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Mar 20, 2012

FDA Should Not Relax Conflict Rules for Advisory Panel Members, GEN Poll Notes

  • By a better than two-to-one majority, GEN online readers say FDA should not relax conflict of interest guidelines covering its advisory panels. With 65.8% voting “no” and 27.8% voting “yes,” respondents clearly sided with those who want to keep the tighter guidelines, contending that financial conflicts are bound to bias advisory panel members.

    FDA recently retreated from plans to relax its conflict of interest rules governing the experts who serve on its advisory panels. At issue are 1988 rules barring individuals if they, their spouse, or minor children have more than $50,000 in potentially conflicting financial interests. Those who vouch for loosening the rules say the instituted limits have resulted in too many empty spots on advisory panels and members not always having the necessary expertise.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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