More on CREW’s call for an investigation of Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee

Submitted by crew on 7 June 2010 – 4:19pm.

Earlier today, CREW sent a letter to the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) calling for an investigation into the appointments of two members of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC).

The Hill provided coverage of our request for an investigation:

The good government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wants the Food and Drug Administration to drop two members of its advisory panel on tobacco products for what it calls “clear financial conflicts of interests.”

The group says Neal Benowitz and Jack Henningfield have received money from companies that market smoking-cessation products and acted as expert witnesses paid by plaintiffs to testify against tobacco companies.

“The FDA’s failure to meaningfully consider the conflicts of interest of [the panel’s] members threatens to undermine the integrity of any recommendation [the panel] may make,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan wrote Monday to Daniel Levinson, inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services. “Worse, this failure does not stand in a vacuum; historically the FDA has done very little, if anything, to avoid conflicts of interest among those who serve on its advisory committees and scientific panels.”

FDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Leave a Reply