Congress seeks disclosure of conflicts
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 17, 2005
An amendment added to a congressional appropriations bill would require the Food and Drug Administration to notify the public 15 days before appointing a scientist with a potential conflict of interest to one of its advisory panels that review new drugs and devices.
The FDA now is allowed to hire scientists who have a previous or ongoing financial tie to the manufacturer of a drug or device when the benefits of their expertise outweigh the potential conflicts, but only if it first seeks a waiver. But critics have complained that the FDA did not properly disclose these conflicts.
Congress must pass the bill and President Bush would need to sign it in order for the proposed change to take place. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, applauded the proposed amendment to the appropriation bill, but said Congress should go further and ban conflicts at the FDA altogether.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/10/17/prbf1017.htm.