Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Drug Trials With a Dose of Doubt

That's the headline from a recent L.A. Go here for the full article. The scope of the article - how a doctor whose government job at the National Institutes of Health was paid by Merck for consulting on drug approvals, and the conflict of interest such work poses.

The article discusses what happens before a drug's approval, in this case, Cancidas. Doctors prescribe it for patients whose immune systems had been ravaged by chemotherapy and who were presumed to have a potentially deadly, invasive fungal infection. In its first five years on the U.S. market, Cancidas was an $859 million drug for Merck.

How can the FDA effectively analyze drug trial results when government doctors may be on Pharma's dole?