Report Finds “Conflicts of Interest” Have No Effect on FDA Advisory Committee Votes

Policy and Medicine – Stringent conflicts-of-interest policies keep many experts off of FDA advisory committees. A new study suggests that the fear of pro-industry bias underlying these policies may be misplaced, and also serves to keep highly qualified candidates off of these committees.

James C. Cooper, director of research and policy at the Law and Economics Center at George Mason Law School and Joseph Golec, professor of Finance of the University of Connecticut, who conducted the study, sought to compare conflicted members’ voting patterns with objective criteria. They found that decisions by advisory committees with conflicted members to recommend drugs were more likely to be consistent with both the ultimate FDA decision as well as stock market predictions than non-conflicted advisory committees and members.

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