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Smallpox: Obama's Latest Crony Sweetheart Deal

No, I'm not talking about a dirty bomb here, I'm talking about the latest sweetheart deal given to a drug company from the Obama Administation that just so happens to be headed by a big Democratic donor. The donor also made direct monetary contributions to Obama's inaguration.


Apparently, the federal government has $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine stock piled, enough for every American, just in case there is a terrorist attack involving smallpox. Because the government already has substantial stockpiles of the vaccine, eyebrows were raised when people learned the administration approved a loan worth nearly $500 million for the company Siga to manufacture....more smallpox pill vaccines. 

The Obama White House has immersed itself in a new scandal with a major Democratic donor. A deal worth half-a-billion dollars has raised questions about the relationship between Washington and the makers of an experimental drug.

The Los Angeles Times reports that for the past year, the Obama administration has urged approval of a $433-million plan to give Siga Technologies Inc. of New York the lone rights to manufacturing a smallpox pill for the US government to keep in stockpiles in case of a biological war outbreak — despite officials agreeing that the disease has been eradicated for nearly 40 years. Citing a 2004 George W Bush administration doctrine that says a smallpox threat could reemerge, the Obama White House is hoping to have Siga provide 1.7 million doses of the drug to be kept on the shelves at a cost far above what officials agreed to.

In observance with FDA regulations, the drug has not — and most likely won’t — be tested on humans, calling to question whether the supposed effectiveness of the pill is even existent— at a price tag of nearly half a billion dollars.

As it happens, Ronald O. Perelman, the controlling shareholder of the pharmaceutical manufacturer, donated over $300,000 through a Siga affiliate to the Democratic cause during the 2008 and 2010 campaigns. Additionally, Perelman himself forked over around $50,000 towards Obama’s inauguration.

Coincidentally, the Obama administration guaranteed Siga rights to provide the pill for the government without seeking competition from any other companies, a move which caused the Small Business Administration to cry foul. The Times reports that the initial federal contract guaranteed the deal to go to a company with fewer than 500 employees, which would exclude Siga from the bidding. In response, the government withdrew its first call-for-proposals and penned a new submission form — one that was delivered to solely Siga.


Okay, so what's so bad about making sure we have plenty of smallpox vaccination on hand? There are no plans for the drug to be approved by the FDA and the drug made by Siga, can't be tested on humans.

The deal between the White House and Siga has aroused suspicious given that the government currently has around $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccinations on the ready — which The Times reports would be enough to inoculate the entire population of the country. Aside from trace samples of the disease kept in storage in the US and Russia, the rest of the world is believed to be free of the germ, which has around a one-in-three chance of destroying the infected. America’s current antidote has a shelf-life of decades and is proven to be effective — but only in the first four days of infection. ST-246, the antiviral pill in development from Siga, would be able to thwart outbreaks for those infected after that span — but FDA regulations bars the company from conducting test on humans. As a result, ST-246 will most likely never face approval from the FDA, let alone have its effectiveness proven. Regardless, the Obama administration has spent the last year attempting to ensure that Siga delivers the disease-killer to the American government at a price of $255 per dose — which would expire and lose potency in a matter of three-year’s time.


I wonder if the vaccine is covered in ObamaCare.


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