House Votes to Prohibit Financial Conflicts of Interest on FDA Panels
Statement of CSPI Integrity in Science Director Merrill Goozner
June 8, 2005
In the past year it has become increasingly clear that scientists who have financial ties to drug companies or medical-device manufacturers should not be sitting in judgement of those companies' products. For far too long the FDA has had an overly cozy relationship with drug companies--a coziness formalized by having scientists or physicians with direct financial conflicts of interest sitting on FDA advisory committees. If enacted, this legislation would help restore public confidence in the safety of Americas food, drugs, and medical devices.
We congratulate Representative Maurice Hinchey on the successful passage of his amendment to the FDA/USDA appropriations bill, which would prohibit conflicted persons from serving on these panels. We are especially gratified that Rep. Hinchey's efforts gained bipartisan support, and we hope that the Senate adopts similar language.