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Corruption concern over bulk vaccine buy

Corruption concern over bulk vaccine buy

Published: 02 Jan 2013 10:07 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Jan 2013 10:07 GMT+01:00

Anti-corruption commentators are concerned that the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) underpinned one of its most expensive vaccine campaigns to date with feedback from several experts with clear ties to the vaccine industry

A review by the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper shows that the Board did follow its own 2005 transparency rule where experts have to declare any potential conflicts of interests (jäv).

Yet, the expert group assembled in 2006 to discuss whether to give Swedish teenage girls access to a human papiloma virus (HPV) vaccine, which can protect women from cervical cancer later in life, still included three members with clear ties to commercial actors.

"Being open about potential conflicts of interests is not enough," Nils Blom, head legal councillor at the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet), told SvD.

"Every state authority then has to make a judgment about how strong those ties are and how it affects its impartiality."

In the end, Sweden bought the vaccine, given to 12-13-year-old girls, in a deal worth more than the entire national vaccine program at the time, according to SvD's calculations.

SvD reported that there was very little documentation from the discussions of the expert group. The reporters could not get hold of agendas or minutes from the meetings.

One member has ties to the vaccine company Merck, while his wife is a Brussels lobbyist working with the issue of cervical cancer.

Another expert, a paediatric professor, has given lectures to industry actors for more than two decades.

The third person highlighted by SvD's review work for Smittskydsinstitutet but gets 25 percent of her income from a whooping cough project that is financed by vaccine companies.

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Your comments about this article

11:24 January 2, 2013 by robban70226
favours... not corruption,
17:15 January 2, 2013 by Borilla
A common theme in stories such as this - ties to industry and a huge cost to the state.

A second common theme - they are exposed and nothing will ever be done about it.
08:33 January 3, 2013 by truthcode
vaccine= population reduction
14:04 January 3, 2013 by cogito
But...but....There's no corruption in Sweden, or so I've heard, hundreds of times.
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