The European Pharmaceutical Industry, in the guise of EFPIA, has a stranglehold on the European Commission in terms of policies for vaccination promotion and acquisition of healthcare data. Healthcare data is essential for Pharma to collect commercially useful realworld evidence of clinical illnesses and prescribing habits and trends.
Both campaigns are supported directly or indirectly by Pharma and have a remarkably similar approach: creating multiple similar internet platforms and putting the supposed views of citizens/patients at the forefront. Great production values – and sterile.
This post deals with vaccination promotion – a second will deal with the campaign to get you to insist on making your health data available to benefit all.
Your Guardian Angels
Many grants to Guardian Angels (pressure groups) are made through the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) which is jointly funded by EFPIA (the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) and the European Union.
Let’s start with Vaccines and The Coalition for Life Course Immunisation (CLCI). “Life Course” is an all-embracing term that ensures that vaccination promotion covers all age groups.
This UK charity was set up in 2017, and has an office address in the leafy Cotswolds of southern England. It has six unpaid trustees. It provides a platform to facilitate discussion and promotion of increased awareness among health professionals, the public, policy makers and politicians, of the effectiveness of immunisation as a public health tool, of the importance of vaccination programmes for citizens of all ages, and of knowledge of issues and barriers around immunisation at all stages of life that need to overcome.
EiP runs Vaccines Together, an initiative and online collaboration hub, targeting to increase vaccination coverage rates across Europe, and across all stages of life. companies operating in Europe.
Vaccines Europe sponsored CLCI’s recent report “Life Course Immunisation in an Era of Fake News”.
Then there is The Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP) funded by EFPIA directly and indirectly through IMI and separately by some pharmaceutical companies. “We help to inform the strategies and designs for immunization programmes so human and financial resources can be designed for and with the communities they serve. The VCP began by developing a system for early detection of public concerns about vaccines.”
in its latest annual return shows grants of >£430,000 from Pharma. A current project is about “Vaccine confidence in Central & Eastern Europe”.
“Getting to the root cause of vaccine hesitancy is key to strengthening people’s confidence and improving the low levels of uptake. This project has been made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer and is being produced in partnership with the Coalition for Life-Course Immunisation and the ILC Europe Network.”
Another European project is VITAL, Vaccinating Elderly for Healthy Ageing.
Sponsored by EFPIA and IMI, this claims:
“Today’s major challenge is to improve efficacy of vaccines to protect the growing ageing population against infectious diseases (ID). The VITAL project aims to address this challenge by assessing the ID burden and mechanisms of immunosenescence to provide evidence-based knowledge on vaccination strategies to establish healthy ageing.”
At the other end of the spectrum is ThinkYoung
The ThinkYoung Vaccine Coalition have created a Manifesto highlighting 10 recommendations for vital actions in the field of immunisation. On January 21st, 2020 the ThinkYoung Vaccine Coalition Manifesto was launched at the European Parliament in Brussels, in presence of over 40 policymakers.
Think Young Partners include Vaccines Today and Sanofi Pasteur.
The European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) is a leading European non-profit Product Development Partnership (PDP) that is supporting global efforts to develop effective and affordable vaccines against diseases of poverty and emerging infectious diseases. Partnered with European Pharmaceutical Companies, it receives financial support from IMI.
The one common factor in all of these pro-vaccine lobbying organisations is that their funding can be traced back to the Pharmaceutical Industries.
A name that crops up a lot is Gary Finnegan, a journalist but also an Ambassador for ThinkYoung, the Editor of Vaccines Today, the Editor in Chief for Break Dengue, a Member of Vaccines Together and a Board Member of the Coalition for Life Course Immunisation.
So for British readers – aren’t you glad for Brexit? Well Brexit may have in part been all about getting on this gravy train before the pesky Europeans. Now lets see how we can leverage NHS data – the best in the world.
To be continued.
RxISK acknowledges that the experiences of those who have been harmed by medical treatments are the cornerstone on which it is built, and believes this should be the case for all of medicine.
See Black Robe, White Coat for more detail on this people acknowledgement