Cuba creates four anti-cancer vaccines, media ignores it


That Cuba has already developed is without doubt important news for humanity. The World Health Organisation says each year die from this illness.

However, the international mainstream media have almost totally ignored this news.

Last year, in the world, called CIMAVAX-EGF. In January, the second one, , was announced.

Clinical testing in 86 countries shows that these vaccines, although they don’t cure the illness, do managed to reduce tumours and allow for a stable stage of the illness, thereby increasing hope and quality of life.

The Molecular Immunology Centre of Havana, a Cuban state organisation, is the creator of all these vaccines.

In 1985 it developed the , the only one in the world, and later others that . For years, the centre has been conducting research to .

The other Cuban state-run centre, Laboratories LABIOFAM, has developed , created from the blue scorpion’s venom. Cuba exports these medicines to 26 countries, and takes part in joint companies with China, Canada, and Spain.

All of this goes against the well-enforced stereotype, reinforced by the media silence regarding advances achieved by Cuba and other global south (so-called Third World) countries, that vanguard medical research takes place only in so-called developed countries.

Undoubtedly, the Cuban state obtains an economic benefit from the international sale of these pharmaceutical products. However, its philosophy of investigation and commercialisation is diametrically opposed to the business practices of the large pharmaceutical industry.

Nobel Prize for Medicine winner Richard J Roberts recently denounced the pharmaceutical industry for orienting its research not to curing illnesses, but to developing medicine for chronic ailments, which is much more economically profitable.

Roberts suggested the illnesses that are particular to poorer countries, because of their low profitability, simply are not researched. That is why 90% of the budget for research is aimed at illnesses suffered by 10% of the world’s population.

Cuba’s public medicine industry, even though it is one of the main sources of foreign currency for the country, is guided by radically different principles.

In the first place, its research is aimed at, in a large part, developing vaccines that prevent illnesses and as a consequence, reduce the population’s spending on medicine.

In an article in the prestigious magazine Science, researchers from Stanford University (California), Paul Drain and Michele Barry, said , despite spending up to 20 times less on the sector.

The reason for this is the absence, in the Cuban model, of commercial pressures and encouragement by pharmaceutical companies, and a successful strategy of educating the population about preventative healthcare.

Furthermore, traditional and natural therapies, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, hypnosis and many others — practices that are not very profitable for the makers of medicine — have been of the island for years.

Also, in Cuba, medicine is distributed via the national public hospital network as something that is either free or highly subsidised, thanks to the income from exporting it.

The Cuban medicine industry also barely assigns any of its budget to publicity. In the case of the multinationals, publicity spending is higher than what they .

Finally, Cuba promotes the production of generic medicine. These are made available in other poor countries and to the World Health Organisation at than those offered by the global medicine industry.

But these measures, removed from market rules, generate a lot of pressure from the pharmaceutical industry.

Recently, the Ecuadorian government announced it would buy a large number of medicines from Cuba in exchange for scholarships for Ecuadorian students to study in Cuba and for the support provided by Cuban specialists in

Protests against the move by the Ecuadorian Association of Pharmaceutical Laboratories were immediately converted into , spreading the message of the supposed bad quality of Cuban medicine.

On the other hand, many analysts see the international pharmaceutical industry as being behind the coup in Honduras in 2009. The elected government of Manuel Zelaya, in the framework of agreements made within the Cuba- and Venezuela-founded Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our Americas to which Honduras then belonged, for imports from multinationals.

The US blockade against Cuba imposes big obstacles to the international commercialisation of Cuban pharmaceutical products, but it is also directly detrimental to US citizens. For example, each year the 80,000 diabetics in the US who suffer the amputation of their toes don’t have access to , which would prevent such amputations.

The : “Cuba is a magnificent example of how scientific knowledge and research can be integrated.”

Irina Bokova, general director of UNESCO, said she was and her organisation is willing to promote them to the rest of the world.

The inevitable question is, will she count on the essential collaboration of the international mainstream media to spread this information?

[Original can be found at . Translated for Green Left Weekly by Tamara Pearson.]


Seriously, I understand you feel you must reprint these gushing Cuban propaganda pieces, but come on: Homeopathic cancer cures? I suggest you research these so-called "cures" on Pubmed where you'll find the only benefit is "psychosomatic." Cuba's health care system is free, which makes it fantastic for a third world country. It doesn't however compare to that we enjoy in Australia, Canada or anywhere in Europe. Most consider the standard of health care in the USA to be the highest in the world. But they have to pay for it. There's an area for debate there, that's for sure. But please stop peddling this notion that the health system in Cuba is somehow utopic. It is a long way behind Australia. I really wish the GLW would become more of an alternative media voice that did its own educated research rather than just peddle propaganda. Unless you develop of a degree of skepticism towards these usual sources, you really are only doing the Australian media a disservice.