Whistleblower Scientist Accuses British Medical Journal of Institutional Research Misconduct
Actions of BMJ Editor and Reporter “More Tabloid News than Science” According to Dr. David Lewis, and “a Genuine Threat to Public Health”
WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 9, 2012 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. David Lewis, internationally known whistleblower and respected expert on institutional fraud, released a report today calling for a formal investigation into the practices of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and specifically into the actions of its editor, Dr. Fiona Godlee, and Brian Deer, a reporter she hired to write a series of articles which appeared in the journal beginning on January 4, 2011.
The BMJ articles accuse Dr. Andrew Wakefield of committing scientific fraud in a 1998 Lancet publication he co-authored that brought global attention to a link many parents and physicians suspect may exist between autism and children who are genetically predisposed to adverse reactions from the Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The BMJ, Deer, and Godlee alleged that Wakefield fabricated a diagnosis of colitis in most of the 12 children described in The Lancet article — calling Wakefield’s work an "elaborate fraud" intended to create an "MMR scare" — so Wakefield could profit from a patent related to his research.
“Documents recovered from Dr. Wakefield's files during my investigation at the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) - www.researchmisconduct.org - reveal that a pathologist associated with the study, Dr. Andrew Anthony, interpreted a number of the children's biopsies as evidence of colitis,” explained Dr. Lewis. “Altogether, the evidence contained in Wakefield's files suggested to me that the BMJ's fraud theory was more tabloid news than science.”
According to documents Lewis filed with Sir John Tooke, Vice-Provost for Health at the University College London (UCL) where The Lancet study was done, BMJ Editor Godlee responded to the Lewis revelations by “cherry-picking the evidence and coming up with a grand conspiracy theory involving ‘institutional research misconduct’. Alleged fraudsters now include University College London (UCL) administrators, the Royal Free Hospital, and all 13 co-authors of the Lancet study.”
UCL President Malcolm Grant notified Lewis that, because his charges were “so serious,” he urged Dr. Lewis to inform Dr. Godlee and Deer “at the earliest opportunity.”
Lewis also reports that Godlee has previously acknowledged the BMJ Group receives funding from the two manufacturers of the MMR vaccine, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, and has testified in a Parliamentary inquiry that peer-reviewed medical journals are “the marketing arm of the pharmaceutical industry.” Lewis added: “Apparently scientists who question certain government policies and industry practices can be destroyed for a price. If so, this kind of tabloid science poses a genuine threat to public health.”
On January 3, 2012, Dr. Wakefield filed suit against the BMJ and Brian Deer ( http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/04/BritMedJ.pdf ). Last September, Columbia University published a major study supporting the link Dr. Wakefield established between autism and enterocolitis ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3174969/ ).
Lewis Investigation Available Online:
Dr. Lewis’ detailed investigation of the BMJ series in question can be downloaded from the following URL:
Expires: January 19, 2012 09:40 PST
About Dr. David Lewis:
Dr. David Lewis, a member of the NWC Board of Directors and Director of its Research Misconduct Project, is a former senior-level research microbiologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He was the only EPA scientist to ever publish first-authored research articles in Lancet and Nature. His research published in Lancet and Nature Medicine on the inadequacy of CDC guidelines to prevent transmission of HIV in dentistry prompted the current heat sterilization standard for dentistry in the mid-1990s. His environmental research published in Nature received the Science Achievement Award by the EPA Administrator in 2000. Editors at Annals of Internal Medicine rated him in the top 10 percent of reviewers in 2010. His accomplishments in medical and environmental research have been widely covered in professional, scientific and popular publications and broadcasts including Nature, Science, Lancet, JAMA, National Geographic, Reader's Digest, Voice of America, Paul Harvey News, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, NY Times, Washington Post, London Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, PBS Healthweek, PBS Technopolitics, CBS Evening News, ABC's Primetime Live, and BBC Panorama.
Dr. Lewis's direct contact information: (706) 296 3675
About the BMJ:
The British Medical Journal is a highly regarded, peer-reviewed scientific journal sent to more than 100,000 doctors internationally, many of whom have stakes in vaccine usage.
Fiona I assummed you meant would do the editing?
Did you hear Kim's joke, (snicker)
It comes out Godless?
