Does Big Pharma Have Too Much Influence Over the FDA?

Is big pharma a little too cozy with the FDA?

The goal of the FDA is supposed to be protect individuals from being harmed by medicines, medical devices, and they even oversee recalls on food. Their very name leads most people to believe that the job of the Food and Drug Administration is to help keep citizens from being made sick or even killed by things that are sold on the market. The FDA’s job is to study, review results, and oversee recalls on dangerous substances. The real question is, are they doing their job or are the drug companies manipulating the FDA to continue to grow their profits?

Scientific Study Yields Surprising Results

Recent scientific studies about the way the FDA reviews data to determine whether drug companies can have their products available to consumers. One study, conducted by Oregon Health and Science University, was published in The BMJ. It revealed that there is reason to believe that there is a revolving door affect between the FDA and drug companies.

What Does This Study Mean to Consumers?

Often, consumers believe that the FDA has unbiased researchers and reviewers who have one objective: to make sure that medications and medical devices are safe. Yet, these studies show the hold that the drug companies have over the FDA.

The study published in The BMJ point to a revolving door between drug companies and the FDA. The study looked at the approvals of drugs for hematology-oncology and associated medical reviews within 2001 – 2010. They looked at the roles the medical reviews played with the FDA and what happened to those individuals after the drugs were approved. Out of 55 people who performed reviews, 27 stayed with the FDA in their roles; two stayed within the FDA, but moved to other appointments; and 15 left the FDA to work with or consult for drug companies. For the rest of the individuals, the study could not determine where the people moved on to in their professional lives.

Study author, Dr. Vinay Prasad, does not believe that there is direct plot between the FDA and drug companies. However, he also noted that it is worrisome to think that the FDA may not be comfortable with providing and enforcing tough regulations on drug companies. Dr. Prasad called on the FDA to provide more transparency.

FDA Responded to the Study

In response to the study, FDA’s spokesperson, Jason Young, released a statement to TIME:

Employees leaving government for industry is a dynamic that is present across government agencies…The FDA has a strong set of rules in place to ensure that our employees are working in the public interest, not to the advantage of any company, organization, or individual.

To read the full statement, you can read Alexandra Sifferlin’s article on Time.com.

Actions Speak for Themselves

Despite the FDA’s statement, their actions continue to speak for themselves. For instance, drug companies that produce trans-vaginal mesh had their product released to the market despite not being tested in women.  That’s just one example. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year because of drugs and medical devices cleared by the FDA. This results in bigger profits for drug companies while people just like you continue to be hurt and even killed.

Have You Been Hurt by a Defective Drug or Device?

If you or someone you love has been hurt because of a defective drug or device, contact Goldwater Law Firm. Our goal is to provide you with compassionate and aggressive legal representation to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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