I received an e-mail this morning from Leslie who was the producer and director of the short video I filmed about the Provenge issue at the FDA.
(you can view the video at: Joel’s Provenge Video

Leslie asked that I sign a petition asking for a formal inquiry into the conflict of interest (COI) issues that have been raised around the FDA’s decision about the vaccine, Provenge.

I have signed the petition and I am asking that you too consider signing the petition. All FDA decisions, including Provenge, must be made solely on the best interest of the general public and particularly with the interests of the people suffering from all sorts of illnesses. Just the appearance of any COIs is detrimental for everyone and requires that we eliminate it.

The COI issue goes beyond just Provenge, but includes all drugs and treatments that are reviewed by the FDA. The huddles that currently exist are already extensive and set very high. Approvals should not be decided based upon individual drug company’s profits or investor profits.
In cases where there might be even just an appearance of a conflict the FDA must step in and remove the potential issue from the table.

To be totally honest, I do not believe that the when push comes to shove Congress will actually hold these hearings. However, I do still believe that signing the petition is very important. The petition does send a clear message about our outrage that these types of issues are allowed to enter the drug approval process.

So please read Leslie’s letter and make our collective voice heard in Congress and by the media.

    Leslie’s Email

Provenge, a new prostate cancer vaccine was voted safe 17-0 and that it showed substantial evidence of efficacy 14-3 at an FDA advisory committee