Andrew Wakefield Scandal: Secret Businesses by Andrew Wakefield Aimed to Exploit Fears
Andrew Wakefield aimed to exploit parents fears about vaccines and make huge sums of money through secret businesses, according to a British Medical Journal investigation.
Wakefield was disgraced after an investigation found he had doctored results in a landmark study that connected the MMR vaccine to a risk of autism.
"Secrets of the MMR scare," by investigative journalist Brian Deer reveals that Wakefield met with business managers to discuss joint ventures even before he began his research.
"It is estimated that the initial market for the diagnostic will be litigation driven testing of patients with AE [autistic enterocolitis] from both the UK and the USA," said a 35 page "private and confidential" prospectus obtained by Deer, aimed at raising an initial 700,000 from investors. "It is estimated that by year 3, income from this testing could be about 3,300,000 rising to about 28,000,000 as diagnostic testing in support of therapeutic regimes come on stream."
Wakefields study has never been replicated and contained just 12 children. An investigation found that most of the participants had exhibited developmental problems prior to receiving the vaccine. Nevertheless, his study served to cause panic among parents who began avoiding the MMR vaccine for their children.