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Wakefield Moving into New Leadership Role in Autism Community, Leaving Thoughtful House.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshotBy Dan Olmsted

Dr. Andrew Wakefield announced today his intention to move on to a new phase of leadership in the autism community as he also prepares a more aggressive defense of his scientific accomplishments in the wake of a ruling from the U.K.’s General Medical Council (GMC). That ruling, which charged Wakefield and two pediatric gastroenterologists with misconduct, was followed shortly by the retraction of a 1998 case series report by Wakefield and his colleagues from London’s Royal Free Hospital in The Lancet. “There has been an extraordinary outpouring of support from the autism community in response to the events of the last two weeks”, Wakefield told Age of Autism in an exclusive interview. “The most exciting part of it has been the opening up of an entirely new sort of opportunity that will allow me to continue my work on behalf of autism families.” Wakefield said he would provide more specifics on the nature of that opportunity soon. “In addition, I will now speak publicly to refute the findings that have been made against me. I know my necessary silence on these issues has troubled many parents in both the U.K. and the U.S. But I’m ready now to get back on the front foot and publicly contest the false accusations that have been made against me, my colleagues, and indirectly The Lancet children. It’s been long overdue.”

Wakefield, previously the Executive Director of Thoughtful House, had been a senior scientist in charge of an ambitious primate research program on vaccine safety. The first paper from this project was published online on October 2, 2009 by Neurotoxicology (see HERE) who then decided unexpectedly on February 12 not to proceed with publication in the print edition (like The Lancet, the journal Neurotoxicology is owned by Elsevier, a division of Reed Elsevier PLC). Many autism advocates have expressed the concern that the attack on Wakefield has been part of a broader campaign for the suppression of science, including the primate project (see HERE). Earlier this week, Jane Johnson of Thoughtful House released the following statement. “We fully support [Dr. Wakefield’s] decision to leave Thoughtful House in order to make sure that the controversy surrounding the recent findings of the General Medical Council does not interfere with the important work that our dedicated team of clinicians and researchers is doing on behalf of children with autism and their families.”

Wakefield expressed optimism that by working with the support of a larger set of autism organizations he would be able to focus attention back on the exploding population of affected children and their families, “which is where it belongs”, he emphasized. “I have always followed the principle that good medicine, and ultimately good science, begins and ends with the patient. We need to remember that the purpose of medical science is not to serve the medical industry but rather the interests of the patients the industry serves.”

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

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I am compiling a page with all studies, documents, articles by Andrew Wakefield as well as related studies and information.

It isn't complete yet but it is here
http://wakefielddocuments.wordpress.com

Still lots to add

We know where the truth is, and it's not coming from the other side of the ocean.
Dr. Wakefield should be admired for standing up to these people who care about money, NOT the children. He has devoted his career to kids who cannot speak for themselves. I hope some day the truth will come out! But probably not before the other side displays more dirty tactics!
Andy, you are setting a good example for the future doctors. I hope they learn from you what is right and what is wrong! The truth should speak for itself!

Re Benetta post on Feb 22.

I didn't realize the DPT adverse reaction was that high. My toddler reacted to the DTAP vaccine in 2008. I wonder what the numbers are now.

What I am being taught in my college "research" class is that credible research has disclaimers, and discloses what happened during their study that could affect their research.

I'm just floored to read the comments about GlaxcoSmithKline research, and Elsevier research.

-www.twitter.com/sonthamusic

Re Carol's comment on Avandia @ Feb 22, 2010 7:18pm:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/health/23niss.html?hpw

"But on May 10, 2007, 11 days before Dr. Nissen’s study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, he and four company executives met face to face in a private meeting whose details have not been disclosed until now.

Fearing he would face pressure and criticism from executives, Dr. Nissen secretly recorded the meeting — which is legal in Ohio as long as one party to the conversation is aware of the taping. On a recent day in his sunny office at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Nissen shared the contents of the recording with The Times.

What was said at the 2007 meeting raises questions about science and ethics that have suddenly become keenly relevant. A Congressional investigation released Saturday concluded that GlaxoSmithKline had threatened scientists who tried to point out Avandia’s risks, and internal memorandums from the Food and Drug Administration show that some government health officials want Avandia withdrawn. The drug is still being taken by hundreds of thousands of patients, and sales last year were $1.19 billion.

