Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pharming today

In the days before Google made these things too easy, Malcolm used to enjoy sketching out the networks implicit in the Directory of Directors and Who Owns What?

Were he so minded, he might feel the urge to do a job of work on Sandra Gidley, the LibDem MP for Romsey. This was the lady who blogged as Romseyredhead until she found New Year, 2006, was so "depressing" she "just couldn't bring myself to comment daily on the unfolding story of Charles Kennedy". Instead she introduced a "Bill in the House of Commons that would restrict alcohol advertising and clamp down on alcohol related offences. The Bill calls for Gordon Brown to 'turn warms [sic] words into positive action' on alcohol abuse."

Gidley took the by-election at Romsey when the Tory incumbent, Michael Colvin was killed with his wife, when his mansion near Andover burned down. She held the seat at the last General Election by just 125 votes. She is a pharmacist by trade, which qualifies her to be a LibDem spokesperson on Health. This includes the tabling, also through the device of private member's motions, of PR puffs for pharmaceutical companies.

The joys of reading the Commons interests register

Our Sandra gets about the world:
  • September 2005, a delegation to Taiwan (paid for by the Taipei Office in London);
  • June 2006 to Moscow (paid for by Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS). This body, supported by The Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation and other worthies, also takes the shillings of Abbott Laboratories Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chevron, Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Pfizer — all, doubtless, in a spirit of selfless altruism. A health warning; one or two of those companies have a serial presence in this posting.
  • September 2006 to Rio, a jolly for Sandra and hubby, paid for by Unichem. Unichem had just completed the take-over of Boots. Unichem is "sole distribution partner" for Pfizer (see above);
  • and, just this last May, to Toronto (paid for by the Strategy Institute). The Strategy Institute is an independent, research-based organization which monitors and communicates changes and trends in business and business strategy. The objective of the Institute is to provide decision-makers with strategic business information and executive education to enhance their business judgment. In other words, it organises trade shows (as this one was). The major sponsors were private-sector health care groups, including the Ontario Home Care Association (private care homes).
There is a pattern emerging here. Let's add one more jaunt. Now it gets interesting.

Between 30th June and 3rd July last year Sandra Gibley attended two conferences, one in Budapest and one in Paris, both on the theme of cancer-treatment. Her travels and hotels were paid for by Sanofi Aventis. Sanofi-Aventis is also Big Pharma, the French member of the Big Five pill-pushers. By another of those coincidences that isn't, Sanofi-Aventis's largest shareholders are Total (petrol) and L'Oréal (make-up).

Got the link yet?


Or, to be more explicit: Merial has a rich history of innovation in the animal health industry. Both parent companies – Merck and sanofi-aventis – have significant accomplishments dating back more than 100 years.

Out in the weirder outskirts of the blogosphere, there is a 2001 posting (at the time of the last outbreak of Foot and Mouth) by the Natural Law Party, getting frothed up about the possibility of virus escaping from the Merial Laboratory in Surrey. This attempts to link research into F&M vaccines by Merial (allegedly on behalf of United Biomedical Inc of Hauppauge, NY) with an allegation by
New York based former US vetinary consultant Dr Patricia Doyle who has been monitoring activities at the US government Plumb Island Animal Disease Center for some time. Dr Doyle claims there is evidence which suggests the complete story about the UK outbreak is not being told ... the [2001] epidemic is related to a lab created FMD type O virus and that the virus was used to challenge pigs in the FMD synthetic vaccine trials... Synthetic vaccine trials on pigs took place in the UK at Pirbright, Surrey.
And United Biomedial Inc's website says one of its "main revenue streams" is a "pharmaceutical contract manufacturing for GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi and Roche".

As yet, Sandra seems to have failed to speak out about Merial. Pity, that: the Surrey lab is just up wind from Romsey. And, of course, a pharmacist's B.A. from the University of Bath qualifies her to opine on so much.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Subscribe with Bloglines International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites