Yet more proof that disclosure is way better than exposure: One of the Avandia advisory panel members is a paid speaker for GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), which makes the diabetes drug. But that information was never given to the committee or to the public--and the FDA is investigating.
Predictably, this knowledge gap has hit the news. The Wall Street Journal perused GSK's doctor-payment disclosures online for any advisory-panel members' names--and found only Dr. David Capuzzi's. According to those records and a company spokesperson, the Philadelphia endocrinologist earned $14,750 speaking on behalf of the GSK triglycerides drug Lovaza.
Capuzzi was one of only three panel members who voted to leave the controversial diabetes drug on the market with no additional warnings or restrictions. Seventeen other panelists who voted to leave Avandia on the market wanted restrictions and/or warnings on the drug. Twelve voted for outright withdrawal from the market.
Capuzzi tells the WSJ that he disclosed his financial relationship with GSK to the FDA. However, he went on to tell Pharmalot that he told the agency about his work as a paid speaker for drugmakers, but didn't specifically say he had spoken on behalf of a GSK product--because he figured that speaking about a drug other than Avandia wouldn't be a conflict. The FDA says panel members must disclose all financial ties "that would present appearance issues."