Back grey_arrow_rt.gif
 
 
WHO H1N1 Scandal - Unveils H1N1 Committee
 
 
  MedPage Today
Published: August 11, 2010
 
WHO H1N1 Flu Controversy - Investigation Raises Questions About WHO's Handling of Pandemic - (06/07/10)
 
Conflicts of interest and pandemic flu - Editorial - (06/07/10)
 
Conflicts of Interest: WHO and the pandemic flu "conspiracies" - (06/07/10)
 
The World Health Organization has released the names and affiliations of the previously anonymous members of the emergency committee that has been advising the agency on pandemic H1N1 influenza.
 
The agency has been criticized for a lack of transparency for keeping the members' identities secret, most prominently by the BMJ in an investigative story published in June. That story addressed concerns predating the H1N1 pandemic about undeclared relationships with industry among WHO advisers.
 
The WHO, in turn, remained steadfast in its insistence that anonymity was essential to protect the integrity of the members' work during the pandemic.
 
In a statement released a day before the BMJ story was published, Director-General Margaret Chan, MD, MPH, said the reason the names would not be released during the pandemic was "to protect the integrity and independence of the members while doing this critical work -- but also to ensure transparency by publicly providing the names of the members as well as information about any interest declared by them at the appropriate time."
 
Following yesterday's declaration that the situation had moved into the post-pandemic phase, the WHO listed the names of the 16-member International Health Regulations emergency committee for pandemic H1N1 influenza.
 
They are:
 
* Lawson Ahadzie, MBChB, MPH, former head of surveillance for the Ghana Health Service/Ministry of Health. His membership was suspended after the fifth emergency committee meeting after being hired by the WHO.
 
* André Basse, Counsellor at the Embassy of Senegal in Paris
 
* Muhammad Akbar Chaudhry, MBBS, of Fatima Jinnah Medical College in Pakistan. His membership started with the sixth emergency committee meeting.
 
* Supamit Chunsuttiwat, MD, MPH, of the department of disease control in the Thailand Ministry of Health
 
* Nancy Cox, PhD, director of the CDC's influenza division
 
* Anthony Evans, MD, chief of the aviation medicine section of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal
 
* John Mackenzie, PhD, of Curtin University in Perth, Australia
 
* Arnold Monto, MD, of the University of Michigan School of Public Health
 
* Fernando Otaiza, MD, coordinator of the National Infection Control Program at the Chilean Ministry of Health
 
* Rogelio Pérez-Padilla, MD, of the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases in Mexico
 
* Wing-Hong Seto, MD, of Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong
 
* Masato Tashiro, MD, PhD, of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo
 
* Claude Thibeault, MD, a consultant in aviation medicine and occupational health in Montreal
 
* John Wood, PhD, of the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) in the U.K.
 
* Maria Zambon, PhD, of the U.K. Health Protection Agency Center for Infection in London
 
* Neil Morris Ferguson (adviser to the committee), DPhil, of Imperial College in London
 
Six of the members declared conflicts of interest:
 
* Cox said her research unit at the CDC receives financial support from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) for activities of the CDC as a WHO Collaborating Center in the field of influenza vaccine research and virus isolation work.
 
* Monto reported current and past consultancies on influenza for GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche, Baxter, and Sanofi. His research unit at the University of Michigan has received a grant from Sanofi Pasteur for a clinical trial on influenza vaccines.
 
* Thibeault has been a consultant medical adviser to the International Air Transport Association since 2004.
 
* Wood's research unit at the NIBSC, a center of the U.K. Health Protection Agency, has performed contract research for Sanofi Pasteur, CSL, IFPMA, Novartis, and PowderMed on influenza vaccines research and development.
 
* Zambon reported that the U.K. Health Protection Agency Center for Infection receives funding from vaccine manufacturers, including Sanofi, Novartis, CSL, Baxter, and GlaxoSmithKline, for contract work in her laboratory.
 
* Ferguson reported acting as a consultant in the past for Roche and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, with total payments less than $7,000 in 2007, when the relationships ended.
 
"The interests summarized above do not give rise to a conflict of interest such that the experts concerned should be partially or totally excluded from participation in the emergency committee," according to the WHO.
 
"However, following WHO's policy, they were disclosed within the committee so that other members were aware of them. All other members of the emergency committee declared no relevant interests."
 
 
 
 
  icon paper stack View Older Articles   Back to Top   www.natap.org