Iowa senator calls for FDA transparency

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

In a Philadelphia Inquirer profile, reporter Miriam Hill says crusading Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has turned his sights on the FDA and its relationship with major pharmaceutical companies.

Sen. Charles Grassley

Sen. Charles Grassley

The article describes Grassley’s efforts to improve transparency and disclosure of payments from drug companies to its researchers. He also has proposed “restructuring the FDA to make it easier for agency scientists to speak out if safety problems come to light after a drug is on the market. He also wants drug and medical-device companies to publish payments to researchers and doctors on a public Web site.”

Grassley’s doggedness has won praise:

“His scrutiny of the relationships between academic physicians and industry has resulted in greater transparency and accountability for our profession,” said Steve Nissen, an Avandia critic and head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, which recently started disclosing payments from drug companies to its researchers.

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