Vaccine study's author held related patent!!!

Jodi - posted on 01/12/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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(CNN) -- The author of a now-retracted study linking autism to childhood vaccines expected a related medical test to rack up sales of up to $43 million a year, a British medical journal reported Tuesday.

The report in the medical journal BMJ is the second in a series sharply critical of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who reported the link in 1998. It follows the journal's declaration last week that the 1998 paper in which Wakefield first suggested a connection between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine was an "elaborate fraud."

The venture "was to be launched off the back of the vaccine scare, diagnosing a purported -- and still unsubstantiated -- 'new syndrome,'" BMJ reported Tuesday. A prospectus for potential investors suggested that a test for the disorder Wakefield dubbed "autistic enterocolitis" could produce as much as 28 million pounds ($43 million U.S.) in revenue, the journal reported, with "litigation driven testing" of patients in the United States and Britain its initial market.

Among his partners in the enterprise was the father of one of the 12 children in the 1998 study that launched the controversy, the journal reported.

In 2010, after a lengthy investigation, British authorities stripped Wakefield of his medical license, and the Lancet -- which published his original study -- retracted the paper. He has denied any wrongdoing, and a vocal contingent of advocates for children with autism continues to support him.

Wakefield did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN. But in an interview on an internet radio site Tuesday, Wakefield again defended his research and called the BMJ series "utter nonsense."

He said the patent he held was not for a test or an alternative to the MMR vaccine, as BMJ reported, but an "over-the-counter nutritional supplement" that boosts the immune system. And he blasted allegations that he used the cases of the 12 children in his study to promote his business venture.

"The children were not exploited," he said. "They were seen because they were sick. They had clinical referrals. They came to us. We responded to a crisis."

He also repeated his attack on the author of the BMJ report, freelance journalist Brian Deer, whom he has accused of being paid by the pharmaceutical industry. In financial disclosure forms, Deer has stated that he has received no such payments.

Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, said that if true, the latest BMJ allegations would indicate a major ethical breach.

"Assuming the facts Deer lays out are correct, it is disappointing that Wakefield in his book casts aspersions on others for all their purported conflicts of interests and failures of disclosure, yet does not examine the same issues in himself," Wiznitzer said. "Therefore, those who are trying to objectively evaluate the situation have up to this point not been given all the facts."

BMJ reported the business venture failed to launch after Wakefield's superiors at University College London's medical school raised concerns in 1999 about a "serious conflict of interest" between his research and the company formed to launch his new product.

"This concern arose originally because the company's business plan appears to depend on premature, scientifically unjustified publication of results, which do not conform to the rigorous academic and scientific standards that are generally expected," a letter stated. But the university offered him a year's paid absence and help in replicating his original research with a larger group of 150 children in the name of "good scientific practice."

The follow-up study never occurred, and no other research has duplicated Wakefield's original findings, BMJ reported. He left the university in 2001, and BMJ quotes his former boss as saying the school "paid him to go away."

The BMJ pieces are a series of investigative reports, not a clinical study. The journal's editor-in-chief, Fiona Godlee, said last week that of the 12 children Wakefield examined in his 1998 Lancet paper, five showed developmental problems before receiving the MMR vaccine and three never had autism.

According to BMJ, Wakefield received more than 435,000 pounds (about $674,000) from lawyers trying to build a case against vaccine manufacturers -- a serious conflict of interest he failed to disclose. Most of his co-authors abandoned the study in 2004, when those payments were revealed.

The now-discredited paper panicked many parents and led to a sharp drop in the number of children getting the vaccine that prevents measles, mumps and rubella. 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.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/11...

Thoughts?
Does anyone seriously STILL believe this study is valid?

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Jodi - posted on 01/12/2011

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Lisa, you weren't aware that it was a study of 12 children? It was probably one of the things BEFORE it was discredited that totally turned me away from the study. 12 children, and never reproduced by any other researcher. And Dana is right, a study with so little credibility in the first place has still done its damage, because we have still seen someone here recently calling Wakefeld *brilliant* (barf).

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Amanda - posted on 01/13/2011

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I always hit "post" to soon LOL.



Also the use of medications to get pregnant have increased, which is a known to raise the risk of having a child with autism. As well people are waiting to later ages to have children, which is another well known cause to raise the risk of also having a child with autism. There are many studies that show this, and later if I recall I will look for them.



Ha its ok Jodi, I can totally relate its 8 am here Im not fully thinking yet also.

