The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's drug advisory committees provide expert assessments of the safety and efficacy of new therapies considered for approval. A committee hears from a variety of speakers, from six groups, including voting members of the committee, FDA staff members, employees of the pharmaceutical company seeking approval of a therapy, patient and consumer representatives, expert speakers invited by the company, and public participants. The committees convene at the request of the FDA when the risks and harms of novel products are not immediately clear, and their final decisions carry significant weight, as most therapies that receive advisory committee approval are subsequently approved by the FDA. In recent years, across a series of diverse publications, the financial conflicts of interest of each category of participants in the meetings have been investigated. Here, we summarize these findings and their ethical implications, focusing on the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee, and we suggest ways to move toward more transparent and impartial advisory committee meetings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- Health Policy