Drug Ties Common Among FDA Committee Members

No wonder Monday's report on the postmarket monitoring by the FDA from the Government Accountability Office was a bad one: Professionals who participate in drug advisory meetings at the federal level have considerable conflicts of interest, based on a study by Public Citizen's Health Research Group.

Evidently, conventional medicine may be finally realizing the pretense that passes for drug safety at the federal level in America is porous, at best. The study made the pages of this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (text link below), something I wouldn't have expected to see not so long ago...

The study reviewed detailed financial disclosures by FDA advisory committee members and consultants who voted on new drugs (part and parcel of revised federal guidelines issued four years ago) from 2001-04.

Almost 30 percent of voters acknowledged a financial conflict during the previous year with either a company that made the drug or one of its competitors. Among the conflicts: Consulting, stock holdings or investments and research grants ranging from $10,000-100,000.

Overall, at least one drug committee member or consultant had a conflict in 73 percent of the 221 hearings that took place during the course of the study. Here's the real problem: Only 1 percent of the drug advisory committee members were recused from attending some meetings.

Just another reason not to put your life and faith in the hands of the FDA, a compromised and crippled federal entity more interested in helping their real "partners" -- the mega-drug companies -- than their "true" bosses -- American taxpayers.

Public Citizen April 25, 2006

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 295, No. 16, April 26, 2006: 1921-1928

Yahoo News April 25, 2006

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