Swine Flu Scare: Stock Market Bonanza for "Politically Connected" BioTech Companies
The Swine Flu scare has boosted the stock market values of Big Pharma. Following initial reports from Mexico on the influenza outbreak, the demand for anti-flu drugs has skyrocketed.
The most sought after influenza drugs are Tamiflu and Relenza. Tamiflu is produced by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-La Roche on behalf of a US based biotech company Gilead Sciences, Inc. While the drug is produced by Roche, it was developed by Gilead Sciences Inc. which owns the intellectual property rights.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was one of the major shareholders of Gilead Sciences. In 1997, Rumsfeld was appointed Chairman of Gilead Sciences, Inc., a position which he held until becoming Secretary of Defence in the Bush administration in 2001. Rumsfeld was on the Board of Directors from the establishment of Gilead in 1987.
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