! After that case was appealed and the appeal was lost, most US pharmaceutical companies stopped making the vaccine. The liability outweighed the profit margin. Since UK and Canadian laws prohibit such frivolous law suits, UK and Canadian companies began selling the vaccine in the US.

By the way...the lawyer that represented the man in the flu shot law suit was a young ambulance chaser by the name of John Edwards.

Origins: Two major problems with this political screed, which attempts to attribute a shortage of flu vaccine to a lawsuit handled to Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate:
Chiron, the corporation mentioned in this piece as an example of a "British company" that has taken over the manufacture of flu vaccine from American companies supposedly driven out of business by liability lawsuits, is not a British company. It is an American company headquartered in Emeryville, California, which last year purchased British vaccine maker Powderject and a flu vaccine plant in Liverpool, England.

American manufacturers did not produce flu vaccine until liability lawsuits made it impossible for them to continue doing so. Most American pharmaceutical companies got out of the flu vaccine market because a variety of factors (not related to lawsuits) make it an unattractive line of business:


Flu viruses mutate easily, so new flu vaccine formulas have to be made up every year.

Because a different flu vaccine is used each season, unsold doses cannot be saved and end up being destroyed (along with any potential profits).

The production of flu vaccine (and the requirement of meeting Food and Drug Administration standards) is a labor-intensive process. Flu vaccine is made by injecting virus into fertilized chicken eggs — each egg must be hand-inspected and hand-injected and produces only 4 or 5 doses of vaccine.

Because flu vaccine is a commodity (i.e., the same product can be made by many different companies) and much of the available supply is bought up in large orders by the government, the market price of vaccine — and the profit to be made from selling it — has been quite low. (The global market for vaccine is about $6 billion a year, while the global market for drugs is about $340 billion a year. Which of these two markets a pharmaceutical company should concentrate on is a no-brainer.)

Sometime within the next several years, the flu vaccine industry will switch to growing vaccine in cell cultures rather than eggs, a much easier and cheaper process. No new entrant to the flu vaccine market is going to spend several years and millions of dollars investing in a process that will soon become obsolete.
A recent article in the Washington Post chronicled the travails of Wyeth, one of many companies that has abandoned the flu vaccine market in the last few years:
For two decades, Wyeth made injectable influenza vaccine at a plant in Marietta, Pa. For the winter of 2002-03, it made 21 million doses in a labor-intensive, time-crunched process and shipped them to clinics and doctors' offices early in the fall.

But it turned out a lot fewer people wanted it. Flu vaccine can't be saved from year to year. So, sometime the next spring Wyeth threw away 7 million unsold doses, for a loss of $30 million. It then quit making flu shots. It eventually closed the Marietta plant, which once employed 800 people.

But Wyeth wasn't out of the flu vaccine business — yet.

It was a partner with the Maryland biotech company, MedImmune, in making what they considered the flu shot of the future — a "live" virus vaccine squirted up the nose. They made 5 million doses of FluMist for last winter, the product's inaugural season. But FluMist never found its market. Only 450,000 doses were sold; the rest were thrown away.

Over three seasons, Wyeth lost $50 million from unsold flu vaccine. It was also facing millions of dollars in required improvements to keep its plant up to standards required by the Food and Drug Administration.

Last April, Wyeth pulled out. It was done with flu vaccine.

Wyeth's decisions go a long way toward explaining why the United States — the world's richest market for medical products — finds itself with only half the amount of vaccine it needs to protect its population against a disease that may contribute to more than 50,000 deaths this year.

The company's exit is part of a long, slow industry-wide flight away from flu vaccine, which has simply become more trouble than it's worth.

