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Conflicts of Interest

It should go without saying that no one making public health decisions that will directly affect the lives of millions of United States children and indirectly affect the lives of millions of international children through our global influence should have any ties to the pharmaceutical industry. But sadly, this is not the case. Policies that do exist are either completely ignored or enforcement has been lax. The CDC, especially, has a lengthy history of corruption and deceit and has routinely turned a blind eye to vaccine conflicts of interest while it works to protect the private good. And, the problem goes all the way to the top with one previous CDC director working for Merck while another resigned in disgrace after allegations of owning stock in companies working with the CDC.

The US urgently needs, and taxpayers firmly deserve, ethical leadership in government, industry and media who are free from conflicts both before and after taking the job. The far-reaching health decisions made need to be driven by solid and truly independent science, not personal back accounts. Private, corporate and government reports and studies have called into question the rampant conflicts of interest currently occurring in our government regulatory agencies and in Congress. Here are some below.

Thick as Thieves? Big Pharma Wields its Power with the Help of Government Regulation

When pharmaceutical firms get U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a new product, under the auspices of health communication, the government enables them to market the drug and create demand where none previously existed.

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Doctors’ Receive Cash Incentive for Vaccinating

Some insurance companies provide “extra” incentive if a certain percentage of the children in the practice meet certain criteria such as “Combo 10” with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Network.

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An Untenable Status Quo—Conflicts of Interest Must Go

As the Children’s Health Defense eBook, Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health, tries to make clear, the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) in 1986 was a watershed event that emboldened vaccine manufacturers and their public- and private-sector accomplices—notably the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—to systematically hide the serious damage caused by vaccines.

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The Pharmaceutical Industry’s Front Men

The pharmaceutical industry has a “complex and mutually-dependent” relationship with physician trade groups and physicians. Although the details are not always fully or accurately documented, the funding trail can often provide revealing clues. Thus, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), one of the most notorious vaccine industry front groups, receives funding from all four manufacturers of childhood vaccines in the U.S. (Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline).

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The Medical Journals’ Sell-Out—Getting Paid to Play

The vaccine industry and its government and scientific partners routinely block meaningful science and fabricate misleading studies about vaccines. They could not do so, however, without having enticed medical journals into a mutually beneficial bargain. Pharmaceutical companies supply journals with needed income, and in return, journals play a key role in suppressing studies that raise critical questions about vaccine risks—which would endanger profits.[pullquote]Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements.

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How the Institute of Medicine Helped Suppress Questions About Vaccine Safety

The Institute of Medicine (IOM)—now called the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—is a private, nonprofit entity that has had a mandate since 1970 to provide the U.S. government with “independent, objective analysis” on matters of health.

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Vaccine Rhetoric vs. Reality—Keeping Vaccination’s Unflattering Track Record Secret

A concerted and “heavy-handed” effort is under way to censor information that contradicts the oversimplified sound bites put forth by public health agencies and the media about vaccines. However, while brazen, in-your-face censorship—and attacks on health freedom—have ratcheted up to an unprecedented degree,  officialdom’s wish to keep vaccination’s unflattering track record out of the public eye is nothing new.

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Close Ties and Financial Entanglements: The CDC-Guaranteed Vaccine Market

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued annual vaccine recommendations for the U.S. civilian population since 1995. ACIP works in partnership with leading medical trade organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

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Rubber Stamping—The FDA and Vaccines—Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health: Part IV

The vaccine industry has been burgeoning since the late 1980s, when Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) that provided manufacturers with blanket immunity from liability. Two regulatory agencies have played a pivotal role in this vaccine “renaissance”: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Working hand in glove with vaccine companies, these agencies have helped protect and grow the liability-free childhood vaccine market, ensuring billions of dollars in corporate revenues with little need for vaccine makers to even advertise or market their products.

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Laughing All the Way to the Bank: Vaccine Makers and Liability Protection—Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health: Part III

When it comes to telling the story of vaccine injuries and how frighteningly commonplace they have become, denial, censorship and lies seem to be ruling the day—for now. However, future public health historians will surely acknowledge that the unprecedented health crisis beleaguering American children began around the same time—1986—that Congress let the genie out of the bottle by passing the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA).

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NCVIA: The Legislation that Changed Everything—Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health: Part II

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law a piece of legislation called the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), crafted by then-Representative Henry Waxman (now a health industry lobbyist). According to the New York Times, President Reagan “said he had approved the bill ‘with mixed feelings’”—despite his own Justice Department urging him to veto the Act.

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The Rotavirus Vaccine: A Case Study in Government Corruption and Malfeasance

In a previous article for Children’s Health Defense, titled “Why You Can’t Trust the CDC on Vaccines”, we looked at how it can be true that government agencies are misinforming the public about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. The very prospect is treated by the mainstream corporate media as a “conspiracy theory”, but no such theory is required to explain it.

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Hidden conflicts?

In examining compensation records from drug companies to physicians who advised FDA on whether to approve 28 psychopharmacologic, arthritis, and cardiac or renal drugs between 2008 and 2014, Science found widespread after-the-fact payments or research support to panel members. The agency’s safeguards against potential conflicts of interest are not designed to prevent such future financial […]

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Conflicts of Interest at Medical Journals: The Influence of Industry-Supported Randomised Trials on Journal Impact Factors and Revenue – Cohort Study

Transparency in reporting of conflict of interest is an increasingly important aspect of publication in medical journals. Publication of large industry-supported trials may generate many citations and journal income through reprint sales and thereby be a source of conflicts of interest for journals. The authors of this study investigated industry-supported trials’ influence on journal impact […]

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Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Safety Research

By Gayle DeLong How safe are vaccines? Health officials caution that no vaccine is 100% safe, but they sponsor studies that conclude the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks. Yet conflicts of interest (COls) cloud the study of adverse effects of vaccines, and public skepticism about vaccine safety information is widespread Investigation into the […]

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