[back] Professor Sir Michael Rutter

Professor Sir Michael Rutter & The Drug Industry Connections

It is appropriate to ask: It can help to follow the money chain.  In the money connections, you don't get any bigger than Rutter.

Psychiatrist Professor Sir Michael Rutter is a former (recent) Deputy Chairman of the immensely wealthy Wellcome Trust (founded by the Wellcome Foundation which is now Glaxo).  For confirmation of his status, see the 4th page of :-
Wellcome Trust Limited Annual Report and Financial Statements 2003

The Wellcome Trust has assets of over £14 billion:-
Wellcome Trust Limited Annual Report and Financial Statements 2007

The Trust hands out millions every year and has far more substantial reserves to enable it to do that.  And it can dictate a great deal of what research is carried out around the world.  See here for details:-
Wellcome Trust Funding

So Rutter is very influential.  You do not get to be in that position if you are not "in favour with pharma".

He is also one of the expert witnesses for Glaxo in the MMR litigation (something he did not declare, for example, in the Honda/Rutter paper denying MMR has any association with autism, but I do not see him before the GMC over that).  Professor Rutter is also one of the main prosecution witnesses in the witchhunt in the British General Medical Council against medical doctors Andrew Wakefield, Simon Murch and Professor Walker-Smith.

Here is a biographical note on Professor Sir Michael Rutter from the Academy of Medical Sciences which says:-
Professor Sir Michael Rutter is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London.   He has been a consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital since 1966, and was Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry from 1973 to 1998.   He set up the Medical Research Council Child Psychiatry Research Unit in 1984 and the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre 10 years later, being honorary director of both until October 1998.   His research has included the genetics of autism; the study of both school and family influences on children’s behaviour; the links between mental disorders in childhood and adult life; epidemiological approaches to test causal hypotheses; and gene-environment interplay.  He was Deputy Chairman of the Wellcome Trust from 1999 to 2004, and has been a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation since 1992.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1987 and an honorary member of the British Academy in 2002.  He was a Founding Fellow of the Academia Europaea and the Academy of Medical Sciences, of which he is currently Clinical Vice-President. He has received numerous international honours and has published some 40 books and over 400 scientific papers and chapters.
Professor Sir Michael Rutter along with a troupe of psychiatrists now or formerly associated with The Maudsley Hospital and The Institute of Psychiatry at Kings have been working hard at telling the public autism is solely genetic and denying there is a world autism pandemic

If a condition is genetic, you also do not suddenly get spontaneous mutation of large numbers of individuals.  That suggestion is counter logical and non science.  Genetics cannot account for the large rise we are seeing in autism since the mid 1980s.  So instead what we see are efforts by Rutter and the King's Institute of Psychiatry other autism denialists to claim there is no real rise in the prevalence of autism.  This claim is unscientific and runs counter to the facts documented in the formal literature.  You can see I have already made this crystal clear to autism denialist and another psychiatrist, Professor Bennett Leventhal:-
World Autism Pandemic
Clifford G Miller - April 2008
The Institute of Psychiatry has been an embarrassing place to be because of this April 2008 news item:-
BBC psychiatrist Tonmoy Sharma is struck off
By Lucy Cockcroft The Telegraph  01 April /2008

A psychiatrist who regularly appeared as an expert on the BBC has been struck off the medical register after he lied about his academic qualifications and performed unethical drugs tests on mentally ill patients.
The Institute of Psychiatry has or is home to more than its fair share of doctors (psychiatrists mostly) who publish papers claiming autism is genetic and denying there is an autism epidemic (the correct word is pandemic - epidemics have far fewer victims).  These doctors include Rutter, Eric Fombonne (now expert witness in the US in the thiomersal/autism litigation when he had previously published nothing about it), Simon Baron Cohen.  It is also home to controversial "Gulf War Syndrome" psychiatrist Simon Wessley, director of the Centre for Military Health Research at King's College London and who had been claiming ME/CFS is not a physical condition but a mental one contrary to the definition used around the world.  Sophia Wilson is an example of an ME/CFS sufferer who died following this approach to diagnosis, albeit not so far as I am aware a patient of any of the psychiatrists or institutions I name here.

Also associated with The Institute of Psychiatry and the Maudsley is Dr Ben Goldacre, who constantly attacks alternative medicine in The Guardian whilst writing the "Badscience" column - yet Goldacre has no scientific qualifications and does not tell everyone that he practises psychiatry - the least successful branch of medicine in history and which has difficulty finding two reliable pieces of science to rub together to support the wacky quacky theories some of its proponents put out. 

Goldacre works with Wessley. Goldacre and Wessley have close professional and personal connections to King's Mobile Phones Research Unit. That is interesting bearing in mind Goldacre's very public attacks, backed by the industry funded lobby group, The Science Media Centre, on Panorama's documentary about mobile phone hazards, which hazards were raised by no less than the head of the Health Protection Agency.  That did not stop Ben Goldacre and The Science Media Centre attacking the programme and its journalists.

Rutter is also a friend of the editor of the journal which printed the Honda/Rutter MMR paper.  Here is his endorsement of the Journal:-
""JCPP is clearly the world's No. 1 child psychology and psychiatry journal.  It integrates clinical and developmental perspectives, it is truly international, and interdisciplinary, and it combines high scientific standards with attention to clinical relevance."
Prof. Sir Michael Rutter"
Editor Charman is a contributor to Rutter's book:-
"Rutter's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Fifth Edition"
Rutter was also an expert witness in Malmo, Sweden in an MMR autism case where the key question was whether autism was solely genetic and not environmental.  Rutter's expert evidence was that it was genetic.

And this could go on and on and on ......................
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