Mark Pepys Made Wakefield Coauthors Sabotage Vaccine Litigation
“But people were taking that as further evidence of a link with MMR that we never claimed and unwittingly we were adding fuel to the fire.” – Wakefield turncoat author Simon Murch, The Observer, November 2, 2003
Pharma superstar Mark Pepys made 10 coauthors to retract the interpretation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 autism-vaccine paper. But even before that, Pepys made two of them withdraw authorship from another Wakefield paper. One essentially admitted doing so to sabotage the litigation against vaccination.
Simon Murch and Michael Thomson withdrew their names from a November 2003 paper also coauthored by Wakefield. The withdrawal happened after the paper was accepted for publication in May and both approved the version as it would be published. Remarkably, Murch cited not wanting to build a case against vaccination to justify his withdrawal:
“I have withdrawn because the data was being justified in a way I couldn’t agree with. All the work I have done shows evidence of subtle inflammation of the intestine in many but not all autistic children. But people were taking that as further evidence of a link with MMR that we never claimed and unwittingly we were adding fuel to the fire.”
As Andrew Wakefield made clear, Simon Murch could not have withdrawn for scientific reasons:
“He cannot make that claim because he signed up to have it published. We were not going to publicise this but after what Simon Murch said we did. He is distancing himself because of the hierarchy where he works.”
Not “adding fuel to the fire” as Murch put it could have only meant not fueling the fires of litigation that should have burned GlaxoSmithKline. Both Thomson and Murch were also coauthors of a 2002 study that showed measles virus in guts of children with autism and bowel disease. Such a study was pivotal for planned litigation against the vaccine industry. Their later withdrawal from the 2003 paper coincided with the termination of legal aid for vaccine injury litigation in the United Kingdom.
At the time, Murch and Thomson were still employed at the Royal Free Hospital under pharma “superstar” Mark Pepys. If they didn’t pull their names, they would not have remained employed under him as Wakefield wasn’t.
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