April 12th, 2011
Bart Stupak: From Pharma Watchdog To Lobbyist
And the revolving door keeps revolving. Former Congressman Bart Stupak, who gained a high profile and occasional notoriety for his watchdog approach toward the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA, has just signed on as a legislative and government affairs partner with Venable, a law firm that has a sizeable practice helping drug and device makers.
“I’ve had numerous contacts with Venable partners over the years and am excited about helping my new colleagues and the firm’s clients navigate choppy congressional waters,” says Stupak, a former police officer, Michigan state trooper and nine-term congressman, in a statement e-mailed to us.
This will be a decidedly different role for Stupak. As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, he regularly took on drug safety issues. Along with John Dingell, who formerly headed the House committee, Stupak investigted Merck and Schering-Plough for allegedly delaying the release of unfavorable clinical trial data for their Vytorin cholesterol med (see here and here). He also subpoenaed FDA investigators for approving the Ketek antibiotic, despite knowing a key safety study was fraught with problems; Sanofi-Aventis execs were also grilled at a hearing (look here).