Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Shot in the Arm

I recently received a flu shot and I was, apparently, one of many who had a bad reaction to it. It's nice to know that we now get most of our vaccine from two sources, Chiron and Aventis, which are the only two major sources of US vaccine production. Chiron is headquartered in the US, but Aventis is a French company.

In the 1993 Omnibus Reconciliation Act, Democrats effectively drove most of the vaccine business out of the US , through the VNC provisions. In that last link, Post reporter David Brown say's this:

No one has accused the vaccine manufacturers of wrongdoing. But they can no longer treat as revenue the money they get when they sell millions of doses of vaccine into the stockpile because the shots are not delivered until the government calls for them during emergencies. Instead, the vials are held in the manufacturers' warehouses, where they officially are considered unsold in the eyes of auditors, investors and Wall Street.
No one except everyone in David's world. What a load of bull feces. At least the Post produces a consistent product. Adding government regulated accounting rules and effective political price caps on top of the situation, only turned a meager 'business as usual' situation, into a 'there is better business elsewhere' situation. High production costs, due to the intensive laborious process of manufacturing vaccines, coupled with high liability insurance and price caps, made domestic vaccine production bad business.

You know that the operating tribute, paid to the swarming fauna, in the greedy leech pond of tort lawyers, was not going away anytime soon. They have good connections in Washington. The John Edwardses of this world, have to finance all of that elitist caviar socialism, at the expense of our public health. They have a nice big raft of patronizing fools to row their boat for them, blaming the companies for this problem, not their own hubris.

Only in the past few years, have legislators realized that lifting the price cap language of VFC is necessary for healthy production. Another one of the forces, pushing for a strong reversal of the shortage problem now, is the fear of a global flu pandemic, with the president pushing for more government 'seed' money. Sigh. Now we will have more government spending, to fix a problem they created in the first place. Why do these people insist on playing the market control game? It never works. They keep twiddling the knobs frantically, telling us not to trust those forces, which have given us the wonderful standard of living we have. Instead, they blame the exact forces that produce those goods, for their absence. We will wind up spending ten times the money for one tenth of the product quality and availability.

It is amusing to see the Democrats trying to make it look like they had nothing to do with the original issue, by attempting to use government to force the supply side, as they did in 2003. Let us never forget, when they screw everything up, it is always for the children. You can count on one thing for sure. The advice they give, is so predictably wrong, that you could use its mathematical reciprocal as a proper plan of corrective action, in any given situation.

Whenever the senior dirigible from MA pulls the hot air relief valve:

Congress may wait for regular ordeals to deal with the pandemic flu, but the flu virus will not wait while we delay.
- Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)

You know you are in trouble.

Another big player in the game is the use of Thimerisol, a preservative for intivirals. A largely lawyer pumped media hysteria campaign over the substance, which for decades has had traces of ethyl mercury, forced the FDA to ban its use. So now we run a risk of further shortages, and bacterial infection from tainted product. I blame the MSM for pushing the FDA into a predictable posture of self protection. Now the Dems and the media are blasting the FDA.

Here is one fact of science. You can, never, ever, remove all of the risk in a medication or procedure. You must make risk versus gain choices every day in your life. Suppose I told you there is a statistical guarantee, that one thousand elderly people, with heart disease, would die of complications from a specific medication. Suppose I also told you that one hundred thousand people, from that very same population sample would die of heart disease, without that medication. Suppose those latter deaths occur while it is being withdrawn from the market, over statistic number one. I can argue a success rate, saving 99 lives to every life lost. Actual success rates are better than this. People should be allowed to choose those odds for themselves, waiving the risk voluntarily. When it comes to human life though, people cannot see this. Politicians pick the latter, since nature is to blame, not a drug company. The result is a death rate 99 times worse, for political expedience and lawyer's pockets.


Dr. Phat Tony said...

This is just more of the government saying that everyone is too stupid to make decisions on their own. If there is a 1 in 10 chance that a medication might save my life from disease that would definately kill me, should I not be able to have the decision to take that chance?

Insolublog said...

Absolutely DPT. And the entity providing you with that chance, should not be punished for non-negligent risk, for which they give you fair warning.

Ssssteve said...

Right on! both of you! This just another, of a long line, of things the government has got its hands on and screwed up!! I find myself leaning more and more to the libertarian side of thinking. Less Government is better I think!!

GunnNutt said...

This has been one of my pet peeves against the trial lawyers!!! They've killed the vaccine industry in this country and left millions vulnerable to preventable infectious diseases.

You are so right about this tunnel vision that picks out a tiny fraction of people with bad reactions to a drug and completely ignores hundreds of thousands of people who have benefited from the same thing. I was glad to hear the President address the issue of medical liability reform in the SOTU, but we also need a "Fairness in Pharmaceuticals" act like that for the gun industry.

Thanks for the great post!

Insolublog said...

Ssssteve - Conservative, with a strong libertarian streak. A very healthy philosophical position.

GunnNutt - The scary thing is, esp. with Thimerisol, that the system is actually more dangerous now. What happens if a child gets an infection from a bacterially tainted supply of old vaccine?