The wagons circle ever tighter. Former IACC head, Dr. Tom Insel, has joined Dr. Paul Offit's autism science foundation. We've been through gallons of ink writing about Dr. Insel over the years and the complete and utter failure of IACC to respond to the autism emergency. A few posts are below.
Dr. Offit has been the public voice of autism/vaccine denial. And he has been accepted as an autism expert. Rather strange considering that he is a pediatric infectious disease specialist and he has never treated children with autism in a clinical practice. In fact, he does not see any patients at CHOP. If you go to the infectious disease department, he does not have a "see patients" link like the others in the department. JB Handley called his office many years ago to schedule an appointment with this self-proclaimed autism medical expert. No soap. Dr. Offit spends his time traveling about telling healthcare professionals how to browbeat parents into vaccinating their children. He has written books about what treatments don't work for autism. That's helpful to families yes? He held the patent on a vaccine that is now part of the pediatric vaccination schedule in America - Mark Blaxill wrote a series of articles:
- Offit Cashes In: Closing the Books on the Vaccine Profits of a Merck-Made Millionaire
- The Offit Index: Tracking a Patent Owner’s Ongoing Financial Interest in One Vaccine’s Sales
- Voting Himself Rich: CDC Vaccine Adviser Made $29 Million Or More After Using Role to Create Market
- Counting Offit’s Millions: More on How Merck’s Rotateq Vaccine Made Paul Offit Wealthy
- Thomas Insel's Conflicted Role on Vaccines and Autism
And now Dr. Tom Insel is officially part of Dr. Paul Offit's organization. Isn't that nifty! Two brave men phighting phor phamilies and their phuture. Huzzah!
Dr. Julie Gerberding left CDC to join Merck as President of their Vaccine Division, she was promoted to GOD or something later, Queen of Everything Medical Worldwide might have been the title. Merck makes Dr. Offit's RotaTeq vaccine. Circle those wagons, pard'ners!
Head spinning yet?
Just another day in the world of sick kids and a government, industry, public health, medical industry kick in the ass to autism families from coast to coast.
Below are some articles you might find interesting as you learn about ASF's newest board member.
When Vaccine Development is a Family Business: The Insel Brothers
By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill
(Four Insel Brothers, Four MDs (left to right) Jonathan, Richard, Thomas, and Paul)
Thomas R. Insel, the psychiatrist in charge of autism research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has a family connection to one of the vaccines potentially implicated in the sharp rise in autism rates since 1990. His brother, Richard A. Insel, was part of both the research team that developed the vaccine for Haemophilus influenza B (Hib) and the company that profited from the introduction of the first commercial Hib vaccine formulation. Richard Insel was a co-founder and director of Praxis Biologics--a vaccine development company in Rochester, New York--that together with a research team at the University of Rochester developed and then sold HibTITER®, a vaccine for Hib first licensed for children in December 1988 and for infants in October 1990. Largely based on the momentum of its successful Hib vaccine, Praxis Biologics was sold in 1989 to American Cyanamid in a deal valued at $190 million. As co-founder and director, Richard Insel held shares that gave him a 2% interest in the company, making his personal share of the transaction worth close to $4 million.
Despite his family connection to the Hib vaccine, there is neither evidence nor suggestion of undisclosed financial conflict on Thomas Insel’s part; all the Praxis Biologics transactions and development activity associated with HibTITER® occurred at least twenty years ago and involved his brother, Richard Insel. Nor has Richard Insel been involved in autism research in any way. But HibTITER® contained the ethyl mercury-based preservative thimerosal, a vaccine component that has been at the center of an ongoing controversy in autism. Many organizations concerned over vaccine safety, including many autism groups, have been asking for increased NIH funding for vaccine safety research, including research into the effects of thimerosal. In that context, Age of Autism’s investigation of Thomas Insel’s familial link to a thimerosal-containing vaccine developed by his brother raises important questions, and advocates for more research on a possible link reacted strongly to the connection.
Put simply, Thomas Insel presides over the NIH research into the causes of autism. In his dual capacity as autism planner and brother (see HERE), responding to these concerns would require him to address a personally difficult question: Did his brother help develop a product that increased the risk of autism in children?
IACC's Tom Insel Must Go
By Dan Olmsted
Thomas Insel, the feckless factotum who heads the committee that will decide the future of the autism epidemic, needs to follow Dr. Story Landis (HERE) out the door TODAY and resign as chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Tomorrow is too long.