You can’t make this stuff up. Conflicts of interest abound at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues with respect to anthrax vaccine. Coincidence or forethought?
Before Emergent Biosolutions made anthrax vaccine, the vaccine was made by the Michigan Department of Public Health. Before Michigan, it was made by Merck.
Might Merck Vaccine’s President Julie Gerberding and former Merck Vaccine President Adel Mahmoud have an interest in demonstrating anthrax vaccine’s safety and efficacy… and wouldn’t giving it to children help demonstrate how excellent it is? Maybe Dr. Mahmoud, a member of the Presidential Commission’s International Research Panel and current Princeton professor, is not providing the Commission with any information or opinions on anthrax vaccine, but then again, maybe he is.
Dr. Amy Gutmann, Commission Chairperson, has one child. Her accomplished daughter is a Princeton professor and consults for Merck.
Lisa Lee, Executive Director of the Commission, worked at CDC from 1998 until joining the Commission.
James W. Wagner, the Presidential Commission’s Vice Chair, is president of Emory University, which is CDC’s academic partner.
The mysterious (unpublished) clinical trial of anthrax vaccine sponsored by CDC from 2002 to 2007 according to CDC (or through 2010 according to ClinicalTrials.gov) was conducted at five sites, which included Commission members Dr. Wagner‘s Emory University and Dr. Nelson Michael‘s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Dr. Greg Poland ran the trial at Mayo, btw. (See below for info on Dr. Poland.)
According to CDC’s anthrax vaccine clinical trial principal investigator, the trial’s final analyses were conducted in 2009, and a final report was sent to FDA at that time. Three and a half years later it remains unpublished.
Dr. Alexander Garza, another Commission member, is the Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security responsible for a new program to get anthrax vaccinations into non-military personnel.
Next week, the Commission will meet again to decide whether to give little children a vaccine that causes birth defects, Gulf War Syndrome and a host of other problems; according to GAO,
“Officials from the VHC Network and CDC estimate that between 1 and 2 percent of immunized individuals may experience severe adverse events, which could result in disability or death.”