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Health Advisor
588 posts
A government watchdog has confirmed what has been suspected for a while.

The Food and Drug Administration has not been doing anything about monitoring the conflicts of interests of doctors who did clinical trials of drugs and medical devices used on human subjects and who were at the same time financially tied to the pharmaceutical industry. FDA officials have told the Health and Human Services Department investigators that monitoring such conflicts of interest is not worth the trouble.

The main purpose of the drugs’ trials is to determine whether or not a drug is effective in treating people. Those doctors who are in any way involved with pharmaceutical industry may not be objective enough when making this important decision. This is why doctors with such involvement should not be conducting clinical trials of the drugs. However, when looking at the committees responsible for approving drugs, we find that many doctors have such ties.

The fact is that such behavior violates any standard of fairness or objectivity and does not inspire public confidence in medicine.

Lately, there have been many revelations of such conflicts of interest including professors at major universities.

The reason FDA ‘s spokeswoman gave for the agency opposing to scrutinize the doctors' financial conflicts before trials was because they represented just one possible source of bias. How many sources of bias is it necessary for the government to start protecting us?

It is up to the Obama’s administration now to take a hard look at the ethics of the government agencies and doctors who test drugs for us.

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