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Thursday
Jan062011

The Vaccine Scare + Lawyers

Are lawyers looking to sue drug companies behind for the bogus vaccine autism study?

There's a lot of news about Dr. Andrew Wakefield and the dirty vaccine study.

Here's part of a  CNN story. What I find most disturbing is a sentence that I've bolded at the end.

Vaccination rates dropped sharply in Britain after its publication, falling as low as 80% by 2004. Measles cases have gone up sharply in the ensuing years.

In the United States, more cases of measles were reported in 2008 than in any other year since 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 90% of those infected had not been vaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown, the CDC reported.

"But perhaps as important as the scare's effect on infectious disease is the energy, emotion and money that have been diverted away from efforts to understand the real causes of autism and how to help children and families who live with it," the BMJ editorial states.

Wakefield has been unable to reproduce his results in the face of criticism, and other researchers have been unable to match them.

Most of his co-authors withdrew their names from the study in 2004 after learning he had had been paid by a law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers -- a serious conflict of interest he failed to disclose...

...According to BMJ, Wakefield received more than 435,000 pounds ($674,000) from the lawyers.

A law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers paid the doc almost seven hundred thousand dollars to fund a study so that they could begin suing manufacturers? This may be the most cynical ambulance-chasing I've ever heard of.

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