Conflict of Interest

Category archives for Conflict of Interest

Money Changes Everything (Still More Evidence)

Do you still believe the fairy tale that payments by a product’s manufacturer to a scientist (even the most well-meaning, independent-thinking scientist) do not inevitably influence that scientist’s interpretation of the technical data on product’s risks and benefits? If so, this will change your mind.

FDA Advisory Committees: One Person, One Vote

by Susan F. Wood, PhD  FDA recently announced two draft guidances regarding advisory committees, one on public disclosure of financial conflicts of interests and the other on voting procedures.   

Tainted Toys and Travel

Earlier this week, the Washington Post’s Elizabeth Williamson reported on industry-financed trips that Consumer Product Safety Commission chairs had taken. Today, she writes about other CPSC staff members (from both the Clinton and Bush administrations) who took such trips, and about proposed legislation spurred by the CPSC travel revelations. Meanwhile, eight new toy recalls have…

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Consumer Product Safety Commission acting chair Nancy Nord and her predecessor, Hal Stratton, accepted dozens of trips paid for by companies and industries they oversee. (Nord, you might remember, is in the spotlight for objecting to legislation that would give her agency more money and authority.) Nord defended…

 By Susan F. Wood, PhD  Two things appear to be major bones of contention in determining the final version of what is now named the “FDA Revitalization Act of 2007″ (FDARA).  And they both related to public transparency and public accountability. 

 By Susan F. Wood, PhD  In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine today, Sheila Weiss Smith points out that the FDA has not been responsive to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on Drug Safety.  That study and its recommendations took on the question of how to improve our nation’s drug safety…

by Susan F. Wood, PhD  Today’s Washington Post writes about one more instance where women’s health and children’s health were a lower priority than the interests of a powerful group.  In this case, it was breastfeeding vs. the formula industry. Marc Kaufman and Christopher Lee write: In an attempt to raise the nation’s historically low rate…

By Liz Borkowski  Revere’s been keeping us up to date on the latest news about the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences – specifically, the stepping aside of Director Dr. David Schwartz for an NIH investigation, and the letter sent to NIEHS employees with the apparent goal of discouraging whistle-blowing. It seems like a good…

Update on BPA Report Controversy

Our regular readers may remember that back in March, environmental advocates raised concerns about the National Toxicology Program contractor preparing a draft report on bisphenol A, because the contractor had ties to companies that manufacture this particular chemical. (Read past posts on the issue.) After investigating the allegations, the NTP fired the contractor, Virginia-based Sciences International. Now, Susanne Rust…

Transparency, strength at the FDA

The Boston Globe, home town paper of  Senator Ted Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Health, Environment, Labor and Pensions Committee, ran two important commentaries on the FDA this week.  First was an editorial  yesterday strongly urging Congress to pass a strong FDA reform bill, including restricting financial conflicts of interests for advisory committee members. Today the…