FDA Bill Would Eliminate Conflicts On Advisory Committees

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Conflicts On Advisory Committees

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A provision included in the fiscal year 2008 Agricultural appropriations bill (HR 3161) passed last week by the House would require FDA to eliminate all conflicts of interest on its advisory committees, the Boston Globe reports.

According to the Globe,the provision, proposed by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), "faces atough fight" in the Senate. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and othersmaintain that such a provision would reduce the quality of medicalexperts who serve on advisory committees. However, "congressionalchatter" about the provision "might trigger the FDA to act forcefullyon its own" to address the issue, the Globe reports (Henderson, Boston Globe, 8/7).

FDAin March announced a proposed rule under which medical experts withmore than a $50,000 financial interest in pharmaceutical companiescould not serve on advisory committees that review their products orthe products of their competitors. Under the rule, medical experts withless than a $50,000 financial interest could participate in discussionsby advisory committees but could not vote on whether to recommendproducts. The $50,000 limit would include stock and consultingarrangements (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 3/22). FDA has not issued a final rule (Boston Globe, 8/7).
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