The House Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment banning scientists and physicians with conflicts of interest from serving on FDA advisory panels. The amendment was introduced by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and added to the Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for fiscal 2007.
Hinchey's amendment prevents the FDA from spending any money on waivers for advisory committees, effectively ending the practice of including scientists on advisory panels with ties to the drugs and devices at question.
"In April 2005, the FDA convened an advisory committee to examine whether to allow silicon breast implants back on the market. However, that committee included a scientist who had made a promotional video for a manufacturer of the implants," the Hinchey statement says. Hinchey authored the FDA Improvement Act of 2005 (HR 2090), a reform bill that seeks to undermine the "cozy relationship" between drug and device manufacturers and the FDA.
To view the Hinchey statement, visit http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ny22_hinchey/morenews/050906fdaconflictsamendment.html (http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ny22_hinchey/morenews/050906fdaconflictsamendment.html).