The vaccine trial is ongoing in Argentina. Parents agreed under threats of losing their children and without informed consent. GSK says it’s not the vaccine—but where’s the proof?
by Heidi Stevenson
6 March 2011
As deaths were mounting from GlaxoSmithKline’s ongoing vaccine study in Argentina, the European Union’s Medicine Agency, EMEA, approved it for mass use on infants. The pneumonia vaccine, Synflorix, is expensive and recognized as ineffective for those most in need. With no real explanation, GSK has announced that they won’t market it in the US.
In 2008, the Daily Mail reported that the deaths of at least 14 children could have been caused by GSK’s Synflorix vaccine.(1) Naturally, GSK denied that the vaccine was the cause, but to this date, we have nothing better than their claim. Their history, including the recent settlement to pay $750 million for knowingly distributing adulterated Paxil,(2) and the EU’s suspension of Avandia’s license for causing heart attacks,(3) which it was supposed to prevent, in diabetes patients.
A series of three Gaia Health articles discusses Avandia and how America’s FDA grossly mishandled oversight:
- FDA Tries to Silence Info Documenting Avandia Deaths
- Fraud Found in GSK’s Avandia Trial Reveals FDA’s Lack of Oversight
- FDA Panel Votes to Keep Dangerous Drug on the Market
GSK’s Synflorix is a blockbuster. It became that the day it was approved. Sales in the billions are rolling in. With so much money at stake, it would be a wonder if there weren’t any shenanigans in the testing and approval process. In the case of GSK, there’s a history of such behavior. In spite of that, EMEA gave its approval based on studies produced by GSK alone.(4) Though the cost of £37.30 per single dose reported on DocSimon is certainly higher than countries pay, the cost to taxpayers is enormous.(5)
Oddly, GSK does not plan to market Synflorix in the United States. CEO Andrew Witty stated:
It’s clear that Synflorix versus Prevnar is a much more competitive innovation outside of the US because of the presence of different pneumococcal subtypes. We haven’t finally decided, but I think we are more likely to tackle the US with a different type of vaccine to Synflorix. My expectation, subject to some further analysis, is it probably won’t be Synflorix we take to the U.S.(6)
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