GENEVA -- An expert panel investigating the World Health Organization's response to last year's swine flu outbreak said Wednesday it wants to see confidential exchanges between the U.N. body and drug companies.
The 29-member panel will seek WHO records and correspondence from before and after the H1N1 strain was declared a pandemic in June, said committee chairman Harvey Fineberg, who is also president of the Institute of Medicine in Washington. (Fineberg also coauthored the eye-opening NAS report on the 1976 swine flu vaccine program--Nass)
"We will want to have access to certain confidential documents that may be in place here at WHO or elsewhere," Fineberg told reporters in Geneva.
The documents include "contractual or letters of understanding" between the pharmaceutical industry and WHO, he said. "Some of the agreements with industry that we would like to examine have been considered confidential," but so far all of the panel's requests have been met, he said...