FDA Repays Industry by Rushing Risky Drugs to Market — ProPublica
The FDA’s growing emphasis on speed has come at the urging of both patient advocacy groups and industry, which began in 1992 to contribute to the salaries of the agency’s drug reviewers in exchange for time limits on reviews. In 2017, pharma paid 75 percent — or $905 million — of the agency’s scientific review budgets for branded and generic drugs, compared to 27 percent in 1993.
“The virginity was lost in ’92,” said Dr. Jerry Avorn, a professor at Harvard Medical School. “Once you have that paying relationship, it creates a dynamic that’s not a healthy one.”
Industry also sways the FDA through a less direct financial route. Many of the physicians, caregivers, and other witnesses before FDA advisory panels that evaluate drugs receive consulting fees, expense payments, or other remuneration from pharma companies.