So the battle over Avandia has begun anew, and issues raised in the meeting between the four executives and Dr. Nissen are likely to be raised again. For instance, during the meeting, company executives repeatedly promised to begin a crucial analysis of the safety of Avandia “within days.” Nearly three years later, such a study has not been published in a medical journal, although the company has posted results on its Web site.

Also during the meeting, Dr. Ronald L. Krall, GlaxoSmithKline’s chief medical officer, predicted almost exactly the results of another crucial study of Avandia that was two months from publication and whose results, according to scientific protocols and the company itself, should have been kept secret from the company. In an interview, Dr. Nissen said the recording showed that the executives hoped to persuade him not to publish his study by suggesting that they had contradictory information they would share with him in a joint study.

“In retrospect, it seems clear that neither statement was true,” Dr. Nissen said. “They did not have contradictory data, and they never intended to cooperate in any analyses.” "

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. To You, Carmel and all your family. Champions All.

Wakefield is a hero.

Congratulations on this new opportunity! Behind you 110% as always.

I had the MMR as an adult. The week after I was seeing stars, getting dizzy, strobe lights in my head, and getting lost while driving to familiar places. They tested me for MS and other things. They couldn't find anything wrong with me. I told the docs it was the vaccine, and one laughed at me. Why did I get the MMR as an adult? I volunteered at the children's hospital. I had low titers for measles. The others were fine. I had no clue they were shooting me up with 3 viruses at the time.
The MMR is a nasty thing for many people young and old. Thank you, Dr. Wakefield for bringing this to the attention of the world. Keep on them. You are saving people, and we are aware of your sacrifice. God is smiling down upon you.

"Committee staff began this investigation in May 2007 after a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine,showing a link between the diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone)and heart attacks. However, the reviewed evidence suggests that GSK knew for several years prior to this study that there were possible cardiac risks associated with Avandia. As a result, it can be argued that GSK had a duty to warn patients and the FDA of the Company’s concerns. Instead, GSK executives attempted to intimidate independent physicians, focused on strategies to minimize or misrepresent findings that Avandia may increase cardiovascular risk, and sought ways to downplay findings that a competing drug might reduce cardiovascular risk.

When an independent scientist sought to publish a study in 2007 pointing out the cardiovascular risk of Avandia, GSK acquired a leaked copy of that study from one of its consultants prior to the study being published. The company’s own experts analyzed the study, found it to be statistically reliable, and then attacked the soundness of that study in press releases and public comments....

For the past 4 years, the staff of the Senate Committee on Finance (Committee) has been examining allegations that pharmaceutical companies attempt to manipulate science to improve the marketability of drugs, potentially at the expense of public safety. These allegations include intimidating scientists, ghostwriting studies for academic researchers, suppressing studies that may show that a drug could be dangerous, and selecting data to publish
results that favor one product over another.

In November 2007, the Committee reported on the intimidation of Dr. John Buse, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) who specializes in diabetes. Based partly on internal documents from GSK, the Committee reported on what appeared to be an orchestrated plan by GSK to stifle the opinion of Dr. Buse in 1999. At that time, Dr. Buse argued at several medical conferences and in letters to the FDA that GSK’s diabetes drug Avandia may cause cardiovascular problems...."

http://finance.senate.gov/press/Gpress/2010/prg022010a.pdf

Go Andy!! We in the autism biomed movement love you and appreciate you!!!!!!! To recover a child from autism, you must be aware of what's really going on. My children are recovered.

Sarah I believe the 1975 autism was 1 in 10,000.
The DPT shot my son took said a reaction occured 1 out of 11,000.

Of course looking at other things I am unsure what it really was but it appeared by other stats, the DPT reaction was really some where between 1 out of 300 to 250.

It is too bad that the only way to tell if a man has interigity is only when he has been put through the fire.

I am so sorry that Dr. Wakefield has been put through the fire, but I am so very grateful that he was willing to walk through it for my children and me.

To CMO - I was wondering the same thing. Does he have the finances to persevere? Has everyone heard of Goodsearch.com?
Although it works in small increments, when one searches the internet, every time you can pick your charity and a penny will go to it for each search. There are many autism organizations listed already. If another is formed for or by Dr. Wakefield, it might be a good idea to link it to Goodsearch.com.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Arthur Schopenhauer

Dr Wakefield will clear his name and so will all us parents and grandparents who have been called liars.

