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FDA Advisory Committee

Civil Justice Caucus Academy

The FDA Advisory Committee Selection Process: Do Financial Conflicts of Interest Affect Outcomes?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implements a rigorous review process to determine whether drugs and medical devices are sufficiently safe and…


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The FDA Advisory Committee Selection Process: Do Financial Conflicts of Interest Affect Outcomes?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implements a rigorous review process to determine whether drugs and medical devices are sufficiently safe and effective to be sold to consumers. In some cases, the FDA relies on Advisory Committees made up of external experts to help it make approval decisions with respect to drugs that may require highly specialized knowledge. As these experts have such unique qualifications, they are highly sought after in the private sector, which often leads to financial ties with drug companies.

Some have expressed concern that these financial ties will cause experts to be biased in favor of drug approvals, leading to unsafe and ineffective drugs on the market. Commentators have pointed out that stringent rules limiting conflicted members from serving on Advisory Committees could reduce the competence of FDA decision-making.

Please join the Law & Economics Center's Searle Civil Justice Institute for a briefing on the initial results of its large-scale empirical study on these conflicts of interest.

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