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Dr Stewart Reid's Competing Interests

Media Statement:

Dr Stewart Reid's Competing Interests
Ron Law & Barbara Sumner Burstyn

The Ministry of Health has finally acknowledged that conflicts of interest exist in the medical world, (1) although, in detailing the diverse activities of Dr Stewart Reid, the Ministry of Health has omitted to disclose a number of Dr Reid’s credentials.

The Ministry failed to disclose Dr Reid's role as a Chiron Corporation MeNZB™ clinical researcher at the same time as advising the New Zealand Meningococcal Management Team (2) on licensure matters as an independent expert.

This untenable position is compounded by Dr Reid’s non-disclosure of the majority of his conflicts of interest to the MAAC vaccine subcommittee and full committee meetings deciding on the license of the vaccine.

Further, New Zealand Medical Journal policy was violated by omitting to disclose this plethora of competing interests in two articles he co-authored in support of the vaccine.

In addition the Ministry of Health has refused to release the CV supplied by Dr Reid with his experimental trial application on behalf of Chiron. The CV was requested under the OIA but refused on the grounds that, among other things, to do so "would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information from the same source..." and "would be likely otherwise to damage the public interest." (3)

In an issue as contentious as the development and implementation of the experimental MeNZB™ vaccine, transparency at the highest level is essential. This requires the declaration of all conflicting interests.

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The Ministry of Health is in breach of State Services Commission, other professional organisations and their own published guidelines on the declaration and management of potential conflicts of interest.

These serious breaches of public trust add further weight to our call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the MeNZB(tm) vaccination programme. (4)

(1) Media statement from the MoH re: Dr Stewart Reid
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE0507/S00070.htm

(2) A consortium of the MOH, Chiron and Auckland University MeNZB Researchers

(3) Letter from Minister of Health on file.

(4) Meningococcal Gold Rush, Second Edition http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0505/S00352.htm

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