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Nov 13th, 2011 8:23 AM #1
Cost, need (and politics) questioned in $433-million smallpox drug deal
LA Times reports:
Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.
Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor.
When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company's financial demands, senior officials replaced the government's lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.
When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.
Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a "sole-source" procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation's biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government's specialists had earlier said was reasonable, according to internal documents and interviews...
"I've got friends in high places
Where the bullshit drowns
And the cash chases my blues away
And I'll be okay ..."
...Once feared for its grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of 1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific institute and the U.S. government. There is no credible evidence that any other country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox...
...If there were an attack, the government could draw on $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine it already owns to inoculate the entire U.S. population and quickly treat people exposed to the virus. The vaccine, which costs the government $3 per dose, can reliably prevent death when given within four days of exposure.
Siga's drug, an antiviral pill called ST-246, would be used to treat people who were diagnosed with smallpox too late for the vaccine to help. Yet the new drug cannot be tested for effectiveness in people because of ethical constraints — and no one knows whether animal testing could prove it would work in humans.
The government's pursuit of Siga's product raises the question: Should the U.S. buy an unproven drug for such a nebulous threat?...
How many gazillions of $$$ are going into protecting us from nebulous threats, as it is?
Who and what are the biggest recipients of this money?
This is close to triggering some maniacal laughter."The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me..."
Nov 13th, 2011 9:00 AM #2
Is the threat nebulous if the US is planning on using the virus?Be Impeccable with Your Word
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
Nov 13th, 2011 2:34 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
- On the Edge - any place else is taking up too much space
I can see it. Some accidental release given in a few doses of a "Free" flu shot. I have always wondered what the hell they are really giving peopleGaladriel: "I amar prestar aen. Han mathon ne nen. Han mathon ne chae. A han noston ne 'wilith. "Translation: "The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air."
Nov 14th, 2011 7:56 AM #4
How many obviously bad ideas are backed by our admin, wind up being funded by our tax $$$ one way or the other, simply because the owners of the interests in the bad idea has been a faithful major political donor?
No matter how you read that story- the new drug is wholly unnecessary and in the real world, will not do any good for anything at all.
And yeah it is a little creepy, isn't it... to imagine what could happen to the small pox viruses kept around just for interest, I suppose."The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me..."
Nov 14th, 2011 8:29 AM #5
Its a weapon of last resort scenario. Im sure they have looked the looming overpopulation and have some ideas on how to manage it. Its an ace in the hole a final booby trap to spring on anyone who gets the upper hand on us. Look at the fear of China and the Muslims... now if it costs us 433 million to be ready for it what would it cost a nation of over a billion people (don't forget Indonesia's massive population of mostly Muslims too!). [Sarcasm] Not that there is any history of nations doing bad things for security's sake [/sarcasm]Be Impeccable with Your Word
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
Nov 14th, 2011 9:12 AM #6
..... maybe theres a reason for the us keeping a tight control over the small pox virus and any "vacceines".
the aids virus
back in the 1980s there was a very small article in our local newspapers. the russians claimed that the aids virus had accidently been released from a us laboritory in africa after a rhesus monkey had escaped.
i believe this for a few reasons. firstly the rhesus monkey is genetically closest to human beings and any bioweapon would have to be trialed on them. secondly the transfer to any human which came into contact would be inevitible, and the first cases of aids was the 'epidemic' in africa.
also because of their stupidity in using a virus of all things... the only thing in nature which mutates on a random basis and they thought they could halt that process (think the common cold. they will never make a vaccine for that which will always work).
thirdly is the presence of viruses never heard of before. one is aptly caused the cat aids virus. then theres the bird flu and the horse aids virus, and the pig aids virus. all these four new viruses have one thing in common which before the development of the aids virus NO OTHER NATURALLY OCCURING VIRUS COULD DO - the capacity to infect an entire different species. cross-contimination, that being most notably humans. expect it to get worse. and pray it doesnt go back to mutating as fast as a noramal virus or we are all screwed.
i think, and i can't be certain but given the worldwide push to eliminate the small pox virus (and by that i mean even restricting and reducing the stocks kept worldwide for the production of the vacceine) which occured around the same time as the first epidemic, that that was the virus they used. also it makes sense to use that one as the basis for the aids virus because it was originally caught off cows by milkmaids whose hands had open cuts (cross-species contagion), as identified by pasteur, so they knew they were using one that was contageous, but transfer would be limited to blood and fluid contact."your god is not mine (john 8:37-40)"
knowledge is wasted on the ignorant
Nov 14th, 2011 7:28 PM #7
Always follow the money. I would like to see who bought or sold stock on this in congress. Same as with Solyndra.
Sixty Minutes did a nice story on this, insider trading.
Not Just Another Brick In The Wall
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