"It shouldn't be surprising to anybody," said Gregory A. Poland, director of the vaccine research group at the Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota. "In fact, I marvel that there are companies willing to stay in the business."
Litigation against vaccine manufacturers (not over flu vaccine specificially, but vaccines in general, particularly those that used thimerosal as a preservative) did create some shortages prior to the mid-1980s, but the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 eliminated most of those lawsuits through the creation of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a no-fault compensation alternative to suing vaccine manufacturers and providers for people injured or killed by vaccines. According to a 2003 report by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), "vaccine shortages do not appear to be liability related":
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) enacted in the late 1980s has been of immense value in stabilizing the vaccine market. Prior to its enactment, litigation led to national shortages, withdrawal of manufacturers from the marketplace, and instability of supply of essential childhood vaccines. The VICP was designed to compensate individuals who suffered a serious adverse event as a result of administration of a covered vaccine in a manner that was rapid, simple, generous and appropriate. The VICP has assisted in stimulating the availability of new vaccines since its inception in 1988. Despite the success of the program, criticism of the VICP could lead to significant legislative changes, including a more relaxed burden of proof standard for determining eligibility for compensation. Today, litigation again threatens stability of the vaccine program in the form of class action law suits, exemplified by those that have been filed involving vaccines that contain thimerosal. The VICP is currently understaffed to meet the new increased numbers of claims. While current vaccine shortages do not appear to be liability related, the VICP should be maintained and strengthened as supported by scientific evidence, including continuing expansion of VICP to include additional vaccines as they are recommended for routine administration to children. The VICP coverage of vaccines should recognize that "vaccine" includes the active ingredient as well as preservatives, additives and other excipients. Strengthening the VICP would benefit manufacturers, providers and consumers and further safeguard the nation's vaccine supply.
Last updated: 20 October 2004
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:46:03 AM EST
Didnt Hillary start some stupid government buy up and price control of US vaccines that drove US manufacturers out of the market?
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:47:01 AM EST
I think the Bush administration has a lot more to do with the current flu crisis than John Edwards.

It' s a nice urban legend though.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:50:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 8:50:33 AM EST by cyanide]

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
I think the Bush administration has a lot more to do with the current flu crisis than John Edwards.




Damn right they do, then most of them bastards get flu shots.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:51:23 AM EST
I do like the story... it seems very Paul Harvey-esq.

However, Snoops says it ain't so.

www.snopes.com/politics/business/flushot.asp

It wouldn't surprise me at all if something similar did happen like that in the past. Its known that even if you have the vaccine, you can still get the flu. As for everyone getting their panties in a bunch over not being able to get a flu vaccine; I wonder if people were this frantic a decade ago when flu vaccines weren't widely distributed? "The Sky is Falling" mentality will rule the day, so it seems.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:52:31 AM EST
Damn, you people are on the ball. When I started writing my reply there weren't any!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 9:02:50 AM EST
Clintons Ruined Vaccine Industry



October 14, 2004

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_101404/content/institute.member.html

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

Last night, ladies and gentlemen, ( transcript | video ) the president of the United States was asked about flu vaccine and what's the problem, how come we have a shortage, and he gave an answer that was half complete and, frankly, I was sitting on the edge of the chair when I saw this because I thought, "Uh-oh, with one pitch here Kerry has a chance, with one swing, to hit two grand slams with one swing," and he missed it. He missed it. Everybody talks about what a great debater Kerry is, but he got a chance to respond to Bush's answer on the shortage of flu vaccines. Stop and think of this: President of the United States said to America last night: If you're young or a child, don't get a flu shot. That is a sitting duck, I'm sorry, for John Kerry.

"This is what it's come to in America," he could have said. "We're the richest country in the world, got the greatest health care system in the world and the President of the United States has to tell you not to take a flu shot? Just take the risk?" He didn't say it. You know what he did? He launched into some talking points about health care. What is all this talk about him being a great debater? This is one of the greatest missed opportunities in this whole series of three debates. However, what I want to talk to you about is this flu shortage, and I want you to know why it exists, the flu vaccine shortage. There's an editorial in the Wall Street Journal today, and after I read the first two paragraphs, the old memory lights went on there, and the little gray cells, and I said, "Oh, yeah. Bam! I had forgotten about this."

