Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just How Much Money?

Here's a nice little synop of how much money we're actually talking about in the business of vaccines:

"'I expect [the vaccine industry] to more than double' by 2010, said Butler, noting he expects Merck and Wyeth will sell some $10 billion worth of vaccines a year by 2010..."

"Gardasil, on the market for nearly a year, is the potential blockbuster that helped the New Jersey-based Merck pull out of its Vioxx withdrawal blues. Since the Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil last June, Merck's stock has surged 57 percent, outperforming S&P gains of 21 percent."

"Gardasil sales totaled $365 million in the first quarter of 2007, helping Merck reach nearly $1 billion in total vaccine sales for the quarter ... Analyst projections have ranged up to $4 billion in annual sales for Gardasil, assuming the government mandates widespread vaccinations for girls."

"Merck showed that you can make quite a bit of money with vaccines, and I think that got a lot of people's attention," said Funtleyder.

... Now keep in mind that those very pharmaceutical companies are one of the most powerful (top 2?) lobbying groups on Capitol Hill, and you may see where part of the vaccine safety problem lies. They do their own vaccine research, present it to the FDA, lobby lawmakers, traipse through doctor's offices and hospitals, advertise to children on TV, publish ads in magazines.... the list goes on.

I'm just saying. Think about it. Are vaccine manufacturers just nice old philanthropists generously coming up with new ways to do good to our children out of the kindness of their hearts? Or are they in business? Did you ask for new vaccines? Or did they just give them to you?

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