Cong Hinchey PRESS CONFERENCE Re: Drug Co. Influence on FDA
Sat, 10 Jul 2004
New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey (House Appropriations Committee) is holding a press conference on Tuesday, July 13, 2004, at 10:30 AM to address issues of concern about undue influence by drug manufacturers on FDA policy and FDA’s failure to protect the public health by requiring warning labels about severe adverse drug effects.
Specifically, Congressman Hinchey is concerned about actions taken by FDA officials to intervene in private litigation in support of drug manufacturers, and the aggressive maneuvers and legal intervention by FDA’s Chief Counsel, Daniel Troy, which have lent support to drug manufacturers who have concealed severe adverse drug effects from physicians and the public.
Daniel Troy has subverted the requirement to warn physicians and the public about drug-related risks by use of an inappropriate legal strategy: Troy has intervened in litigation by invoking the “preemption” argument in Amicus Curiae briefs and Statements of Interest in support of Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and other drug manufacturers. Daniel Troy’s preferential, one-sided legal actions have helped shield drug manufactures from legal liability. But these actions conflict with his duty as a government official not only be impartial–but to avoid even the appearance of bias.
An excellent analysis of Troy’s preemption argument by Gary Young–including cases in which he intervened in courts of law– was published by The National Law Journal: http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/04/03/26.php
Daniel Troy has also been soliciting corporate lawyers, urging them to submit cases for FDA intervention. An affidavit submitted to the US district court, SW Texas (March 1, 2004) documents statements made by Troy at a Dec. 15, 2003 meeting of the “8th Annual Conference for In house Counsel and Trial Attorneys, Drug and Medical Device Litigation.” Troy headed a discussion for pharmaceutical firms and defense lawyers entitled: “The Case for Preemption.” Not only did he make prejudicial statements about cases before the courts–e.g., In Re Paxil and Motus v Pfizer–he bragged that he was the initiator behind all of the FDA Amicus Briefs and / or Statements of Interest filed on behalf of manufacturers “since the new administration” took over.
Troy went on to say that “the McClellan administration is deeply immersed in tort reform issues” and that FDA’s goal was “to control the flow of risk info regarding these [drug and medical device] products.” [Affidavit by Jessica Rae Dart, Counsel for Plaintiffs, Dusek v Pfizer, C.A. No. H-02-3559]
Daniel Troy made the following admission at the Dec. 15 conference: Despite all his / FDA efforts to find cases to demonstrate that concerns about products liability had kept “good products off the market”–the FDA found “no good evidence.”
In other words, no safe and beneficial medication has ever been kept off the market for fear of liability–only drugs that harm, maim and kill people have been affected by liability litigation.
Consumers and families who have suffered severe harm from a drug reaction, who wish to speak at the press conference should contact Kevin O’Connell (as per press release) or Michael Iger at: 202-225-6335
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
22nd C O N G R E S S I O N A L D I S T R I C T , N E W Y O R K
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kevin O’Connell
July 9, 2004 202-225-6335
HINCHEY TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON DRUG COMPANIES’ INFLUENCE ON FDA
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey (NY-22) on Tuesday will host a press conference to discuss new evidence that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is favoring the interests of pharmaceutical companies over those of individuals who have suffered injury or death because of the companies’ products. Hinchey has been looking into the FDA’s recent, unprecedented practice of interceding in civil suits on behalf of the drug companies.
He will be joined at the press conference by families of people who have died as a result of taking prescription drugs. The FDA has hindered the ability of these families to hold the companies accountable and to keep other families from facing similar tragedies.
Tuesday, July 13
10:30 am Press Conference
Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey
Contact: Kevin O’Connell
U.S. House of Representatives
2431 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515