A Theory on Why The FDA Hid Conflicts of Interest

Merrill Goozner

Posted 1/13/11 on Gooz News

Much has been made of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ decision last month to overrule Food and Drug Administration scientists and prohibit the over-the-counter sale of themorning after pill to minors. Many observers blasted the move as a blatant political move by the White House, which didn’t want to antagonize social conservatives ahead of this year’s election.

Now there is the possibility politicians on Capitol Hill are also influencing some choices being made at the FDA. It involves the agency’s decision last month to appoint at least three scientists to a high-profile drug safety advisory committee without disclosing they had conflicts of interest with the company – Bayer – whose product – birth control pills – was up for review.

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