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

accine that enriched Offit has no relationship to MMR, his close financial connections to Merck, if disclosed, are likely to affect the public's value of his opinions on the efficacy of the MMR vaccine.

"It is, at a minimum, disingenuous of Dr. Offit not to tell the public through the Dateline program what he told Congress in 2000," said Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Executive Director of Thoughtful House autism treatment center, who was also featured in the program. "Even if he is no longer a consultant to Merck, the fact the company made him wealthy by buying his rotavirus vaccine is certain to make him warmly view the company and its products, including MMR. Let us hope that all such relationships are disclosed prior to any Swine Flu vaccination program."

Offit has frequently accused Wakefield of being conflicted during his MMR research, claiming that Wakefield was being paid by a law firm for his expertise on MMR while also conducting his studies. Although physicians are frequently paid for their medical expertise in legal cases, Wakefield fully disclosed his relationship with the litigators in various UK media stories and publicly reported documents. Offit, however, has continued to back MMR as completely safe while failing to inform the public that the MMR manufacturer Merck has made him so wealthy he said "it was just like winning the lottery." As a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice, Offit also voted to include the rotavirus vaccine in the Vaccines for Children program, which ultimately made his Rotateq product worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Merck.

"Offit has zero credibility in matters of vaccine safety," said Wendy Fournier, President of the NAA. "Not only does he advance the absurd suggestion that children could safety get 100,000 vaccines at a time, he opposes any studies of the comparative health of unvaccinated children that could shed light on the extent and natur
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SOURCE National Autism Association
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