Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The mother of all litigation?

I try to avoid health and pharmaceutical stories, but the breaking story on Thiomersal and autism has been tugging at my sleeve. Yesterday I was twice assaulted with harangues over autism and immunization.

The first was on the general autism spectrum and particularly aspergers at the lower end – I think. The haranguer is an adult sufferer who is generally astute, but I wasn’t engaged and didn’t tie the pieces together.

That was early in the day, late in the afternoon was the second assault, following a news report. A neighbour’s son with a raft of social difficulties was the focus; his mother had the new information that his problem was triggered by immunisation, or some element of the immunisation.

That element is Thiomersal, “a preservative in vaccines, immunoglobulin preparations, skin test antigens, antivenins, ophthalmic and nasal products, and tattoo inks.” See Wiki

Thiomersal was developed in 1928 and developed and marketed by Eli Lily. The compound contains 49.6% ethylmercury

It seems every major pharmaceutical company has used Thiomersal as a preservative in various products, well beyond vaccines. There have been thousands of lawsuits in the US just targeting the vaccines, I think we can predict some major class actions now across the board. Every pharmaceutical corp must be exposed to litigation now as facts start to surface.

Depending on the scope nearly everyone of will be able to put up our hand on this one; even I had al the childhood immunisations. But it is the obvious increase in a range of maladies, from allergies through to mental disabilities, where the bite will really come. It’s early days, but I think it is fair to predict some major litigation.


lindsaylobe said...

Interesting development!

Without wanting to show any disrespect for the concerns of the sufferers I recalled this was the subject recently of one Richard Dawkins exposé where he cautioned against forming rigid views without sufficient evidence.

A good reference is

Q3. Does thimerosal cause autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders?

No. The best available science to date has shown that there is no link between vaccines containing thimerosal and autism or other behaviour disorders.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has reviewed the safety of thimerosal and concluded that the alleged adverse health effect from thimerosal in vaccines has never been substantiated.

International bodies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) and the Institute of Medicine in the U.S., share this opinion.

Presumably there is more up to date info now available?
I also read such claims of neurological damage were based on toxicity from methyl mercury, which is not present in thiomersa as methyl mercury has never been used in vaccines.

Best wishes

Cart said...

Thanks Lindsay, and I have developed a great respect for your view on issues. Even so, I have my own background in researching and analyzing the culture of aspects of the pharmaceutical industry.
First up I can say I would always trust a pharmacist over a doctor on prescription issues. Not because I distrust the doctor, but there are vastly different dynamics in play between the two. But they are the dispensers, if you like. The pharmaceutical industry has an interest way beyond either of those groups, and a woeful track record.
I can recall an incident in Canberra when I was put in ‘lockdown’ just to review the documents I was allowed to see in one circumstance. Admittedly that was not directly related to a particular medication, and I doubt I would have even achieved that courtesy on a specific inquiry.
However I was hosted to a number of pharma info blizzards, great weekends, but not lacking in a slightly cynical aftertaste. The industry has a poor record of efficacy and a long record of profit before real care.
The Canadian reference was interesting, but only because it reminded me of the sad reality in that country I love so much. Government agencies can say virtually anything there and not be effectively challenged. I wasn’t in a position to challenge the issues I saw.
Having explained that, I concede you might well be right. I am still in no position to properly research the ins and outs of these latest claims. If I was I’m not sure I would relish dealing with issues medical.
I raise the issue as another potential hit on the prevailing economic situation affecting us and concern over the increasing range of aberrant health issues we now face..
If the pharmas have left themselves exposed to clever lawyers on this issue then we can look forward to a couple more decades of major corporate collapses.

enigma4ever said...

there has been major litigation here...and cases..not all successful....NOT all vaccines have or have had mercury- or 1990 and 1991 they started putting the thimerosol in vaccines- but at the same time the number of Vaccines tripled for infants and babies under the age of two.....Supposedly only a FEW of the vaccines have it a perservative....

1:150 have Autism...( in 1990 Autism rates were 1:1500 or more depending if Aspergers was counted...)

There is much good research being done here in the States, I am not sure about abroad- but UK rates are nowhere near our rate....

If you need or are interested I can send you some good links and resources...

Actually the NIH did some studies and these are ongoing about the risk of MMR's....and due to their research Thimerosol was indeed removed from a seleceted number of is the number of Vaccines under the age of two that may have indeed posed the most substantial risk....

There is a Case going on here now as the Families present their research and data to Courts...

Cart said...

Enigma, thank you. I was going to ask you first, but I knew you were fairly engaged with the primaries.
You know how much I shrink from medical issues, but they continue to be thrown at me.
My old cobber Lindsay is sharper on nearly everything than I am. But I know health issues are especially well understood by you.
Now I can just tell my irritating neighbours to get a life :) Mind you, the number of mentally ill people I'm meeting is a worry...

D.K. Raed said...

This isn't thimerosol-related, but Dada did a post recently about the polio vaccines from the 1950's-60's that have been since found to contain a monkey cancer that may or may not be responsible for the vastly increased rates of cancer we are seeing today. If it isn't one thing, it's another!

Cart said...

Monkeys, mad cows... You haven't been traveling down the ET Highway Red?
I don't know, I prefer to stay away from things medical and while I have the highest regard for pharmacists I have no trust at all for the pharmaceutical corps.
Maybe it call comes back to that stagnant gene pool...