About one-third of "public" speakers at US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee meetings on yet-to-be-approved cancer drugs in recent years had financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, according to new research.
In other words, public testimony, which is mostly from patients and the staff of nonprofits, and can be emotionally compelling, is regularly supported by private interests.
"Some of the stories are really compelling," Dr Prasad said, "but it's a mistake to assume that people who speak at these hearings represent the average patient or express what the average patient wants."
"We're likely hearing more of the upsides. Patients who suffered real side effects — they are not the ones able to travel to these meetings," he added.
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