conflicts of interest


Rep. Grijalva’s Requests and the Real Problem with Conflict of Interest Disclosure

, program manager, Center for Science & Democracy

On Tuesday, Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva asked seven academics for their sources of funding and earlier drafts of testimony they have delivered before congressional committees. Since then, many have debated whether the requests cross the line into harassment or witch hunts or McCarthyism. Lost in the discussion around whether the requests are too broad is a bigger question to address: Why don’t we already know who funds the work of those who testify before Congress? Read more >

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Who Should Decide What Happens When Scientists Violate Conflict of Interest Rules?

, program manager, Center for Science & Democracy

Scientists and institutions are under increasing scrutiny to be more transparent, especially when they publish research that has bearing on major public policy debates, and with good reason: funding can influence how studies are conducted and results are presented. It’s not easy though; when it comes to disclosure of conflicts of interest, practices vary across scientific disciplines, journals and institutions, and the lines regarding what should be disclosed are sometimes blurry. Read more >

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We Found Independent Experts—the FDA Can Too

, program manager, Center for Science & Democracy

Pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and some in Congress, argue that it’s difficult to find independent experts to serve on FDA’s scientific advisory committees due to strong financial conflict of interest standards.

Our experience proves otherwise. Read more >

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How Conflicted Experts Can Sway FDA Drug Approval Decisions: A Case Study on Yaz

, former science policy fellow

Experts on FDA advisory panels with financial conflicts of interest can influence the approval of a drug in multiple ways, not only by voting to approve a drug but also by dominating the discussion and pressuring other panelists. In the case of the popular contraceptive drug Yaz, four scientists with financial conflicts of interest were enough to push the vote in favor of the drug, with significant consequences for some women. Read more >

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The Human Cost of FDA Decisions: For a Midwestern Family, A Breakdown in Drug Safety Hits Home

, program manager, Center for Science & Democracy

The consequences of unsafe drugs and medical devices are real—and nobody knows that better than Gwen B. of West Sacramento, California. We talked a few days ago after she responded to a UCS action alert with a story about her mother, Maxine, and I was moved enough to want to share her family’s story with you. Read more >

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