Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Feature Drug industry sponsorship

Who's funding WHO?

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 15 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:338

Rapid Response:

Response from World Health Organization

Regarding: "Who's funding WHO?" published in the BMJ 15 February

The World Health Organization categorically rejects the allegations
made in a recent story in the British Medical Journal which imply that
WHO solicits money from the pharmaceutical sector through independent
organizations by circumventing its own rules.

As the BMJ correctly reports, WHO has clear guidelines against
seeking or accepting funds from commercial enterprises or through third
parties where there would be a conflict of interest.

When WHO does accept donations or funds from pharmaceutical
companies (for example, donations of vaccines or medicines), those
donations are clearly accounted for and transparently reported.

In this specific case, Dr Benedetto Saraceno was very clear. He had
never asked that funds be solicited from the pharmaceutical sector, and
he declined the funds that were offered.

WHO is concerned about the BMJ's depiction of Dr Saraceno. He is a
professional of deep personal integrity. In the ten years he has been with
WHO, Dr Saraceno has tirelessly worked to highlight the public health
consequences and grave inequalities faced by the millions of people who
are affected by mental, neurological or behavioural disorders.

Christine McNab

Acting Director of Communications

World Health Organization,

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 February 2007
Christine McNab
Acting Director of Communications
World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland