Tony Delamothe, deputy editor, BMJ, wrote in his mag on 14/1/2010, as media panics drove talk of global flu catastrophe[http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c225 ]
“If influenza was a rock band [Sorry about his corny analogy, but we’ll have to bear with it I’m afraid] how would it rate its latest release, H1N1? Not too well, I suspect, despite the greatest pre-publicity since—well, its previous release. And it all started so promisingly, in Mexico, whose population had been decimated by the very first outbreak of Spanish flu (and smallpox and measles), courtesy of Cortés and his conquistadores.
[Elsewhere I have investigated this claim and feel it heavily relevant that native populations had been driven from their villages, had their food supplies decimated and probably nursed many injuries in those who actually survived the fighting. However this orthodoxy that “the native indians were wiped out by smallpox” is still used to make people fear diseases, as if we had no integral method to respond to such hazards. We do, of course, and it’s termed our immune system which, in turn, needs good nutrition and living status to function optimally.]
“The new lineup – two parts pig, one part human, and one part bird (The Chimerical Brothers?) – looked brilliant on paper. Once the international tour began, all eyes were on the southern hemisphere for pointers as to how things might play out in the northern hemisphere winter. So what happened next? [Remember this is our cunningly mutated by nature touring malevolent influenza virus come rock band…..]
“For England, many more misses than hits. Since last August, the consultation rates for flu-like illness have hardly budged above the baseline threshold (doi:10.1136/bmj.c170). They’re now less than half that rate and falling. Even the most generous assessment couldn’t attribute this happy state of affairs to either the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or vaccination against swine flu. [This guy sounds really rather upset – all that angst and no fluepidemic!] Both interventions are now uncomfortably under the spotlight. [There is another issue here, of course, in that even they make no claims that the earlier jabs impacted on the threatened epidemic to stop it in its path!]
“This week we publish the latest in a series of letters looking at the downsides of distant diagnosis by algorithm. Catherine Houlihan and colleagues from Newcastle upon Tyne reviewed eight cases of potentially life threatening conditions where diagnosis and management were delayed because of an initial incorrect diagnosis of swine flu (doi:10.1136/bmj.c137). Last August we published a similar series from Middlesbrough (BMJ 2009;339:b3365, doi:10.1136/bmj.b3365).
“Once this pandemic is all over [“It is now”, to coin a phrase…..!], it would be interesting to tot up the national total of clinically significant diagnoses that were initially missed because of the too ready diagnosis of swine flu. Meanwhile, European governments, including the UK’s, are trying to offload their surplus stocks of swine flu vaccine as vaccination programmes are canned.
“The search for scapegoats has already begun. The chairman of the health subcommittee of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly has called for an investigation into the role of pharmaceutical companies in the current pandemic (doi:10.1136/bmj.c198). His charge: “To protect their patented drugs and vaccines against flu, pharmaceutical companies have influenced scientists and official agencies, responsible for public health standards to alarm governments.”
Meanwhile, the revelation of undeclared competing interests of Professor Juhani Eskola, an adviser to WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), has come as a gift to conspiracy theorists. [No, one does not need to talk of “conspiracy” – this is institutionalised corruption, pure and simple!] SAGE advises member states on vaccines; GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturer of Pandemrix, is the main source of income of Professor Eskola’s employer (doi:10.1136/bmj.c201).”
Which reference expands: “Controversy has arisen at the World Health Organization after allegations that some WHO experts, including a leading vaccine adviser, have financial ties to the drug industry.
“Documents acquired through the Danish Freedom of Information Act by the Danish daily newspaper “Information” show that Juhani Eskola, a Finnish vaccines adviser on the WHO board, has received £5.6m for his research centre, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare. The money, from GlaxoSmithKline for research on vaccines during 2009, is the institute’s main source of income.
[Just butting in again to point out the BMJ’s phrasing here. Subconsciously I edited it as : “ Juhani Eskola, of the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and a vaccines adviser on the WHO board, has received £5.6m for his research centre from GlaxoSmithKline for research on vaccines during 2009. This is the institute’s main source of income.”]
And of the guy himself, WHO tell us:
Professor Juhani Eskola
Juhani Eskola, MD, PhD, is Deputy Director General of the National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland, being responsible for all activities related to prevention and control of infectious diseases, vaccines, vaccinations and environmental health.
He serves as a consultant, evaluator or scientific adviser in several international development projects such as Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, TBVI and European Vaccine Initiative, EVI, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of International Vaccine Institute, IVI.
Professor Eskola graduated with a medical degree from the University of Helsinki in 1975, and received his PhD in medicine in 1983. He is a specialist in paediatric infectious diseases and a docent at the University of Helsinki.
He worked as general practitioner, paediatrician and infectious disease specialist until 1991, when he moved to the Finnish National Public Health Institute, serving there as Research Professor and Department Head, first in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and later in the Department of Vaccines.
During the years of 2000 to 2003, he worked as Senior Vice President at Aventis Pasteur in Lyon, France, being responsible for global medical affairs and clinical development of all vaccines in the company.
Professor Eskola has focused his research in the clinical development and evaluation of vaccines, especially of polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines and combination vaccines used in childhood in the past. During recent years his main interest has shifted into the clinical development of tuberculosis vaccines, vaccine safety issues, and into modelling and measuring the impact of wide scale vaccinations.
(My emphases, of course!)
In the BMJ, the article finished:
“Recriminations of a different kind in Liverpool. In “The Price of Silence,” Jonathan Gornall’s article on the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, he claimed that 12 compromise agreements entered into by doctors there contained gagging clauses (BMJ 2009;339:b3202). The trust’s chairman replied that such agreements affected only two doctors (doi:10.1136/bmj.c144).
“But Andrew Bousfield, whose father had been banned by the trust from going public with concerns about management and patient safety, had specifically asked for information relating to doctors, and under direction from the Information Commissioner the trust provided him with 12 redacted copies of compromise agreements (doi:10.1136/bmj.c145). So who’s right? We need an adjudicator to check the unredacted forms.”
And so the issue is kind of lost in a murky mix of corporate malpractices and omissions. But there is, in me, a spark of the old fashioned scam of being able to divide an opponent so’s they are no longer a uniform group but are broken into squabbling tribes.
If Big Pharm become hate targets of Big Med (and possibly vice versa!) and the media, politicians and police – even the courts – can be used to widen that gap and also fall out amongst themselves. And then if the almighty weight of the insurance claims industry can be brought in – “Have you been given a vaccination in your life? Did it inflict collateral damage upon your physiology? Then perhaps you can now make a claim against the following list……”
And then it’s history.
Longer BMJ “exposure” here:
But it IS BMJ……..