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Doctors join protest over change to FDA rules on conflict of interest

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 18 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5269
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

A doctors’ group has joined a growing number of individuals and organisations protesting against a loosening of rules on conflicts of interest at the US Food and Drug Administration.

The National Physicians Alliance, which represents some 20 000 US medical students and doctors and is based in Washington, DC, sent a strongly worded letter on 7 August to the FDA’s commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, stating that it was “dismayed” to learn of the suggestion of a rule change for its advisers.

The alliance, which accepts no funding from drug or device manufacturers, described its organisation’s “first guiding principle” in the letter to Dr Hamburg. It said, “We place the best interests of our patients above all others and avoid conflicts of interest and financial entanglements. The …

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