A Finnish member of the World Health Organization board, an advisor on vaccines, has received 6 million Euros for his research center from the vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.
Although WHO promises transparency, this conflict of interest is not available for the public to see at WHO’s homepage.
Professor Juhani Eskola is the director of the Finnish research vaccine program and a new member of the WHO group ‘Strategic Advisory Group of Experts’ (SAGE).
SAGE recommends which vaccines — and how many — member countries should purchase for the pandemic.
According to documents acquired through the Danish Freedom of Information Act, Eskola’s Finnish institute, THL, received almost 6.3 million Euros from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for research on vaccines during 2009. GlaxoSmithKline produces the H1N1-vaccine ‘Pandemrix,’ which the Finnish government — following recommendations from THL and WHO — purchased for a national pandemic reserve stockpile.
Several other WHO experts also have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry–a double role that notably is not published by WHO.
Sources: The Flu Case December 17, 2009