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Offit's Failure to Disclose Jeopardizes Swine Flu Vaccine Program
Date:9/8/2009

Doctor Who Made Millions Off MMR Manufacturer Does Not Tell Public of His Financial Relationship during NBC Dateline Broadcast

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As autumn approaches and millions of Americans consider taking an H1N1 Swine Flu vaccination, the integrity of all vaccine developers has been called into question by the financial relationship of a leading vaccine advocate and a pharmaceutical manufacturer. Dr. Paul Offit of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), who was interviewed for a Dateline NBC television special, failed to tell millions of viewers that while he was promoting MMR as safe he had also made tens of millions of dollars from selling another vaccine patent to Merck, which is the manufacturer of MMR. According to CHOP documents, Offit's share of a royalty sale for the Rotateq vaccine to Merck is a minimum of $29 million and may approach $50 million.

"When Dr. Offit went on Dateline he was probably disinclined to criticize the MMR vaccine since it is produced by the same pharmaceutical company that made him a wealthy man," said Jim Moody, attorney for the National Autism Association (NAA). "If people are to have confidence in the integrity of the Swine Flu vaccination program this fall then we need full disclosure of all financial relationships between proponents and manufacturers on every vaccine on the market. Who has an objective opinion about a company that has made them rich?"

Dateline NBC's broadcast was about the potential link between the MMR vaccine and the onset of autism. Offit has stated unequivocally that there is no connection and that he has no conflict of interest with Merck. However, he acknowledged in testimony to Congress in 2000 that "I have been in collaboration with Merck and Co. on the development of a rotavirus vaccine since 1992" and that "I am a consultant to Merck." Although the Rotateq v
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SOURCE National Autism Association
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