WHO has released the names and affiliations of emergency committee
members who convened to advise the agency in 2009 during the influenza A (H1N1)
After recently announcing
the end of the pandemic, the emergency committee
members names and affiliations were posted on WHOs website. The
- Lawson Ahadzie, MBChB, MPH, former head of surveillance
department of the Ghana Health Service/Ministry of Health in Accra, Ghana.
Ahadzies membership was suspended after becoming a WHO staff member after
the fifth committee meeting.
- André Basse, Counselor of the Embassy Senegal in
- Muhammad Akbar Chaudhry, MBBS, of Fatima Jinnah Medical
College in Lahore, Pakistan. He joined the committee after its sixth meeting.
- Supamit Chunssuttiwat, MD, MPH, of the Ministry of Public
Health in Bangkok.
- Nancy Cox, PhD, director of the influenza division at the
- Anthony Evans, MD, of the International Civil Aviation
Organization in Montreal.
- John McKenzie, PhD, of Curtin University in Perth,
- Arnold Monto, MD, of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
- Fernando Otaiza, MD, MSc, of the Ministry of Health in
- Rogelio Pérez Padilla, MD, director-general of the
Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias in Mexico City.
- Wing Hong Seto, MD, of the Queen Mary Hospital in the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region.
- Masato Tashiro, MD, PhD, of the National Institute of
Infectious Diseases in Tokyo.
- Claude Thibeault, MD, consultant in aviation medicine and
occupational health in Montreal.
- John Wood, PhD, of the National Institute for Biological
Standards and Control in Herts, United Kingdom.
- Maria Zambon, PhD, of the Health Protection Agency Center for
Infection in London.
- Neil Morris Ferguson, of the Imperial College Faculty of
Medicine in London and adviser to the committee.
The following members declared conflicts of interest:
Cox said the public health and surveillance research unit at the CDC
receives funding from International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
& Associations (IFPMA) for activities of CDC as a WHO Collaborating Center
in the field of influenza vaccine research and virus isolation work.
Monto has been a current and past consultant on pandemic and/or seasonal
influenza for GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche, Baxter and Sanofi, and his
research unit at the University of Michigan received a grant from
Sanofi-Pasteur for a clinical trial on influenza vaccines. Compensation for his
consultancies is reported to be less than $10,000.
Thibeault has been a consultant medical adviser to International Air
Transport Association since 2004.
Woods research unit at the National Institute for Biological
Standards and Control of the U.K. Health Protection Agency has conducted
contract research on influenza vaccines for Sanofi-Pasteur, CSL, IFPMA,
Novartis and PowderMed.
Zambons U.K. Health Protection Agency Center for Infection
receives funding from Sanofi, Novartis, CSL, Baxter and GlaxoSmithKline for
contract work performed in her laboratory.
Ferguson has been a consultant for Roche, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals,
with reported compensation being less than $7,000 in 2007.
The interests summarized above do not give rise to a conflict of
interest such that experts concerned should be partially or totally excluded
from participation in the emergency committee, the statement on
WHOs website said. However, following WHOs policy, they were
disclosed within the committee so that other members were aware of them. All
other members of the emergency committee declared no relevant interests.
Until now, committee members remained anonymous to prevent external
influence on the panels decisions, according to WHO. The secrecy
regarding the members identities, however, caused controversy after the
British Medical Journal published a report in June that raised questions
committee members potential conflicts of interest
and possible ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
In response, Margaret Chan, MD, MPH, director-general of
WHO, said commercial interests did not interfere with the committees
decision-making, and the members names would be released when they
concluded their work.