Is Dr. Andrew Wakefield a Victim of Sham Peer Review?

10 May|Washington DC - For over 20 years,  the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has quietly awarded millions of dollars in damages for vaccine injury to children where their brain damage results in autism.  At the same time, the US government has publicly denied a vaccine-autism link, while pressuring parents to blame the autism-spectrum brain injuries on non-autism causes to file claims.  A new investigation, released today, based upon verifiable government data, breaks new ground in the controversial vaccine-autism debate. 

The investigation, which officials have already attempted to suppress, was conducted by the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA) and Pace Law School.  They found that a substantial number of children compensated for vaccine injury also have autism.  The evidence indicates that autism is at least three times more prevalent among the compensated vaccine-injured children than the already epidemic level among children in the general population. 

For over 15 years, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who first described the now widely acknowledged intestinal disease [1] in children with autism, has fought for recognition of the vaccine link to this disorder.  He has done so in the face of relentless government and industry sponsored attacks, intended to destroy his reputation and his career.  This study confirms what he and a growing number of doctors and scientists [2] have suspected all along – vaccines cause autism.

The new findings come at the same time that at least 4 federal agencies have reversed their position on the vaccine-autism link and acknowledged the urgent need for further research.[3]  The latest study endorses the concerns of the 89% of US parents who put vaccine safety as their number one medical research priority.[4]  It also supports the recognition of the vaccine-autism link by some senior US scientists and officials.[5]

The culpability of VCIP needs wide-ranging investigation. This program was charged with looking at long term outcome of vaccine-injured children.  It failed to do this.  Had VCIP officials done their job properly, the vaccine-autism link would have been picked up much sooner and tens of thousands of children might have avoided these catastrophic injuries.

EBCALA’s findings were revealed at the US Claims Court in Washington DC.

The Office of Medical & Scientific Justice (OMSJ) initiated an investigation into the Wakefield controvery in January, after the journal Lancet retracted Dr. Wakefield’s original 1998 report.  A preliminary examination of the retraction, Brian Deer’s investigation, and previously-undisclosed conflicts of interest between vaccine manufacturers and the British Medical Journal (BMJ), raises serious questions about the financial interests of drug makers, medical journals, the British Government and the General Medical Counsel that revoked Dr. Wakefield’s medical license.  Although OMSJ’s investigation is ongoing, their investigators have found sufficient probable cause to proceed with a more thorough and transparent investigation – free from the customary “blue-ribbon” panels that are routinely assembled to suppress evidence.  Based upon initial evidence, it appears that Dr. Wakefield may be one of the latest victims of “sham peer review.”

For this reason, SSI joins OMSJEBCALA; the Alliance for Patient Safety, autism community, and physicians like Dr. Wakefield for Congress to investigate the VICP for its failure to adequately monitor vaccine injury.  In comment, Dr Wakefield said, “What is required in nothing less than an overhaul of the entire vaccine program.”

The Pace Environmental Law Review report is posted here.


1 Response to “Is Dr. Andrew Wakefield a Victim of Sham Peer Review?”

  1. 1 Michael Polidori says

    In the case of Semmelweis, his antoagonists were ignorant and skeptical, refusing to consider Semmelweis might be right.

    Dr Andrew Wakefield’s attackers know he is right and know they are lying… a horribly different situation.

    Anyone who honestly and intelligently reviewe Dr Andrew Wakefield’s 14 year long persecution by people influenced by drug industry money has to come to the conclusion that Dr Wakefield is completely innocent.

    Some of the names involved in lying about Dr Wakefield –

    Richard Horton – Chief Editor of world renowned The Lancet (originally published Dr Wakefield’s 1998 paper w/ 12 co-authors). The Lancet, until recently. was owned by Elsevier, worldwide medical/scientific journal publisher. Horton used to enthusiastically support Wakefield until a reporter, Brian Deer, published a series of minimally fact-based stories in The Sunday Times in early 2004. All of Deer’s critical information is fabricated.

    Crispin Davis – Elsevier CEO & Horton’s boss. Davis was made a paid director of MMR maker Glaxo in June of 2003. In 2004 Deer published his series and Horton, based on reading Deer’s stories (not vetting them as he would with a paper submitted for publication), started his ongoing years of attack against an innocent accomplished gastroenterologist

    James Murdoch – owner of The Sunday Times. Son of Rupert. A current paid director of MMR maker Glaxo. The Times publishes Deer’s fabrications without fact-checking any of it.

    Brian Deer – Reporter with no medical or scientific training. In the early 1990′s Deer actually spent some time investigating corporate shenanigans, but somehow “lost” his way. He worked for Medical Legal Investigations which investigated doctors who were resistant to the drug industry’s view of health care, helping to bring thses doctors in line. The major customer for MLI was The Association of the British Phamaceutical Industry.

    Fiona Godlee – Chief editor of BMJ (formerly The British Medical Journal) recently invited Deer to publish his fabrications in the journal
    Again the publication of a layperson’s lies in a peer reviewed journal… what is happening here? Again, incredibly, none of Deer’s fabrications are investigated. Godlee herself has written editorials and letters praising and defending Deer… ultimately being forced to admit (by Dr Andrew Wakefield) that she failed to declare her’s and the journal’s conflicts in annually accepting millions from MMR makers Merck and Glaxo…

    I am very encouraged to see & enthusiastic about the Semmelweis organization’s support for the truth about Dr Wakefield. Please don’t be dissuaded or intimidated… this is one of THE good fights of our age.

  1. 1 Semmelweis effect and the Andrew Wakefield story « hyperrealisme
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