Take seven steps back and have one more look at the anthrax situation:
  1. The attempts at anthrax "bio-terrorism" have been nothing more than juvenile.
  2. The anthrax samples were wrapped and addressed in envelopes by someone less than professional and more like a kid in a hurry.
  3. A total of five people have died from these "bio-terrorism" attacks as opposed to thousands on 9-11-01.
  4. The lab where this anthrax has been produced has been identified as a federal lab in the United States.
  5. Anthrax samples can be acquired by an educational institution and made available to science students for study and experiment.
  6. Even college kids can be irrational - college professors as well (e.g. the sexual harrassement coverups at Stanford University).
  7. Pharmaceutical companies stand to rake in billions from "bioterrorism" although they WILL provide just enough free samples to establish a need (like any good drug dealer).

History channel identifies sources of anthrax strain


In a reversal of a step it took last week to ensure the safety of its citizens, Canada has agreed to respect Bayer's patent on anti-anthrax treatment Cipro in North America and will source it only from the German firm until the patent expires. The government faced criticism when it decided to override pharmaceutical maker Bayer A.G.'s patent for the antibiotic and ordered a million tablets of a generic version from the Canadian company Apotex. While Canadian police have responded to numerous reports of suspicious white powder, none of the substances have tested positive for anthrax. Nonetheless, Canadian officials want to build a stockpile of this drug to adequately treat 100,000 people. "These are extraordinary and unusual times," said Paige Raymond Kovach, a spokeswoman for Health Canada. "Canadians expect and demand that their government will take all steps necessary to protect their health and safety." Canada will now exclusively purchase the active ingredient Ciprofloxacin from Bayer until the patent runs out in 2008 and agreed to only use generic drugs if Bayer cannot deliver sufficient supplies. Bayer A.G. condemned any move towards breaking patents, even under these circumstances, saying it undermined the crucial incentive that motivates pharmaceutical companies to invest in developing drugs.

The United States, which in addition to recent confirmed cases of anthrax expects more attacks with biological weapons, so far has made no attempt to break Bayer's patent. "We don't feel there's a need to lift the patent at this time," said Anthony T. Jewell, a spokesman at the Department of Health and Human Services. In response, the pharmaceutical company has agreed to sell the government 100 million tablets of the drug at a cost of 95 cents a tablet, almost 50% lower than its current cost. However, industry experts are concerned that the government isn't buying enough Cipro and that Bayer may not be able to meet an increased need. Federal health officials initially recommended that anyone exposed to anthrax take two Cipro tablets a day for 60 days. Now the government is recommending that someone exposed to anthrax take only two tablets a day for 5 days and then switch to other antibiotics for 55 more days if laboratory technicians decide that the type of anthrax is vulnerable to other antibiotics. With the Bayer deal, the nation will have 120 million Cipro pills in government stockpiles by the end of the year. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, said this is enough for 12 million Americans, yet this is true only if each person takes the medicine for only five days. If doses were ever needed for 60 days, or 120 tablets a person, then the stockpile would be adequate for only a million people.

After Bayer's offer, three other large pharmaceutical manufacturers stepped forward to offer large quantities of their antibiotics for free if the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved their use for the symptoms of anthrax. Johnson & Johnson announced that it would provide 100 million tablets of Levaquin for free upon approval, while Bristol-Myers Squibb said it would provide Tequin to anyone exposed to anthrax if it gained similar approval. GlaxoSmithKline also said today that it wanted the FDA to approve two of its older medicines for anthrax and would provide free all the medicine the government needed to treat anthrax. Dr. Sandro K. Cinti, a specialist in infectious diseases at the University of Michigan and a member of Michigan's bio-terrorism task force, said that Tequin and Levaquin were chemically very similar to Cipro and were considerably newer than Cipro. "They would be at least as effective and possibly more effective," he said.

Breaking News Alert: Report questions scientific evidence in FBI's anthrax case

February 15, 2011 11:03:54 AM

A panel of prominent scientists is casting new doubt on scientific evidence that was a key part of the FBI's case against Bruce E. Ivins, the deceased Army scientist accused of carrying out the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks.

The National Academy of Sciences, in a report issued Tuesday by its research arm, questioned the link between a flask of anthrax bacteria in Ivins's lab at Fort Detrick, Md., and the anthrax-infested letters that killed five people and sickened 17 others.

The Justice Department has said genetic testing conclusively linked the letters to spores in the flask -- labeled RMR-1029 -- found at the laboratory, where Ivins was a longtime researcher before committing suicide in 2008. The government closed the case last year after concluding that Ivins had single-handedly prepared and mailed the deadly anthrax spores, which terrorized a nation still reeling from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Washington Post


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