Big Pharma and Big Profits: 25 Facts About the Pharmaceutical Industry and Vaccines

The business of vaccines is soon to become a major source of profits for the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations. A press release (Business Wire, January 21st 2016) published by says that Technavio, one of the leading technology research and advisory companies in the world predicts that pharmaceutical corporations who produce vaccines will reach an estimated $61 billion in profits by 2020.

Today the vaccine market is worth close to $24 billion. The report titled ‘Global Human Vaccines Market 2016-2020’ gives an “in-depth analysis” of the possible revenues and “emerging market trends” globally. According to the Press Release:

The report study indicates that the introduction of new products is fueling the growth of the market. Moreover, the significant expansion of the current product offerings is also expected to boost the market growth. Due to the increasing prevalence rates of various infectious diseases such as diphtheria, influenza, hepatitis, pneumococcal diseases, and meningococcal diseases, there has been a notable increase in the use of vaccines across the globe

What is interesting about the report is that Pharmaceutical corporations are targeting Latin America and the Caribbean with its new vaccines soon to be on the market. Merck & Co, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are expected to dominate Latin America and the Caribbean (Puerto Rico currently operates as a manufacturing hub for Merck, Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories):

In terms of geography, the Americas dominated the global human vaccines market in 2015, accounting for about 45% of the total revenue. The US was the largest revenue contributor to this region in the same year, capturing a significant portion of the global market. The Americas will continue to dominate the human vaccines market during the forecast period because of the increase in the prevalence of infectious diseases and cancers. In addition, increase in strategic alliances with expected entry of novel vaccines, is also expected to propel the growth of the market in this region

The report also says that there are two types of human vaccines, Therapeutic (cancer, metabolic disorders, chronic illnesses, and infectious diseases) and Preventable human vaccines markets (pediatric vaccinations) that are estimated to reach $55 billion worldwide. The Atlantic magazine published an article in 2015 titled ‘Vaccines Are Profitable, So What?’ Author Bourree Lam says:

While the main fixation of anti-vaccine groups is an old, discredited study linking vaccination to autism, another is a conspiracy theory circulated online that both doctors and pharmaceutical companies stand to profit financially from vaccination—which supposedly leads to perverse incentives in advocating for the public to vaccinate.

But that argument is historically unfounded. Not only do pediatricians and doctors often lose money on vaccine administration, it wasn’t too long ago that the vaccine industry was struggling with slim profit margins and shortages. The Economist wrote that “for decades vaccines were a neglected corner of the drugs business, with old technology, little investment and abysmal profit margins. Many firms sold their vaccine divisions to concentrate on more profitable drugs”

Maybe it was true at some point in time that manufacturing vaccines were unprofitable, but in today’s world, it’s all profits. What motivated pharmaceutical corporations to focus on the vaccine market in the last decade or so according to The Atlantic?

Since 2000, the Gavi Alliance has provided vaccination for 500 million children in poor countries, preventing an estimated 7 million deaths. GlaxoSmithKline reported that 80 percent of the vaccine doses they manufactured in 2013 went to developing countries. Additionally, vaccines that could turn a profit in high-income countries—constituting 82 percent of global vaccine sales in terms of value, according to the World Health Organization—hit the market

Lam also wrote that there were “two “blockbuster” vaccines also hit the market: pneumococcal conjugate for meningitis and other bacteria infections, and a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV). The industry grew”.

