Tags: Study: | FDA | Experts | Tied | Drug | Companies

Study: FDA Experts Tied To Drug Companies

Wednesday, 26 April 2006 12:00 AM

Nearly 30 percent of Food and Drug Administration advisers have financial links to drug companies, though final decisions are probably not affected, according to a new study from the Public Citizen's Health Research Group.

The FDA often turns to panels of outside experts for advice on approving new drugs, though it is not required to follow their advice.

Public Citizen evaluated the financial ties of experts who participated in 221 advisory panel meetings from 2001 through 2004. Here are the major findings:

-- 28 percent of nearly 3,000 panel members disclosed a financial relationship with the company that made a drug under discussion.

-- Seventy-three percent of meetings involved at least one participant with a financial conflict, according to the study.

-- The most common ties were consulting arrangements, research contracts or grants, and stock holdings.

-- Nineteen percent of the consulting arrangements involved payments of more than $10,000, 23 percent of contracts or grants exceeded $100,000 and 30 percent of investments topped $25,000, the study said.

The report found that though the conflicts of interest existed, they did not appear to affect the decisions made. Sometimes individuals with links to a drug voted for it, sometimes against it.

However, the Public Citizen researchers suggested that panel members with conflicts involving large sums of money should be banned.

"Ideally, all panels of scientific experts advising a federal decision-making body would be free of financial conflicts of interest with the affected company," they wrote.

FDA spokeswoman Susan Bro said the agency carefully weighs any potential conflicts with the need for expertise.

The Public Citizen report appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Nearly 30 percent of Food and Drug Administration advisers have financial links to drug companies, though final decisions are probably not affected, according to a new study from the Public Citizen's Health Research Group. The FDA often turns to panels of outside experts...
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2006-00-26
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 12:00 AM
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