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"To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice."
Magna Carta - 15th June, 1215

 
No of entries selected: 8 of 711
1982
June
Dr E. Harris, DCMO - Awareness of Possibility of AIDS Transmission via Human Plasma
In a confidential DHSS circular of June 1982: "British Plasma-derived Vaccine against Hepatitis B" we learn that the author of the document, the Department's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ed. Harris, was fully aware of the possibility of AIDS transmission via human plasma. It should be noted that this was in June 1982...

"Doubts have been raised now about the project, triggered by difficulties with the inactivation process necessary to render any such vaccine non-infective from free virus and by recent concern over the possibility of transmission of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) via the human plasma from which the vaccine is derived."

We can date the source document for this information, since on page 4, under the paragraph with the heading: "Present Situation" we learn that the circular was written sometime in June 1982, and that Dr. Harris, then DCMO, was considering the importation of a US vaccine.

Note: The DHSS seemed more concerned with commercial interests - like whether to continue with the financial contribution they had been making towards the development of a plasma-derived Hepatitis B vaccine which they could exploit commercially - than the safety of products made from source-plasma obtained in questionable circumstances:

"...This is due to concern which has arisen about the possible transmission of AIDS in plasma-derived products, in circumstances where the blood donors likely to be the most productive sources of hepatitis B surface antigen happen often to be individuals at risk of developing AIDS."

It would not have been difficult for the DHSS to have foreseen, from this detailed information, that products manufactured from U.S. or other suspect source-plasma were going to be a huge threat to the lives of haemophiliacs.
Source:
Type: DHSS Circular - commercial in confidence. June 1982. Dr Ed L. Harris, Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO, DH, 1977-89).
Location: UK
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1985
15 August
DHSS - Deputy Chief Medical Officer - Overconfident on Heat Treatment
In a DHSS letter of August 1985, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, states that it was apparent that certain Haemophilia Centres were still using Factor VIII that had not been heat-treated:

Dr E. Harris: (DCMO) I understand that all commercial Factor VIII imported into this country is also heat treated. There would thus appear to be no longer any need to use un-heat-treated Factor VIII concentrate.

Note: This statement turned out to be overconfident and wrong, as within only six months, Armour Batch A28306 infects haemophiliac boys in the Birmingham area (Lindsay Tribunal Report, pg 53) and by March 1986, Armour has to be questioned by the DHSS about the efficacy of its heat-treatment methods. (Krever Report, Volume 3, Part IV, Chapter 33, page 933).

Source:
Type: Recovered Document - DHSS letter from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. 15 August 1985
Location: UK
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1985
24 October
Sir Donald Acheson CMO - Draft Speech to PHLS on AIDS
In the final draft of a speech by the then CMO, Sir Donald Acheson to the PHLS in October 1985, we discover a certain overconfidence regarding his belief that no new cases of AIDS infection should occur in the future in the haemophiliac group...

Sir Donald Acheson, October 1985: "These data show that HTLV3 infection:

  1. has increased in prevalence among homosexuals in London. Elsewhere it may also be increasing in prevalence but remains less common that [than?] in the capital;

  2. It is prevalent among haemophiliacs, particularly sufferers from Type 'A' haemophilia. Fortunately however no new cases of infection should now occur in this group;

  3. it has appeared, so far at low prevalence among female partners of haemophiliacs;

  4. it remains relatively uncommon among drug abusers."

NOTE: We must point out that the CMO's comment was somewhat overconfident since that very same month, there was the third is a spate of cases of seroconversion in UK haemophiliacs associated with the use of an imported commercial concentrate; Armour's H.T. Factorate - and this was only 2 and a half months after the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (Dr E. Harris, DCMO) had expressly stated that:

"all commercial Factor VIII imported into this country is also heat treated. There would thus appear to be no longer any need to use un-heat-treated Factor VIII concentrate." (August 1985).

Apart from the complete underestimation of the ongoing risk to spouses, by November 1985, there is hearsay evidence that even more haemophiliac patients are seroconverting to become anti-HTLV III positive despite having received heat-treated Factor VIII. Even as late as February 1986, we still have a new HIV infection in a UK haemophiliac caused by Armour batch A28306.

Source:
Type: DOH FOI Document - CMO Final Draft of Speech to PHLS on AIDS. 24 October 1985.
Location: UK
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1986
21 February
Dr Lawlor referring to Armour - Late Seroconversions
Armour batch A28306 is the likely cause of HIV infection in a UK haemophiliac on 21 February 1986.

(The Armour product was heat treated at 60 Centigrade for 30 hours and was made from plasma of untested donors. This product is associated with up to 12 cases of late seroconversion.)

Background: Only a week or so earlier, the Government's CMO, (Chief Medical Officer), Dr Donald Acheson, dismissed evidence that Dutch patients had been infected by heat-treated Factor 8, and assured British haemophiliacs that US supplies were safe.

NOTE: It should be noted that the Amsterdam-based physicians had reported in the Lancet that their patient had been given exclusively heat-treated Factor VIII originating from the United States.

Source: Additional Source:
Link #2
Type: Witness Evidence
Location: UK
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1986
21 February
Dr Lawlor referring to Armour - Infection from Batch A28306
The untested plasma that Armour batch A28306 originates from was made into similar types of Armour product which infect haemophiliac boys in the Birmingham area.
Source: Lindsay Tribunal Report. Page 53
Type: Witness Evidence
Location: UK
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1986
March
DHSS / Armour - Efficacy of Heat Treatment
DHSS questions Armour about the efficacy of its heat-treatment methods.

Departmental staff meet with Armour officials to review the data on inactivating viruses.

Source: Krever Commission Report (1997), Vol 3, Part IV, Chapter 33, page 933.
Type: Questioning / Meeting
Location: USA
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1986
late September
Armour - H.T. Factorate Haemophiliac Seroconversions
Another 2 seroconversion cases are reported in persons with haemophilia in the UK who have been treated with Armour's H.T. Factorate.
Source: Krever Commission Report (1997), Vol 3, Part IV, Chap. 33, page 933.
Type: Development
Location: UK
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1986
6 October
DHSS / Armour Voluntary H.T. Factorate Withdrawal
DHSS staff meet again with Armour officials. At this meeting, Armour agrees to voluntarily withdraw all H.T. Factorate from the U.K. market.

The company also agrees to relinquish its product licences for all factor VIII concentrate products.

Source: Krever Commission Report (1997), Vol 3, Part IV, Chapter 33, page 933.
Type: Meeting
Location: USA
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