Eagle Forum of Illinois
PO Box 233
Oak Forest, IL 60452
ILLINOIS IMMUNIZATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE PLAN TO CONTINUE "CONFLICTS OF INTEREST" THWARTED
Chicago, Illinois -- Illinois Immunization Advisory Committee (IAC) members
emotionally responded when they learned of the content of Illinois Senate
Bill 1304 during its scheduled meeting on Thursday, July 12, 2001. SB 1304
is a bill that prevents anyone that has significant financial ties with
pharamaceutical companies that manufacture vaccines from serving on the IAC.
SB 1304 passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously during the Spring
2001 legislative session, and the bill is awaiting Governor George Ryan's
During Thursday's meeting, IAC members expressed outrage at the impending
qualification, calling it "ridiculous." One of the infectious disease
specialists on the committee declared, "This legislation is un-American and
un-democratic. It is despicable!" He went on in his rampage, "No infectious
disease specialist will be able to serve on this committee -- we all take
money from pharmaceutical companies!"
That statement led to Dr. Mark Rosenberg, President of the Illinois Chapter
of the American Academy of Pediatrics, to make a motion that the committee
write a letter to Governor Ryan demanding that he veto the legislation.
During the committee's discussion on the motion, IAC committee member Fran
Eaton objected and stated that she would not participate in the letter
Dr. Rosenberg called for a vote on his motion. Mrs. Eaton called for a
quorum before the vote. The Illinois Department of Public Health staff cited
a need for nine persons to vote. Mrs. Eaton then questioned how many voting
were present. The staff answered, "Nine."
Mrs. Eaton, opposing a letter from the committee to the Governor, stood to
her feet and said, "I'm excusing myself from this meeting. Have a good
day," leaving the IAC lacking a quorum, therefore the motion could have no
vote. The letter cannot be sent from the committee as an official letter.
As a member of the IAC, Mrs. Eaton, also State President of Eagle Forum of
Illinois, promoted SB 1304 in the spring legislative session. The bill was
sponsored by State Senator Patrick O'Malley, now candidate for Governor in
the 2002 Illinois Republican Primary.
The next meeting for the Immunization Advisory Committee is not scheduled
until October, 2001. Governor Ryan will act on SB 1304 before the October
meeting, as mandated by Illinois law.