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MASAC Recommendation #28
 

MASAC STATEMENT ON TESTIMONY PROVIDED BY PHYSICIANS AND/OR OTHERS ASSOCIATED WITH THE NATIONAL HEMOPHILIA FOUNDATION

The Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MASAC) of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) adopted the following resolution regarding testimony provided by physicians and/or others associated with the National Hemophilia Foundation on November 21, 1992. This resolution was approved by the NHF Board on November 22, 1992.

It has come to our attention that consumer members of the hemophilia community have raised serious concerns about the appearance of members of NHF's Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MASAC) who provide testimony as expert witnesses in courts of law on behalf of manufacturers and/or distributors of clotting factor concentrates. We agree with the concern that by acting this way, it may be perceived by some that we may be impairing the ability of individuals or families to obtain fair legal judgment in connection with their litigation against the manufacturers. This perception is not compatible with NHF's primary role of advocacy on behalf of individuals and families affected by hemophilia and HIV. For this reason, we believe it is reasonable to request that any health professional currently serving on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council or the Board of the National Hemophilia Foundation not accept any responsibility in testifying as an expert witness in a way that might impair persons with hemophilia from pursuing legal remedy against manufacturers of clotting factor concentrates in courts of law. We further believe that there are sufficient expert witnesses in this field who are not connected with NHF's Medical and Scientific Advisory Council or Board to allow due process for the manufacturers. It is understood that any individual on MASAC or the NHF Board who might be subpoenaed to testify or to be deposed would be required to provide information according to the law.

We also agree that any individual who is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council or Board of the National Hemophilia Foundation if testifying in a matter relating to hemophilia would advise their Counsel that their affiliation with NHF should not be used as a means of conferring special expertise on the subject matter, and in addition that it should be made explicitly clear that they are not testifying on behalf of the National Hemophilia Foundation.