Janet Woodcock, FDA and Sasisekharen Cleared of Conflict of Interest

Feb. 15, 2010
Had been checking for updates on this for so long that I missed last week's closure
Had been checking for updates on this for so long that I missed last week's closure.  Dr. Woodcock, and MIT professor Ram Sasisekharen, a founder of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, have reportedly been cleared of conflict of interest allegations. The management of Amphastar Pharma, which competes with Momenta, had cried foul when FDA and Sasisekharen, a specialist in glycomics, worked together to determine the root cause of heparin contamination....Industry heard from Dr. Sasisekharen in connection with analytics at IFPAC a few years ago....click here for more).Amphastar's attorney was reportedly displeased with the results, as violating Obama's "transparency" pledge, but Dr. Sharfstein (who could very reasonably be viewed as one of the Agency's top advocates for transparency), defended the decision. As Thomas Sullivan wrote in the PolicyMed blog, "Ultimately, this case demonstrates an extremely important consideration: there is a difference between conflict and confluence.  In this case, it is clearly in the nation’s best interest that FDA officials have access to the most knowledgeable scientists to solve public health issues, and that means access to company scientists and technologies," Sullivan wrote.

Maybe it also points out the need for companies to be hiring, cultivating, or working with the best minds in specific fields....something that definitely doesn't come across in all the relentless emphasis on outsourcing and R&D layoffs.


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