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2011

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:)
Sorry, I just skimmed through and missed that bit...let's just say one of my kids has a sleepover here tonight and it is midnight, LOL. But yeah, there are SO many aspects of Wakefield's study that seriously meant little in the grand scheme of things even BEFORE he came up with his fabricated bullshit.

Amanda - posted on 01/13/2011

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That is the point of that article Jodi, the decrease of dignosis of other mental issues, because those who would of been dignosised as retarded, or mentally slow are now being dignosised as autim. Therefore there is no real increase, just different diagnosis's. My link has nothing to do with a study that was a total joke the moment it was published.

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2011

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Amanda, the autism spectrum was also expanded around the time the diagnosis of autism started increasing. There are so MANY correlations with the increase in autism, that it would take a LOT more than a single study of 12 children to convince me.

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2011

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Lisa, I am pro-vax, but I am actually supportive of an alternate schedule. I did with my daughter (and there weren't as many vaccinations when my son was a baby). But from what I gather, we don't have as many vaccinations here in Australia as you guys do......unless that has changed in recent years (after all, my youngest is almost 6 - and we all know how much changes in that time).

Meghan - posted on 01/12/2011

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ummm, I am pretty sure my son didn't get his first set of shots until 3 months.
And Jenny McCarthy is as ridicules as "Dr." Wakefield. They along with the 12 other mom's need to pull their heads out of their asses and use some common sense.

Minnie - posted on 01/12/2011

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Yeah...vaccines are something that I don't consider myself very knowledgeable on. I've never really been convinced on the safety/effectiveness OR on the danger/non-necessity of them. Both sides have provided convincing points for me and both sides often offer up arguments that just leave me scratching my head...

So we will be getting the girls vaccinated- mostly for my husband's comfort level, but on an alternate schedule.

I always did find it odd that anti-vaccine people would shout "See? See? Autism rates are rising because of vaccines!" (not that there is ANYTHING else that could increase those rates, is there...?) It seems that they want to reach for something that further proves that vaccines are horrible.

[deleted account]

I work in a veterinary clinic. Whether or not they cause autism, I find it interesting that we take more care with the vaccination schedule of our pets, than with our children. Dogs should not be vaccinated before 6 weeks of age, but children are given their first in the first couple days of their extra-uterine life. Animals are also prone to sarcomas at the vaccination site some years later in life. I don't know whether this is something present in humans or not, but I just find it odd. That said, my children are fully vaccinated, and this guy is a quack. He should be locked in a room and told his entire family was shot up with HIV, just to get a taste of his own medicine. What a jerk.

Amanda - posted on 01/12/2011

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Wakefield now works @ Thoughtful House autism centre in Austin, Texas. As an advisor, as he can not be called a Doctor.

Dr Wakefield, a gastroenterologist, told The Times that he was not practising medicine in the United States, where he does not have a licence, but was working on research as executive director of the clinic. His salary is understood to be almost £200,000 a year.

However, parents at Thoughtful House told The Times that Dr Wakefield had been present as colleagues examined and treated their children, which may constitute a breach of medical regulations.

Jodi - posted on 01/12/2011

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"Nope, Jodi. That's one of the things that isn't mentioned in non-vaccinating circles."

Oh, I never really noticed that. I guess because I knew it was only 12 kids, I just assumed it was widely known!! Sneaky buggers aren't they, to not mention it at all!! Because that IS one of the big reasons I never gave it any credit at all.

I might go and post this on the Welcome Page too :D

Minnie - posted on 01/12/2011

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Nope, Jodi. That's one of the things that isn't mentioned in non-vaccinating circles.

Sharon - posted on 01/12/2011

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pft and he had something in the works to make money off this... the suffering of others in a rigged study... asshole.

[deleted account]

I do believe that some people still can't help but wonder if it's valid. I think whether or not it's valid, the accusation did it's damage.

Minnie - posted on 01/12/2011

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Wow. TWELVE was his study group?



Anti-vaccine folk are extremely persuasive and many hold onto the belief that vaccines are linked to rise in autism rates. But then I see this- that he based his theory off of a sample of TWELVE children...and their credibility shoots to the floor.

Meghan - posted on 01/12/2011

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I would hardly call 12 sick kids a crisis. And I am not a homeopath or that "up" on natural remedies...but would using those boost your immunity against a life threatening disease esp one that doesn't run as ramped as cold or flu?
Twatt Waffle!

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