Yesterday it was announced that Health Canada has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s swine flu (H1N1) vaccine , Arepanrix, for use in Canada. The mainstream media, drug companies, doctors, and Health Canada says that the swine flu vaccine is safe, but there is evidence to the contrary. I also strongly assert, with good reason, that the swine flu vaccine is not safe for pregnant women and young children.
GlaxoSmithKline assures us that the swine flu vaccine is safe. Let’s look at their track record to see whether they are a good, honest company, or not:
Paxil is an antidepressant drug that GlaxoSmithKline first introduced to the market in 1992. A few days ago a US jury ordered the company to pay 2.5 million to a woman who took the drug during pregnancy and consequently her son was born with serious heart defects. There are 600 similar cases pending that blame Paxil for heart problems and other birth defects. At the trial, an executive of the drug company talked about burying negative studies of Paxil. A company memo was presented as evidence during the trial.
In 2000, GSK pulled a drug for irritable bowel syndrome, Lotronex, off the market because it was linked to severe side effects and several deaths. It had only been on the market for 8 months, and in that time had caused 4 deaths and nearly 200 serious gastrointestinal events.
In 2001, an article in Bio-Medicine links GSK’s anti-smoking medication Zyban with 5000 adverse reactions and 40 deaths.
In 2003, the Italian branch of GlaxoSmithKline faced fraud and bribery charges for providing financial incentives to physicians to favour their products.
In 2005, the drug company was forced by the FDA to put new warnings on the labels of three of their asthma medications: Advair, Serevent, and Foradil. These asthma medications all contain long-acting beta 2-adrenergic agonists (LABA), which are linked to an increased risk of severe asthma episodes and death.
Also in 2005, GSK paid over $150 million dollars in a drug pricing fraud case. It was alleged that the company was engaged in a scheme to set and maintain fraudulent and inflated prices for anti-emetic drugs Zofran and Kytril.
In 2007 the FDA issued a warning about the GlaxoSmithKline diabetes drug Avandia. Avandia has the propensity to worsen heart failure in patients who already have significant heart failure. GSK has faced hundreds of lawsuits over Avandia. Patients who are suing GSK say that the company knew about the drug’s risk but did not warn consumers until until the FDA forced its hand.
In 2008 the Argentinian authorities started an investigation of a possible link between the deaths of 14 children and an experimental vaccine they were taking in a clinical trial run by GlaxoSmithKline.
In the summer of 2009, a “media backgrounder” written by GlaxoSmithKline talks about how they are testing the HPV vaccine Cervarix on a large number of different women. The vaccine has not been approved yet but they are using women as guinea pigs in their trials.
What lawsuits will we hear about after enough people have been vaccinated by their new swine flu vaccine, Arepanrix? GlaxoSmithKline can laugh all the way to the bank, because it will be taxpayers, not the company, who will be paying for any vaccine damages. That’s a pretty sweet deal for GSK!
GlaxoSmithKline expects to earn revenue of about 2.1 billion from the sale of their H1N1 vaccine. When they tell you the vaccine is safe, are they thinking about your safety, or are they thinking about their profits?
By Sonya McLeod
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