Leading European health expert says drug firms exaggerated threat for financial gain.
A joint report into the handling of the H1N1 outbreak, to be aired on Al Jazeera, has found that key scientists who advised governments to stockpile drugs, had previously been on the payroll of big drug companies.
The scientists were working for the World Health Organisation, whose decision to name the flu a “pandemic” is also coming under scrutiny from European investigators.
More than 12,700 people worldwide have died from H1N1 – but the virus has turned out to less deadly than feared.
However, the WHO initially urged rapid development of treatments and vaccines, fearing the virus had the potential to kill millions.
As a result wealthy countries spent billions on medicines which many believe are now unnecessary.
Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull reports on how big drug companies may have influenced the decisions that helped them profit from the H1N1 pandemic.