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Michael Horwin letter to Wayne L. Pines  Re: Congressional Hearings on Vaccines and Autism

April 29, 2000

In Reply to Editorial Comment from:
Wayne L. Pines
(service@webmd.net or wayne@therametrix.com)
Re: Congressional Hearings on Vaccines and Autism

Wayne L. Pines, you belittle Congressman Burton as an "angry grandfather" when his goal is to make vaccines safer for children. Your feeble attempt to undermine Congressman Burton's efforts made sense only after your ties to the vaccine manufacturers and drug companies were revealed. This is a day in your life Wayne L. Pines. Let's see who you really are and then people will understand that your words are meaningless because they are motivated by avarice.

You started your career in Washington as the associate editor for The Pink Sheet a pharmaceutical trade magazine. Then you went to work at the FDA for 10 years from 1972 to 1982. Your next job was with the PR firm Burson-Marsteller. After that, you got a job with APCO Associates. Then you joined a company called Therametrix (1). In between you became involved with various pharmaceutical trade groups such as the Food and Drug Law Institute (2), the Drug Information Association (3), and the Internet Healthcare Coalition (4).

Now let's start connecting the dots to see why you would not want a public discussion about how to improve the safety of our children's vaccines. We'll pick-up your career after you leave the FDA. You immediately landed a job with the PR firm Burson-Marsteller (a subsidiary of the advertising agency Young & Rubicam). Your title there was executive vice president.Marsteller clients includeMonsanto and their bio-engineered foods and Dow-Corning and their silicon breast implants. In addition, Marsteller has several large drug companies as clients including Eli Lilly. Lilly produces the drug Prozac which has accumulated more adverse reaction reports than any substance (besides vaccines) in the history of the FDA's adverse drug reporting system. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act challenged the veracity of Prozac's clinical trials that led to FDA approval. Lilly's PR firm Burson-Marsteller was called in to do damage control. There, according to the Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research, it was reported that you helped Lilly get past its troubles by exploiting your contacts with current FDA officials (5).

You then became president of the Health Care Practice of APCO Associates a "communications consulting firm." According to PR Watch, APCO Associates specializes in setting up front groups and coalitions for the tobacco and insurance companies (6). In fact, APCO's website boasts that"excellence in public affairs and public relations, like excellence in art, is about the power of communication" (7). No it's not. Excellence in public affairs is about honest communication and adding substance to the public discourse. It's what Congressman Burton is doing. It's not about ridiculous, crude and poorly veiled attempts to protect and further your client base. You may think excellence in public affairs and public relations is about power, but power won't help you when it comes to our children. As much as it may disturb your plans, parents will not sacrifice the health and lives of their children in order to drive up the stock prices of your drug company clients.

Next you joined Therametrix whose website gloats that "Wayne L. Pines is a world-renowned health care consultant (who) has consulted for virtually all of the major pharmaceutical companies..."(1). It also states that Therametrix is a "medical marketing research agency that serves the pharmaceutical,biotechnology, medical device and consumer health products industries" (8). Your clients are listed as including: Abbot Laboratories, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Du Pont Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly,Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Pharacia & Upjohn, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals,Roche Laboratories, Schering-Plough, Triangle Pharmaceuticals and Warner Lambert - all of them drug and vaccine manufacturers (9). Your company's mission statement declares, "We see nothing more important than meeting our client's needs" (9). I don't doubt it.

You are also on the marketing and advertising committee of the Drug Information Association which describes itself as a "member-driven scientific association with a membership of over 22,000 primarily from the regulatory agencies, academia, contract service organizations, pharmaceutical,biological and device industry, and from other health care organizations" (10). Who are some of the other committee members in the Drug Information Association? They include Dr. R.Venkataraghaven of Lederle Laboratories (3)manufacturer of Orimune, Tetramune and other vaccines, Dr. Elizabeth B. D'Angelo of AstraZeneca (3), and Dr. John F. Bedard of Bristol-Myers Squibb (3). The board of directors include Stuart W. Cummings of Merck, Sharp & Dohme manufacturer of the vaccines associated with autism - MMR, MR Vax, Meruvax II, Mumpsvax,Varivax and others, Francoise de Cremiers of Wyeth-Ayerst another major vaccine manufacturer,Charles C. Depew of SmithKline Beecham, Brenton James of Glaxo Wellcome, Murray Lumpkin of the FDA, and Irwin G. Martin of Parke-Davis (11).

In addition, you are a member of the Food and Drug Law Institute which describes itself "as a private organization, not affiliated with the FDA.(but our) mission, however, does relate to the activities, policies and procedures of the FDA..."(12). As a participant in this institute you work with the other members, and in fact, you are scheduled to moderate one of the institute's conferences on medical technology, drugs and biologics (i.e. vaccines) in June of this year (2). Nearly every drug company including the major vaccine manufacturers is a member of this organization. The list includes: American Home Products (i.e.Lederle), Bayer, Medeva Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Organon Teknika, and SmithKline Beecham.

I could go on and on about your affiliations with vaccine manufacturers and drug companies but I believe the point has been made adnauseam.

One of Congressman Burton's assertions is that an inherent conflict of interest may exist amongst the people who decide what gets injected into our children's veins. The Congressman understands that many of the individuals in our halls of government who make health decisions affecting our children get money from the very drug companies they are supposed to be regulating. During the hearings, when Coleen Boyle of the CDC was asked if she thought there was anything wrong with such a conflict she was literally speechless.

Wayne L. Pines your behavior is a text book example of what Congressman Burton and tens of thousands of parents disdain. As a former employee of the FDA you use your clout to influence what should be a scientifically sound,reasonable and objective decision making process. But even with all of your industry's money and consultants and PR firms and communication experts and doctors on payrolls you are still missing one key ingredient - the truth. The truth can't be bought, spun, manipulated, or turned into a sound bite. Parents know the truth when they watch their children become ill, disabled and die. So despite your supreme efforts to sell more vaccines, we will not allow some greedy industry to decide what is safe and to dictate to us what should be put into our children's bodies.

Wayne L. Pines go back to your "medical marketing research agency" and your "communications consulting firm," shut up, and leave our children alone.

Sincerely,

Michael Horwin
Father of Alexander - a vaccine injured child
who passed away at the age of 2 years old

Footnotes:
1) http://www.therametrix.com/staff.html
http://www.therametrix.com/wayne.html
2)
http://www.fdli.org/conf/medsymagd.htm
3)
http://www.diahome.org/dhp2d12.htm
4)
http://www.ihealthcoalition.org/content/fda_1.html
5)
http://www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr/newsl/prozac.html
6)
http://www.prwatch.org/prw_issues/1996-Q3/index.html
7)
http://www.apcoassoc.com/gallery/gallery.html
8)
http://www.therametrix.com/company.html
9)
http://www.therametrix.com/clients.html
10)
http://www.diahome.org/
11)
http://www.diahome.org/dhp2c.htm
12)
http://www.fdli.org/about/index.html



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