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The Forum > Article Comments > Queuing up for bird flu drugs > Comments

Queuing up for bird flu drugs : Comments

By James Ensor, published 11/11/2005

James Ensor argues we need to relax patent rules to be able to combat an outbreak of bird flu effectively.

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The business side of Tamiflu seems interesting. The US drug firm Gilead sold Roche the rights to the drug in the 1990ís (when the drug didnít appear to be that useful), but now it wants it back.

See http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/24/MNGHTDE8LG1.DTL
Posted by Timkins, Friday, 11 November 2005 10:40:35 AM
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Actually, the most effect drug is Relenza, not Tamiflu.

I couldn't disagree more about what you are suggesting, which is basically stealing patents. The patent protection for drugs is too weak, not too strong.

Unfortunately, it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to make drugs. If companies that make the drugs can't make a profit because there are generic versions etc. floating around, then they are not going to do it. This is why we are now running out of antibiotics and various other forms of drugs (and why some -- like decent anti-malarials -- have been so slow to develop) -- no-one is willing to invest the money to make them because people steal them and the drugs are then not profitable. If you have a solution to this (which no-one does), I'm sure everyone is only to willing to listen.

There are in fact now second generation flu-drugs, but if the current ones don't make any money for the companies that own them, who is going to bother to invest in the better ones ? I don't see Oxfam offering the hundreds of millions dollars neccesary for development, and I don't see governments doing it either.

A third problem is that making the drugs too cheap leads to abuse. This is why 2 of 4 of the anti-influenza drugs don't work now. Both were fed by poor farmers to their chickens to stop flu in them, with the resulting effect of making the virus adapt to them. This is yet another problem of allowing huge quantities of cheap generics
Posted by rc, Saturday, 12 November 2005 8:18:13 AM
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Playing with fire

A Bird Flu Vaccine trial currently underway in three U.S. cities has the potential to develop into a focus of spreading the disease. Jonathan Campbell reports.

http://www.cqs.com/epidemic.htm

Will government experimentation cause an Avian Flu Epidemic?

Dr. Len Horowitz has recently expounded on the origins of epidemics and their causes, in a wide-ranging article - Avian Flu Fright: Politically Timed for Global "Iatrogenocide" - a copy of which I have placed on my website at http://www.cqs.com/horowitz.htm since I cannot yet find it published anywhere else. (In the article, Dr. Horowitz specifically gives permission for anyone to do so to get the word out.)

While I do not subscribe to everything Dr. Horowitz says in the article, he has some profound observations about epidemics and their connection to vaccines. And he reminds us: vaccines are based on existing virus cultures, since they use "attenuated" or "inactivated" copies of the viruses to supposedly invoke the human immune system to create antibodies.

Now add to this information: a small percentage of people who are treated with vaccines actually get the full-blown illness. This still happens with all the vaccines for childhood illness, even with polio vaccine. Since Avian Influenza supposedly kills more than 50% of its victims, and since there is no natural immunity in the rest of the population, this is an extremely serious matter. How would they prevent those unfortunate enough to get the full-blown illness from spreading it to the mostly-unprotected population?

After reading Dr. Horowitz's article, I remembered that there have been recent press releases about experimental vaccines that are being prepared - right now - for Avian Influenza, and federal authorities are concerned that not enough will be available if there is an outbreak or epidemic. But something doesn't make sense: other articles have stated that the Avian Flu hasn't mutated yet to be able to spread from human to human easily. So how are they creating a vaccine for a virus that doesn't exist yet? And how are they testing such a vaccine, for a virus that supposedly kills more than 50% of its victims?
Posted by Wally, Monday, 19 December 2005 9:40:02 AM
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I think Tamiflu is the most effective medication not Relenza, I know a website giving information about both Tamiflu and Relenza
have a look
http://www.bbonlinepharmacy.com/category.asp?kid=29
Posted by cure, Saturday, 4 March 2006 2:38:32 AM
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Avian flu H5N1 is highly pathogenic both to human as well as poultry.But now it appears that human is less susceptible to infection beause sialic acid and galactose required for virus attachment for replication is different that of upper respiratory tract of poultry.Poultry is more prone to infection compared to human beings.
Posted by DR.PRABIR, Monday, 10 April 2006 1:57:31 PM
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