More Congressmen call for FDA decision probe

Three more congressmen have joined the fray over Denderon's Provenge, a prostate cancer vaccine. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Pat Murphy (D-PA), each wrote letters to John Dingell, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee. "As a member of Congress, I believe we must provide the necessary oversight to ensure that the federal approval process of life-saving therapies such as Provenge is prompt and efficient," Buchanan wrote. Two months ago, three other Congressmen also petitioned Dingell to investigate the FDA's controversial decision.

In May 2007, the FDA outraged cancer patients when it delayed the approval of Provenge. Previously, an FDA panel approved Provenge in a 13-4 vote, and though the FDA isn't required to follow the panel's recommendation, it almost always does. Critics say that two people who voted against the drug's approval may have a conflict of interest that interfered with their ability to make an unbiased decision.

- read this report from Pharmalot