(February 10, 2014) WHO and the Pandemic Flu "Conspiracies" -- The BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism Report That Was Covered Up
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
* A joint investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has uncovered evidence that raises troubling questions about how WHO managed conflicts of interest among the scientists who advised its pandemic planning
* The secrecy of the committee is also fuelling conspiracy theories, particularly around the activation of dormant pandemic vaccine contracts. A key question will be whether the pharmaceutical companies, which had invested around $4bn (£2.8bn, 3.3bn) in developing the swine flu vaccine, had supporters inside the emergency committee.
* Was it appropriate for WHO to take advice from experts who had declarable financial and research ties with pharmaceutical companies producing antivirals and influenza vaccines?
* Why was key WHO guidance authored by an influenza expert who had received payment for other work from Roche, manufacturers of oseltamivir, and GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of zanamivir?
* Why does the composition of the emergency committee from which Margaret Chan sought guidance remain a secret known only to those within WHO?
* Our investigation has identified key scientists involved in WHO pandemic planning who had declarable interests, some of whom are or have been funded by pharmaceutical firms that stood to gain from the guidance they were drafting
* FDA's advisory committee voted by 13 to 4 not to approve zanamivir on the grounds that it was no more effective than placebo when the patients were on other drugs such as paracetamol.