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July 16, 2010


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Paul Flynn

The woman that history will judge to be the Heroine of the Swine Flu Pandemic Ewa Kopacz said at meeting my Council of Europe Committee in Paris:

"The relatively rapid announcement of successive levels of pandemic threat by WHO caused a lot of interest in the media which didn’t really verify the significance of the figures that were provided and started to talk about upcoming ‘apocalypse’. The media of course reminded societies of the famous ‘Spanish’ flu of 1918-1919 and the more recent avian flu which raised the level of social disquiet without the facts to support those statements. And that is why we prepared and transmitted information in accordance with our pandemic plan and we used the medical information available about the degree of threat but that was often marginalised by the media and they concentrated on the threat.
We also analysed the situation in the countries of the Southern Hemisphere where the flu season was underway and we were becoming very aware of the moderate nature this
pandemic. All of this made it possible for us to serenely analyse the situation in so far as the alleged pandemic was concerned and to draw the appropriate conclusions. Ladies and Gentleman we wanted to take into consideration all possible scenarios so we invited pharmaceutical companies to negotiate with us, companies that were working on a vaccine against the H1N1 flu virus. The Polish Flu Pandemic Committee had defined a high risk group including 2 millions persons in accordance with the recommendations of WHO and the ECDC and the Polish government set aside resources to buy appropriate numbers of vaccines but the conditions of purchase for vaccines proposed by producers were dubious for us, vaccines were to be purchased only by governments and not available directly to individuals, and to units of health care system, the producers of the vaccine expected that Polish government would take full responsibility for any undesirable side effects offering sale at the risk and on the responsibility of the purchaser.
For a long time it was also not clear whether each of us should be vaccinated once or twice and we were also concerned about information in the Euravigilin system about various undesirable effects and even the suspicion of some deaths. And the fact that the vaccine as offered was 2 to 3 times more expensive than vaccines against seasonal flu produced on the basis of the same technology is a fact on which I will not comment upon.
For these reasons the Polish government and I personally fully responsibly undertook a position not to purchase the vaccines on the conditions that were offered by pharmaceutical companies. I said at the time in the Polish parliament ‘is it my responsibility to sign contracts in the interests of Poland or contracts in the interests of pharmaceutical companies?’ I must admit that I said this as a doctor who has sworn to act for the good of patients and as a politician who has sworn to act in the interests of citizens. It is really not acceptable that producers of a medical vaccine thanks to the media campaign and taken advantage of fear that they should force government to take certain decisions; it is not acceptable for producers not to take responsibility for product for safety of patients and for undesirable side effects. It is not acceptable that governments should become hostages to interest groups and should take decision in an atmosphere of panic resulting from alarmist announcements in the media or the opinion of experts who have an interest in the situation themselves and who have not based their analysis on scientific terms, that is not acceptable at all.


Point being, if the same idiots who agreed to the deals with GSK for the national governments do the negotiation for all the EU, then GSK only have to deploy their sales techniques once, instead of many times over.

Or are we just going to let the Poles handle all medication and vaccine contracts for the lot.


Oh Come ON.
National governments got bullied into bad contracts by GSK?
Poland didn't.

Are the Poles so special?
OKOK Polish people, yes I know you believe you are, and obviously your government has more intelligence than others but there is no particular reason why your government should be so much better on this issue.
It's not that Poland had a particularly genius level government its that other less fortunate countries are being run by idiots.
Happy to make war for no reason, happy to continue wars to no purpose (Poland does have troops in Afghanistan, see not especially geniuses in government), happy to harm people and happy to cosy up to big business, whenever and wherever possible.

I am sure the drug and vaccine makers stretch things to the max to make as much profit as possible, no matter how unsuitable their wares, but this is why governments are elected to do the business of government.

They have advisers and scientific panels and the civil service to help them, with all that support, those who can't do the job should get out of the business.

Do we need to add Polish politicians to the list of jobs that it seems Poles are particularly good at providing in this country?

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