WHO Reports are Industry Influenced: Says Investigation

WHO Reports are Industry Influenced: Says InvestigationA joint investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed that the key scientists suggesting World Health Organization on planning for flu were paid by pharmaceutical firms. This advice by WHO led various Governments in the world to store antiviral drugs worth billions of dollars as global epidemic attentiveness plans. These stockpiling gave industry the profit worth $7bn.

However, WHO has not been able to give any details to clear out this conflict about the scientists. This report would be confirmed by the findings of enquiry conducted by the Council of Europe, publishing today.

The joint investigation also finds that WHO's guidance on the use of antivirals in 2004 during a pandemic was prepared by a flu expert, who was paid by Roche, oseltamivir, GSK and zanamivir. This guidance asked the Governments to store the antivirals in advance to meet adverse circumstances.

There is a lack of transparency on part of WHO in this matter and name of the 16 committee members are known only to the people within WHO. On the other hand, WHO is fully defying any industry influence on the scientific advices it gets.

In an accompanying editorial with the finding, Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the BMJ said WHO's credibility has been badly damaged by this investigation. Further adding she says that WHO must publish its own report with in time, to save its image.