In a previous blog post, we shared a news story regarding the FDA and the recent Yaz, Yasmin vote that has come under scrutiny. Is the FDA in bed with big pharmaceutical companies? Why doesn’t it seem like all FDA committee members get to express their opinions? Does the FDA even care about public safety? Read More and make your own opinion.
Recently, an online news source, a December 20, 2011 article by Martha Rosenberg, printed in Dissident Voice* revealed that the Yaz, Yasmin committee meeting vote was not the first time the FDA has kept Dr. Sidney Wolfe from speaking out against a drug manufacturer.
Rosenberg’s article states that in 2010, at hearings for a different manufacturer’s drug “Wolfe’s microphone was turned off when he asked why the manufacturer’s guilty plea and $20 million penalty for illegal marketing a different drug was never brought up at the hearings.”
Why was his microphone turned off? His question wasn’t relevant to the issue at hand, according to Bob Rappaport, MD, director of the FDA Division of Anesthesia & Analgesia Products.
Interestingly enough, though, published reports said the FDA didn’t know about the legal issue before Wolfe’s disclosure, according to Rosenberg’s article.
The article goes on to point out other failings by the FDA to communicate effectively internally as well as other “conflicts of interest,” like the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee being chaired by a drug company speaker even while they reviewed that very manufacturer’s drugs.
Now THAT is a conflict of interest, and public safety continues to be in jeopardy until the FDA does their job to explore the good as well as the bad instead of just silencing the naysayers and allowing drugs to be pushed to market.