Posted by: Benedetta | August 12, 2012 at 08:44 AM
"BMJ sent back Lewis's longer verison of a reply and requested he shorten it. I beleive they even requested that he let them do it for him?.
But he shortened it himself and sent it back and they still took some of his stuff out. " yes ,that is what I understood too . I just wondered if , since that time, he di not get other documents - presumably by foia- .
Posted by: Fever | August 12, 2012 at 03:21 AM
BMJ sent back Lewis's longer verison of a reply and requested he shorten it. I beleive they even requested that he let them do it for him?.
But he shortened it himself and sent it back and they still took some of his stuff out.
Editing itchy fingers.
I thought this was a recent conference here just recently, because I was looking at the date below and it said August 2012 - but I guess it could have been earlier. I don't know.
I found it on the side bar up at the righ top of the Age of Autism, where they put the news articles.
Posted by: Benedetta | August 11, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Would you make it clear if David Lewis did produce new evidence during this conference ( new comparing to the report he sent to the three institutions ) . The document he got from FOIA perhaps ? Thank you .
PS : What I retained is that , in May , the 3 institutions had not answered David Lewis's report ! ( I doubt they'll do it now )
Posted by: Fever | August 11, 2012 at 05:30 PM
To Benedetta : Thank you very much for the link ! If I am correct the video features a part of the annual conference that took place May 23 - May 27, 2012 in Yorktown ,doesn't it ?
research misconduct project : http://www.whistleblowers.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1220&Itemid=190
Posted by: Fever | August 11, 2012 at 05:02 PM
David Lewis was on this U tube speaking. Kim, Dan and Mark introduced him.
David Lewis then slowly pieced a lot of stuff he has been working on.
I thought that link should go here.
Posted by: Benedetta | August 11, 2012 at 09:21 AM
To Jenny Allan : Thank you for your comment . You recalled :"Inaccurate statements about our operations or affiliations can cause confusion and distress to the whistleblowers and others who use UKRIO’s services." This was refering to an article by Aniket Tavare -published 29 December 2011 - which I have no full access to http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d8212?ijkey=8fef10e6014beff15daade0eaedb8e38bdc4bacf&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha&linkType=FULL&journalCode=bmj&resid=343/dec28_2/d8212 Perhaps James Parry should be questionned on that ?
Posted by: Fever | August 11, 2012 at 09:11 AM
Thanks for the links Fever
Here's the one to the BMJ response from UKRIO chief executive James Parry
"Reported inaccuracies about the UK Research Integrity Office"(Published 24 January 2012)
"Inaccurate statements about our operations or affiliations can cause confusion and distress to the whistleblowers and others who use UKRIO’s services."
Posted by: Jenny Allan | August 11, 2012 at 07:07 AM
It is several months since Dr David Lewis sent his report to the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE )and the UCL University College London ; so far I have not heard of any result whatsoever . Information would be welcome .
I could not find any trace of David Lewis on UKRIO website , but found this , you may be interested in : http://www.ukrio.org/news/archived-news/
There are several David Lewis . The man in question is this one http://www.whistleblowers.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=74 . This other one developps a research that does not seem irrelevant to me : http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/staff/profile.php?tag=Lewis
Posted by: Fever | August 11, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Brian Deer's letter to Nature regarding David Lewis's report misses its mark. "Essentially healthy" is not the same as "healthy." No one has claimed that the children's bowel inflammation was, in most cases, other than mild. As Dr. Dhillon says in his letter, it's a mistake to automatically apply adult gastrointestinal biopsy histopathological thresholds of normality to children. (I shudder to think what the ravages of time might have done to my own "essentially healthy" gut.)
And invoking his own evaluation of patient clinical histories doesn't really work in Deer's favor. We know what a pig's breakfast he made of the facts in Child 11's case.
As the following quote from a recent study makes clear, gastrointestinal problems such as inflammation in autistic children are being recognized and accepted:
"In their report, published Jan. 10 in the online journal mBio, researchers from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City suggested that this finding could help explain the link between autism and gastrointestinal problems, such as inflammation."
Posted by: Carol | January 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Note the S&T UK parliamentary select committee meeting below was held in the Thatcher Room.
