1. BARDA (the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority) is a new federal agency that has been charged with procuring countermeasures for attacks by weapons of mass destruction. BARDA had no expertise obtaining drugs in common usage. Why then was it made the lead federal agency to procure vaccines and drugs for a nonexistent Bird Flu outbreak, and for this year's Swine Flu pandemic?
2. Why were the manufacturers of all five Swine Flu vaccines and the two antiviral drugs (Tamiflu and Relenza) issued blanket liability waivers--as were "government program planners" at BARDA and other agencies who had approved and exhorted their use?
However, neither the Bush nor Obama administration made any attempt to inform Americans that in the event that they suffered a drug or vaccine-caused injury, they were prohibited from accessing the US legal system to seek damages. Discussion of the PREP law which enabled this can be found here.
3. AHRP would like to know why the US treasury, and worldwide health budgets, have come to resemble Big Pharma's cookie jar?
With a reported 36,000 U.S. deaths annually from seasonal flu, and (at most) 10,000 deaths from swine flu, we believe that President Obama's declaration (in October 2009) that swine flu presents a national emergency was as ill-advised as it is preposterous.
And with the pandemic over, declaring the week of January 10 "National Influenza Vaccination Week" to push more vaccinations... is a cynical ploy to provide cover for officials who wasted $ billions ordering excessive vaccine. How long does vaccine protection last? Could we use the excess supply to add to seasonal flu vaccine next winter, as already planned?
Or does next year's supply require spending more billions?