Drug Companies Already Preparing For The Next Flu Season

With temperatures now just starting to climb out of the deep freeze, drug companies are already calculating how many vaccines they're preparing for the next flu season. So far, more than 125 million doses are being prepped by four drug makers and a fifth company -- if approved by the FDA -- could add to that new record number of vaccines.

Sanofi Pasteur will produce more than a third of those vaccines (50 million) with Novartis (40 million), GlaxoSmith Kline (30-35 million) and MedImmune (7 million) bringing up the rear. An Australian company -- CSL Ltd. -- could add 7 million more to that mind-blowing number of useless vaccines.

The good news here: The previous record for flu vaccines produced for the United States was set this past flu season with 121 million doses, but health officials estimate nearly 15 percent of them -- more than 18 million -- won't be used before their June 30 expiration.

Government health officials may be urging Americans to be vaccinated for the flu in greater numbers than ever -- more than 200 million annually -- but many aren't falling for that scam any longer. Even health officials are concluding the effectiveness of flu vaccines has been exaggerated at best.

Patients die from the flu as a result of having compromised immune systems, but you don't need a drug or vaccine to protect your health or those you love, if you follow my lifestyle guidelines for preventing it.

Yahoo News April 19, 2007

Reuters April 19, 2007

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