Congress Investigating Drug, Medical Device Company Ties to Doctors. . .Again

This time a letter was sent to the Cardiovascular Research Foundation about its financial ties to researchers. Congress, particularly Sen. Charles Grassley, is investigating the nonprofit group’s ties to drug manufacturers and medical device makers. The letter coincided with the Foundation’s annual conference. The conference, known as Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics, attracts doctors from around the world. At the conference medical device companies display their products in an exhibition hall.
Congress continues to press drug companies and medical device manufacturers for financial transparency so that the federal government as well as the general public know the relationship between such companies and the researchers who are paid by them. Senators Herbert Kohl and Charles Grassley authored the letter and are pushing for legislation to make the industry more transparent. In the letter, the Senators wrote, “As you are no doubt aware, there are divergent scientific opinions concerning such products, the safety and efficacy of which are a matter of dispute among cardiologists.”
According to a NY Times article, “At the same conference on Thursday, researchers released results of a new study indicating that a drug-coated stent called Endeavor, made by Medtronic, was linked to more heart attacks and deadly blood clots than the Cypher stent made by Johnson & Johnson. ”
This information along with greater financial transparency is urgently needed for an industry that often places profits before public safety.