Scandal at the FDA: board members with drug maker ties voted to approve drug that's killing women
by Tony Isaacs
(The Best Years in Life) An investigation by the Washington Monthly and the British Medical Journal determined that at least four members of an FDA advisory board which voted to approve a drug used in the birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin had either done work for the drugs' manufacturer or received research funds from the manufacturer. Though the four committee members disclosed their ties to the FDA, the FDA decided that the ties did not matter and did not make the disclosures public. Tragically, the drugs the committee endorsed have been killing the women who take them.
The birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin contain a drug called drospirenone, which the FDA advisory committee endorsed last December. According to the Alliance for National Health (ANH), women who take drospirenone are nearly seven times more likely to develop thromboembolism (obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot, which can cause deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, and death) than women who do not take any contraceptive pill. Women who take drospirenone have twice the risk of developing thromboembolism than women who take widely prescribed contraceptive pills containing levonorgestrel.
FDA OK's votes by members with financial ties to drug makers but not members who oppose dangerous drugs
Each of the four advisory board members with ties to the pills manufacturer voted in favor of the pills. The committee's decision that the drug's benefits outweighed the risks was decided by a four-vote margin. Interestingly, while the FDA allowed the four members with financial ties to vote on the drug, it barred another member and former researcher, Sidney M. Wolfe, from voting on the grounds that he had "an intellectual conflict of interest". Based on several years of data, Wolfe had advised his readers six years earlier not to take Yaz. Because of this "conflict", he was barred from voting.
In other words, the FDA apparently believes that there is no conflict when someone gets paid by a drug manufacturer but there is a conflict when someone has researched a drug and found it to be dangerous. read on..