A BIG thank you to the Philadelphia Inquirer…
One of the few major media outlets that consistently cover Big Pharma and the FDA…
This weekend The Philadelphia Inquirer examined how Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has “found a congressional calling” in “creating uproars that often transform public opinion and policy” and “in recent years … has repeatedly turned his sights on wrongdoing by the pharmaceutical industry and its overseer,” FDA. Grassley held Senate hearings that contributed to the decision by Merck to withdraw the COX-2 inhibitor Vioxx from the market in 2004, and his “revelations about prominent psychiatrists who failed to disclose large payments from drug companies have fueled investigations into conflicts of interest,” according to the Inquirer. In addition, research conducted by his staff in 2007 found that GlaxoSmithKline allegedly “bullied” scientists who identified heart problems associated with the diabetes medication Avandia, the Inquirer reports.
According to the Inquirer, his “doggedness has won him praise,” but “some experts warn that Grassley has oversimplified challenging science.” However, Grassley believes that he is “simply providing a forum for competing scientific ideas, not deciding which ones prevail,” and that the legislation he has proposed is “aimed at bringing more information into the open,” the Inquirer reports (Hill , Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/8).
For those of us who want more transparency in the Big Phama Lobby/FDA Approval process, a note of thanks to both Representative Grassley and to the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial staff would be a good thing.
Source Documentation: Philadelphia Inquirer, 02.11.2009
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