You know, there is a debate versus reality is what you could say this was last night. Half the vaccine we need, serious shortage of flu shots, half the vaccine we need was lost. It was contaminated, had to throw it down the drain. A British pharmaceutical plant goofed up, made a mistake, and so we were importing it from this company in Britain, and it's no good. We can't use it. Now, this is bad news, this is horrible news to our young and old could save our health delivery system from liberal ideas that sound good but don't work. This instance, this reality, ironically, that we are short of a flu vaccine is the best medicine that we could get right now for fixing this problem and to illustrate how our health delivery system in the hands of liberals sounds great but doesn't work. Do you remember something called the Clinton Government Vaccine Buying Program?

It was sold to us as a way to get prices down and get more children vaccinated and, of course, to keep the evil drug companies from making a profit. The Wall Street Journal says today, "Companies that decided to run these regulatory traps also know that they'll be doing so for very little reward. Before her big health care reform crashed and burned in '94, Hillary Rodham Rodham managed to get Congress to pass a government vaccine buying program for children. Her sales pitch was free vaccines for all kids and higher immunization rates. If we would give this stuff away, she said, more children would be immunized." Oh, goody, wonderful, wonderful. Thus, as a result of Hillary's plan, the government now purchases about 60% of all pediatric vaccines, forcing huge discounts and imposing price caps. The manufacturers were told, ''You can only make so much profit, and you're gonna make this amount, and we're gonna give it away.''

What all this did was screw up the whole private sector mechanism of manufacturing and distributing vaccines. In 2001, the private sector cost of immunizing children with the 20 recommended doses of vaccines was $600 per child. The government price was just $400 per child, with the vaccine makers swallowing the difference. What has this achieved? Vaccination rates for two-year-olds have stagnated at about 74% for the past several years while adult rates are significantly lower, and with the profit margin squeeze to practically zero, some manufacturers have simply said, "We're not making the stuff anymore. It doesn't make sense. We've got this government program that tells us the maximum we can charge, regardless what it costs to make, we're going to be threatened with lawsuits the first time somebody gets sick for whatever vaccine. Screw it!"

And that's why American companies are out of the business and why we have to import vaccines from Great Britain, a combination of Hillary's plan that put a cap on profits, put a cap on prices, and nothing to do with the manufacture price. You combine that with the fact that these manufacturers are subject to constant lawsuits and they said, "Screw it. We're not going to make the stuff anymore," and that's why there is a shortage. This can be traced back to Hillary Clinton's great sounding, compassionate idea, to make sure that every child had a flu shot and every child had a vaccination against various childhood diseases. Well, the fact is only 74% of kids do because there's not enough vaccine. This is not the first real shortage, but because American manufacturers have thrown up their hands and said, "It makes no sense. We are in business, and we don't give things away, and we're certainly not going to take a loss on this."

So they just simply got out of the business. In addition to that, one of the companies that remained and stayed in business was a company called Chiron. They're being sued left and right over financial problems that have nothing to do with the quality of their vaccine. I'm not going to detail what those problems are because it's not relevant, but they're being targeted now. So that's another manufacturer that has put up their hands and said, "Whoa, it isn't worth all this," and so that's why we have to import from Britain, and, lo and behold, they had a company that ended up with their flu vaccines contaminated. Half the supply had to be dumped and this is where we are. We have "outsourced" flu vaccines, essentially, to use a John Kerry word because of Mrs. Clinton's great-sounding program -- remember the name -- the government vaccine buying program.

The vaccine rate did not increase. It drove our vaccine manufacturers out of the business of manufacturing vaccines. The squeeze on profits sounded good to a lot of people because everybody knows that pharmaceutical companies make obscene profits and the money goes to Halliburton and Cheney, but they got out of business rather than sounding good. The fear of crippling lawsuits -- not the lawsuits themselves, just the fear -- the fear of lawsuits drove vaccine makers out of business. The complications of overregulation drove vaccine makers out of business and now John Kerry says, "Where's the vaccine?" Well, don't ask me, folks, ask the liberals! Ask Hillary Clinton! Ask Bill Clinton. They told us, they told themselves, that price caps and centralized buying would make things better. What we end up with is a vaccine mess, but liberals don't apologize. They repeat their mistakes again and again.

