How nice for Pfizer, which has hitched itself to a foreign company in one of those reverse mortgages – or tax inversions or whatever those things are called that allow you to pay lower U.S. taxes if you get a P.O. box in, say, Ireland. The economics and ethics of this are beyond me – Hillary Clinton complained about it, but the WSJ says it will return more profits to the U.S. – but it does offer a moment to remind ourselves what big, big business we’re talking about here.
This $150 billion deal, according to the Journal, “will create a pharmaceutical behemoth, with top-selling products including Pfizer’s Prevnar pneumonia vaccine and Allergan’s antiwrinkle treatment Botox, and an industry-topping R&D budget.”
Let’s remember that hiding in there is the former Wyeth, whose salesman once tried to hide the relationship between DTaP and sudden infant deaths in Tennessee, and won the Bruesewitz case which slammed the door on any liability for vaccines that caused autism.
Oh, and Prevnar, the world’s best-selling vaccine and no doubt a real bauble to dangle in the merger talks. As Mark Blaxill and I wrote earlier this year in Vaccines 2.0:
Prevnar 13, a vaccine to prevent bacterial meningitis and other illnesses, is recommended at 2, 4, 6, and 12–15 months.
(In August 2014, the CDC’s advisory committee recommended Prevnar 13 for adults over 65, setting off a predictable wave of lucrative TV advertising aimed at older adults.)
In commercial terms, the Prevnar brand, which was introduced by Wyeth (now Pfizer) in 2000, is the most successful vaccine ever launched, generating $31 billion since its inception. In its tenth year, it reached roughly $3 billion in worldwide revenues and has been generating about $4 billion a year since 2011. Its blockbuster status was a major reason Pfizer decided to buy the whole company that made it.
For any vaccine developer looking to maximize profits, Prevnar 13 sets the standard. It was adopted rapidly, both in the United States and globally; it has no competitors in its category; with the exception of one episode of supply problems in 2003, its growth has been continuous; and its history has been remarkably free of any reputation problems due to safety concerns. The cloud hovering above this cheerful vista is a rather large
A recent study from Massachusetts on its effectiveness suggests that Prevnar, contrary to all expectations, did not reduce the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in the state. Instead, although the forms of IPD caused by strains in the vaccine went down after Prevnar’s introduction, IPD cases caused by other strains (some of which were even more dangerous than the original strains) rose almost immediately and in opposite proportions, to keep the rate of IPD in Massachusetts constant.
In plain language, the first version of Prevnar, the most commercially valuable vaccine in history, created no health benefits whatsoever.
The jury is still out on Prevnar 13. We can’t help but wonder when we’ll be seeing Prevnar 29!
I thought vaccines were supposed to be a backwater of the pharmaceutical industry. And so Big Pharma rolls on, one ineffective and dangerous vaccine at a time. All this was captured neatly, I think, in a comment from “Anita Donnelley”:
“Everyone: Go to your newstand and get a picture of this ad in your phone or buy the magazine Intouchweekly Nov 30 (with charlie sheen). The Prevnar 13 ad between pages 14 and 17 (unmarked would be 15 and 16) should just about shut down the vaccine injuries are 1 in a million" deniers. Prevnar is designed to stop pneumonia. . . so it's really worth reading the warnings. It says you need 4 doses. It's "really important". It doesn't say "it's more effective". On the front of the Prevnar Ad
it says this: "The most commonly reported serious adverse events in infants and toddlers were bronchiolitis (.9%) , gastroenteritis (.9%), and pneumonia (.9%)." This means that you have a close to 1/100 chance of your child getting pneumonia from a shot that is meant to avoid pneumonia. I am not sure if you can add those 3 risks together and say there is a 2.7 % chance of adverse effect--Statisticians out there?
It also states that it can cause a 'temporary pause in breathing" in premature infants--it is not recommended for them. I am saddened to think of the infants who were harmed finding this out. Dr. Pan, tell me, is there a 1 in 100 chance you will get in a car accident on the way to work? If so, I guess you have had about 4 accidents this year, and if so, maybe vaccine injury is more common than you think . . ?
I am printing this out and putting it with my personal belief exemption to remind the school nurses when they act like they've never heard of vaccine injury. Thank you Pfizer for at least telling the TRUTH. That is a start. The only thing is I wish they would say "The chance of getting the disease you are getting the shot for is X. The chance of getting something else is Y." But I am quite sure that they cannot say that. Still, this ad and similar ones (check out a gardisil ad to get your mind blown) make our case in a way that I don't see how ANYONE can deny --it is NOT 1 in a million it's closer to 1 in 100. You multiplly this by 69 vaccines, and the risk begins to increase exponentially. . .
Thanks, Anita. What really is happening here is that America’s kids (and more and more oldsters) are being offered up as profit centers for companies that increasingly offshore everything but the guinea pigs (us).
Cherry Misra, our redoubtable correspondent from India, put it this way:
Dan, You are like so right.The enemy is filthy rich and in India I use that against them , because there are a LOT of people in India who understand making money more than they understand science. Today, after a father came to enquire from me about admission for his son, it became apparent from what he told me that Pentaxim ( 20 micrograms Thimerosal) + more vaccines with mercury had claimed another victim.
I told the father, "Let me tell you what happened here. You gave those vaccines because you thought your child would be healthy. but now your child is not healthy. What really happened is that your wealth flew away to Europe and someone is using it now to buy a new racehorse... and you have a sick child. No brainwashed American there, imagining that when mercury is put in a holy vaccine it must be safe. The father gave me another similar example from a different area of health ! He caught on very fast. I went back to work thinking how disgusting are our adversaries- Taking advantage of the love of a parent for their child. The lie cant live forever.”
Amen, Cherry, Anita and everyone else. Onward and upward.
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.