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Ethicists express concern about influence of PR firm on flu experts

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c5183 (Published 27 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5183
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

    Ethicists say it is alarming that a public relations company that was associated with an industry funded body that promotes awareness about influenza and related interventions has been providing Australian experts on flu with advice on how to respond to questions that might be asked about industry ties.

    An email chain obtained by the BMJ shows that the industry funded Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) recently forwarded advice from the PR company Burson-Marsteller to more than 20 senior doctors and other healthcare leaders.

    News of the email chain comes after a recent report calling for a national review of the perceived conflicts of interest of advisers on vaccination, in the wake of an investigation into adverse events among Australian children who were vaccinated against seasonal flu (BMJ 2010;341:c4470, 16 Aug, doi:10.1136/bmj.c4470).

    It comes amid ongoing controversy about the flu vaccines of the biopharmaceutical company …

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