In order to be approved and stay on the market, a drug needs to be both safe and effective. That's not asking so much, is it, given the billions that drug makers rake in every year, especially from the monopolistic, government-indemnified vaccine program?
But based on that scorecard, the MMR vaccine is now batting 0 for 2 and looking more forlorn than the Red Sox in September. Senior Scientist William Thompson from the CDC stepped forward last month to call BS on a major CDC study exonerating the mumps, measles, rubella shot as having any connection to autism.
Now a U.S. District Court judge has refused to dismiss a case brought by two Merck scientist-whistleblowers who allege Merck -- the only manufacturer of the MMR in the U.S. -- committed wholesale fraud to hide the truth that the mumps component no longer works as promised. That, they allege, is a crime against the U.S. government -- and ultimately taxpayers like you and me -- which spends hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the vaccine each year.
No wonder the judge let the case proceed (along with parts of a second, related class action suit): The evidence is strong, including a one-page internal Merck memo that outlined exactly what researchers were supposed to do to get the desired result, no matter the real data. Next up: demands by the whistleblowers for "discovery" of other internal Merck documents and data.
Stay tuned: If this gets to a jury -- and the whistleblowers give no indication they can be bought off for a measly few million bucks -- there could be hell to pay. Or at least a few billion. Strike 3!
Here's a CNN iReport on it: Merck's Motion to Dismiss Denied in Mumps Whistleblower Suits