#Pharmaceutical #lobbying and #pandemic #stockpiling of #Tamiflu: a qualitative study of arguments and tactics (J Public Health, abstract)

[Source: Journal of Public Health, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Pharmaceutical lobbying and pandemic stockpiling of Tamiflu: a qualitative study of arguments and tactics

Andreas Vilhelmsson, Shai Mulinari

Journal of Public Health, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdx101

Published: 09 August 2017

 

Abstract

Background

Little is known about how pharmaceutical companies lobby authorities or experts regarding procurement or the use of vaccines and antivirals. This paper investigates how members of Denmark’s pandemic planning committee experienced lobbying efforts by Roche, manufacturer of Tamiflu, the antiviral that was stockpiled before the 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic.

Methods

Analysis of interviews with six of seven members of the Danish core pandemic committee, supplemented with documentary analysis. We sought to identify (1) arguments and (2) tactics used in lobbying, and to characterize interviewees’ views on the impact of (3) lobbying and (4) scientific evidence on the decision to stockpile Tamiflu.

Results

Roche lobbied directly (in its own name) and through a seemingly independent third party. Roche used two arguments: (1) the procurement agreement had to be signed quickly because the drug would be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis and (2) Denmark was especially vulnerable to an influenza crisis because it had smaller Tamiflu stocks than other countries. Most interviewees suspected that lobbying had an impact on Tamiflu procurement.

Conclusions

Our study highlights risks posed by pharmaceutical lobbying. Arguments and tactics deployed by Roche are likely to be repeated whenever many countries are negotiating drug procurements in a monopolistic market.

communicable diseases, economics, finance and industry, government and Law

Topic: influenza – antiviral agents – denmark – lobbying – pharmacy (field) – oseltamivir – pandemic – pharmaceutical company – qualitative research

Issue Section: Original Article

Keywords: Pandemic Influenza; Antivirals; Oseltamivir; Society; Politics.

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gimi69

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.

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