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Invited Commentary
July 2018

Suggestions for Improving Conflict of Interest Processes in the US Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committees—Past Imperfect

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, DC
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(7):997-998. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.1324

The effect of financial conflicts of interest on voting behavior in US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committee meetings is frequently discussed, with research generally identifying small effects.1-3 This limited body of research justifies the FDA’s current approach to such conflicts. Members with conflicts of interest meeting the FDA’s criteria are excluded from meetings, unless “the need for the individual’s services outweighs the potential for a conflict of interest created by the financial interest involved.”4 In such cases, a waiver is issued, permitting participation in that meeting.

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