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FDA Places Caps on Doctors' Influence

Physician's Money Digest, July 2007, Volume 14, Issue 7

The FDA has recently voted to place limits on the physicians who serve on its powerful advisory committees, the New York Times reports. The new policy states that any doctor who earns greater than $50,000 from a company or competitor whose product is being reviewed for approval will be excluded from the committee. According to the acting FDA deputy commissioner Dr. Randall W. Lutter, this law will impact a "significant number" of physicians who currently serve on these advisory boards. These changes were enacted in response to the growing number of critics who contend that drug and device makers have too much influence over the FDA's approval process by compensating doctors who serve on the committees. Dr. Lutter hopes that "an appropriate balance" will be struck while getting smart advisors and untainted advice into the FDA approval process.