Foundation draws charges of industry influence

The Reagan-Udall Foundation was created by Congress to ramp up innovation in drug science, help the FDA sort through complex new technologies and improve drug safety. But before it even begins operations, lawmakers are charging that it's vulnerable to manipulation by a widely mistrusted pharma industry and includes one board member charged with muting claims that a diabetes drug raised heart risks. For some observers, the controversy surrounding the foundation underscores the awful reputation of the pharma industry and threatens the utility of the new group. For now, the Foundation appears to be ready to proceed using mostly private funds--which won't do anything to improve its reputation among Congressional critics.

- read the report from the Star-Ledger