This was Margaret Thatcher's speech on being elected first female UK Prime Minister 30 years ago as recently reported in Time magazine politics section:-
"When Margaret Thatcher, then 53, appeared at the door of 10 Downing Street exactly 30 years ago today, hubris and self-doubt were not things that worried her. Having won the first of what would be three general-election victories, her address to the British people was not modest and self-deprecating in the traditional fashion. She clothed herself, rather, in the words of a saint — Francis of Assisi. "Where there is discord," she quoted, "may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope."
How Mrs Thatcher's own and successive UK Governments have manifestly FAILED to live up to these high ideals.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 13, 2012 at 06:36 AM
From Dhillon's letter:
"Thus the purpose of my grading sheet observations in 1998 was not, could not have been, nor was it intended to conclude the final diagnostic assignment of colitis (which has to be made in the light of full clinical/endoscopic/radiologic/ laboratory data; and response to treatment)
-Therefore on the grading sheets 'nonspecific' means: 'this microscopical appearance doesn’t remind me of any particular disease entity', and this is why in none of my grading sheet observations have I stated 'colitis'."
While Dhillon's letter and his grading sheets don't argue against a diagnosis of colitis in 11 of 12 of the Lancet children, other data must have gone into the creation of Table 1. (At least some of the photomicrographs, for instance, are still available.) I hope Dr. Lewis will make all this plain in his response to Deer's letter in Nature.
Posted by: Carol | January 13, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Deer begins his Nature letter with the following comment:-
"Journalists have for years manufactured baseless controversy over the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine."
Of course 'Investigative Journalist' Brian Deer wouldn't DREAM of doing any such thing. Would HE??!!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 13, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Deer's letter in Journal Nature today 1-12-2012
Posted by: ottoschnaut | January 12, 2012 at 11:19 AM
@ Jenny- Thank you!
The Bolen Report contains a fascinating document- the 17 page demand letter sent to BMJ, Godlee, and Deer late 2011. It is devastating.
Deer's response to Lewis is tedious, predictable, and entirely in character. Notably, the Lewis report confines itself to scientific prose, avoids personal attacks, and prose in the first person. Deer, in contrast, devolves into personal vituperation, extensively utilizes first person, deliberately obfuscates Lewis's cv, denigrates histopathologist as "trainee," and most notably repeatedly ascribes nefarious motives and displays outright persecution complex and paranoia on the part of Deer. This last point is illustrated by Deer's statements that Lewis and Wakefield (and virtually everyone else who disagrees or challenges Deer) are either 1) lying 2) ignorant or unqualified or 3) deliberately seeking to harm Deer.
Deer's response does indeed repeatedly assert that he did not accuse Wakefield of fraud based on the grading sheets. Accordingly one must assume that this is a point of particular vulnerability to Deer, hence his tactic of repeating his lie over and over again. Deer says that the Nature reporter made up the quote by Deer and Godlee published in Nature on line and Scientific American on line.
Posted by: Ottschnaut | January 12, 2012 at 07:31 AM
That's a fascinating quote from Deer's article and shows a man so keen to be right that he is tripping up over himself, without necessarily understanding anything, or even remembering what he's said.
Also, of course he not only sat through the length of GMC he was supposedly the great master of the transcript, so he certainly should not have missed Simon Murch's account of the meeting when the diagnosis was agreed by a team of between 9 and 11 doctors. However, just in case he might have missed it the passage from the transcript was posted by the redoubtable John Richard Smith under his editorial in BMJ http://www.bmj.com/node/536463?tab=responses, so he really ought not be under any illusion now.
Posted by: John Stone | January 11, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Thanks John. Amar Dhillon's recent BMJ testimony is very important, although both Deer and Godlee seem to have developed amnesia about it!!
Prof Dhillon wrote:-
'the significance of the histopathological component of any diagnostic equation depends on consideration of the histopathology within the complete clinical context'.
Brian Deer wrote (in his 2010 Autistic Enterocolitis under the microscope BMJ article):-
'In any case, specialists I’ve consulted say that grading sheets are research tools and don’t generate clinical diagnoses such as colitis. Applying such terminology is a clinical decision: somebody must make a judgment'.
