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FDA expands disclosure

Review of 1800 outside activity requests 'cursory,' key lawmaker says

Ted Agres(tedagres@lycos.com)

After what it termed a "comprehensive review" of more than 1800 previously approved requests from its employees to engage in "outside activities," the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the number of scientists and officials required to file confidential financial disclosure forms. The action comes as a congressional panel continues to scrutinize ethics and financial conflicts of interest rules at the FDA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other federal agencies.

A panel of four senior FDA officials reviewed more than 1800 Form 520s, "Request for Approval of Outside Activity," over a 4-week period beginning in mid May. The team did not find any paid or unpaid outside activities as being "of concern." Nevertheless, acting FDA Commissioner Lester M. Crawford ordered the "strengthening" of ethics regulations by instructing nonadministrative employees at the GS-13 level and above, those with spending authority in excess of $25,000, and all attorneys...

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