MEDICINES AND VACCINES HARMS: Could International Fraud Unearthed In Ghana Be Happening Elsewhere?
MEDICINES AND VACCINES HARMS: COULD INTERNATIONAL FRAUD UNEARTHED IN GHANA BE HAPPENING ELSEWHERE?
Re: Judging the benefits and harms of medicines doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3129
I congratulate Joe Freer, Fiona Godlee  and Kamran Abbasi  for encouraging discussion on medicines and vaccines side-effects. Could the unmasked international fraud that caused untold harm in Ghana  not be occurring worldwide?
DEFINITION OF FRAUD
“Crime of obtaining money or some other benefit by deliberate deception” . It is by this definition that this  and other events need to be assessed. An Italian, a Lebanese, and a Ghanaian arranged to supply Ampicillin to Ghana’s Ministry of Health. The Italian flew in tens of thousands of empty red/black capsules labelled 500 mg. The two expatriates used the Ghanaian’s factory to put just 10 mg of the antibiotic in each capsule, adding enough chalk and kokonte (cassava powder) to fill it up. How I discovered the names of the culprits, how the Lebanese promised to build me 2 houses in Accra if I kept quiet, how I reported them to the then Commissioner for Health, how when he began to investigate he was moved to the Ministry of Agriculture - all described in BMJ http://oW.ly/Dq8g30dSHe0 . Ward rounds made me distrust Ministry of Health antibiotics. Front-page splash in GHANAIAN TIMES Friday March 16 1984 read “POWDERED MAIZE IN AMPICILLIN CAPSULES: Five arrested in Kumasi and Accra”. 
Fraud details in countries differ. Dr J K Anand made the correct diagnosis: “A fraud has been perpetuated by one or more individuals …”  looking at the “Missing data at a cost of $2 bn” [2 7]. What happened in Ghana was “crude fraud”  but what BMJ Editors highlight is “smooth fraud” whose global effect exceeds my country’s monstrosity by far. This CORRUPTION stinks Tafracher! .
WHY NOT CALL A SPADE A SPADE?
Describe something as “scientific” and probity is assumed. Are we right in that assumption? [9 10 11]. How many of Professor John Tooke’s 12000 Academy of Medical Sciences Fellows  have read that remarkable article by Professor Lord S Zuckerman OM FRS MA DSc LLD MD FRCP FRCS, entitled “Pride and Prejudice in Science”?  Reading that convinced me scientific liars and lying scientists exist.
BMJ Editor Richard Smith in his book The Trouble with Medical Journals  states that medical journals have become "creatures of the drug industry", rife with fraudulent research and packed with articles ghost written by pharmaceutical companies. In a 2014 interview with New Scientist he suggested criminalization of research fraud .
BUT TERMINOLOGY COULD HIDE WRONGDOERS
Take the frequent use of phrases like “reputation of science is at stake”, and “poor science”, and “imperfections in the evidence base”, and “inadequate evidence”, and “gaps in vaccine science”. How, O how do I identify from these phrases the kind of fraudulent researcher Lord Zuckerman describes whether regarding Statins, or Thalidomide, or Tamiflu, or Tranquilizers in pregnancy, or Opiates, or Hydroxyurea? Is there no way of identifying researchers who give science a bad name? Must scientists making mistakes take refuge in something called “poor science” that “will correct itself” ?
TAIL WAGGING THE DOG PHENOMENON IN MEDICAL PRACTICE
Has minority opinion (the tail) not sometimes worked its way into Global bodies like WHO, UNESCO, WORLD BANK, CDC to prescribe “Official Policy” for the majority (the dog) resulting in disaster? How else do we explain WHO Director-General apologising for Sierra Leone losing 11,000 people to Ebola?  Or reversing earlier endorsement of Tamiflu (Oseltamivir)? . Why did experts differ so much that Dr Fiona Godlee demanded “an independent review” on Statins?  Front page Daily Telegraph August 1 “Statins ‘needlessly doled out to millions’” , and DAILY EXPRESS July 14 2017 “STATINS: NEW HEALTH ALERT – Study says heart pills do you more harm than good” .
