Sunday, February 8, 2015

MMR Lawsuits

With Measles making headlines these days, the vaccine debate is in full swing.

Given my son's history of vaccine anaphylaxis, our allergist has recommended that my daughter avoid combination vaccines.  This means the MMR, along with the DTaP, and a few others.  It used to be that the MMR components could be separated, but from the calls into my county health department and some online research, it appears that the individual measles vaccine is no longer produced.

Given all the hysteria, I'm wondering why the news outlets are not talking about the pending lawsuits against Merck and their MMR vaccine.  Parents deserve to know all the details before rushing out to have their children injected. At least they'd be making an informed decision rather than one based on pure emotion.

Not that the HuffPo is my go to information source, but I found that this article sums it up nicely.  I recall reading it when the Mumps outbreak was going on in the NHL earlier this season, even though the players were vaccinated with boosters and all:

Merck Has Some Explaining To Do Over Its MMR Vaccine Claims

The allegations are astounding and lengthy. Taken directly from the article:

"The first court case, United States v. Merck & Co., stems from claims by two former Merck scientists that Merck "fraudulently misled the government and omitted, concealed, and adulterated material information regarding the efficacy of its mumps vaccine in violation of the FCA [False Claims Act]."
According to the whistleblowers' court documents, Merck's misconduct was far-ranging: It "failed to disclose that its mumps vaccine was not as effective as Merck represented, (ii) used improper testing techniques, (iii) manipulated testing methodology, (iv) abandoned undesirable test results, (v) falsified test data, (vi) failed to adequately investigate and report the diminished efficacy of its mumps vaccine, (vii) falsely verified that each manufacturing lot of mumps vaccine would be as effective as identified in the labeling, (viii) falsely certified the accuracy of applications filed with the FDA, (ix) falsely certified compliance with the terms of the CDC purchase contract, (x) engaged in the fraud and concealment describe herein for the purpose of illegally monopolizing the U.S. market for mumps vaccine, (xi) mislabeled, misbranded, and falsely certified its mumps vaccine, and (xii) engaged in the other acts described herein to conceal the diminished efficacy of the vaccine the government was purchasing."
These fraudulent activities, say the whistleblowers, were designed to produce test results that would meet the FDA's requirement that the mumps vaccine was 95 per cent effective. To the whistleblowers' delight, the judge dismissed Merck's objections to the case proceeding, finding the whistleblowers had plausible grounds on all of the claims lodged against Merck."

And that's just the first of three cases.  The one I find most disturbing is the case involving current CDC scientist William Thompson, "the allegations involve a cover-up of data pointing to high rates of autism in African-American boys after they were vaccinated with MMR,"  Basically, they withheld statistically significant data to avoid an uproar back in 2004.  The study found that African-American boys who were given the MMR vaccine before age 24 months were more likely to be diagnosed with autism.  To so blatantly disregard data because it doesn't coincide with an agenda is absolutely reckless.  Not to mention the follow up studies that this would have led to could have possibly provided some answers one way or another.

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