Merck is found to be paying experts to recommend Gardasil

Christina England

If you dangle a nice juicy carrot in front of many of the world’s leading experts advising the governments on vaccine policies, they will accept the carrot like any other ‘ass’. This has been proven over and over, however, agreeing to use little girls in experiments for the HPV vaccine Gardasil, is stooping about as low as anyone could go. This, however, is exactly what one group of experts from Norway have done. According to the Norwegian newspaper the VG NETT in their report Fikk betalt av vaksineprodusent – VG Nett om Helse og medisin the Norwegian experts received money from Merck and then advised their government on the HPV vaccine Gardasil, which at the time was only in it’s experimental stages, thus putting their own financial gain above the lives of the innocent children of Norway.

The report reads:-

Four of the experts who advised the government to vaccinate all 12-year-old girls with the HPV vaccine Gardasil have received money for research from the U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck.

A fifth expert, senior research worker Ellen Nilsen, went directly from the group which gave Health Minister Sylvia Brustad advice, to a position with the company that markets the vaccine in Norway.

There are 13 persons in the expert group.

The newspaper VG revealed that all 12-year-old girls will in fact be research test persons for Merck, if the Norwegian experts get their will.”

To be fair the experts, did rather weakly (in my opinion) try to defend their position.

– In small countries it is a problem to find people who are both competent and who have not had any commitments related to the products for which there should be given advice, or companies that have produced the products” says director Geir Stene-Larsen at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) to VG.

The report continues:-

Clear advice
In April NIPH gave clear advice to the government: HPV vaccination should be implemented in the national vaccination program for girls 11-12 years of age.

The advice was based on the expert group’s assessment.

Professor Ole-Erik Iversen at the women’s clinic at Haukeland Hospital has participated in several clinical trials and has been the national coordinator in Norway for studies of the two vaccines against HPV viruses that currently exist. He has also served on Merck’s steering committee, and has, according to Innovest received 120 000 kroner plus 35 000 kroner in travel expenses for this work since 2000.”

The rest of the article is in the same vein:-

– Should I count the hours I would have earned more doing extra shifts at the hospital. I have done this because I think it’s important work which can be of great significance for women all over the world. This is contract research which is supported by the university and the hospital”, says Iversen to VG. He emphasizes that he does not have shares, options or receive bonuses for vaccine sales.

My heart bleeds:-

Professor Harald Moi at the Olafia Clinic leads a research project in which vaccine efficacy in young men is investigated.

– This is mission-based research and it is Merck who is funding this study. The funds go to the Research Forum, I receive no extra remuneration for this work” said Moi.

Aud Berstad at the pediatric clinic at Haukeland Hospital has participated in clinical trials for Merck’s vaccine.

– I have not received any personal compensation, the money has gone to the Merck research company Innovest at Haukeland Hospital. I do not remember the exact totals, but there is not much money” she said.

Agnes Kathrine Lie, chief physician at the Cancer Registry of Norway, has held two lectures for Merck and received payment for them.

– She received just under 5000 kroner for these lectures. This is not lectures she made for Merck, but which she has held previously. It is also important to emphasize that Lie has not taken active part in connection with the development of the vaccine or in carrying out the studies” says Lie’s director at the Cancer Registry, Rita Steen.

Senior Ellen Nilsen participated in the group until 1.November last year. Then she left because she took a position at Sanofi Pasterur MSD, where Merck is one of part owners, and who markets the vaccine in Norway.

Eivind Smith, law professor, said Ellen Nilsen should not have been in the group:

– This is an obvious argument against her participation, even though she left when she signed the contract with her new employer ” says Smith.

Ellen Nilsen emphasizes that her role in the group was as an observer for her former employer, the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services

“I had therefore no influence on the work. The employment process with my current employer took place in the usual way in which I, as one of several were contacted by a recruitment agency in the beginning of September. I had two interviews with people in the management of the company, one mid-September, and one in October. I received an offer 31. October and accepted 1.November. The Knowledge Center was notified on the same day, and I left my observer role in the group,” writes Nilsen in an e-mail to VG.

Full openness

– In this case, I have been very interested in receiving impartial advice. I sent a letter to the National Institute of Public Health in January”, Health Minister Sylvia Brustad writes in an

e-mail to VG.

Beyond that, she was unavailable yesterday to comment on the impartiality issue.

– It is very important is that there is full openness about the commitments one has. So we will consider in each case how strong the commitment is and how strongly one can expect that it affects the attitudes of the person. In this case we have found that the question of impartiality is acceptable” says Geir Stene-Larsen at the NIPH.

The article was kindly translated from Norwegian for me by my colleague Sandy Lunoe whom I thank.

Another report Human Papillomavirus (Types 6, 11, 16, 18) Recombinant Vaccine confirms that as usual these experts did indeed persuade Norway to sign up for the experiment and on Google the write up for this article says –

“the Nordic Region (Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark) to assess long-term outcomes following administration of GARDASIL in approximately 5500 subjects”

The consequences which we have since learned from Janny Stokvia, an activist from Denmark and a member of the TruthAboutGardasil have been far from pleasant and she has helped demonstrate this as part of a power point presentation accompanied with documents that a group of six women presented to the FDA in March.