Now John Kerry wants price caps and centralized buying prescription drugs and sooner or later on all of health care, and what's even worse, the same people who were taken in by the vaccine pipe dream are now cheering this prescription drug pipe dream. If you buy it, a pox on your face! I shouldn't say that. Just a little attempt at humor, but here's the way to look at this, and I'm using the word "greedy" here advisedly, to make a point. One greedy drug manufacturer with one "greedy drug" has saved more lives than all the liberal politicians combined, because liberal politicians when they get their hands on the health care system or any element of it, that business ends up being damaged to the point that the people in it throw up their hands and quit because there's no profit in it. There's only the fear of lawsuits, and more hassle than it is worth. The Clintons were notorious for two tactics: They took credit for anything good; they made a mountain out of the slightest little molehill. One of the tiniest little problems were called "crises" which demanded massive government action and that's how this vaccine business got started.

"A small number of kids didn't get vaccines because they could not afford." Hillary said, "That's just not right." Bammo! Now half the country has to not take a flu shot because of Hillary Clinton. Have you, by the way, why neither Bill nor Hillary ever mentioned or took credit for this government vaccine buying program? They're all about writing their legacy out there. The Clintons are trying to take credit for everybody that happened in the nineties that was good. Why don't we hear about this government vaccine buying program, hmm? Well, thanks to the Wall Street Journal editorial today called Infection Politics, I now know why. The plan sounded good enough to those who don't understand the real world. Government buys vaccines in bulk; government negotiates lowers prices -- read that: a cap on profits -- and the lower prices will lead to more vaccinations. Why don't the Clintons ever mention it? Why don't they want kudos for their plan? Because it didn't work, it did no good, and as we know now, it's caused a lot of harm.

END TRANSCRIPT

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 9:28:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By chetchat:
Clintons Ruined Vaccine Industry



I love it!! That's even better than blaming Edwards!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 9:36:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By cyanide:

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
I think the Bush administration has a lot more to do with the current flu crisis than John Edwards.




Damn right they do, then most of them bastards get flu shots.



HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!HAHAHA HAHAHAHA AHHA HAHA HA HAHA HAHA AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AH AH AH AHHA HA HAHAH AHAHA HAHA

Yup, Damn Bush for making the Clinton Administration put price controls on drugs, especially Vaccinations. Damn Bush for making the vaccination rate for children actually DROP from 1990 to 1999, That Bush is SOOO bad that he did this when he wasn't even President, Damn he is a piece of shit.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 9:36:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 9:37:51 AM EST by cyanide]
Lot's of people gonna die this year from the flu

saw the local heath department giving flu shots --- lines out the door to the street.

They state they will run out before serving all the folk there today...........

time for the riots to start.............................

Attica

Attica

Attica
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 9:48:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 9:57:00 AM EST by phatmax]

Originally Posted By cyanide:
Lot's of people gonna die this year from the flu

saw the local heath department giving flu shots --- lines out the door to the street.

They state they will run out before serving all the folk there today...........

time for the riots to start.............................



ETA: CDC Flu Information, not propaganda.

ETA (again): This is from the FDA for 2003-2004: Link

Consumer demand for the flu vaccine increased considerably after reports in November 2003 of flu-related deaths in children. Manufacturers had produced about 87 million doses for the 2003-2004 flu season, including 4 million doses in the form of FluMist, a new nasal spray vaccine made by MedImmune Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md.

Great, stupid people deserve what they get. I can 110 percent gaurantee that MANY MANY more people this year try to get a flu shot that have in previous years BECAUSE of it being in the news so much. The demand is being created by the notoriety of the story.

Hmmm, here is a great idea:

If you feel sick; STAY THE FUCK HOME and don't infect others.

If you sneeze or cough: COVER YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH AND NOSE, then wash your hands.

AVOID going to congested places such as the Mall during peak hours.

Wash your hands.

Don't share food or drinks.

Wash your hands.

Don't have large parties at your house during flu season if you can avoid it.

Take vitamins.

Eat Healthy.

Exercise.

Wash your Hands.

AVOID sickly people.

