Skip to Main Content

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was refreshing and invigorating, because that oh-so familiar routine of meetings, online calls, and deadlines has, of course, returned. But what can you do? The world, such as it is, keeps spinning. So time to give it a nudge with a delicious cup of stimulation. Our choice today is glazed doughnut, because a little sweetening can be a good thing. Feel free to join us. Meanwhile, here is the latest menu of tidbits for you to peruse. We hope your journey today is satisfying and tolerable. And as always, do keep in touch. We appreciate feedback and suggestions. …

The U.K. medicines watchdog agency is being urged to strengthen its conflict of interest policy after it was disclosed that six of its board members are receiving payments from the pharmaceutical industry, The Guardian writes. Board members involved in overseeing the regulator’s “strategic direction” also have financial interests in companies. Some offer consultancy services while others help run or own shares in drug and medical device firms, according to official transparency records. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing, but the findings have led to concerns about perceived conflicts of interest among senior figures at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.


Five years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a new program to speed development and review of cutting-edge and potentially lifesaving medical devices, STAT reports. The initiative, known as the Breakthrough Devices Program, was set up to identify devices the agency believed could provide “more effective” treatment or diagnosis for deadly and debilitating conditions than the current standard of care. And device manufacturers that receive the designation — more than 650 products so far — are given an opportunity to talk more often with regulators and design flexible clinical trials, potentially easing the path to approval. But its value to patients is still far from clear.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


Create a display name to comment

This name will appear with your comment

There was an error saving your display name. Please check and try again.