Some researchers analyzed the news coverage in the UK. To the surprise of, well, absolutely no one, people with connections to the drug industry were way more worried publicly, and were solidly promoting the use of anti-viral and other meds. This despite the fact that the effectiveness of these treatments is, to be charitable, very questionable.
To be fair, of course, many experts are, indeed, working in their industries of choice. Just like, for example, aeronautical experts are going to be found at Boeing. But they really should ID their affiliations and reporters need to keep them in mind:
“Researchers found that academics with industry links were six times more likely to rate the potential risk of swine flu as higher.
“Similarly, academics promoting the use of antiviral drugs in newspaper articles were eight times more likely to have industry links than those not commenting on their use.
“The researchers point out that the UK spent an estimated billion pounds on pharmaceutical products during the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic, including antiviral medications and swine flu vaccines. …..
“There was also uncertainty about the effectiveness of antiviral medication in reducing transmission and complications of influenza. Some dissenting voices argued that the limited benefit of medications such as Tamiflu did not justify their costs.”
more info at the “Nursing Times” web article: http://goo.gl/WERzgB