Same thing isn't it?? But Deer seems to have ignored what the specialists told him, AND he has ignored Simon Murch's important GMC testimony regarding the Royal Free research teams regular MDT meetings!!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 11, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Just to repeat a section of Amar Dhillon's statement to BMJ and put this in context:-
'-Several expert gastrointestinal pathologists and gastroenterologists have commented on the grading sheets (BMJ Nov 12 2011) and they have stated that the findings cannot be colitis; however:
'-It is a mistake to apply uncritically adult gastrointestinal biopsy histopathological thresholds of normality vs abnormality to children
'-The expert gastrointestinal pathologist and gastroenterologist commentators have tried to assess the diagnostic implications of data represented in histopathological grading sheets alone
'-This is a fundamental mistake: the significance of the histopathological component of any diagnostic equation depends on consideration of the histopathology within the complete clinical context
' - The current opinions of the experts regarding the significance of the histology grading sheets are subject to retrospective bias by knowledge of events since 1998. At the time of submission of the Lancet 1998 publication I had the clinical, laboratory, endoscopic and histology information presented to me in summary tabular form, and aggregated descriptive text only.
'-My grading sheets were with Andy Wakefield and my general recollection of my impression of my slide review was that some biopsies were a bit inflamed, and others were not: I did not know which case was represented by which set of slides, and which sets of slides were “normal” controls. As far as I recall, the changes were not severe in any of the slides, but it is not unusual for gut mucosal biopsies to show little abnormality even in clinically well defined cases of gastrointestinal disease, particularly in children
'-My clinical colleagues had collated all of the available information, including my microscopical grading sheet observations in the context of their knowledge of each patient’s condition and concluded a final diagnosis of colitis when this was considered by them to be appropriate'
So, Dhillon is telling us some important things: that it is impossible to interpret the grading sheets in isolation from other clinical details and the interpretation was made by a group of colleagues in consultation and not just Wakefield. As we've seen, and Dr Lewis recounts his intervention seems to have led to the goal posts being moved from "fraud" to "research misconduct" involving the entire Royal Free team (which as Prof Murch's recollections show extended well beyond the authors of the paper), and now Deer is trying to move goal post back again, and he has to do that - one assumes - because he is being sued for libel.
Posted by: John Stone | January 11, 2012 at 05:48 PM
To ottoschnaut - Deer is resorting to the finer points of semantics and dissembling weasel words. I'm not surprised you are having trouble accessing these articles. The BMJ is playing 'ducks and drakes' with Godlee's previously piously expressed 'public interest' free access. Decide for yourselves:-
Wakefield’s “autistic enterocolitis” under the microscope
"So who translated these scores on the grading sheet into findings of “non-specific colitis” in the paper?..... I was told, by a senior member of staff at the Royal Free. “Andy [Wakefield] then synthesised their results into what appeared in the paper.”
Wakefield wrote: “When the biopsies were reviewed and scored by experts in bowel pathology—namely, Drs Dhillon and Anthony—these doctors determined that there was mild inflammation in the caecum, ascending colon, and rectum,” he said. “This was correctly reported as non-specific colitis in the Lancet.” In other words, it looks like it was Wakefield who translated the scores.
Meanwhile, the disease born of a deal with a solicitor was last year hammered in a lawsuit. Throwing out a claim for vaccine damage from a patient at Wakefield’s Texas clinic, a US judge said that not only has the “autistic enterocolitis theory not been accepted into gastroenterology textbooks, but that theory, and Dr Wakefield’s role in its development, have been strongly criticised as constituting defective or fraudulent science.”
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 11, 2012 at 05:19 PM
RE: 2010 piece by Deer Autistic Entercolitis Under the Microscope
Lewis says that Deer alleges that Wakefield deliberately misinterpreted the grading sheets. Deer in his lengthy response to Lewis continues to deny that he (Deer) accused Wakefield of fraud on the basis of the grading sheets.
I cannot access the article.
Does Deer accuse Wakefield of fraud based on the grading sheets in the 2010 article?
Posted by: ottoschnaut | January 11, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Just to clear up any Deer induced misunderstanding about colonic inflammation and its relationship to colitis, the following respected UK health webpage has an excellent overview:-
"Colitis means inflammation of the colon.
Ulcerative means that ulcers tend to develop, often in places where there is inflammation."
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 11, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Brian Deer can threaten all he likes!! But he cannot stop people from paraphrasing his webpage reports. In fact, by putting this invective on to his website, and therefore on to the public domain, he has no grounds to complain about his material being reported on other websites, as long as Mr Deer's material is acknowledged as having been written by him and is therefore Deer's intellectual property.(Some MIGHT question the word 'intellectual' being applied to Deer's material).
