WASHINGTON – A scientific panel that shaped the federal government’s policy for testing the safety and effectiveness of painkillers was funded by major pharmaceutical companies, according to hundreds of emails obtained by a public records request.
The emails show that the companies paid as much as $25,000 to attend any given meeting of the panel, which had been set up by two academics to provide advice to the Food and Drug Administration on how to weigh the evidence from clinical trials. A leading FDA official later called the group an essential collaborative effort.
FDA officials who regulate painkillers sat on the steering committee of the panel, which met in private, and co-wrote papers with employees of pharmaceutical companies.
Douglas Throckmorton, a deputy director of the agency, said strict rules of transparency and funding apply to the public-private partnerships that the agency engages in. But the group in this case was not initiated by the FDA, he said, and so was a private partnership to which those rules did not apply.
Runaway, 9, boards LA flight ticketless
A 9-year-old runaway went through security, boarded a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport without a ticket and flew to Las Vegas, an airport spokesman said Sunday.
Security officials screened the Minneapolis boy at the airport shortly after 10:30 a.m. Thursday after he arrived, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan said. The boy then boarded a Delta flight that left for Las Vegas at 11:15 a.m.
The flight crew became suspicious midflight because the boy was not on their list of unattended minors. The crew contacted Las Vegas police, who met them upon landing and transferred the boy to child protection services, Hogan said.
51 killed in Egypt as rival forces clash
Security forces and Islamist protesters clashed around Egypt on Sunday, leaving 51 dead.
Crowds from Egypt’s two rival camps – supporters of the ousted Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, and backers of the military that deposed him – poured into the streets and turned on each other. Several neighborhoods of the capital, Cairo, resembled combat zones after street battles that raged for hours.
33 dead in Iraq as bomber hits school
Deadly attacks in Iraq killed at least 33 people on Sunday, including a dozen children slain when a suicide bomber detonated the explosives-laden car he was driving near their elementary school in the north of the country, officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suicide bombers and car bombs are frequently used by al-Qaida’s Iraq branch.
Monster truck hits crowd, kills 8
An out-of-control monster truck shot into a crowd of spectators at a Mexican air show in Chihuahua state, killing eight people and hurting 79, officials said. The driver was detained Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter and officials said they were investigating possible safety violations.