Hard to believe, but three quarters of advisory committees in the Center for Drug Evaluation & Research do not have a permanent chair,The In Vivo Blog reports. Using simple math, that’s 12 out of 16 committee chairs. Only four - Anethestic & Life Support Drugs, Pharmaceutical Science, Psychopharmacologic Drugs and Reproductive Health Drugs - have a permanent chair, the blog writes.
And FDA is having a hard time finding committee members. Why? The blog points to new conflict of interest rules, which restrict participation based on financial holdings (see here), and unspecified "downsides" to serving on a committee. What could these be? We prefer not to speculate, but there is an awful lot of politicking that occurs and complaints from anxious drugmakers. And let's not forget the annoying media attention for those high-profile drugs.
In slow times, this may not matter too much, but as the blog points out, there will be more new meds before an advisory committee this year since 2004. This is unlikely to provide much comfort to pharma ceo's who complain about the FDA approval process. Of course, a committee chair is still a high-profile opportunity. So if you're interested, reach out to Janet Woodcock.