There are dozens of ways to protect yourself WITHOUT a flu shot. Also a flu shot is NOT a brick wall against getting it. There are several strains of flu every year and the flu shots are generally made to combat the largest, most widespread strains, not ALL of them. You could get a flu shot for 10 strains and get the 11th flu.

Also, the people who DIE of the flu are USUALLY, the old, infirm or immuno-deficient people who tend to get Pnuemonia easily. Notice on the news, most of the people FREAKING out about flu shots look pretty damn healthy.

Also, if Chiron makes about half the doses for the US and they make 46 million does that not mean that ONLY 100 MILLION out of 280 MILLION people can get flu shots?

Dang......
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 9:57:11 AM EST
If you sneeze or cough: COVER YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH AND NOSE, then wash your hands.



Fly much --- ignorant people.

No one carries a handkerchief any more -- bastards just spray it everywhere, like they are enjoying the sneeze.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:02:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By cyanide:
If you sneeze or cough: COVER YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH AND NOSE, then wash your hands.



Fly much --- ignorant people.

No one carries a handkerchief any more -- bastards just spray it everywhere, like they are enjoying the sneeze.



I'll agree with you there; it is like a generation of mothers forgot to say "Cover your mouth when you sneeze"

Though, it might be a small outlay in cost for you, or anyone else reading this thread; take a pack of tissues or even those Kimberly-Clark paper hankerchiefs with you flying and the first fuck-nut that sneezes, immediately and loudly, offer him a tissue and say something about covering his nose because "no one on the plane wants to share your sneeze"

Too bad if it pisses the person off, but now he will have a plane load of people looking at him checking on his manners. Should keep them in line.

Check out some of the links I found in my previous post.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:04:04 AM EST

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Didnt Hillary start some stupid government buy up and price control of US vaccines that drove US manufacturers out of the market?




Crap, now we have to Snopes that!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:07:51 AM EST
Sounds like the "shark attack" scare of a few years back. It was the biggest news on 09/10/2001.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:08:28 AM EST
THE SKY IS FALLING!!!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:14:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 10:32:24 AM EST by DonS]
The FDA Makes You Sick
The avoidance flu-vaccine shortage.

Americans have been shocked to learn a flu-vaccine shortage will keep many of them from getting their flu shots this year. They shouldn't be. What they are experiencing is the effect of the most basic law of economics. Guess what? When it ceases to be profitable to make a vaccine (or a prescription drug, or anything else), companies stop making it.
Litigation, regulation, and government pricing have hammered vaccine makers during the past two decades, chasing them out of business. Democrats "have a plan" — as John Kerry would put it — in response to the flu-vaccine debacle, which is to bring the same model of failure to the prescription-drug market and make it just as unprofitable. Then there will no longer be any of those "greedy" pharmaceutical companies. Problem solved!

