Sunday Star Times: Flu expert linked to drug firms

Tony Wall writes in the Sunday Star Times about virologist Lance Jennings, who helped develop NZ’s response to the AH1N1 pandemic last year, but who has been accused of not properly disclosing his affiliation with private drug companies.

Jennings has said in answer that ties with such companies are not unusual, and that he disclosed all important conflicts of interest.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The criticism comes after similar concerns were raised by a British Medical Journal investigation, which found World Health Organisation advisers who wrote 2004 guidelines recommending stockpiling drugs in a pandemic had received payments from Roche and GSK for lecturing and consultancy work.

“Jennings, the Ministry of Health’s leading influenza spokesman, and who has pushed vaccines as the best influenza protection, has links to numerous pharmaceutical companies. He says public-private relationships in the medical field are standard.”