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Report Details CDC Advisors’ Conflicts

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According to a New York Times article, some vaccine advisors at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had rather cozy relationships with the medical industry.

According to the Times, a report compiled by Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, found that experts who served on CDC flu and cervical cancer vaccine advisory panels in 2007  had potential conflicts that were never resolved.  Many of the advisors identified  in the report  “either a job or a grant from a company or other entity whose interests were affected by the committees’ discussions, and a considerable number also owned stock in such companies,” the Times said.

According to the report, 64 percent of the advisers had potential conflicts of interest that were never identified or were left unresolved by the centers.   Thirteen  percent failed to have an appropriate conflicts form on file at the agency at all, which should have barred their participation in the committee meetings entirely,  and three percent voted on matters that ethics officers had already barred them from considering.

According to The New York Times, while Congress  tightened rules for the Food & Drug Administration after conflicts  were found among members of its advisory panels, little attention has been paid to the CDC.

In a response to the Times, the CDC said it had already tightened its conflicts of interest process since the time period covered by the report.

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