Conflicts of interest among linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration; advisory committees are more easily solved than the agency is letting on, suggests a Washington-based think tank. A linkurl:report; issued today (Dec. 3) by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reinterprets an FDA-sponsored linkurl:study; on conflicts of interest among advisory committee members published in October. CSPI claims that the study, conducted by the Eastern Research Group (ERG), found several suitable, conflict-free replacements for conflicted FDA advisory committee members, showing that assembling committees devoid of conflicts of interest is feasible. But an FDA linkurl:press release; issued last month suggested just the opposite: "The report highlights the difficulty of assembling highly qualified experts who are free of conflicts," the release read. The ERG study considered four FDA advisory committees assembled last year. The agency issued 17 members of these committees waivers allowing them to participate as experts despite known conflict...

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