Monday, May 21, 2007

"FDA’s Conflicted Conflict-of-Interest Guards"

In Sunday's Providence Journal was an op-ed on defenses of conflicts of interest on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panels made by people who turned out to have their own conflicts. The article summarized issues raised by three such defenses published in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Providence Journal. The issues raised will be familiar to those who read our previous posts (re the Wall Street Journal article here and here, re the Boston Globe article here, and re the Providence Journal article here.) And they should be since I am tooting my own horn a bit here - I am the author of the latest Pro Jo op-ed. So to summarize my main points very quickly:
  • Although the FDA has moved to more stringently restrict conflicts of interest affecting members of its advisory panels, these conflicts have had prominent public defenders
  • The defenders' arguments were often based on exaggeration and logical fallacies
  • The three most prominent examples of such defenses were written by people with financial ties to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and/or public relations industry, suggesting that the conflicted have trouble making good arguments in defense of conflicts of interest.

Thus, "these defenses of conflicts of interest are reminders that we all need to be more skeptical of private interests underlying health-policy advocacy."

1 comment:

Frith Law Firm said...

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Thank you for your time.