Merck is the only pharmaceutical giant licensed to produce and sell the measles vaccine called Prodquad and theMMR II (also used for the measles, mumps and rubella) and Varivax, a vaccine for the chicken pox. According to Lam, all three vaccines combined amounted to more than $1.4 billion in sales profits for Merck in 2014. The controversialHPV vaccine, Gardasil also brought in $1.7 billion in profits for Merck. “While a spokesperson for Merck told The Atlantic that vaccines remained one of its key areas of focus—it generated $5.3 billion in sales in 2014—she did not comment on the profit margins” Lam wrote. Of course the Merck spokesperson would not comment on the profitability of vaccines because Merck would expose itself to more controversy. Analysts say that the profit margin is“between 10 to over 40 percent.” Lam also says that “while the vaccine industry is likely more profitable now than in the 1970s or 1980s, this is the result of global market forces”. Lam forgot to mention that billionaire couple Bill and Melina Gates pledged at least $10 billion for worldwide vaccination programs supposedly to combat polio and the measles, this is where Merck & Co profit. It is also well known that Bill Gates appointed the former president and CEO of Merck, Raymond Gilmartin to the board of directors of Microsoft which lasted for more than 11 years before he announced his retirement in 2012.

Are pharmaceutical corporations motivated by profits? “Profits from vaccine production aren’t a valid argument against vaccinations—the most important question is whether vaccines are safe and effective, and the answer is unambiguously yes” wrote Lam. In 2015, Former Merck Employee and whistleblower Brandy Vaughan Spoke out against the state of California’s vaccination mandate bill SB277 and said:

The U.S. gives more vaccines than any other country in the world. Our childhood schedule for under the age of one has twice as many vaccines as other developed countries. What else do we have? The highest infant mortality rate of any developed nation. Finland has the lowest. They only give 11 by age six. Mississippi has the highest rate of vaccination in the U.S.–highest infant mortality rate. These numbers do not lie. But you will not hear that on the media, and that is not what Senator Pan will tell you.

What we have with vaccines is the highest profit margin pharmaceutical drug on the market. Drug companies make more money off vaccines than they do any other pharmaceutical drug, in terms of profit margin. There is a lack of rigorous safety studies. And they don’t have the incentive to do them because they have no liability.

Vaccines are the only products in the U.S. that do not have liability. You cannot sue for injuries or death. But that is only in the U.S. Around the world, there are law suits because of serious injuries and deaths because from vaccines. In Spain over Gardasil. In Japan over Gardasil. The flu shot was taken off the market for under five in Australia after deaths and injury. Prevnar was banned in China. Pfizer’s vaccination program was kicked out of the country. France just pulled Rotavirus off their schedule after infant deaths and injuries

With a forecast of $61 billion in projected sales, rest assured new vaccines will be developed for almost anything. Actor and comedian Jim Carrey did say that “150 people die every year from being hit by falling coconuts. Not to worry, drug makers are developing a vaccine”. With 271 vaccines in production, Jim Carrey’s comments, which were criticized by the mainstream media, may not be so farfetched after all.

25 Facts About the Pharmaceutical Industry, Vaccines and “Anti-Vaxers”

During the recent measles outbreak, the mainstream media blamed the epidemic solely on non vaccinated children, even though people who were vaccinated caught the disease and some vaccines have proven to be inefficient in the past. Without the slightest nuance, the mainstream media constantly portrays people reluctant to accept just any vaccine as “anti-vaxers”, irresponsible and misinformed people, relying on irrational fears and the one and only “fraudulent” Andrew Wakefield study linking autism to vaccines. (Watch Lina B. Moreco’s documentaryShots in the Dark, which features Dr. Wakefield and thankful parents of his young patients with autism.)

In reality, many so-called “anti-vaxers” are not ALL totally against vaccines. While some people may be totally against any kind of vaccination, many, including doctors and health specialists, question certain vaccines, ingredients in the vaccines and/or the vaccination schedule. This is not based on a survey but on my own perception resulting from the fair amount of articles on vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry that I’ve read over the last five years as a journalist. There are a large number of doctors and health specialists who have done truly independent research and who criticize vaccination based on scientific studies and solid evidence.

Why is the media so keen on portraying Big Pharma critics as crazy, uneducated, unscientific and irresponsible people?

Dr Marcia Angell worked for over two decades as editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.  She was fired after criticizing the pharmaceutical industry, which had exerted an overriding and negative influence on the scientific literature. She said:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published.”