A great man and a great woman(Carmel)supporting him.

Dr. Wakefield is my idea of a saint.... in scrubs!

One of our local doctors referenced the withdrawal of the Wakefield paper by saying "I guess the whole mercury issue has been disproven." The scientific and medical illiteracy on this topic is laughable.

Dr. Wakefield will always have our family's admiration and support. I hope the backing of the autism community will be enough to vindicate his name and work. His family should be proud of him!

In spite of the hell he's been put through, Dr. Wakefield has never lost sight of helping our kids and for that I have immense respect.

I wish I could say the same for the GMC who has allowed the crisis to continue:

Autism cases per the CDC:

2020: 1 in ??
2010: 1 in 110 children
2002: 1 in 150 children
1975: 1 in 5000 children

Graph of Autism Increase: 1975-2009

http://www.autismspeaks.org/docs/Prevalence_Graph_12_18_2009.pdf

I think history has a way of revealing the truth and someday Wakefield will be exonerated.

In the meantime we parents must make sure our message is heard. Let's get these numbers out on every social network site we can find.

Is Dr. Wakefield properly finance for his endless ongoing efforts for the Autism Community??

...and also with his efforts to defend himself against the UK and US pharmafia ?

Keep us informed.

God Bless you and yours.

It is honor to say that I stand behind you sir in all your efforts! I shall continue to push on here in Southwest MO, inspired by your strength of character. May God bless and keep you and your family!

There has to be a loud stand against such witch hunts! I don't care which side of the issue you stand on, the treatment of Dr. Wakefield and his fellows was uncalled for, cruel, and mean spirited!

If such treatment is allowed to continue in goverment, then who could be next? It could be you! I'm not asking people to agree or disagree with this man. I am asking for people to stand up for what is fair!

For this trial was not an exercise in justice!

That being said, I know where I stand. I stand on the side of facts,logic, and evidence. In the court of law, if two witnesses both say they saw the same thing, it is considered factual.

There are millions of stories saying the same thing of vaccines, yet it is considered anecdoctal? I hardly think so! And I do believe that someday, science shall vendicate Dr. Wakefield and his fellows.

For those of us who look for the truth behind the smoke screen (created by big pharma's heftily funded propaganda machine), we know Wakefield's work is valid. However, since the hearing and the media's distorted reporting of the verdict, there is this rampant misperception on the part of many parents and pediatricians who actually believe that the case is now closed. I can't tell you how many people I've spoken with recently who say "I can relax now, vaccines are safe, there is absolutely no connection between vaccine and autism" What a brilliant accomplishment on the part of the spin doctors! Now it's up to us to help shift the tides by discussing the facts with our friends, relatives, coworkers and anyone else who is inquistivie enough to seek the truth.
If you haven't signed the petition in support of Dr. Wakefield, go to wwwRaisingHealthyKidsNaturally.blogspot.com
Maureen H. McDonnell, rN
Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet www.SOKHOP.com

What great news! We are so behind you.
Maurine

This is the news I hardly dared to hope for! At last he will now defend his actions with the proper vigour. Godspeed to this good man. He will be vindicated and he has not abandoned those children who so desperately need him on their side.

I hope he can bust this whole paridigm open. Maybe also look at OTHER viruses along side the MMR, that also may be ciruclating in the gut and brain, such as HHV6 A and B, Strep Gamma, Klebsiella, Citrobacter, Retroviruses like XMRV, HIV like viruses, even lyme spirochetes. Time to open this wicked can open. PCR DNA the hell out of random VACCINES, and show us what is REALLY in them. Time to show the world that once you are immunocompromised by vaccines, or in utero viruses, you can get any infection in your body. Even HIV kids get enterocolitis?

Wow, what I relief! He has been in my prayers everday since the ruling. He has sacrificed so much for our community.

RE: the hearings. Why weren't the other 10 co-authors who retracted charged with ethics violations? I mean if the GMC thinks the way the study was conducted was so horrible then why weren't all those involved brought up on these charges, why only the three that refused to retract? Fair question, no?

It looks like some journal publishers are a little dodgy in their dealings. It is good that there are journals like PLOS that enable scientists to publish without fear of commercial interests squashing the results, and that the papers are freely available.

