Statement by Vera Hassner Sharav, President AHRP: 2/2/04 Press Briefing


THE ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP)

142 West End Ave. Suite 28P, New York, NY 10023
Tel. No: 212-595-8974, Fax No: 212-595-9086
veracare at ahrp period org

***PRESS BRIEFING 2/2/04***

Statement by Vera Hassner Sharav, President, AHRP

The Alliance for Human Research Protection is convening this press conference because we believe a fair and open public debate about a healthcare issue that threatens the lives of children is in the public interest.

The FDA has quashed all efforts and requests for an open debate – by stacking both the advisory committee and panel of consultants with psychiatrists who have substantial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. FDA officials have excluded independent scientists from the reviewing process, denying them even the opportunity to present evidence that does not support industry’s interests. Even FDA’s own medical officer was barred from presenting his findings at the public meeting because they confirm an increased suicidal risk of SSRIs for children.

We believe that the financial ties – of most committee members and consultants – to the pharmaceutical companies whose drugs they evaluate, are reflected in their biased publications and public statements. Indeed, they are on record defending the safety and effectiveness of antidepressants before they have even reviewed all the clinical trial evidence. We believe that the integrity of scientific discourse depends upon open examination of all of the evidence so that it can be independently verified.

Let me add that these presentations, and the experts’ long list of scientific publications, were not subject to the spin of a public relations firm – as was the "Executive Summary" of an unpublished ACNP report. We are here to support old-fashioned, open and unvarnished science.

AHRP Press Briefing Announcement