The AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics announced the submission of an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court on July 30, 2010, "joined by 21 partnering health organizations," in the vaccine injury case of Bruesewitz v Wyeth, to support the powerful vaccine maker against a lone family.
Oral arguments in the case took place on October 12, 2010, but a final decision won't be known for months. The most recent drug injury preemption case decided by the Court was also against Wyeth and the ruling came down in favor of plaintiff, Diane Levine.
The Court took the Bruesewitz case to determine whether 18-year-old Hannah, disabled by injuries she received from Wyeth's diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DPT) vaccine at 6-months-old in 1992, has the right to bring a lawsuit against Wyeth after the Vaccine Court, set up by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, refused compensation even though she will require life-long care and her vaccine was traced to a lot that had 65 adverse reactions including two deaths, 39 emergency room visits, and 6 hospitalizations.
After compensation was denied, the family filed suit against Wyeth in Pennsylvania and argued that the vaccine Hannah received was defectively designed and had a known safer vaccine been used her injuries could have been avoided.
Wyeth filed for summary judgment and the lower court dismissed the case holding that the 1986 vaccine law preempted all design defect claims. In March 2009, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling and the family filed a petition for review in the Supreme Court.
"Amici--all of whom support the routine vaccination of children against a host of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases--urge this Court to affirm the judgment of the Third Circuit below," the brief filed by the 22 groups states.
The term "host" inadequately describes the number of "routine" shots kids get today, along with the increased risk of injury. Before 1986, children's vaccines included diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella and inactivated poliovirus. Since the Vaccine Injury Act was passed, nine new vaccines have been added, including hepatitis B, rotavirus, haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcal, influenza, varicella, hepatitis A, meningococcal, human papillomavirus (for girls), or an additional 46 doses for girls and 43 for boys, the CDC's 2009 Recommended Immunization Schedule shows.
Amici Anything But Impartial
JB Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, as well as co-founder and contributor to Age of Autism, says whenever he meets pediatricians he asks what percentage of their revenue comes from vaccine administration. "The number always astounds me," he said on Age of Autism. "The answers I get are that anywhere from 50-80% of their revenue comes from giving vaccines."
In addition to their individual income from giving shots, Wyeth is now owned by Pfizer and over the past few years, the grant reports of the two companies show millions of dollars pouring into the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics and many of the "partnering health organizations" that signed off on the brief.
For instance, Pfizer 2009 report lists two grants to the Academy totaling $56,000 and Wyeth donated $630,000 to benefit the group in 2009. Wyeth also gave the Academy $345,919 in 2008. The group received $524,080 from Pfizer in the first two quarters of 2010 alone.
In 2009, the Academy presented the "President's Certificate for Outstanding Service" award to Dr Paul Offit, whose least offensive nickname, of many, is "Dr Proffit."
Offit was also called the "poster child" for the term "biostitute," by Robert Kennedy Jr at a green vaccine rally in Washington in 2008, for making himself the spokesperson for the vaccine industry and pretending to be an independent scientist without disclosing his ties to and the millions of dollars he's made off the vaccine industry.
"The AAP is honoring Dr. Offit in recognition of his ongoing commitment to promote immunization," the Academy's October 16, 2009 announcement stated, without mentioning the financial windfalls he received due to his "commitment to promote immunization."
On December 9, 2009, a report on Offit was published on Age of Autism with the headline, "Counting Offit's Millions: More on How Merck's Rotateq Vaccine Made Paul Offit Wealthy," by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill, authors of the new book, "Age of Autism: Mercury Medicine and A Manmade Epidemic."
The report points out that Paul Offit, "vaccine entrepreneur and public health spokesperson, has earned approximately $10 million in income from Rotateq royalties through 2009 and stands to earn a total of between $13-35 million over the life of his rotavirus vaccine patents."