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July 27, 2000: FDA Endorses Anthrax Antibiotic Cipro, Despite Conflict of Interest and Health Concerns

The FDA endorses the use of Bayer’s Cipro drug to prevent inhalation anthrax. (Reuters 7/28/2000) An official recommendation like this is highly unusual for the FDA. A 1997 Pentagon study of anthrax in rhesus monkeys showed that several other drugs were as effective as Cipro. The reason given for only recommending Cipro is the government wants a weapon against anthrax should it come up against a strain resistant to drugs in the penicillin and tetracycline families of antibiotics. (Bumiller 10/21/2001) The pharmaceutical industry spent $177 million on lobbying in 1999 and 2000—more money than any other industry. The FDA has been accused of conflicts of interest with companies including Bayer. (Wayne and Petersen 11/4/2001)


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