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WHO exaggerated H1N1 to benefit pharma cos?

Jan 13, 2010 02:11 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Was the swine flu scare exaggerated to benefit pharma companies?

Evidence has surfaced that several members of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) vaccine board - which pushed countries to buy the H1N1 vaccine - have had significant ties with pharma companies.

Documents acquired through the Danish Freedom of Information Act revealed that Professor Juhani Eskola - a Finnish member of the WHO board on vaccines called the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) - received almost 6.3 million euros in 2009 for his vaccine research programme from the vaccine manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline.

It has also been reported that six other members of SAGE had financial ties with various pharmaceutical companies which include Novartis, Solvay, Baxter, MedImmune and Sanofi Aventis.

This has given rise to speculation that the swine flu was a fase pandemic, orchestrated by drug companies looking pull in large profits from the vaccines. Experts now say that the classic flu causes more deaths than swine flu.