The following has been sourced from Brian Deer's website article in response to a complaint made by Dr David Lewis about some BMJ articles which were written by Mr Deer:-
Deer begins by stating that the three organisations which Dr Lewis sent his report to, UCL, UKRIO and HEFCE have no jurisdiction over the BMJ journal. This was rather a foolish comment on the part of Deer, in view of the fact that Fiona Godlee, Editor-in-chief of the BMJ has written several BMJ articles and openly written letters making a number of allegations against Dr Wakefield's co-authors and accused them and UCL directors and managers of 'institutional misconduct' and demanding a UCL investigation into all of Dr Wakefield's research.
Dr Godlee sent Deer the histopathology sheets, and within six minutes Deer stated that he was able to interpret them as not reporting colitis, using his 'lay' research knowledge!! He also criticises both Dr Lewis and Dr Anthony for what Deer regards as an apparent lack of professional expertise, claiming that Dr Anthony was still classed as a 'trainee' five years later. Actually this is normal. It takes years to become an expert histopathologist, but Deer of course counts himself as an expert without any training at all!! I laughed at his later comment about a healthy colon being in a permanent state of 'controlled inflammation'. I've never heard of this ridiculous assertion of colonic 'normality', which Deer insists came from an 'expert gastroenterologist'. Step forward please 'expert gastro' and tell us all about this.
The re-writing of Lewis's BMJ rapid response was admitted to have been on legal advice. Deer claims it was 'false and defamatory'. That's a bit rich coming from Deer. The BMJ is under NO OBLIGATION to publish rapid responses at all, and I have quite a collection of rejected ones. The blunt fact is that the BMJ editors rewrote Dr Lewis's article to serve their own ends, and they did this without Dr Lewis's knowledge or permission.
Deer asserts that Dr Godlee is responsible for what appears in the BMJ and that she cannot stop Deer from taking action to defend his so called 'professional integrity' against the allegations contained within Dr Lewis's report.
This looks suspiciously like Deer 'breaking ranks' with the BMJ.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 10, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Get a load of Deer's response to the Lewis complaint on his website:
Brian Deer threatens anyone who dares to reproduce any of his website stuff with litigation, although Martin Walker ignored that when responding to Deer's vile invective against him!
Deer describes, the report by distinguished scientist Dr David Lewis as "strange accusations by a retired sewage sludge expert"
Read for yourselves-and laugh!! This is a typical vintage Deer rant. I think it is quite appropriate for 'a retired sewage sludge expert' to compile a report complaining about Deer's vile BMJ allegations and invective.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 10, 2012 at 08:42 PM
The most important action that could ever have been taken in this issue was simply that parents, carers and children were listened to each individually.
Then their children professionally clinically examined and a proposed treatment regime implemented.
That's what John Walker-Smith did in his role as doctor and a clinician.
There is an immense sadness I feel ... so I let you all know doctor, advocate, parent, child and community my best wishes and gratitude for your persistence in this matter.
Posted by: Gratitude | January 10, 2012 at 02:40 AM
I hope this news meets the light of day. Two bits it won't except in our community. No one can imagine a Matt Laeur I am sorry moment...never...it will never happen. Even though it is so very justified and honorable to do so. Let's keep our heads high here folks, when truth is truth, it always rises to the surface.
Posted by: kathy blanco | January 09, 2012 at 11:21 PM
To those mentioning the Greg Abbott AG action in Texas about Risperdal, please note that at the time all these shenanigans were going on at J&J, a prominent member of the Risperdal marketing team was none other than Peter Bell.
Posted by: somedaywewillwin | January 09, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Mary Martin Walker gave up many months of his life attending ,taking notes this
"Mr Miller read out 16 testimonials before the morning break and 17 following the morning break before the appearance in person of the two character witnesses for Professor Walker-Smith. I have quoted some of these testimonies, at the very least they show a striking solidarity from the medical profession with Professor Walker-Smith and at the most between the lines they message the hypocrisy and stupidity of the GMC's fraudulent prosecution.
'I am a Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist ... I was very soon impressed by Professor Walker-Smith’s immense knowledge in the field of Paediatric Gastroenterology as well as by his kind and compassionate attitude towards his patients.'"
