Doctor behind MMR scare may face charges

June 12, 2006 at 9:58 PM
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LONDON, June 12 (UPI) -- The British doctor who sparked an international scare over the safety of MMR vaccine reportedly faces charges of alleged professional misconduct.

The London Independent said Andrew Wakefield, who published a research paper in 1998 purporting to show a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, is accused of publishing "inadequately founded" research.

The research is said to have caused immunization rates to decline and cases of measles, mumps and rubella to soar.

The newspaper said the research, which appeared in The Lancet, is said to have done more damage than anything published in a scientific journal in living memory.

At the time he was preparing The Lancet paper, Wakefield was being paid by lawyers for parents of children allegedly damaged by the MMR vaccine to look for evidence that could be used to help take legal action against manufacturers of the vaccine, the newspaper said.

Detailed charges are being formulated by the the General Medical Council's lawyers for presentation in the fall, the newspaper said.

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