In the 1980s, many vaccine makers were driven out of business by litigation costs. Congress eventually passed legislation protecting vaccine makers from out-of-control lawsuits. But the damage had been done. Once a company gets out of the business, it is difficult to get back in because it loses its manufacturing capacity and its expertise.
Another blow came from Hillary Clinton. She championed getting the government into the pediatric-vaccine business in a big way in the 1990s. It now buys 60 percent of pediatric vaccines, dictating cut-rate prices that have dried up vaccine-manufacturing capacity. More regulation inevitably accompanied the government purchases. "It's a snowball effect of more and more regulation over the past decade, driving more and more vaccine makers out of business," says Grace-Marie Turner, president of the free-market-oriented Galen Institute.
On top of these regulations, the flu-vaccine business has its unique hurdles. As Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute points out, the vaccine for each flu season needs to be set a year in advance because the vaccine is developed in chicken eggs in a cumbersome, dated, and very expensive process. Just as with pediatric vaccines, there's a lot of government purchasing, which keeps prices low.
Companies have to sell tens of millions of doses to make a profit. Since the entire U.S. market at its maximum is about 150 million doses, it means there is room for only two or three suppliers, and therefore no margin for error. Worse, vaccine makers have to take back any unused vaccines (usage can vary widely year to year), eating the production costs and exposing themselves to millions of dollars in annual losses. The setup is based on the idea that manufacturers are doing a public service by providing the flu vaccine, considerations of profit be damned.
"It's a market that hasn't been allowed to make a profit and not allowed to innovate," says Gottlieb. Without innovation, vaccine makers can't engage in premium pricing based on changes that make their product better than the competition. Everyone is stuck with the same old method.
Flu-vaccine makers could move to a more efficient process involving monkey or human cell lines instead of chicken eggs, but the Food and Drug Administration — which imposed new regulations in 1999 that drove several flu-vaccine makers out of the business — has been nervous about approving the new techniques. Rather than more government intervention, what vaccine manufacturers need is the government's permission to innovate so they can move beyond the inefficiencies of the current system.
The vaccine market is a harbinger of what could happen to the prescription-drug industry if Democrats get their way. They are agitating for the government to be able to negotiate — read: mandate — low drug prices as part of the new Medicare prescription-drug benefit. And the push for reimportation of drugs from Canada is really a way of importing Canada's price controls into this country.
But when the government vanquishes profits, it vanquishes the incentive to create new drugs, vaccines, and technologies in the first place. This year's flu season might be a brutal, unfortunate reminder of that fact.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:26:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By phatmax:

Originally Posted By cyanide:
Lot's of people gonna die this year from the flu

saw the local heath department giving flu shots --- lines out the door to the street.

They state they will run out before serving all the folk there today...........

time for the riots to start.............................



ETA: CDC Flu Information, not propaganda.

ETA (again): This is from the FDA for 2003-2004: Link

Consumer demand for the flu vaccine increased considerably after reports in November 2003 of flu-related deaths in children. Manufacturers had produced about 87 million doses for the 2003-2004 flu season, including 4 million doses in the form of FluMist, a new nasal spray vaccine made by MedImmune Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md.

Great, stupid people deserve what they get. I can 110 percent gaurantee that MANY MANY more people this year try to get a flu shot that have in previous years BECAUSE of it being in the news so much. The demand is being created by the notoriety of the story.

Hmmm, here is a great idea:

If you feel sick; STAY THE FUCK HOME and don't infect others.

If you sneeze or cough: COVER YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH AND NOSE, then wash your hands.

AVOID going to congested places such as the Mall during peak hours.

Wash your hands.

Don't share food or drinks.

Wash your hands.

Don't have large parties at your house during flu season if you can avoid it.

Take vitamins.

Eat Healthy.

Exercise.

Wash your Hands.

AVOID sickly people.

There are dozens of ways to protect yourself WITHOUT a flu shot. Also a flu shot is NOT a brick wall against getting it. There are several strains of flu every year and the flu shots are generally made to combat the largest, most widespread strains, not ALL of them. You could get a flu shot for 10 strains and get the 11th flu.

Also, the people who DIE of the flu are USUALLY, the old, infirm or immuno-deficient people who tend to get Pnuemonia easily. Notice on the news, most of the people FREAKING out about flu shots look pretty damn healthy.

Also, if Chiron makes about half the doses for the US and they make 46 million does that not mean that ONLY 100 MILLION out of 280 MILLION people can get flu shots?

Dang......



I was thinking this exact thing when I came across your post. Tell the country we are going to be short on shots and for the first year there are not enough. I have never had one and don't plan on it. Planerench out.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:28:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By sherm8404:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Didnt Hillary start some stupid government buy up and price control of US vaccines that drove US manufacturers out of the market?




Crap, now we have to Snopes that!



Go ahead, but I remember hearing it before this crisis. Planerench out.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:32:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 10:34:44 AM EST by DonS]

Originally Posted By Planerench:

Originally Posted By sherm8404:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Didnt Hillary start some stupid government buy up and price control of US vaccines that drove US manufacturers out of the market?




Crap, now we have to Snopes that!



Go ahead, but I remember hearing it before this crisis. Planerench out.



See my post above. With added emphysis to Hillery.

It all comes down to the usual unintended consequences of meddling in the market place.
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