Numerous journalists say the same goes for the mainstream media.

We bring to the attention of our readers 25 facts which constitute only part of a larger body of independent scientific research and articles on vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry. Some mainstream articles have been included as well to show how the media overlooks stories it has published in the past because they don’t fit with their “anti-vaxer” portrait.

The objective of this list is to provide independent research and sources of information on vaccination and Big Pharma, which is what the mainstream media fails to do and instead blindly promotes the narrative and agenda of Big Pharma.

(All emphasis added. Most titles are quotes from the articles they are linked to.)

25 Facts About the Pharmaceutical Industry, Vaccines and “Anti-Vaxers”

1- China has measles outbreaks but 99% are vaccinated

A recent study published in PLoS titled, “Difficulties in eliminating measles and controlling rubella and mumps: a cross-sectional study of a first measles and rubella vaccination and a second measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination,” has brought to light the glaring ineffectiveness of two measles vaccines (measles–rubella (MR) or measles–mumps–rubella(MMR) ) in fulfilling their widely claimed promise of preventing outbreaks in highly vaccine compliant populations. (Sayer Ji, Why Is China Having Measles Outbreaks When 99% Are Vaccinated?, GreenMedInfo 20 September 2014)

2- Mandatory Chickenpox Vaccination Increases Disease Rates, Study Shows

Varicella, or the chicken pox vaccination, has been mandated in South Korea since 2005. Infants from 12 to 15 months are required by law to receive a vaccination. By 2011, the country reached a near universal compliance rate, however, varicella patients did not decrease; they have increased since reaching this mandated level of vaccination.

The number of chicken pox patients reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has increased from 22.6 cases per 100,000 in 2006 to 71.6 cases per 100,000 in 2011.  That’s a huge difference and ample proof that the vaccination program isn’t working to control the spread of the disease. (Christina Sarich, With 97% Compliance Chicken Pox Vaccine Still Causes Outbreaks, Natural Society, January 08, 2015)

3- In a 2012 measles outbreak in Quebec (Canada) over half of the cases were in vaccinated teenagers

An investigation into an outbreak in a high school in a town that was heavily hit by the virus found that about half of the cases were in teens who had received the recommended two doses of vaccine in childhood — in other words, teens whom authorities would have expected to have been protected from the measles virus.

It’s generally assumed that the measles vaccine, when given in a two-dose schedule in early childhood, should protect against measles infection about 99 per cent of the time. So the discovery that 52 of the 98 teens who caught measles were fully vaccinated came as a shock to the researchers who conducted the investigation. (The Canadian Press, Measles among vaccinated Quebec kids questioned, CBC, October 20, 2011)

4- In 1987 a measles outbreak was documented among a fully immunized group of children

In 1987, for example, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) documented a measles outbreak that occurred in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the spring of 1985. Fourteen adolescent-age students, all of whom had been vaccinated for measles, contracted the disease despite having been injected with the MMR vaccine. Researchers noted that more than 99 percent of students at the school — basically all of them — had also been vaccinated, with more than 95 percent of them showing detectable antibodies to measles. (Ethan A. Huff, Measles Outbreak Documented Among Fully Immunized Group of Children, Natural News 15 February 2015)

5- Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Own Data Shows Links Between Vaccines and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

What happens when the actual evidence from the scientific and clinical literature produced by these very agencies contradicts their own vaccine policies?

This is exactly what has happened with the publication of a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics titled ,”Adverse Events following Haemophilus influenzae Type b Vaccines in the Vaccine Adverse Event ReportingSystem, 1990-2013,” wherein CDC and FDA researchers identify 749 deaths linked to the administration of the Hib vaccine, 51% of which were sudden infant death linked to the administration of Hib vaccine. (Sayer Ji, Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Own Data Shows Links Between Vaccines and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), GreenMedInfo 23 January 2015)

6- Japan banned the MMR vaccine in 1993 “after 1.8 million children had been given two types of MMR and a record number developed non-viral meningitis and other adverse reactions.”

