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FDA needs a more “nuanced” approach to advisers’ conflicts of interest, researchers say

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 16 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5665
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

A study correlating financial conflicts of interest among members of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees with their voting patterns has found that experts who had exclusive ties to a particular firm were significantly more likely to vote in favor of its products.

Published in the Milbank Quarterly, the study looked at 379 FDA advisory committee meetings convened from 1997 to 2011, reviewing the votes of the 1379 members who took part.1 An eighth (13%) of these committee members had declared a conflict of interest involving the treatment under review. Roughly half the meetings studied included the attendance of at least one person with a declared conflict of interest.

Panelists who had an exclusive financial tie to the firm whose …

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