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Is Medsafe in a conflict of interest? – NZDSOS

New Zealand Doctors Speaking Out with Science (NZDSOS) is calling for transparency and accountability around pharmaceutical companies influencing and funding national medical regulatory bodies.

The response to our recent Official Information Act (OIA) request has revealed that Medsafe received a staggering percentage of its funding from large pharmaceutical companies – 84.05% in the year 2022/2023.

This is in line with the funding of other national medicine regulatory bodies such as the MHRA, TGA and the FDA.

Medsafe, which oversees the approval of medications, confirms its commitment to ‘big pharma’, noting it is “also accountable to the pharmaceutical industry for those activities which are funded by fees collected from the [pharmaceutical] industry”, where it receives millions of dollars each year from ‘big pharma’ companies.

Spokesperson for NZDSOS, Dr Cindy de Villiers says, “This portrays a huge conflict of interest for Medsafe. Drug companies get approval for medications and the public rightly believes they assess data independently.

“Independence cannot be assured if Medsafe is being funded by the very companies that they are overseeing,” said Dr de Villiers.

Given that Pfizer is in the top five contributors, further questions arise as to the recent full approval given to four variations of Comirnaty, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines used in NZ.

This study, released in September 2022 by an Associate Editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Peter Doshi, and one of the world’s top epidemiologists, Sander Greenland, is still the definitive finding on the very adverse risk-benefit ratio of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine using the manufacturers’ own data.

“The findings were concerning, to say the least. We have discussed this many times, and informed officials, most recently here in our latest open letter.

“The rate of adverse events of special significance in this particular study was 1 in 800, this from US monitoring which is proven to substantially under-report.

However, we are seeing a much higher rate than that in New Zealand, where the serious adverse events suffered could be as high as one in 10, said Dr de Villiers.

“After all, data suggests a huge percentage of those vaccinated with Covid, seem to get some degree of heart damage”.

If Medsafe is accountable to pharmaceutical companies, which provide it with needed funding, NZDSOS questions how can remain unbiased on the medications it approves.

“When ‘big pharma’ is involved in trials as well as funding the regulator (who should be examining the evidence critically and without bias), there is concerning potential for the benefits of drugs and other interventions to be exaggerated and for real people to suffer, without anyone held to account”, Dr de Villiers said.

NZDSOS once again, calls for an immediate halt to the mRNA injection rollout, pending a full investigation and calls for true transparency and accountability from our national medical regulatory body, Medsafe, regarding conflicts of interest between funding agencies and drug approvals.

 

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