The Japanese government realised there was a problem with MMR soon after its introduction in April 1989 when vaccination was compulsory. Parents who refused had to pay a small fine.

An analysis of vaccinations over a three-month period showed one in every 900 children was experiencing problems. This was over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate of one child in every 100,000 to 200,000. (Jenny Hope, Why Japan banned MMR vaccine, Daily Mail)

7- A study concluded nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates.

The US childhood immunization schedule requires 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year, the most in the world, yet 33 nations have better IMRs [Infant Mortality Rates]

Some countries have IMRs that are less than half the US rate: Singapore, Sweden, and Japan are below 2.80. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The relative position of the United States in comparison to countries with the lowest infant mortality rates appears to be worsening.”

These findings demonstrate a counter-intuitive relationship: nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates. (Neil Z Miller and Gary S Goldman,Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity?,  U.S. National Library of Medicine, September 2011)

8- The U.S. has a vaccine court apparently designed to “Shield Manufacturers from Liability”

For years, the corporate media was reluctant to admit that it even existed. But the special court system designed to handle vaccine injury cases — and ultimately sweep them under the rug as quickly as possible — has hit the mainstream news for its failure to adequately and propitiously compensate families of vaccine-injured children. (Ethan A. Huff, Secretive Vaccine Court Exposed: Designed to Shield Manufacturers from Liability, Natural News, November 19, 2014)

9- Beyond admitting to fraud in a 2004 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study that exonerated the MMR vaccine, Dr. William Thompson, a CDC scientist, asserts there is a connection between mercury (thimerosal) in vaccines and autism. (Jon Rappoport, U.S. Centers for Disease Control Whistleblower: Mercury (Thimerosal) in Vaccines Causes Autism, No More Fake News, September 05, 2014)

10- Back in 2002, William Thompson was already aware of study results linking the MMR vaccine to a very large increase in autism risk among African-American children. See Brian Hooker’s published paper here, with a full analysis of the CDC’s own data revealing a 340% increased risk of autism in African-American children following the MMR vaccine. (Mike Adams, Autism Links to Vaccines: Whistleblower Reveals Evidence of Criminal Coverup by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Natural News August 26, 2014

11- According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency’s massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — thimerosal — appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. (Robert F. Kennedy Jr,Vaccinations: Deadly Immunity. Government Cover-up of a Mercury / Autism Scandal, 20 July 2005)

12- Instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives [discussed] how to cover up the damaging data. (Ibid.)

The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to “rule out” the chemical’s link to autism.

It withheld Verstraeten’s findings, even though they had been slated for immediate publication, and told other scientists that his original data had been “lost” and could not be replicated. And to thwart the Freedom of Information Act, it handed its giant database of vaccine records over to a private company, declaring it off-limits to researchers. By the time Verstraeten finally published his study in 2003, he had gone to work for GlaxoSmithKline and reworked his data to bury the link between thimerosal and autism.

11- Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants […] the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold [in 2005], from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.(Ibid.)

Here is the CDC chart available today on its website:

An MIT researcher has linked autism to glyphosate, the chemical herbicide used in Monsanto Roundup.

12- Vaccine manufacturers […] continued to sell off their mercury-based supplies of vaccines until last year [2004].

The CDC and FDA [bought] up the tainted vaccines for export to developing countries and allowed drug companies to continue using the preservative in some American vaccines — including several pediatric flu shots as well as tetanus boosters routinely given to eleven-year-olds. (Ibid.)

13- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has been working to immunize vaccine makers from liability in 4,200 lawsuits that have been filed by the parents of injured children. (Ibid.)

14- Seasonal Flu Shots still contain thimerosal.

