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An ethical placebo from the FDA?

March 27, 2007

Re "FDA seeks to restrict its experts' ties to industry," March 22

It would appear that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is making serious moves to repair its damaged image -- justifiably damaged, incidentally. But looks can be deceiving. How is $50,000 worth of financial ties defined? Stock? Annual wages? Travel vouchers? In reality, a $10,000 investment could easily turn into six figures if the right drug were approved and put on the market.

Who is going to determine whether an individual's expertise is enough to outweigh potential conflict of interest? After all, some individuals' expertise is deception.

The FDA needs to tighten just a bit more. We really don't want more suicide-inducing mental health drugs or heart attack-inducing blood pressure drugs in our hands.

TOM PULA

Sunland

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Great -- the FDA wants to gain more credibility with the public. But it is just making it cheaper for industry to buy votes by capping financial ties at $50,000.

How does that help?

DOROTHY WALKER

Calabasas

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