Easing hyper-precautionary conflict rules for the FDA

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Current FDA conflict of interest rules for advisory panels on drugs and medical devices are stifling innovation and preventing promising new treatments from getting to market, says Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). That s exactly why she, in collaboration with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), is proposing to reverse 2007 legislation that barred experts with financial ties to pharmaceutical companies from serving on an advisory panel without a waiver.

According to a statement issued by the senators, the legislation would also restore the appropriate balance to conflicts of interest requirements by requiring the FDA to be subject to the same conflicts of interest requirements as the rest of the federal government.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross agrees that current conflict of interest rules aimed at FDA advisory panels are overly stringent and weed out most of the erudite and experienced health professionals who would actually best serve the public by weighing in with their expertise. He adds, To assume that someone who has received compensation from a pharmaceutical company is corrupt is both insulting and false. The liberalization of these regulations would be a welcome change and a great benefit to public health.