The New York Times portrays Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, as a leading example of a cadre of activist scientists demanding better drug safety efforts. Nissen recently blistered Glaxo's Avandia, saying that a meta-analysis of discovery data on the drug illustrates increased risks. Critics say that Nissen, who also does paid research work for pharma companies, enjoys the spotlight. And some of the pharma companies burned by his comments say that Nissen can also be an alarmist. No matter what, though, he's a compelling figure in the current debate on safety.
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