"The consequences of Philip Morris’s acquisition of Vectura are far reaching,
especially for the medical and research workforce fighting against respiratory
disease. The Philip Morris takeover will have significant implications for the
Many public health organisations, medical professional bodies, universities,
individual health professionals and researchers cannot and will not work with
tobacco companies or their affiliates. This is in line with the World Health
Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
This means researchers who would have received support from Vectura, or used
their products to pioneer the next generation of inhaler therapies, will no
longer be able to do this.
There will be conflicts of interest prohibiting them from publishing their
findings, collaborating on grants for new research, and presenting their work
This has already begun to happen, with pharmaceutical industry conferences such
as the Drug Delivery to the Lungs Conference terminating Vectura’s sponsorship,
forcing the company’s representative to stand down from its committee, and
barring them from participation.
Going forward, companies, health professionals and researchers now
inadvertently linked to big tobacco through Vectura may be restricted from
fully participating in the medical and scientific community. The European
Respiratory Society, for example, excludes participation from anyone with links
to the tobacco industry in the past ten years.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will need to consider if it’s
appropriate for Australian taxpayers to subsidise inhaler devices licensed to
Vectura or, more truthfully, to big tobacco.
Many doctors will be looking for alternative devices to prescribe for their
patients that do not contribute to Philip Morris’s or Vectura’s profits.
Meanwhile, people with lung disease are also likely to be reluctant to use
devices linked to big tobacco."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics