Skip to content

Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center

Font Size

MMR Doctor ‘Planned to Make Millions,’ Journal Claims

BMJ Reveals How the Doctor Who Claimed There Was a Link Between Vaccines and Autism Planned to Cash In

Deals Could Have Netted Millions

The kits in question were for diagnosing patients with autism. Deer obtained one 35-page document marked "private and confidential" which confidently predicted: “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.”

Would-be investors were told that “the initial market for the diagnostic will be litigation-driven testing of patients with AE [autistic enterocolitis, an unproven condition concocted by Wakefield] from both the UK and the USA”.

Deer’s investigation also reveals that Wakefield was offered support to try to replicate his results, gained from just 12 children, with a larger validated study of up to 150 patients, but that he refused to carry out the work, claiming that his academic freedom would be jeopardized.

A further claim in the BMJ article is the existence of a business, named after Wakefield’s wife, which was intended to develop his own "replacement" vaccines, diagnostic testing kits, and other products which only stood any real chance of success if public confidence in the MMR vaccine was damaged.

Thanks to the recent publication of the General Medical Council’s hearings transcript, the BMJ has been able to peer-review and check Deer’s findings and confirm extensive falsification in the Lancet paper.

"We had access to a six million word transcript of the General Medical Council, which laid out all these children’s medical [records] in extraordinary detail and in exceptional certain forensic circumstances,” Deer tells WebMD. “It enabled us to do a reliable case-by-case comparison of what the true position was with regards to the histories and diagnosis of these children and what Wakefield had reported in the Lancet.”

Legacy of a Health Scare

The damage done to childhood vaccination rates is still being felt in the U.S. and U.K. MMR vaccination rates in the U.S. are still below the 95% level recommended by the World Health Organization.

In 2008, for the first time in 14 years, measles was declared endemic in England and Wales. The BMJ says hundreds of thousands of children in the U.K. are unprotected as a result of the scare.

Today on WebMD

girl at window
Symptoms within the first 2 years of a child’s life.
boy playing a violin
How is this condition similar to autism?
toddler blinking
Learn about the 5 types of PDD.
preschool age girl sitting at desk
What causes this rare form of autism?
High Functioning Autism And Asperge Syndrome
Gluten Free Diet Slideshow
Dealing With Autism A Familys Journey
Vaccine and needle
girl at window
Mother hugging teenage son
Understanding Rett Syndrome
Home Care Tips

WebMD Special Sections