Posted by: Angus Files | January 09, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I just wish this trial would be put on the internet for the whole world to see how they are being deceived by Deer, Godlee, BMJ and those that impugn others to serve their own interest.
Posted by: Mary | January 09, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Supplementary to this is the detailed statement of Dr Dhillon, the senior histopathologist in the Wakefield Lancet paper, published in BMJ in November:
and Prof Simon Murch's evidence to the GMC hearing (Friday 16 January 2009, day 113 p.43-44) regarding the meeting to resolve Dr Davies's doubts about the biopsy results prior to the publication of the paper (about which not a word from Deer):-
Counsel Q Was there any meeting about the histology section?
Murch A Yes, I recall a meeting. I suspect that I may not be alone with that, but I do have a very good recollection of the meeting. I think the reason was initially that Dr Davies had seen the draft of the paper and just wondered whether the description of the histology perhaps oversold it. In other words, was the description in the paper something that was rather more florid than the lesion she remembered and thus my recollection is that she arranged a lunchtime meeting – I believe it was Friday, that is possibly irrelevant – in the manner of our normal histology meeting in the same place, in the histology seminar room, where the various pathologists who had seen the tissues attended at the same time and so this would be from the paper Dr Anthony —
Q I want to run through a list of names and then if I miss out anyone then of course add them in. Let us start off with Dr Davies; was she present at that meeting?
A She was indeed.
Q Professor Walker-Smith?
Q Dr Thomson?
Q Obviously yourself.
Q Dr Andrew Anthony?
Q Dr Dhillon?
Q Dr Heuschkel?
A I believe that Dr Heuschkel was present, yes. I am less certain about that, but that is my recollection from that meeting.
Q Dr Casson?
A I believe so, yes.
Q Dr Malik?
A I also believe so, yes.
Q Dr Wakefield?
Q Are there any others you remember being present at that meeting?
A I think Dr Alan Phillips may have been there as well but I cannot recall with certainty.
Q Were the original histology slides that had gone to Dr Davies’ lab looked at at that meeting?
A They were.
Q What was the outcome of that meeting about the description of the histology?
A That all the pathologists present when the slides were reviewed case by case agreed that the wording in the paper – we had a table of the histological findings, which I believe will be as seen in the paper here – they all agreed that the wording was reasonable. So I think that Dr Davies was then satisfied that the paper could go forward for publication without change in the histological description.”
Posted by: John Stone | January 09, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Regarding another whistleblower, Allen Jones:
....."Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is pitted against one of the largest multinational pharmaceutical companies in a trial starting this week that could bring the state more than $1 billion - one of its largest potential awards since a multibillion-dollar tobacco settlement in 1998.
Do I understand that ANY attorney general of ANY state can sue a pharmaceutical company directly for a dangerous product ??? Even a vaccine ?????
Posted by: cmo | January 09, 2012 at 04:59 PM
It has been very quiet over here also, even though we recently had an ongoing facebook - faceoff- about the rise of Whooping cough due to parents not vaccinating. The "skeptic parties'" sceptics weren't as fierce as usual. Dr Andrew Wakefield was only mentioned once during my log on (and I was logged on all day).
Last year (given the same topic) Dr Andrew Wakefield's name would have dominated the topic.
This defamation outcome will be very interesting!
Posted by: AussieMum | January 09, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Harvey Marcovitch - The lord high EVERYWHERE ELSE!!
Thanks Jake-I wonder if Marcovitch 'jumped ship' at the BMJ or 'walked the plank'! Expect a few more rats to desert this sinking (stinking) BMJ ship.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I just read Dr. Lewis' report. OMG
You would never know from Deer or Godlee that photomicrographs of the biopsy slides exist for all but one of the Lancet children.
When a poster on another blog speculated about the existence of the paraffin blocks and wondered about the disappearance of the biopsy slides, Deer responded that the paraffin blocks were still in existence and that they should be reanalyzed. He then went on to say that the "surfacing of histopathology raw data" had wholly vindicated him. I'm pretty sure he's not talking about the photomicrographs there. Deer never mentions the existence of photomicrographs, though it would have been a natural place to do so for, you know, an honest person.
Posted by: Carol | January 09, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Looks like the Lord High Everything Else...
