Friday, June 17, 2005

Big Pharma Reined In

Congress has passed an amendment introduced by Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) to rein in Big Pharma influence of FDA advisory panels.

This follows on from a New York Times reported in February that 10 of 32 scientists sitting on an FDA advisory panel evaluating Cox-2 painkillers has financial ties to manufacturers of the drugs. Had they not been present then 2 of the 3 drugs in the class would have been canned on the spot by the panel.

Congressman Hinchey's press release states: "recent FDA actions have created serious doubts about whether committee members are serving only the public interest and, as a result, industry biases now taint many advisory panel decisions.  Today, we took a giant step forward to squash those doubts.”

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