India — On February 28, 2017, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF) support of India’s immunization program will cease to exist after the government has moved to sever ties with the billionaire’s organization.
This move by the Indian state was largely prompted by fears that Big Pharma foreign donors associated with the BMGF could influence policy making. Having been the proving ground for outside foreign-funded health experts, this move is also part of a larger push to dismiss dozens of other schemes controlling and attempting to control decision making in key policy areas, according to Reuters.
For many years, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunizations (NTAGI) has been serviced and funded by the Gates Foundation’s Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU) at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
Citing a ‘conflict of interests’, however, according to the India Times, the Gates Foundation’s “ties” with pharmaceutical companies is part of the reason they shut the gate on BMGF.