Even more disturbing is that some months earlier, in another article – Honorar til forskningssjef er korrupsjon – Stavanger Aftenblad which translated means – Fees to research director is corruption, we see another expert, this time the research director Steinar Ø. Thoresen from the Cancer Registry, also accepting large sums of money totalling 233,900 dollars from Merck, which the Christian Demoncrate party leader and the former Minister of Health to NRK, calls corruption.

The article states:-

The U.S. company also Thoresen cover travel expenses. Money transfers, a total of 233,900 dollars, started two years before Thoresen ensured that Merck had one million agreement with the Cancer Registry for the development of a vaccine against cervical cancer

This shows that Mr Thoresen and the other experts advising their Government had massive and rather lucrative conflicts of interests which were in their interest to keep quiet about.

Mr Dagfinn HøybrÃ¥ten the former Minister of Health to NRK however calls their silence and dirty dealings corruption and states in the report that “Such remittances have a name, and there is corruption,”.

The report continues:-

He has asked the health minister to get involved in the case that there is unhealthy links between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians in Norway is no secret. But this case is so special that it can not be called common practice, “he said.

Thoresen and a subordinate at the Cancer Registry according to VG signed personal contracts with pharmaceutical giant in 2002 without informing the management.The agreements took place in violation of the guidelines that applied for medical managers.

Auditor General should investigate. Even Thoresen says that he has not done anything wrong.”

However, these experts are not alone in their misdemeanour’s by a long way. Reports show that Indian experts also had some hidden conflicts of interests, revealing that these to, had links with Merck when they advised their government on this vaccine. In April I revealed these conflicts of interest when I wrote the article Are panel chosen to investigate Gardasil in India fit for purpose? I spoke at this time of a press release released by the organisation the TruthAboutGardasil. which said:-

North Hollywood, CA. Members of and women around the world are disappointed with the panel of investigators selected to examine alleged violations of guidelines for conducting ‘clinical trials’, inadequate research, false advertising, along with various moral and ethical concerns in connection with a recent health ‘demonstration project’ involving HPV vaccines amongst disadvantaged women in India.

With apparent disregard for the women and organizations that brought these injustices to the attention of the world, the government of India has chosen S. P., Agarwal former Director-General of Health Services; Sunita Mittal, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences; and Pharmacologist, Ranjit Roy to serve as the primary investigators. Now the world is wondering if these three men; a retired government official, a practicing physician and a practicing pharmacist are capable – or willing – to impartially review their peers and/or supervisors conduct and the trial reports without bias.”

Capable’, is possible, ‘willing’, is doubtful and to be ‘impartial’, now that is the one that is really questionable especially as one of the panel of investigators appears to have a secret that he just conveniently forgot to mention. The secret, well you guessed it, he is connected to the manufacturer of the Gardasil vaccine Merck.

On the front page of the The Hindu on the 14th April 2010 in a letter to Azad it read-

Another issue which unfortunately has not been addressed in your letter is the conflict of interest involved in the PATH project. This NGO is a partner of the manufacturing company MERCK in other projects.

As a partner, it can be easily understood that the conflict arises from the interests of the subjects of the project, in this case children, on the one hand, and the vaccine manufacturer, on the other.

If there is not to be a cover-up of what appears prima facie to be a case of connivance with a vaccine manufacturing company in violation of set guidelines, I would once again request you to kindly look into the aspect of the inquiry, both in its terms of reference and in its composition.”

So if The Hindu’s research is correct and this is so, he can hardly be impartial now can he?

I have since found other links proving that India foster many alliances with Merck that they would hardly want to surrender as Merck also offer to adopt talented students in India and prevent them from dropping out of education due to lack of resources. POSTER 2010_final_for print

This clearly shows how Merck gives chosen students scholarships of a fixed amount per year upon the submission of authentic invoices/bills to be utilised towards payment of academic and tuition fees and stationary expenses. Very commendable, however with these sort of grants, is it any wonder that India appear to be in favour of vaccines manufactured by Merck?

In fact after researching I found that Merck are very noble and offer a considerable amount of money to various causes worldwide. This article Colloidal Silver Secrets: Big Drug Companies Fund Groups Behind written by Tony Issacs is fascinating as it reveals detailed information on an organisation called the ‘John Merck Fund’. The John Merck Fund was set up by Serena Merck who was the widow of Merck Pharmaceuticals CEO George W Merck in honor of their short lived son John.

This fund is responsible for funding groups from Greenpeace to the American Corn Growers Association. A small sample of some of their activities have been listed on the website John Merck Fund the full extent of the actual funding is huge.

The world cannot get away from the fact that Merck is huge and holds power and influence over many of our countries experts. With their cash rewards and our experts being the weak individuals they are, most cannot resist the nice juicy carrots that are held out in front of them even if this means sacrificing our children in experiments involving vaccines. After all when counting the cash it is easy to kid yourself that it is for good of mankind, especially if it does not affect you personally.

I have written this in memory of those that have died after receiving the vaccine Gardasil. Especially Megan my friend Karen’s daughter.

Information video made by activist Janny Stokvia.

Conflicts of interest – I am a mother of a vaccine damaged child

About the author

Christina England, BA Hons