Finland  Glaxo SmithKline  Swine flu vaccine 2009  Conflict of interest

Ties Between Big Pharma and THL Draw Complaints

Nov 2010

The Chancellor of Justice has received 14 complaints regarding ties between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer of the swine flu vaccine, and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The Chancellor has been asked to assess if the THL was biased when it recommended that Finland purchase the H1N1 vaccine from GSK, according to YLE current affairs TV programme Ajankohtainen kakkonen. The institute had received significant research grants from the pharma giant.

Complainants also requested the Chancellor assess whether a special team assigned by the THL to investigate a possible link between the H1N1 vaccine and narcolepsy is biased for the same reason. They want a clear answer on whether Finlandís highest health authority, the THL, may work in close cooperation with pharmaceutical companies.

Children develop narcolepsy

Thirty-seven children in Finland came down with narcolepsy soon after being injected with the vaccine against swine flu.

Some of the children have sustained serious brain damage that has made it impossible for them to attend school. They suffer from symptoms including hallucinations, personality changes and cataplexy, which is a severe muscle weakness that can lead to a complete collapse up to 20 -30 times a day.

The THL maintains that cooperation with pharmaceutical companies is standard practice for professional organisations.