Researcher Behind Debunked Autism-Vaccine Study Stood To Make Millions
A week after calling research that first suggested a link between autism and vaccines an “elaborate fraud” a follow-up article in the British Medical Journal now says the researcher behind the study planned to make upwards of $43 million annually selling replacement vaccines and diagnostic products.
In the report published Tuesday, journalist Brian Deer reveals that Andrew Wakefield held a patent for “a ‘safer’ single measles shot.”
Meanwhile, Deer reports that Wakefield was in talks with investors to develop a business that “was to be launched off the back of the vaccine scare, diagnosing a purported — and still unsubstantiated — ‘new syndrome.'” A business plan for the venture indicates that by year three, diagnostic kits alone were anticipated to garner $43 million per year.
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Among Wakefield’s business partners was the father of one of the children in the original study, Deer found.
The new information casts further doubt on the credibility of Wakefield who set off a worldwide vaccine scare with his 1998 study in the journal The Lancet which first suggested a link between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine.
Deer reports this week that Wakefield was asked by his superiors at the University College London in 1999 to replicate his study using a larger sampling of 150 children after they expressed concerns about a “serious conflict of interest” given his business plans.
But Wakefield did not pursue further study on the matter and ultimately left the institution, with his boss saying, “we paid him to go away.”