... More than $14 billion was spent on vaccines and medicines to fight the germ, which shared features of the Spanish flu of 1918 while causing little more than a fever and a cough in a majority of patients.
... Pharmaceutical companies reaped at least $10 billion in sales of vaccines and antivirals because of the outbreak, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Roche of Basel, Switzerland, sold about $3.58 billion of Tamiflu last year and in the first three months of 2010. London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s revenue from the pandemic reached $3.78 billion. Novartis AG of Basel, Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis SA, CSL Ltd. of Melbourne and Baxter International Inc. of Deerfield, Illinois, also sold vaccines.
... The pandemic highlighted the unpredictable nature of influenza and showed that planning for responses to global outbreaks requires greater flexibility, Canterbury Health’s (New Zealand) Jennings said.
Closing schools and screening travelers at entry ports didn’t stop the virus, and the pandemic response wasn’t justified by its severity, said Heath Kelly, head of epidemiology at Victoria state’s infectious diseases reference laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.