FDA Panel Backs Breast Implants From One Maker

Gardiner Harris, The New York Times: April 14, 2005

Silicone breast implants made by a California company should be available to women who undergo cosmetic breast surgery, a federal advisory panel voted on Wednesday, rejecting arguments about serious health problems.

The panel chairman called the 7-to-2 vote to approve an application by the company, the Mentor Corporation, unexpected.

On Tuesday, the panel voted, 5 to 4, to reject a similar application from the Inamed Corporation. […]

The three-day hearing on implants began on Monday and included more than 160 witnesses who gave impassioned pleas to approve or reject silicone implants.

Dozens of women said implants had sickened them severely, and some gave gruesome testimony about silicone from ruptured implants squeezing out of their eyes and ears. […]

At the moment, just saline implants are allowed for purely cosmetic operations, even though many patients and doctors say silicone implants feel more natural and look better. Several panel members said they had voted to approved the implants because Mentor made a more convincing presentation than Inamed. […]

Inamed and women’s groups complained about the votes.

“I’m stunned and amazed by a bizarre and strange decision by a few panel members who yesterday demanded longer-term safety data and today accepted shorter-term data,” a vice president of Inamed, Dan Cohen, said.

Dr. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Health Research, called the conflicting votes illogical and predicted that the drug agency would reject both applications.

[…]

Read the original article here.