In my field (Electrical Engineering) publishing is dominated by the IEEE, which is a cooperative-like organisation which publishes for the benefit of members and society, not for shareholders. Biological sciences seem to have gone the other way, with commercial publishers ruling the roost. Perhaps scientific and medical societies need to join together to get the critical mass required for their own publishing.

Thank you Helkle and Sue for commenting on Elsevier. I've learned so much.

From an article regarding the inquisition:

"A challenge is also being mounted against the withdrawal of the childrens' legal funding in 2004 concerning High Court Judge Sir Nigel Davis failure to disclose his brother was main board director of the MMR vaccine manufacturer's parent company GlaxoSmithKline plc and Chief Executive of the Lancet medical journal. Judge Davis' brother is Sir Crispin Davis (57)."

Apparently, not just Chief Exec of the Lancet medical journal.....

From an article regarding Reed Elsevier's sale of its magazine arm which included Variety and Publisher's Weekly:

"According to the official statement, parent company Reed Elsevier chief exec Crispin Davis said the move was aimed at “reducing exposure to advertising markets and cyclicality,” enabling the Anglo-Dutch group to focus on its core business of “subscription-based information and workflow solutions.”

I also came across this interesting info:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/jun/20/pressandpublishing.medicineandhealth

Seems that Elsevier may be regularly involved in censorship of science at the bidding of its corporate stake holders.

"IBM fights to suppress cancer probe
Computer giant accused of persuading scientific journal to block academic investigation of illness in employees
Robin McKie, science editor
"The Observer, Sunday 20 June 2004 00.47 BST
Scientists have voted to boycott an international journal after its owners blocked publication of a paper claiming large numbers of IBM workers have died prematurely of cancers and other diseases.

The development is unprecedented and has triggered a battle between the computer company and researchers. IBM says the paper is flawed but denies putting pressure on the publishing group Elsevier to stop the paper's publication."

It appears there may be many scientists whose "inconvenient" research has been similarly, but less publically, suppressed by Elsevier et al.

Then there are those pesky questions about Elsevier's connections with arms trading.

I once held Elsevier science publications in high regard. I see now that my regard for these publications was seriously misplaced.

Godspeed to Dr. Wakefield.


“I have always followed the principle that good medicine, and ultimately good science, begins and ends with the patient. We need to remember that the purpose of medical science is not to serve the medical industry but rather the interests of the patients the industry serves.”

AMEN

The fake journals published by Elsevier were, in fact, sponsored by Merck and contained articles almost exclusively favorable to all of Merck's products. This company is entirely in bed with the pharmaceutical industry -- there is no distinction between the two. That they would need to try to bury alive Wakefield and his trailblazing research should come as a surprise to no one.

You go Andrew! This way he can speak his mind without putting Thoughtful House in the firing line. Too many families depend on Thoughtful House. Lord knows what they have been threatened with.
I hope he takes the gloves off and exposes every dirty secret of that GMC mess.

Dear Dr. Wakefield,

The obstacles in front of you are considerable, but I believe that it is your willingness to confront the opposition head on that will win this battle. Just as the cream rises to the top of the pitcher so will the truth and you will be vindicated.

I am so glad to see this! It is great news for so many sick children and hopefully a better spot for Dr.Wakefield to continue the research that is so needed. Thank you for always thinking of the children first.

Remember Andy, hope is a good thing.....for all of us.

Thanks Dr. Wakefield for staying the course. We appreciate your tireless efforts to help our children.

We got your back, Dr Wakefield! Keep up the good science, we'll keep spreading the word.

To the poster who was wondering about Elsevier. Elsevier was found to have published 6 FAKE journals, not too long ago.

http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55679/

YEEEESSS! Good luck and best wishes Dr Wakefield, on this new part of your particular journey. There are tens of thousands behind you who have the utmost faith in your integrity and sincerity.

Just wondering about "Elsevier." Is this the same Elsevier that has offices in St. Louis, MO, USA?

Great news! I am so glad to hear that he will be speaking publicly about the charges against him, and will be exposing his accusers to the scrutiny they deserve!

If I was him I would move to Bora-Bora and give the press the middle finger. I certainly hope to hear more from him, but if he vanishes off the face of the earth for a season he has my support.

I am ever closer to that tomato Andy.

It takes time though.

http://kdcomm.net/~tomato/p20.htm

"Hey now, you're an All Star, get your game on, go play!" Looking forward to more help from Dr. Wakefield!

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