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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
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Study Finds FDA Conflict Of Interest In Investigating Procedures

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The AP (1/12) reports, "An internal watchdog finds that financial conflicts involving outside researchers who test experimental drugs often remain hidden," and "missing information, loopholes, and weak oversight hamper efforts to uncover financial conflicts involving researchers who test experimental drugs before companies seek government approval." The Health and Human Services inspector general’s office’s report said, "We found a number of limitations in" the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) "oversight, leaving FDA unable to determine whether [drug companies] submit financial information for all clinical investigators." According to the AP, "because scientists can be tempted by profits, the government requires disclosure of possible conflicts involving clinical researchers who review medications before drug companies seek FDA approval."

The FDA "does almost nothing to police the financial conflicts of doctors who conduct clinical trials of drugs and medical devices in human subjects, government investigators are reporting," the New York Times (1/12, A10, Harris) adds. Noted was that, "in percent of clinical trials, the agency did not receive forms disclosing doctors’ financial conflicts and did nothing about the problem, according to the investigation, which was conducted by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services and whose results were scheduled to be made public Monday." Another study "by the inspector general last year found that the National Institutes of Health did almost nothing to police the financial conflicts of university professors who received federal money."