Just to keep things straight, since the emergence of the H1N1 patient zero in Mexico last March, pharma companies in the past year were depicted as
And now the vaccine makers, after unprecedented efforts to meet the demands of national programs and ultimately producing a vaccine twice as effective as necessary, get to hear, "Thanks, but we didn't really need it. Sure kept you on your toes, though!"
Naturally, any sort of panicked overreaction by governmental healthcare programs can't possibly be their fault. Thus, a panel in Europe is also investigating whether drug makers were deliberately scaring the World Health Organization into hyping the dangers of H1N1 so that they could, um, sell more vaccine that they didn't have the capacity to produce and would then have to take back.
It ranks among the least cost-effective conspiracies ever.
Sort of like how Donald Rumsfeld was supposed to have been behind the bird flu panic last decade as a means of boosting Tamiflu orders and getting Gilead Sciences -where he was once chairman - a spike in revenues. Because Gilead was desperate for that low-double-digit royalty it was making from its Tamiflu license to Roche; it's not like the company's HIV treatments were busy smashing sales records or anything.
I'm sure they'll make the massive manufacturing technology investments necessary to meet the fire next time.