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More Than Half of Experts Fighting The 'Pandemic' Have Ties To Drug Industry


More than half the scientists on the swine flu taskforce advising the Government have ties to drug companies.

Eleven of the 20 members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) have done work for the pharmaceutical industry or are linked to it through their universities.

Many have declared interests in GlaxoSmithKline, the vaccine maker expected to be the biggest beneficiary of the pandemic.

The disclosure of the register of interests comes just days after a health expert branded the swine flu outbreak a 'false pandemic' driven by the drug companies which stood to profit.

The Government is now trying to offload up to £1billion worth of unwanted swine flu vaccine.

Last July, the Department of Health warned of up 65,000 deaths, with 350 a day at the pandemic's peak. But the death toll now stands at just 251.

SAGE was created to give Ministers recommendations on how to control and treat the virus.

Official documents show some members are linked to vaccine manufacturer Baxter and to Roche, which makes Tamiflu.

GSK, Baxter and Roche stand to make up to £1.5billion between them from Government contracts related to swine flu.

The scientists declared the interests to the Department of Health.

They were not obliged to declare the amounts they earned but they are thought to range from around £500 for a lecture or presentation to more than £100,000 for a directorship of GSK.

Some will simply be heads of university research departments which received funding from companies.



January 15, 2010
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