Baxter International

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Group.png Baxter International  
(Big pharmaWebsiteRdf-icon.png
Baxter logo.jpg
HeadquartersDeerfield, Illinois, U.S.
Typecommercial
Staff61,500
InterestsVaccines
A multi-billion dollar transnational corporation which is of interest as regards emerging diseases and vaccines.

Baxter International Inc. is a company which produces vaccines and other medical supplies, with an annual turnover measured in billions of dollars. They are linked to numerous controversies including tax dodging and creative accounting, though of most concern is a number of incidents of putting profits ahead of public safety. On 28th August 2008, Baxter filed patent application US 2009/0060950 A1[1], related to swine flu vaccine manufacture. in 2009 the released a mixture of live swine flu virus material with other swine flu viruses, labeled as an inert vaccine.

2009 avian flu contamination

In February 2009, Baxter shipped 72 kg material to 16 laboratories in 4 countries. The material was marked as vaccine, but contained live H5N1 avian flu virus material as well as a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses[2]. This was detected by a recipient laboratory in the Czech Republic working for Avi[3] which tested the product by using it to inoculate ferrets with it. The ferrets died, indicating that the vaccine contained other viruses as well as H3N2 flu viruses, since H3N2 is not harmful to ferrets.

Explanation

Baxter admitted on TVN24 in Poland that they had indeed shipped the live bird flu virus as a vaccine, stating that the contamination was the result of a mistake that occurred its biosecurity level 3 research facility in Orth an der Donau, Austria.[4]. In 2009, Baxter announced that it already had orders for 80 million doses and would no longer be taking orders for H1N1 vaccine.[5]

Censorship?

Several media reports have been either withdrawn completely[6] or surreptitiously edited to remove details. The UK Times edited their report to remove mention of the 72kg of material and some other details.

Questions were raised about the contamination incident in the New Zealand parliament, and legal investigations were reportedly initiated in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany[7], although the legal status and results of these investigations are unclear.

In 2009 Jane Bürgermeister, a science journalist residing in Vienna, filed criminal charges against Baxter & against WHO and UN in connection with this incident. She was dismissed shortly after filing charges. A page was created about her in Wikipedia but was summarily deleted.

 

Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
File:Baxterinternationalinc investigation pharmafraud 2011.pdfReport9 May 2011Pharma Watch'Pharma-watch' report of their investigation into the ethical and business practices of pharmaceuticals company Baxter International


References