The Washington Post reports that Senator Joe Manchin (D/WV),
... is calling for an investigation of “pay to play” allegations regarding a scientific panel that shaped the Food and Drug Administration’s thinking on painkillers and that, according to the organizer’s e-mails, was funded by major pharmaceutical companies that put up as much $25,000 to attend a meeting.
FDA responds that the sessions,
… amounted to what one agency officials described as “an essential collaborative effort.”
And, yes -- collaboration is essential. FDA must be both regulator and colleague. But should money have been charged (by a private, for-profit organization) for industry to have a seat at the table? That’s a good question.
It’s also important to clarify that these were not (repeat – not) advisory committee meetings.