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Lots of drug-related conflict of interest news this week

Gardiner Harris of the New York Times is all over issues about drug company influence on doctors and on the FDA this week. Today he writes:

Expert advisers to the government who receive money from a drug or device maker would be barred for the first time from voting on whether to approve that company’s products under new rules announced Wednesday for the F.D.A.’s powerful advisory committees.

Indeed, such doctors who receive more than $50,000 from a company or a competitor whose product is being discussed would no longer be allowed to serve on the committees, though those who receive less than that amount in the prior year can join a committee and participate in its discussions.

A “significant number??? of the agency’s present advisers would be affected by the new policy, said the F.D.A. acting deputy commissioner, Randall W. Lutter, though he would not say how many.

Yesterday, Harris’

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