July 23, 2008

Will the Real Dr. Pichichero Please Stand Up?

Drug_companies_on_stethBy Anne Dachel

Holly Maynard, reporter at WHAM-13 TV in Rochester, NY, is sounding the alarm over the measles.  Yes, that possibly life-threatening disease is infecting children and it's the fault of noncompliant parents afraid of a link between the MMR and autism. 

In her report, Measles are Back! (HERE) Holly finds "local vaccination expert" Dr. Michael Pichichero of Legacy Pediatrics who puts every mother's fears to rest.
Holly tells us, "Pichichero has researched vaccine safety for over 20 years and is a consultant to the World Health Organization on the topic. He says you won't find a doctor in Rochester who thinks there is a link between vaccines and autism." 

Actually, that's not surprising if his circles of colleagues have the same pharma ties that he does. While "consultant to the World Health Organization" conjures up images of doctors selflessly helping the poorest of the poor in Africa and India, there's a whole lot more to Pichichero than we're told on WHAM.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, within minutes of searching, I found the real Dr. Michael Pichichero.  It's incredible all the drug companies he's connected with.  In fact, I think it would be easier to name the major ones that weren't listed. 
In Safe Minds' Assessment of the Pichichero Thimerosal Study, (HERE) we read,
"The author [Dr. Pichichero] has received research grants and/or honoraria from the following pharmaceutical companies: Abbott Laboratories, Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Eli Lilly & Company; Merck & Co.; Pasteur Merieux Connaught; Pfizer Labs; Roche Laboratories; Roussel-Uclaf; Schering Corporation; Smith Kline Beecham Pharmaceuticals; Upjohn Company; and Wyeth-Lederle."

According to the Chicago Trib blog story, Study: Babies quickly excrete vaccine mercury, by Julie Deardorff, (HERE) he's done consulting for GSK Biologicals, Sanofi Pasteur, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and MedImmune.

This doctor is the pharmaceutical industry's ideal researcher.  Not only does Pichichero know that the MMR is safe, but as Julie tells us, he's researched thimerosal, the mercury used in vaccines, at the University of Rochester and he knows it leaves the blood faster than methylmercury.  And if it's not in the blood, it must be excreted.  (Picherichero's work puts him in direct conflict with the research of Thomas Burbacher at the University of Washington, but that doesn't really matter.)

The report from the University of Rochester also said that Pichichero's thimerosal findings worked out well for WHO.  We're told, "His research has held considerable weight in the WHO decision to continue using thimerosal in vaccines administered in nations outside the United States"--with big savings, I'm sure.

All this of course is completely absent from the WHAM report.  The public doesn't get to know that Dr. Pichichero has a lot of incentive to stand up for the MMR and any other vaccine parents are worried about!

Anne Dachel is Media Editor of Age of Autism.