Sunday, November 06, 2005

Rumsflu and Tamifled

Tamiflu is a remedy for influenza and it has become the most sought-after drug in the world in the wake of bird-flu panic. Tamiful is made by Roche and the California biotech firm Gilead Sciences. This where it's becoming interesting as you can read in Fortune Magazine and it's some piece of info I have not seen much anywhere:

One the beneficiaries of the run on Tamiflu is Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who was chairman of Gilead from 1997 to 2001 and owns at least $5 million of the stock.
As the bird-flu issue heated up earlier this year, according to a senior Pentagon official, Rumsfeld considered unloading his entire Gilead stake to avoid any perceived conflict of interest. He sought the advice of the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the federal Office of Government Ethics. When those agencies didn't offer an opinion, Rumsfeld consulted a private securities lawyer, who advised him to hold on to the stock and be vocal about his earlier recusal from all matters involving Gilead, rather than sell and run the risk of being accused of insider trading. Holding on has paid off—it's made the Pentagon chief, already one of the wealthiest members of the Bush cabinet, at least $1 million richer. In late October, Rumsfeld had the Pentagon's general counsel issue instructions on what he could and could not do in the event of an epidemic.

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