FRAUD NOT ALWAYS TO BLAME
“The Lancet”, wrote Sarah Knapton, “argued that thousands of people had been misled into stopping their medication after two articles appeared in the BMJ questioning their use and warning of side-effects” . Two editorial giants disagreeing on Statins? There was no suggestion that any editorial palms had been greased. Indeed, one Lancet Editorial “Corruption in health care costs lives” criticised “aggressive marketing strategy by pharmaceutical companies” . We know that equally brilliant experts can look at facts differently, and I gave the example of Dr Jeffrey Sachs and Professor C J Peters whose emphases on tropical public health priorities differ. [3 23. 24].
TRIBAL RUMOURS, CONSPIRACY THEORIES, CONSPIRACY FACTS [25-30]
Threats immediately provoke rumours as when on July 8 2002 one UN Official at the Barcelona AIDS Conference said (BBC’s WORLD AT ONE) that any country’s Leader failing to heed “Official Policy” should be “kicked out” , rumours intensified: POPULATION CONTROL is what most “Official Policy” is about - mandatory vaccinations , use of Artesunate-Amodiaquine for malaria , medicated bed nets (“What’s wrong with present nets? These Imperialists are killing babies with chest problems from medicated nets”), azoospermia in African young men caused by “spermicidal vitamins” [25 26], “Pressure from UK to legislate that men marry men and women marry women is for population control”. When vaccination for HIV was mooted people exclaimed: “Are they going to prick us with needles so we can do what we like?” . Speak Tribal Language to collect grassroots opinion and you will find “Official Policy”-Vaccinology perceived as big business to kill many birds with one spicule-stone for POPULATION CONTROL. [25 26 33-36]
WHAT THEN SHALL WE DO?
“Intelligent Openness”  does not exist in a post-truth world [38-40]. Deception requires “Intelligent Coverup”. The serious concerns of parents and doctors who have seen damage caused by medicines and vaccines must prevail over “Official Policy” from WHO, NICE, NIH, CDC, EUROPEAN COMMUNITY. Vigilance is required as when Ghana Academy of Arts & Sciences advised Parliament NOT to allow Ebola Virus Vaccine Trials in our Ebola-free country. [41 42]. Protest is mounting against mandatory vaccinations worldwide [43 44]. Why should coercive tails continue to wag docile dogs?
Competing Interests: Self-Appointed Spokesman for Africa on Clinical Epidemiology [45 46], Public Health [47 48], and African Anthropogenetics [49 50 51].
Felix I D Konotey-Ahulu FGA MD(Lond) FRCP(Lond) FRCP(Glasg) DTMH(L’;pool) FGCP
Kwegyir Aggrey Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, University of Cape Coast, Ghana and Former Consultant Physician Genetic Counsellor in Sickle Cell and Other Haemoglobinopathies, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana and 9 Harley Street London W1G 9AL.
1 Freer Joe, Godlee Fiona. Judging the benefits and harms of medicines. BMJ 2017; 357: j3129 https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3129 (30 June 2017)
2 Abbasi Kamran. The missing data that cost $20 bn. BMJ 2014: 358
3 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Who should pharmacovigilate in developing countries? http://oW.ly/Dq8g30d5He0 Rapid Response 14 September 2007 to BMJ Editorial by Pirmohamed M, Atuah KN, Dodoo ANO, Winstanley P. Pharmacovigilance in developing countries. BMJ 2007; 335: 462
4 ENCARTA World English Dictionary. Fraud is the crime of obtaining money or some other benefit by deliberate deception. A BLOOMSBURY REFERENCE BOOK. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 1999, London page 741.
5 GHANAIAN TIMES. Powdered Maize in Ampicillin Capsules. In Konotey-Ahulu FID What Is AIDS? Tetteh-A’Domeno Company, Watford, England 1989, Figure 5.6, page 75. ISBN: 0 9515442 0 9
6 Anand JK. “A fraud has been perpetuated …” Rapid Response 14 July 2017 to Mark H Ebell’s “deliberately withheld data” in WHO downgrades status of Oseltamivir BMJ 2017: 358: j3266 (12 July 2017) [Reference 7] and Kamran Abbasi’s “Missing billions” [Reference 2].
7 Ebell Mark H. WHO downgrades status of Oseltamivir: Important lessons from the Tamiflu story. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3266 BMJ 12 July 2017; 358:doi.10.1136/bmj.j3266
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“If evidence obtained from my country cannot be scientific it should at least be true”
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Competing interests: Self-Appointed Spokesman for Africa on Clinical Epidemiology [45 46], Public Health [47 48], and African Anthropogenetics [49 50 51].