Federal health advisory committees in the United States meet in public. Public speakers who travel to the Washington, DC, or Baltimore areas to attend meetings of the committees that advise the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) often have ties to companies with a financial stake in the outcome of the deliberations. In this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Abola and Prasad1 put numbers on a somewhat predictable finding. They analyze the characteristics of speakers at meetings of the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee and find that a substantial proportion have financial associations with the company seeking marketing approval for a drug or medical device or an organization that receives financial support from the company.1 Most of the financial ties were disclosed, but not all.
Steinbrook R. The Financial Associations of Public Speakers at Meetings of Federal Health Advisory Committees. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(3):391. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.8092