Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Why Does Bill Gates Care About Cervical Cancer in Developing Countries?

Hands up, anyone who thinks Bill Gates’ modus operandi is to make the world a better place…hands? Hands? Anyone?

The richest man in the world has a charitable foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which makes headlines every few months with some new investment of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to provide vaccines to the world’s poorest people. So far, this Foundation has invested over $1.5 billion to help increase access to basic childhood vaccinations in world's poorest nations.

Today’s news applauds the BMG Foundation’s donation of $12.9 million to two organizations to support a campaign to get cervical cancer vaccines to women in poor countries.

The deal with cervical cancer is that it kills 250,000 women a year, most of whom live in developing countries. One of the main triggers for cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease.

Merck and GSK are both developing cervical cancer vaccines. It takes a lot of money (if we are to believe the pharma folks) to develop and take a new vaccine to market. Here’s what I don’t understand:

Why are Merck and GSK investing in a vaccine that will find its largest market in developing countries? That’s not good for business. Developing countries don’t pay market prices for vaccines. And, why develop a vaccine that will only benefit women? Women’s health issues are rarely a cause for concern to the suits who run big pharma.

Oh wait. I remember. A few weeks ago Merck and GSK made news with this vaccine, saying that once they've completed safety testing and received approval from the FDA, they want the US government to add it to the list of recommended vaccines for all American 12-year olds. Boys and girls alike.

So they still need to test the safety of this vaccine... I don’t imagine industry wants to get caught with another PR mess where it’s found out that low-income “black and brown” kids in American ghettos are being used as guinea pigs for new vaccines. Media is too close. Better to carry on experiments with black and brown women in far-away countries where media is ignored and lawyers are few and far between.

I understand why the WHO and big pharma and the US government all sleep in the same bed…but why has Bill Gates jumped under the sheets?

Just what is Bill Gates up to? I mean, I know he’s evil, but really, is he that evil?!


Blogger Billion Year Old Carbon said...

I don't think Bill is sleeping in the same bed, all of the charity is a way to keep our government from collecting his fortune in taxes and doing things with that money that he doesn't approve of. But yes big Pharma does stupid things in the interest of profit Viagra over next Gen anti-biotics is but one example,

June 15, 2005  
Blogger Donna said...

But why, Carbon, put the money into pharma? He could give $1.5 billion to a university or hospital in the USA and still have his tax shelter. My question really is, Why does Bill want to vaccinate the world's poor? Of all the good things he could do with his billions, why this?

June 16, 2005  
Blogger Donna said...

Another response, from Sharon, who chose to post to me personally rather than here, suggested the following hypothesis. Sounds not too far-fetched:

"My guess is, Bill has lots of shares of pharma companies ("Biotech" was quite the rage a few years ago when the market was hot)... He probably gives with one hand and takes back with the other... or am I just being cynical here?

Maybe you could do some digging to see if I'm right? There should be
some record somewhere of where the money for the foundation is
invested... and maybe Bill's personal investments are listed somewhere too, if they're large enough...

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink..."

June 16, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does Bill want to vaccinate the world's poor? Of all the good things he could do with his billions, why this?

why not?
Your website is shocking.

Is there anything a wealthy person can do that you will not consider evil? Even when there's actually not a shred of evidence for it?

From you blog, it sounds like the only answer you'd have is "yeah, when he gives every penny of it away to the poor, and himself becomes poor."

That would say a lot about someone. And it aint the rich I'm talking about.

June 17, 2005  
Blogger Donna said...

I guess I wasn't clear. Sorry about that.

You asked, "Is there anything a wealthy person can do that you will not consider evil?"

I say, "Yeah. Lots. Almost anything thta doesn't involve pharma, in fact. I don't believe in God, but I still think money to places of worship is a good and noble thing. How about eductaion fund to help poor kids go to university? Really, Anonymous, what did I write to leave you with the impression that wealthy = evil.

You have no idea of the riches I have...wealthy (by many standards) AND ethical.

Of course I don't think Bill or any other rich person should give away their riches. But I'd just like to see the world benefit from their charity in a meaningful way. Vaccines are not helpful.

And once you've done 1/100th of the research I have on this issue, then I'll debate you on that.

June 18, 2005  
Blogger jon said...

I was looking at your posts about alternative cancer treatment and found a good article about the same alternative cancer treatment info too...

God luck with it : )

October 02, 2005  
Blogger amacdrummer said...

I liked your cancer picture skin blog.... You might find this cancer picture skin site interestin :cancer picture skin

October 19, 2005  
Blogger tony said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a thyroid cancer symptom site. It pretty much covers thyroid cancer symptom related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


October 22, 2005  
Blogger Editor said...

Wow that´s a great blog that you have there, mine is slightly differnent but it basically covers the same topics.

I have a liver cancer symptom site. It pretty much covers Cancer related stuff.

Check it out, you won´t regret it... Cheers.. Roger From Http://www.havecancer.com

October 31, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Vaccines are not helpful.

And once you've done 1/100th of the research I have on this issue, then I'll debate you on that."

I know what you mean - smallpox, the disease that killed approximately 60 million people in the 18th century (Ann. Intern. Med. 127 (8 Pt 1): 635-42) just decided to leave. Acutally, no, it was a vaccine that wiped out this deadly disease - cite me an article that says differently.

I have no idea of your qualifications to make such broad generalizations that vaccines dont work or don't help people in poor countries.

As a graduating medical student working for the year in an impoverished country, I see every day first hand diseases that you no longer have to worry about because of vaccines - babies dying from streptococcal meningitis, women who have no access to gynecologic care, coming with advanced cervical cancer, a child suffering brain damage secondary to whooping cough - a disease that produces such a powerful cough in infants that it literally suffocates them.

Vaccines stimulate an immune response that protects humans from disease. The viruses used are either attenuated, killed, or their toxins are modified. Although there can be side effects, these vaccines do not cause the disease they protect, and I assure you, I have seen far worse.

You don't see these diseases in the States?? Thats because of vaccinations. Your child was not vaccinated - well, he or she is benifiting from others being vaccinated - read up on "heard effect".

You worry about mercury - modern vaccines contain NO mercury. You worry about autism - there has been no respected medical joural article showing the correlation between autism and vaccines - and believe me, there is a large data source. The entire medical community belives strongly in vaccines, not because of some "conspiracy theory" with the pharmaceutical companies - I guarantee, I have no connection to them - but because, even in the US, we have seen the few cases where kids have been damaged or died from these awful diseases.

You do not want to get vaccines for yourself, I support that. We live in a place where you decide your health. You decide not to vaccinate your kids, fine - when you child is diagnosed with cervical cancer in her 20's (when it usually strikes), you can decide if your decision was right.

But, please, do not tout your "knowledge of vaccines" or the poor and criticize a man who has given more money to the poor than almost anyone else in history.

And before you decide "vaccines are not helpful" - come down with me for a week and see what these diseases do. Watch as we tell a family their loved one will die from a disease that could have been prevented.

I guarantee, Bill Gates has done his research on how to make an impact - having had colleagues apply for funding through the Gates foundation, he is very particular.

We have become complacent because we have forgotten the horrible effects of these diseases. I challange your bloggers to look up the following diseases - measles, pneumococcus, polio, diptheria, whooping cough, tetanus, cervical cancer. Look at the data from Guatemala, where I am now, - see who has died from these diseases.

I would gladly take any vaccines for cervical cancer if it could prevent these poor people - who cant get yearly exams, who cant afford surgery - from dying from what, in 10 years, will be a preventable cancer.

November 05, 2007  

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