An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Major pharmaceutical companies are engaging in “pay to play” arrangements that allow them to shape public policy on painkiller testing rules and regulations, according to e-mails obtained by a public records request.
The Washington Post reports:
A scientific panel that shaped the federal government’s policy for testing the safety and effectiveness of painkillers was funded by major pharmaceutical companies that paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the chance to affect the thinking of the Food and Drug Administration, according to hundreds of e-mails obtained by a public records request.
The e-mails show that the companies paid as much as $25,000 to attend any given meeting of the panel, which had been set up by two academics to provide advice to the FDA on how to weigh the evidence from clinical trials. A leading FDA official later called the group “an essential collaborative effort.”
…Together, the group produces and publishes scientific guidelines and “consensus” statements on the testing of the drugs, which Bob Rappaport, the chief of the FDA’s analgesic division and an attendee of many meetings of the group, has called “a wealth of opportunity for communication” that is “approving new analgesic drug products.”
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
Ahh, I see. Communication is democratic, productive and automatically righteous – unless it's between the people and decision makers whose decisions impact them. Then it's interference from special interests. If I object to the TPP for example, I'm 'not' communicating. I'm a 'trade barrier'.