FDA s conflict of interest rules too strict

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The FDA’s stringent conflict-of-interest policies are impeding research, ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan writes in her latest op-ed published yesterday in the Richmond News-Dispatch. Dr. Whelan points out that nearly a third of the FDA’s more than 600 advisory committee seats are empty because the FDA is rejecting qualified experts due to superficial industry ties:

Even those scientists and doctors who have eaten a corporate-sponsored meal or accepted a corporate-gifted fruit basket are forbidden from FDA duties!

Regulators dogmatically focused on conflict-of-interest have forgotten that many medical breakthroughs have come — and will continue to come — from the industry-funded research program.

Automatically disqualifying experts from critical advisory positions based on minimal industry relations undermines scientific progress and hurts patients. And the system cultivates unfounded mistrust in the American people about the very people who have dedicated their lives to helping others.