The Food and Drug Administration linkurl:unveiled; new, tougher linkurl:conflict of interest; rules yesterday (Aug 4). Key among the regulations was one that linkurl:prohibits; physicians or researchers who have more than $50,000 worth of financial interests in pharmaceutical or medical device companies from offering expert advice as members of linkurl:FDA advisory panels.; The new rules, issued in one draft guidance and four final guidance documents, also state that the FDA will linkurl:publically release; briefing materials pertaining to advisory committee meetings no later than 48 hours before the meeting occurs, and that votes taken at these meetings will occur linkurl:simultaneously; rather than sequentially, avoiding the potential for one vote to affect the next. The FDA also claims to have made its linkurl:Web site; more navigable so that the public can easily access information relating to advisory panels. "It's imperative that we seek advice from independent experts, and that we do so in...

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