Friday’s FDA approval of a new diabetes drug made by Bristol-Myers Squib raised questions about panel members’ conflicts of interest, writes the New York Times. The panel decided that the benefits of the drug outweighed the possible risks, which include potentially serious heart problems. They did this even though the only cardiologist on the panel wasn’t present because he has served as a consultant for the drug company.
There’s a similar story behind a Pfizer drug that was approved by the same panel on Wednesday.
In the article, the director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Integrity in Science project is quoted as saying, "The public’s faith in the integrity of the process is undermined when one-third of an advisory committee’s membership has significant financial ties to the company seeking the product’s approval."