The Politics of Avian Influenza

Policy Statements · News

This page collects statements and news stories that touch on the political aspects of pandemic preparedness and public health policy around the world. Opinions and rants are not generally appropriate for this section; please use the Dicussion Forum or, for more elaborate statements, create an entry on the Opinion page (see also About FluWiki). Articles and links should be organized by date, most recent first.

Policy Statements

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  • Roche suspends Tamiflu delivery in Canada, to protect supplies elsewhere
    Canadian Press, 26 Oct 2005
  • Tamiflu sales suspended as personal stockpiles grow
    CBC News, 25 Oct 2005
  • Taiwan to ignore drug flu patent
    BBC News, 22 Oct 2005
  • Indonesia Neglected Bird Flu Until Too Late, Experts Say
    Washington Post, Oct 20 2005 Page A01
    JAKARTA, Indonesia, Oct. 19 — Indonesian officials covered up and then neglected a spreading bird flu epidemic for two years until it began to sicken humans this summer, posing a grave threat to people well beyond the country’s borders, according to Indonesian and international health experts. … Health experts say the Indonesian epidemic started in commercial poultry farms, spread among the tens of millions of free-range chickens raised in back yards across the country and then finally infected people. At each step, the Indonesian government failed to take measures that could have broken the chain, while discouraging research into the outbreak.
  • Roche CEO: patents no bar to flu drug production
    19 Oct 2005 17:13:17 GMT Source: Reuters
  • Swiss firm may cede bird flu drug rights
    Washington Post, 19 Oct 2005 Page A13
  • Roche news release on Tamiflu manufacturing
    18 Oct 2005
  • Talk of Bird Flu Pandemic Revives Interest in Passed-Over Drugs
    New York Times, 7 Oct 2005
    Growing fears of a global bird flu pandemic are revitalizing drugs like peramivir, a flu treatment that BioCryst Pharmaceuticals gave up on three years ago. Peramivir had failed in clinical tests, in part because not enough of it got into the bloodstream when taken orally. Johnson & Johnson pulled out of a partnership with BioCryst in 2001 when it saw that other flu drugs were not selling well. But now, with governments intensely building stockpiles against a possible bird flu pandemic, scientists are testing the drug in animals, this time in a form that is given intravenously, or injected.
  • Roche to donate Tamiflu to WHO
    New York Times, 25 August 2005
    Report on the pharmaceutical company’s agreement to donate 30 million doses of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to the WHO’s stockpile. “The aim is to buy time until large amounts of a vaccine can be produced; use of the antiviral drug would be combined with other measures, like quarantine.”
  • U.S. chastised on flu preparedness
    Oakland Tribune June 26, 2005 → link broken
  • Partner Companies Fighting Over Rights to Avian Flu Drug
    The New York Times reports on the lawsuit between Tamiflu patent holder Gilead Sciences Inc. and manufacturer/distributor, Roche. June 24 2005.
  • Roche sees no major impact from Tamiflu claim
    Reuters June 24, 2005 report on Gilead/Roche disagreement. → link broken
  • The WHO’s Outbreak Communication Guidelines
    english · français (pdf)
  • Sales of Cancer Drug Help Roche Post Increase
    The New York Times reports on an increase of Tamiflu sales that helps the drug manufacturer’s bottom line. April 20 2005
  • Most Canadians don’t feel avian flu is a threat: poll
    CTV. March 28, 2005
    “Most Canadians have taken note of escalating warnings of the threat of a flu pandemic, but they don’t feel the avian influenza virus ravaging parts of Southeast Asia represents a real danger to them, a poll suggests. Furthermore, 36 per cent of respondents feel authorities are exaggerating the level of the risk in order to encourage people to take precautions. And nearly 60 per cent of those polled say they either are not very worried or not at all concerned the avian flu could threaten their health or the health of their families.”
  • The Issues of Thimerosal and Ethylmercury Toxicity
  • WHO exclusion (of Taiwan) is a health threat
    Tapei Times editorial. 26 December 2004
    “Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHO represents a serious threat both to the health of the Taiwanese people and the entire global community. As the executive board of the WHO proclaimed in 2001, ‘the globalization of infectious diseases is such that an outbreak in one country is potentially a threat to the whole world.’
    .. One step the world should take to combat the anticipated outbreak of this virulent strain of influenza should be to admit Taiwan to the WHO without dithering or delay. The egregious errors of the SARS epidemic must not be repeated. The continued tolerance of what some Taiwanese officials describe as a practice of ‘health apartheid’ constitutes a very real threat to the national security of all countries—including China. Although Taipei’s participation in the WHO may not be a panacea or a ‘magic bullet,’ it will undoubtedly help close one of the loopholes in the WHO’s efforts at epidemic prevention. As such, it is a move that is long overdue.”

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Page last modified on July 21, 2006, at 03:22 PM by pogge