Look at the monographs. For example the one from Vaxigrip from Sanofi Pasteur states on page 4 the mercury-based preservative is in its multidose vial:

“Clinically Relevant Non-medicinal Ingredients: thimerosal* , formaldehyde, Triton® X-100†, neomycin”

15- Dr. Scott Reuben former member of Pfizer’s speakers’ bureau published dozens of fake study in medical journals

Dr. Reuben accepted a $75,000 grant from Pfizer to study Celebrex in 2005… His research, which was published in a medical journal, has since been quoted by hundreds of other doctors and researchers as “proof” that Celebrex helped reduce pain during post-surgical recovery. .. No patients were ever enrolled in the study!

He also faked study data on Bextra and Vioxx drugs… [T]he peer-reviewed medical journal Anesthesia & Analgesia was forced to retract 10 “scientific” papers authored by Reuben… 21 articles written by Dr. Reuben that appear in medical journals have apparently been fabricated, too, and must be retracted. (Big Pharma researcher admits to faking dozens of research studies for Pfizer, Merck (opinion), Mike Adams,, February 18, 2010)

16- To this day thimerosal is still used in flu vaccines

For example, in the Vaxigrip monograph says: “The multidose vial of this vaccine contains thimerosal as a preservative. Thimerosal has been associated with allergic reactions.”

17- There are at least 97 studies showing links between vaccines and autism.

18- The CDC claims “there is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines”, but that health authorities “agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.”

On thimerosal, the CDC website states:

“Since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines. Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930′s. except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure. “

19- Industry-sponsored trials published in medical journals consistently favor sponsors 

In view of this control and the conflicts of interest that permeate the enterprise, it is not surprising that industry-sponsored trials published in medical journals consistently favor sponsors —largely because negative results are not published, positive results are repeatedly published in slightly different forms, and a positive spin is put on even negative results. A review of seventy-four clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that thirty-seven of thirty-eight positive studies were published. But of thethirty-six negative studies, thirty-three were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome.” – Marcia Angell, MD (Dr. Gary G. Kohls, Beware the Drug Companies, How they Deceive Us: “Criticizing Big Pharma” Global Research, February 16, 2015)

20- Nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contain findings that are false. (Dr. Gary G. Kohls, Beware the Drug Companies, How they Deceive Us: “Criticizing Big Pharma”Global Research, February 16, 2015)

“Six years ago, John Ioannidis, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, found that nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contained findings that were false, in the sense that independent researchers couldn’t replicate them. The problem is particularly widespread in medical research, where peer-reviewed articles in medical journals can be crucial in influencing multimillion- and sometimes multibillion-dollar spending decisions. It would be surprising if conflicts of interest did not sometimes compromise editorial neutrality, and in the case of medical research, the sources of bias are obvious.

21- Most medical journals receive half or more of their income from pharmaceutical company advertising and reprint orders, and dozens of others [journals] are owned by companies like Wolters Kluwer, a medical publisher that also provides marketing services to the pharmaceutical industry.” — Helen Epstein, author of “Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies” ( (Dr. Gary G. Kohls, Beware the Drug Companies, How they Deceive Us: “Criticizing Big Pharma” Global Research, February 16, 2015)

22- The FDA’s own web page admits that the drugs it certifies as safe contribute to over 100,000 deaths per year. (Constitutional Attorney on US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Corruption, Disinformation and Cover Up of Health Dangers, Activist Post,  8 February 2015)

23- The FDA routinely approves drugs over objections from its own medical reviewers. (Ibid.)

24- The FDA does zero independent medical testing of its own.

It is a system built upon conflicts of interest that leaves consumers completely in the dark about the true consequences of taking Big Pharma products. (Ibid.)

25- In 2012 GlaxoSmithKline Pleaded Guilty and Paid “$3 Billion to Resolve Fraud Allegations and Failure to Report Safety Data”

According to the US Justice Department:

The resolution is the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history and the largest payment ever by a drug company. ..

GSK agreed to plead guilty to a three-count criminal information, including two counts of introducing misbranded drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin, into interstate commerce and one count of failing to report safety data about the drug Avandia to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).