Precautionary Principle Works (for shareholders)
The government's response to the swine flu pandemic was on the whole proportionate and effective, an independent review said today, but there are still lessons to be learned from the alert, which cost £1.2bn.
The taxpayer footed the bill which included 20 million unused vaccines.
GlaxoSmithKline made £883million from sales of the drug last year but insisted the Government complete the deal even if the vaccines were no longer needed.
Dame Deirdre Hine's independent review team said: "The lack of such a clause exposed the exchequer to some risk."
They could not reveal how much money would have been saved if there had been a break clause in the contract because of commercial confidentiality.
Dame Deirdre said: "I think we have got to set these figures, which seem enormous, against the potential for saving lives.
"Although we can't identify the number, there probably were lives saved of very young people, young children and so on."
Dame Deirdre said the Government's response to the possible pandemic was "proportionate and effective".
I hate to think what a disproportionate response would have cost.