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British Medical JournalThe FDA and Moderna’s Cozy Relationship: How Lax Rules Enable a Revolving Door Culture

The Revolving Door: A Deep Dive into the Movement between FDA and Industry

This comprehensive analysis explores the phenomenon of the “revolving door” between the FDA and the private sector, focusing on the career trajectory of Doran Fink, a physician-scientist who transitioned from the FDA to Moderna. The article raises questions about the implications of such movements on public trust, regulatory integrity, and potential conflicts of interest.

Key Points

  • Doran Fink, a physician-scientist, transitioned from a leadership role at the FDA to a position at Moderna.
  • Fink played a significant role in the FDA’s COVID-19 vaccine review and policy activities.
  • Concerns persist about the “revolving door” between government and private sector roles.
  • The FDA maintains robust ethics restrictions but does not keep records on employees’ post-government employment.
  • Public Citizen advocates for “cooling-off” periods and ethics pledges to mitigate potential conflicts of interest.
  • The FDA’s relationship with Moderna deepened during the COVID-19 pandemic, raising further questions about potential conflicts of interest.

HCN Medical Memo
Yes, the “revolving door” phenomenon is indeed prevalent in various sectors, including the defense industry. A report by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft titled “March of the Four–Stars: The Role of Retired Generals and Admirals in the Arms Industry” provides some insights into this. The report analyzed the post–government employment records of four–star generals and admirals who retired between June 2018 and July 2023. Among the findings: More than 80% (26 of 32) of the four–star officers who retired after June 2018 went to work for the arms industry as board members, advisors, executives, consultants, lobbyists, or members of financial institutions that invest in the defense sector.

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