Page 43 (p. 61 of PDF)
Subject: Re: NWC Board Meeting
From: HARVEY MARCOVITCH Hide
Date: Fri, Oct 14, 2011, 11:15 am
Dear Dr Lewis,
I no longer have any association with BMJ Publishing Group so cannot assist with your query.
Yet he's still listed as an associate editor both in his BMJ bio and on the journal's masthead:
I guess he just didn't want to assist with Dr. Lewis' query.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | January 09, 2012 at 03:58 PM
There is some humor here. As pointed out by samaxtics earlier post, one can only wonder at Deer's reaction to the questions posed in the NWC response e-mail. How dare NWC ask Deer about conflicts of interest, funding sources, data sources, etc. Why the very cheek of those people!
Deer's response paraphrased, in 30 years of investigative journalism I have never been so impugned, etc, is really quite a hoot. Literally sputtering.
Posted by: Ottoschnaut | January 09, 2012 at 03:50 PM
You know, John, I was just thinking that Dr. Wakefield's study and procedure is all so straighforward, yet to explain the big kafuffle over it all has been tough. Brian Deer has woven a complicated network of lies, mischaracterizations, cherry picking. It is astounding the lengths he went to to present this "take" on Wakefield's research. He should be very worried now.
Posted by: Jen | January 09, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I would not like to say anything about Deer's personality or mental health, but this does keep on happening - if you see what he's said about Rosemary Kessick, Isabella Thomas, Andrew Wakefield, Martin Walker or me.
Posted by: John Stone | January 09, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Dr Wakefields integrity shall win the day for us all which has been rock steady all along.
Thanks Dr Wakefield
Posted by: Angus Files | January 09, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Reply to John Stone
"...remarkable how Mr Deer always seems to impute great personal unpleasantness to anyone disagreeing with his conclusions".....this is a classic example of the Narcissistic Personality John.
This excellent Lewis report does take some time to read and I notice it has gone very quiet at the moment on the smug anti Wakefield sites after I posted it up on a few of them early this morning...America is waking up to some real news lately.
Could it be it´s beginning to get their attention John?
Posted by: Patricia | January 09, 2012 at 12:19 PM
The papers concerning the introduction in the UK of the dangerous Urabe Mumps containing MMR vaccine in 1988, were recently released into the public domain under the 20 year rule. This information was NOT reported widely in the UK, but two Scottish newspapers, The Herald and the Scottish Daily Mail put out the information.
Almost immediately, the UK Government moved to RE SUPPRESS the crucial fact that they had been warned about this vaccine before its introduction and that it was in use for three damaging years before being banned. The Herald internet copy was edited and is now archived. It is obvious from this that public concerns about the safety of the MMR vaccine were widespread in the UK LONG BEFORE the 1998 Wakefield et al Lancet article.
From the article:-
FRIDAY 21 MAY 2010
"Concerns about the adverse side-effects of the MMR vaccine have dogged it ever since it was introduced, according to the newly released files.
In a letter sent the UK department of health in October 1989, a Scottish Office official noted: “My medical colleagues here have had some feedback from those responsible in health boards for immunisation expressing concerns about reactions to the MMR vaccine.
“These reactions are almost always relatively mild and include pyrexia, some swelling of the parotid gland and a fleeting rash.
“It is reported to us that a few mothers are having second thoughts about having their children immunised.”
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 09, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Wow! Just finished reading the download. Brian's response to the questions asked by the NWC will have me smiling all day. I picture a much shorter and plumper Basil Fawlty sans moustache going off!
A big thank you to Dr. Lewis for all his efforts and patience! I really appreciated his explanation about the patent.
Posted by: samaxtics | January 09, 2012 at 11:38 AM
This is a brilliant and enlightening report. Thank you so much Dr Lewis, who produced this in his own time, entirely without any outside request or expectation of any monetary or other reward.
I hope those culpable medical and political leaders in the UK are made to hang their heads in shame!! As for Deer and Godlee, they should face criminal charges for the terrible damage they have caused.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 09, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Andrew Wakefield, MD Speaks to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
The first 6-7 minutes covers quite a bit...
1986 Canada: Urabe AM9 mumps strain-MMR (Trivirix vaccine) causes meningitis with a 30 day incubation period.
February 1988, Trivirix withdrawn in Quebec, Canada,
June 1988 Trivirix RENAMED Pluserix
July 1988, Trivirix vaccine withdrawn in Montreal, Canada
July 1988, the UK/GSB Pluserix vaccine licensed in the UK. (1/4 the cost of the Merck MMR II vaccine)
September 1992 Pluserix withdrawn in the UK. Cover up activity begins...
difficult to find a problem here... but the problems are just beginning...
Posted by: cmo | January 09, 2012 at 10:57 AM
The truth will out.
Posted by: Isabella Thomas | January 09, 2012 at 10:56 AM
I am stock-piling the forks! They will need them to choke down the crow...and I'm sending one to Anderson Cooper first! We stand united with you, Dr. Wakefield, and Dr. Lewis, thank you!!!
Posted by: Elsie | January 09, 2012 at 10:45 AM
Callous Disregard is undoubtedly an easier read than Dr Lewis's 168 page independent investigation, which readers should not forget to download.
Posted by: John Stone | January 09, 2012 at 10:30 AM
And when will Anderson Cooper, Matt Lauer and Sanjay Gupta be reporting on this? If it was such big news then it should be now. I bet Cooper is embarrassed that he didn't fact check more before "interviewing" Dr. wakefiled - it's not that tough/long a read (Callous Disregard).
Posted by: Jen | January 09, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Agreed- where are the answers??? Huge thanks to everyone who relentlessly pursues these wrongdoers. I am pleased we are starting to see results!!
Posted by: Casey O | January 09, 2012 at 09:40 AM
Given the hooha that Brian Deer and BMJ made in emails published in David Lewis's report over his presence at the Jamaica conference it is remarkable that there is no declaration by them about Deer's pharmaceutical conference appearance in November.
I, of course, wrote to them at the time pointing it out.
Is there no end to the double standards.
Also, remarkable how Mr Deer always seems to impute great personal unpleasantness to anyone disagreeing with his conclusions.
Posted by: John Stone | January 09, 2012 at 09:25 AM
Regarding another whistleblower, Allen Jones:
"Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is pitted against one of the largest multinational pharmaceutical companies in a trial starting this week that could bring the state more than $1 billion - one of its largest potential awards since a multibillion-dollar tobacco settlement in 1998.
Abbott is charging that Johnson & Johnson Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical LLC and five other related companies defrauded the state in a "sophisticated marketing scheme" that caused the Texas Medicaid Program to pay too much for Janssen's schizophrenia drug Risperdal, the lawsuit says.
The state also questions the companies' marketing practices and alleges that the companies misled state health officials about the drug's effectiveness, the risk of side effects and its suitability for pediatric use.
The trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today in Judge John Dietz's 250th state District Court in Travis County.
....The lawsuit says that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries employed suspect tactics in order to sell Risperdal in the public sector, which promised to be especially lucrative. Eighty-five percent of Risperdal's revenue was projected to come from the public sector, because schizophrenic adults tend to be poor and uninsured."
Posted by: Carol | January 09, 2012 at 09:00 AM
Well done Dr Lewis .What sor of planet is Godlee on when she thinks she can post medical files of the most vulnerable people
and get away with it .Its early days yet and I probably have another 30 years before I depart this planet so for the next how long it takes I shall be watching...
Posted by: Angus Files | January 09, 2012 at 07:21 AM
Dr Lewis investigation is full of gem quotes:
"To support their new fraud theory, Godlee, Deer, and the BMJ's lawyers engaged in the most reprehensible conduct I have ever witnessed involving any scientific journal" (p3)
"Dr. Godlee's excuse for not obtaining informed consent before publishing the children's medical records is even more disturbing." (p7)
Is this worthy of Levinson inquiry or what ;)
Posted by: I could not resist :) | January 09, 2012 at 07:02 AM
Many people are asking why it has taken so long myself included we must realise that Andrew Wakefield and his solicitors have had to collate all of the paperwork and go through with a fine tooth comb this must take a mountain of time and effort , everything has to be exactly right and thorough , and i for one am very pleased that Andrew Wakefield has taken this stance you can only listen to so many lies about yourself then you have little choice but to act
Posted by: Debra | January 09, 2012 at 06:40 AM
Let them answer!
Posted by: John Stone | January 09, 2012 at 06:13 AM