More undeclared COIs of Luther Pendragon’s Simon Whale

(See 7th September piece on Whale’s role in the IMMDS Review looking at valproate (bipolar disorder, epilepsy), surgical mesh and Primodos)

The Review was announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on 21st February 2018, in parliament, and its first ‘news’ was published nine weeks later.

‘Communications lead’ Whale failed to communicate to patient groups that his company Luther Pendragon actually started listing the IMMDS Review itself, for the March to May 2018 quarter, as a public relations client.

Patients were also not told that the pharmaceutical PLC Abbvie, and the medical imaging company Affidea, were clients in the same quarter. They did not appear in the June-August 2018 PR register.

Screenshot_2019-09-17 All Members - APPC - Association of Professional Political Consultants - APPC-REGISTER-May-2018-FINAL[...]

Abbvie became notorious in early 2013 when it took legal action against the European Medicines Agency, to block publication of adverse drug events. It was successful for over a year. The APPC register only goes back to June 2013: it was a client of Luther Pendragon at that time.

Screenshot_2019-09-17 from david_colquhoun abbvie - Twitter Search Twitter

Earlier this year, Abbvie unsuccessfully sued NHS England over a contract to provide Hepatitis C antivirals.

Undisclosed clients, and an undisclosed direct funder of a client, which gave evidence to the Review

The ‘June 2019 register of interests‘ which the IMMDS Review published shortly after my first August 14th piece on its ‘lead researcher’ Sonia Macleod, has not been further updated. It disclosed, for the first time, that NHS England, which gave evidence to the Review, was a Luther Pendragon client.

There are two other as yet undisclosed bodies which gave evidence to the Review. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society was not named in the Review ‘register’ as part-funding the Pharmacy APPG, which was a client until July 2019. The Professional Standards Authority is a current client.




About Dr Neil MacFarlane MRCPsych

Independent Psychiatrist providing culturally informed mental health opinion, advice, and a few new facts. Based near London, UK. Main qualifications: BA MBBS MA MRCPsych.

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