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An Open Letter to President Bush

Dear Mr. President:

Like many Americans I'm deeply concerned about the risk of Avian flu. News about our nation's preparedness has not been reassuring.

The only drug that is thought to have any impact on the disease once contracted is Tamiflu. Senator Frisk recently wrote that we have "about 2 percent of what we would need in a serious outbreak." The United States currently has only 2.3 million Tamiflu doses.

Though this drug was developed in the United States by Gilead Sciences, an exclusive license was granted to the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche to manufacture the drug. Unfortunately, Roche lacks the capacity to manufacture enough of the drug to combat a pandemic. Nations are literally waiting in line - with the United States standing behind much of the rest of the developed world.

I was glad to hear that Roche plans to open a plant in the United States to produce the drug. But that plant will not be in production until late next year. Hopefully that will be soon enough. But many experts believe that a pandemic could be only months or even weeks away.

Columnist Nick Schulz has argued that you should:

...order the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track approval of... established plants in the United States for manufacturing the ingredients of Tamiflu...

[And] encourage Roche to initiate a technology transfer to manufacturers in the US to ramp-up development.

You, Mr. President, have stated that potentially 1.9 million Americans could die. Considering this risk, Mr. Schulz doesn't go far enough.

We should start making the drug now.

Whatever the legal obstacles, we should begin. Yesterday the Indian drug company Cipla announced they are going to do exactly that. They will make the drug now and fight the civil battle with Roche later. It is the right thing for India.

It is important to our economy that America leads the world in respect for intellectual property. Therefore, efforts should be made to secure permission from Roche. But, if permission is not forthcoming, we should make the drug anyway and compensate Roche later. This is a matter of national security.

The entire world would be served by this move. If American is meeting it's own demand, Roche's manufacturing capacity could be diverted to other countries that are unable to make this drug.

I thank you for taking the Avian Flu threat seriously. Please consider taking this additional step to protect our country.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Stephen T. Gordon

Comments

Apart from ethical considerations, we probably want Roche's cooperation because that would make it easier (and quicker) for us to get up to speed on our own manufacturing operations. If Roche has half a brain, they'll start doing a temporary outsourcing of their manufacturing operations to anyone who can take it on, and still get a big piece of the pie.

Roche has said flat-out that they will not allow production to be outsourced, nor will they share the "secret recipe". They claim it will take outsiders over a year to begin production and they can manufacture it much faster internally by expanding production lines.

The people at Roche are either greedy liars or they are telling the truth.

"Roche said there are 10 complex steps to make Tamiflu and it would be unrealistic to outsource all the work, because outside companies would need up to three years to set up production as well as gain the capacity and know-how.

"We are not planning on getting another company to make Tamiflu," said Klauser, dismissing reports the company was ready to discuss allowing other companies to produce the drug."

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Flu/wireStory?id=1211340&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312

Lou:

I might find that a persuasive argument against Yemen trying to manufacture this drug.

But it was an American company that invented the drug.

If this was made the priority it deserves, we could be up-and-running very quickly.

TO: Stephen T. Gordon
RE: Alternatives

I'm not familiar with Tamiflu, but I am famliar with homeopathy. If I can properly identify the symptoms of a viral infection and I have the appropriate materia medica available, I can quash a case of the flu in 15 minutes.

If I do not have the symptoms properly identified or I do not have the exact materia medica available, I can at least reduce the severity of the more gross symptoms.

Whenever the much balihooed viral pandemic arrives, whatever form it may be, I think I'll be better off than all those people scrambling after a limited supply of whatever they're saying has SOME 'hope' of assisting those already infected.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

P.S. Is it just me? Or is this screen REALLY intended to be dark purple with black text?

Homeopathy. LOL. You know what the homeopathic treatment for a bullet wound is? Take a few shavings from a bullet, pulverize the shavings, then dilute until there are just a few "bullet molecules" per liter of "magic homeopathic bullet fixer". Then you drink it. Imagine the lives that could have been saved during wartime!

Aloha,
Thank you all for thought about such a scary subject. Wow, born in 1944 and living thru the polio and nuclear scary times, early a.i.d.s. and now this. Problem is that as I've aged I've grown more of an anxious "mess". What to do? How do we get a government to do the right thing and protect it's citizens aside from pretending to do it and only spending every resource to fight useless wars?

Thanks again. Live long, joyously prosper,
Larry

TO: All
RE: Tamiflu

Looks like this stuff has already been overwhelmed by the mutation.

Check out this report.

TO: LouMinatti
RE: Clever

"You know what the homeopathic treatment for a bullet wound is? Take a few shavings from a bullet, pulverize the shavings, then dilute until there are just a few "bullet molecules" per liter of "magic homeopathic bullet fixer"." -- LouMinatti

I like it. However, that doesn't change the facts as I stated them (see above). You're welcome to take it or leave it. And, considering that modern AMA science doesn't seem to be able to do squat for viral infections, except pathetic treatments for the symptoms and try to fend off opportunistic bacterial infections, your only other course of action is....

...to pray.

Got a thick carpet?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. I was a skeptic too.

P.P.S. Here's a little experiment on the efficacy of homeopathy you can do in your own home.

[1] Buy a bottle of cantharis, 6X to 30C 'miracle dilution' should work.
[2] Bring your oven to 400°F.
[3] Put a stainless steel skillet or pan in the over.
[4] Bake the skillet at 400°F for one hour.
[5] Remove the skillet from the oven and put it on the top of the stove.....USING YOUR BARE HANDS.
[6] After you've stopped dancing around the room and screaming obscenitites, take four tablets of cantharis of the 'miracle dilution' you've purchase. The process is to put them UNDER your tongue and let them dissolve on their own. Do NOT swollow them.

If your experience is the same as MINE—and this has happened to me on four occasions, but strictly by accident—the pain will go away in 15 minutes and there will be no scar tissue.

First instance while cooking for an Alpha Course dinner. Someone put a stainless steel pan in front of me to dish up food from without telling me where the pan had been; straight out of the hot oven. Instant 2d degree burns. Since I had no cantharis with me at the church, I had to wait until I finished the supper and drove home. All the while in very interesting pain in both hands. Fifteen minutes after the cantharis, no pain. Blisters went away without any scar tissue.

Another instance, a small fire in my candle making shop. Hot wax got on the electric burners were had been red hot. I tried to put the small fire out by smothering it with a towel. Unfortunately, I had not covered my hand completely and a pinkie finger came into contact with the burner element. Instant 3d degree burn. But a nice crispy mahogony brown.

Took cantharis. Pain gone in 15 minutes. Pain tried to return two hours later. More cantharis, no more pain. No scar tissue.

Try it yourself....

However, I DO recommend you try it in treating an accident instead of on purpose.

A bottle of cantharis can be had at any good Vitamin store, e.g., Vitamin Cottage, for about $7. Is that too much to invest in first aid? Or an experiment?

Enjoy....

P.P.P.S. If anyone can tell me how scar tissue not forming after a severe burn is a psychosomatic response or a placebo effect, I'd REALLY like to hear it.

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