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Are the Scientific Advisory Group of Experts of WHO compromised to Pharmaceutical companies?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and its Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have come under serious criticism for their dereliction of duty and cover-up of China’s disinformation on the COVID-19 human-to-human transmission.

Questions are being raised about the links between Dr Tedros and China, Dr Tedros and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for their support of the candidature of the Dr Tedros to the post of Director-General of WHO.

In 2009, an investigation by the British Medical Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism shockingly revealed that scientists – Scientific Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) – who drafted the World Health Organisation guidelines advising governments to stockpile drugs in the event of flu pandemic had previously been paid by drug companies.

The report stated the then Director-General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan was being advised by scientific experts who were receiving money directly or indirectly from large pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi, Baxter, CSL, Powerdmed and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) 

The report indicated that a third of the scientific experts advising the World Health Organisation about the swine flu pandemic had ties to drugs firms. Five of the 15 specialists who sat on the emergency committee had received funding from pharmaceutical giants, or were linked to them through their research.

In 2020, under the leadership of Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the conundrum of SAGE continues. 

The current 15 scientific experts on the SAGE of WHO could also be compromised, with some members who received significant financial funds from pharmaceutical companies, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust. 

Eight members of the group of experts have declared, by law, of potential conflicts. The 8-members of SAGE have financial connections with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Merck & Co, Pfizer, Novartis, Novovax, GlaxoSmithKline, Hilleman Laboratories and Gilead. Most of the Trusts and Pharmaceutical companies work in the area of drugs and vaccine, especially during the time of health crisis.

Here is the dossier of the members of SAGE – ‘Declaration of Interests’.

SAGEMembers

Both Wellcome Trust and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have come together to launch the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.

The funds will be split between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for New Innovative Diagnostics (FIND). 

Money will also be provided to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) solidarity response fund, to ensure scientific innovations reach the people who need them the most. The breakdown is as follows:

  • USD 1.25bn – fund the WHO to support the most vulnerable countries.
  • USD 3bn – vaccines research and development for Covid-19 ($2bn), plus manufacturing and delivery ($1bn).
  • USD 2.25bn – therapeutics R&D for Covid-19, plus manufacturing and delivery.
  • USD 0.75bn – diagnostics R&D for Covid-19, plus manufacturing and delivery.
  • USD 0.75bn – stockpile of Covid-19 essential personal protective equipment (PPE), diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

The moot question is whether the members of SAGE of WHO links to pharmaceutical companies and Trusts that work closely and also invests in pharmaceutical companies, a compromised position.

Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com

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