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ResourcesResearch Integrity(US) FDA’s revolving door: Companies often hire agency staffers who managed their successful drug reviews – Science (Charles Piller | July 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(US) FDA’s revolving door: Companies often hire agency staffers who managed their successful drug reviews – Science (Charles Piller | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 05, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 4, 2018 / , , , , , ,
 


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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says its rules, along with federal laws, stop employees from improperly cashing in on their government service. But how adequate are those revolving door controls? Science has found that much like outside advisers, regular employees at the agency, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, often reap later rewards—jobs or consulting work—from the makers of the drugs they previously regulated.

FDA staffers play a pivotal role in drug approvals, presenting evidence to the agency’s advisory panels and influencing or making approval decisions. They are free to move to jobs in pharma, and many do; in a 2016 study in The BMJ, researchers examined the job histories of 55 FDA staff who had conducted drug reviews over a 9-year period in the hematologyoncology field. They found that 15 of the 26 employees who left the agency later worked or consulted for the biopharmaceutical industry.

FDA’s safeguards are supposed to keep the prospect of industry employment from affecting employees’ decisions while at the agency, and to discourage them from exploiting relationships with former colleagues after they depart. For example, former high-level employees can’t appear before the agency on the precise issues they regulated—sometimes permanently, in other cases for a year or two.

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