Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Woodcock’s Role in Aducanumab’s Approval Must Be Investigated as Part of IG Probe

WASHINGTON -

Acting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Janet Woodcock announced today that she has asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Inspector General (IG) to investigate the “interactions between Biogen and the FDA during the process leading to the decision to approve” aducanumab for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. On January 28, Public Citizen sent a letter to Dr. Woodcock urging her to endorse our call for an HHS OIG investigation of this unprecedented, inappropriately close collaboration between the FDA and Biogen. Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, released the following statement:

“Public Citizen welcomes Dr. Woodcock’s belated request for an independent IG investigation of her agency’s inappropriately close collaboration with Biogen, as we had urged her to do nearly six months ago.

“Such an investigation must be broad and determine when Dr. Woodcock first became aware of this collaboration and whether she ever specifically endorsed or facilitated it in any way. The IG also must examine how Dr. Woodcock fostered a culture within the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research that permitted and encouraged such an inappropriate collaboration with regulated industry. Under her leadership over the past three decades, the relationship between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry has grown ever cozier — resulting in regulatory capture of the agency by industry.

“It is also imperative that Congress proceed expeditiously with its own announced investigation of the FDA-Biogen collaboration to ensure a thorough assessment and public airing of the circumstances that lead to the FDA’s reckless and inexcusable decision to approve aducanumab.”

###

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Signals Support for Anti-LGBTQ+ Reactionaries

"It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes 'reeducation training' on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules," said one court observer.

Julia Conley ·


Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

"Their 'solutions' are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment," said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN, EU Officials Demand Probe Over Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinians

"In the last 72 hours alone 10 Palestinians were killed by ISF in what appears to be an excessive use of lethal force," the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians noted after the killing of 22-year-old Ammar Mufleh by Israeli security forces.

Brett Wilkins ·


Supply Chains Woes Didn't Slow Down Global Arms Sales, Analysis Shows

Responding to the report, the U.S.-based group Win Without War said that "our economy prioritizes profits over people, leading to unnecessary violence and death. It makes us less safe."

Brett Wilkins ·


After US Prevents Railway Strike, South Korea Moves to Crush Truckers

"Part of why internationalism is so essential is because of how many international labor struggles can be used to demonstrate to U.S. workers what type of power we have to shut things down," said one labor advocate on the heels of a similar U.S. rail dispute.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo